I want 140 characters which will end rape

So men, what do you want to hear?

Not all men are like that? You’re not like those other men?

Let’s say I tell you men that you are wonderful, kind, heroic and humble. Will these words of praise stop the girl enslavement called “child marriages?”

If women change tactics from demanding the return of girl children stolen in Africa, if instead we engulf men in a cascade of compliments assuring men that we know they are decent and devoted, will men return our generosity by raising the average age a girl enters prostitution out of the early teen years?

So men, if it is not flattery you want from women, what are the words you want to hear? What can women say that will cause you to finally stop what you have always had in your manly hands the power to end?

Women have been forgiving of what men have done to us. We have to if we want to leave our homes. We have to forget what pornography shows us men like to masturbate to if we want to go to work or buy food while looking into the porn-soaked eyes of the men around us. We have to forget what happened the last time we went out, and the time before that, and we need to remember the times nothing happened.

I’ll remember that you are the good ones and that most violence is really the fault of madness or money. I will forgive and forget whatever it is you want of me if you tell me what you want to hear women say. Then good men like you will stop telling us how we’re doing feminism wrong, because we’ll be doing it exactly as you command.

Then men will stop the violence your mentally ill brothers and financially destitute brothers commit against girls and women.

Men will stop the violence.

Not because women have always begged men to stop. Not because women have always acquiesced to silent invisibility in the hope that men would respond with civility. Not because men haven’t kept masculinity’s vaunted promise to protect women and children.

Men will stop the violence because women will finally have spoken the word sequence whose non-utterance has kept the dignity of full personhood out of women’s grasp.

So men, enough with telling women when we speak the wrong words. What would you have women say to get men to end the violence sinking humanity’s ship, the result when something naturally balanced is forcibly tipped for too long?

You can go over Twitter’s 140 characters if you need to, or whatever Facebook’s limit is, but do try to keep it from becoming a 141-page manifesto if you can.

Just say the words and I will work tirelessly getting women to repeat them, then men will stop the violence.

Men will stop the violence.

Women will say what men want to hear and men will stop the violence.

And that will work this time.

Samantha Berg is a radical feminist journalist and activist. Her articles have been published in progressive media for over a decade, and in recent years she has organized several anti-prostitution political events in the United States and Canada. Sam’s websites are JohnStompers.com and Genderberg.com.

Meghan Murphy

Meghan Murphy

Meghan Murphy, founder and editor of Feminist Current, is a freelance writer and journalist. She completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog. Follow her @meghanemurphy

  • https://www.facebook.com/vicki.wharton.71 Vicki Wharton

    Im with you on this totally. Its about time men started telling us those magic words that will bring an end to their on going violence … after all, criticising is fine if its constructive … I’m all ears to hear what their solution to psychopathy towards the female of the species.

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  • http://www.fatherstouch.com Donald D’Haene

    I haven’t got 140 magic characters but your post reminded me: I spoke to a group of teenage male rapists/sexual abusers over 20 years ago. They knew I was a survivour: I said, “Do you want to have children some day.” “Yes!” “What would you do if your child was sexually abused by a ‘you'”…Made a couple of them cry. Later I received letters from some of them thanking me for being a better person then they were to come in and talk to them who didn’t “deserve it”. They wrote, “It made a difference.”

    • hovercraft lovechild

      This irks me, though. Why is it that men can only seem to drag up some empathy or care for women when those women are their daughters? Is it because daughters are the closest men come in this culture to literally owning another human? Is it because daughters are extremely ill-equipped to judge or demand anything from their fathers? Is it because daughters tend to love a man no matter what– literally, no matter what, including abuse, neglect, and often rape?

      It bugs me that men only seem to be able to empathize with womankind once they have daughters. What about their mothers? What about their sisters? What about their girlfriends, lovers, wives? What about their co-workers, friends, or teammates? What about genius female artists who blew them away with works of art? What about those women? For 30 years (let’s pretend the average age of fatherhood is 30, just for this conversation because I dont know what it is) these men lived among women. For 30 years they had mothers and sisters and co-workers and wives and friends and lovers who were women. Why couldn’t they empathize with them? Why is it only when you get to create and raise (basically “own”) your very own vulnerable, stockholm-syndrome-guaranteed girl-child that you can dredge up some empathy?

      • http://huffysnappy.wordpress.com huffysnappy

        I’ve long been similarly irked (more like disturbed actually) by the trend men discovering the need for feminism (only just figuring out that sexism and misogyny are real things that affect the lives of females) upon the birth of a first daughter, for exactly the reason that you articulate “For 30 years….these men lived among women….Why couldn’t they empathise with *them*?” (my emphasis added).

        I had/have a slightly different take on as to *why*, although I agree empathy for girls and women is the fundamental change that occurs. However, I am open to additional (rather than competing – because I think the prior lack of – or stunting of, or failure to develop – empathy for women is probably a product of multiple forces) different interpretations.

        My thought was that at birth, the girl human in a nappy is pretty well physically indistinguishable – to most people, perhaps all people – from a similarly aged boy human. At this point in her life outside the womb, she is at least the closest she will ever be to not being marked as a female, and future woman. And that is perhaps what perhaps provides the conditions for that small burst of empathy to occur, along with subsequent recognition of social phenomena (misogyny, sexism, gendered crap imposed on girls and women) that had been ignored until that point.
        Of course, as Cordelia Fine described in DoG, humans pretty much start gendering children from the time their sex is known. Which is probably why the empathy burst is only a small one. And doesn’t seem to occur in all new fathers.

        • Ashlee

          “My thought was that at birth, the girl human in a nappy is pretty well physically indistinguishable – to most people, perhaps all people – from a similarly aged boy human. At this point in her life outside the womb, she is at least the closest she will ever be to not being marked as a female, and future woman. And that is perhaps what perhaps provides the conditions for that small burst of empathy to occur, along with subsequent recognition of social phenomena (misogyny, sexism, gendered crap imposed on girls and women) that had been ignored until that point.”

          Yes, I think you’ve really hit on something here. I’ve recently been having thoughts along a similar vein but less developed. Thanks.

      • Donkey Skin

        If having daughters made men empathetic towards women, the world would look very different to the way it does now. Men have been having daughters for quite some time all over the world, and it’s never inspired them to create societies in which girls and women are valued and safe. There are plenty of sexist and misogynist fathers, not to mention rates of sexual abuse by fathers towards girl children are quite high.

        I don’t buy this ‘how can I hate women, I have a wife/sister/daughter/mother’ crap. Having female relatives has never stopped men from creating viciously misogynist cultures, I have no idea why we’d assume it would make a difference now.

        • amongster

          i totally agree with this. it’s like people (well, men) think that having a relationship automatically means that this relationship is one of mutual respect. obviously that is not the case at all.

        • http://mmmariguana.wordpress.com Mar Iguana

          One of the saddest things I’ve ever read was an Indian women saying she chose to abort a female fetus because she was sparing a daughter from the complete misery she would endure as a female in this world.

    • http://www.fatherstouch.com Donald D’Haene

      Further to my last comment: I was much younger when I used that approach and guess what, I would use the exact same approach now. I was raped and I communicate my experience my way. On the subject of my rape I wrote this piece for the Huffington Post and The Good Men Project – Take Care of Yourself and Your Soul: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/the-good-life-take-care-of-yourself-and-your-soul/ I am also a self-identified Feminist – have been for decades and have written on the subject numerous times… Fierce Resistance: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/the-good-life-fierce-resistance/ Do you think I’m something? : http://goodmenproject.com/conflict/the-good-life-do-you-think-im-something/

      • morag

        Another man coming onto a feminist blog to talk about how he’s going to do things his way whether we dumb bitches like it or not. Booooooring.
        I’m sorry you were victimized, but that doesn’t mean that the women here-who have been victimized too- can’t comment about how problematic the whole mindset of “my daughter is different from those other whores” of your clients. I wish for once the men who have been hurt under patriarchy would get angry at other men instead of dumping their aggression on women.

  • http://huffysnappy.wordpress.com huffysnappy

    Yes, exactly. And when women speak the magic word sequence, and men fail to respond and grant all women full humanity, the men who suggested those words will go after the offending men, even if only on Twitter, rather than further chastising the women that its their fault the magic words didn’t work, because something about their Twitter account looked wrong or probably made a man somewhere feel disrespected.

    • https://www.facebook.com/vicki.wharton.71 Vicki Wharton

      Somewhere down the line, we have to get men to realise that one of the by products of male supremacy is social arrogance towards others you regard as less than you – women and children and some men they regard as ill fitting to their concept of alpha male. This arrogance leads to violence as you subject your world view on others, as per Hitler, Idi Amin and every other arrogant male doctrine. Equality is the only way of getting rid of violence against women and children, making a woman or child;s no as valid in the mind of the male as their own ‘this is how it is/what I want’. Arrogant men feel disrespected when anyone stands up as an equal – my answer to them is – Get over yourself …

      • http://huffysnappy.wordpress.com huffysnappy

        “Arrogant men feel disrespected when anyone stands up as an equal”.
        Not just disrespected, but positively attacked, I’ve found.

  • http://www.andrewstein-online.com Andrew

    There is only one concept which will end violence and save humanity:


    As a society and a species, we must practice and encourage everyone to understand this. Until we can comprehend what it means to feel another person’s pain, and subsequently feel our own unique remorse caused by inflicting that pain, all manner of violence will continue: Rape, war, bigotry, even simple bullying.

    I am a pessimist, unfortunately. I think many human beings are broken, and are incapable of feeling remorse. So long as human beings with empathy live alongside those without, we are doomed to eternal conflict, abuse and violence.

    The only way to make people stop killing and raping is to make them WANT to stop. We must make them WANT to be kind, instead of brutal. How do we find that?

    …well after 5,000 years, all of humanity’s best and brightest have failed to find that path to world peace. It’d sure be great if we could stumble onto it in the next few years, wouldn’t it?

    • hovercraft lovechild

      oppression isn’t just about attitudes, though. It isn’t even mainly about attitudes (like empathy, or lack of it). It is about resource extraction. Did whites have slaves because they “lacked empathy” for black people, or did they lack empathy for black people because they wanted to extract labor from them and had the power to do so? That labor was the entire basis of the economy of their fledgling state, and the entire basis upon which they could preserve for themselves a realm in which “all men were created equal.” It wasn’t about empathy or lack thereof. And need I remind you that slavery wasn’t ended because white people suddenly got empathetic. It took a murderous bloody war, not empathy, to end slavery.

      Women aren’t oppressed because men “lack empathy” for women. Women are oppressed because men want to extract labor and resources– sexual, reproductive, emotional, and otherwise– from women. Have you even read any feminist theory? I think, if you want to choose “only one concept” that will “end violence [against women] and save humanity” you could find a better one than “empathy,” and you could find it in the writing of feminists. just sayin’.

      • http://huffysnappy.wordpress.com huffysnappy

        I agree with you that oppression isn’t “just” about lack of empathy. But I think lacking empathy for the classes of persons you intend to go on exploiting, makes it much easier for yourself and others of your class collectively to keep on exploiting and oppressing, and still think of oneself and one’s friends and peers as ‘good people’, which is a barrier to being honest about the effects of your exploitative actions.
        I don’t think the lack of empathy is an accident – it is developed and fostered intentionally.

    • http://mmmariguana.wordpress.com Mar Iguana

      I agree, Andrew. Men need to read Kathleen Barry’s book Unmaking War, Remaking Men: How Empathy Can Reshape Our Politics, Our Soldiers and Ourselves. She talks about what men can do to end the nightmare of violence. She emphasizes that it is not the responsibility of women to end it.

      Women are already doing, and have been doing, everything they can think of to end it. It’s not our job. Plus, the more we try, the more we do, the more we say only seems to make men just dig in their heels and double down on their mindless worship of violent masculinity.

      So, it’s problematic to see you using the words “we”, “person’s,” “our,” “human beings,” “humanity’s” instead of “men,” “men,” “men,” “men,” “men.”

      Speaking of words, I seldom use the word “awesome” because it’s been so overused as to become almost meaningless, reduced to mean merely “good.” But, Sam, you are awesome in the original powerful sense of the word. Not only in what you write and speak, but in your actions. You knock me out.

  • sarah

    I think this might be the best thing I’ve read, ever, in my 31 years. Ever. Thank you.

  • hovercraft lovechild

    This is a great article. F*&%ing well put, Sam.

    • Acumen

      Right, it’s so great because it shows that ALL OF THE EVILS OF THE WORLD are perpetrated by men, and women haven’t done anything wrong ever. Right? Right.

      • hovercraft lovechild

        That’s not what this is about. Have you not even realized yet that oppression isn’t about individual men and women, and it isn’t about every wrong in the world?

        It is about women and men as classes of people whose existences are systematically structured by the institutions and values of a society– structured such that one group is given the power to dominate, and another trained and terrorized into submission.

        It is not about “every wrong ever,” it is about the specific wrongs that are done to women by men in the name of and in the executing of male supremacy and resource extraction from women.


        • No one in particular

          Out of curiosity, could you define these institutions? For the record, I do not support Acumen’s view on this topic, but I am interested in finding a general concept of structure that defines this patriarchal system.

          The problem with theories like these and other (postmodern) constructs is a absence of falsifiability as they seem to be constructed without disprovable principles.

          I think the system of “rape culture” is a fine example of a rather popular construct, since it’s very definition is up for discussion, (AFAIK) none of the interpretations provide any predictions or falsifiable explanations for individual rapes, and what would constitutes a “rape culture enabling” society (maybe the most crucial point) seems to be subject to anecdotal evidence.

          The reason I ask this specifically is that a significant part of the criticism towards modern day feminism seems to be caused by the lack of an ideological base and goal in the movement, resulting in misinterpretations.

          • marv

            “Out of curiosity, could you define these institutions? ”

            Therein lies the problem – the impartial observer. A man sees what a man sees to a great extent out of his structural position in relation to women. There is no absence of evidence for patriarchy or evidence of its absence. The detached bystander doesn’t admit he looks on from within the system not from without it. There is no outside from which to look in to. We can’t look at social reality from beyond it. Rape culture is a perfect example of how men are so deeply embedded in male power they only imagine anecdotal proof of actual systemic violations. They define rape according to their “objective” standards not women’s experience.

            “a significant part of the criticism towards modern day feminism seems to be caused by” NO “lack of an ideological base and goal in the movement [of men], resulting in misinterpretations.”

          • No one in particular

            Thank you for your reply, but I do not think you are answering my question.

            I like to make clear that it isn’t my intention deny in any way, shape or form the suffering of women. It isn’t even my intention to deny that women are under-represented in this society.

            ” There is no absence of evidence for patriarchy or evidence of its absence.”

            This was not the question I was posing. My intention was to inquire about a defined concept of the patriarchy, I’m sorry if my question was fuzzy.

            “We can’t look at social reality from beyond it. Rape culture is a perfect example of how men are so deeply embedded in male power they only imagine anecdotal proof of actual systemic violations. They define rape according to their “objective” standards not women’s experience.”

            The very notion that an objective reality is a construct of a system leaves no other conclusion than the absence of a (at least) knowable truth. This in turn leads to the conclusion that no claim can hold any universal truth, and therefore this very claim itself could be dismissed as holding no universal truth.

            I would like to emphasize that the above phenomenon isn’t the same as paradigms that may differ, and we both may very well have different paradigms.

            In regards to the statement I made about “rape culture”, I referred mostly to the Steubenville case, in which CNN started out as supportive of the (the alleged) rapists (but turned around later on). What could have been seen as another case in which the media was very supportive of accused sportsmen, has been turned into an example of “rape culture”.

            Beside the many different interpretations of the term, but the overarching idea seems to be that rape isn’t viewed as a severe enough crime or isn’t taken seriously enough/is normalized. The inquiries that show that Americans view the rape of a woman resulting in physical injuries as a worse crime than a woman stabbing a man to death (National Survey of Crime Severity), seem to contradict this.

            The suggestion that I could only imagine anecdotal evidence seems to me to be a personal attack, and does in itself not disprove my stance.

            I would like to add that “objective” standards are very much required to punish those guilty of raping, and in that effort, reducing rape.

            (on this side note: the very reason I posted this issue here was to inquire about evidence about “rape culture” too, and although I’ve searched, to my knowledge, pretty extensively, I’m open to studies and articles proving me wrong)

          • Dana

            In case you have responses turned on:

            “Patriarchy” translates literally as “rule of the fathers.”

            That means only people tagged as “father” get to have real power in this culture.

            In this sort of power structure you will see some men with that power and some men without it, or with less of it, because the latter have been relegated to “sons” in the culture. But most sons will eventually become fathers in some capacity.

            Nowadays a few token women are allowed to pretend they have power because, it is thought, this pacifies the rest of us–but there isn’t a powerful woman alive who doesn’t have a man for a boss. The Queen of England could be removed by Parliamentary decree, for instance. A President could be impeached. And legislative bodies are still majority male, pretty much worldwide.

            When you look at the actual translation of “patriarchy” and think about male-dominated family dynamics, a lot of what is wrong with our culture suddenly makes horrible sense.

            To everyone else here: Sorry I explained to him, but frankly I think some feminists need to look at that explanation too, because we lose sight of it sometimes. See also that awful word “kyriarchy”.

      • http://huffysnappy.wordpress.com huffysnappy

        Not sure if you’re (a) trolling and showing your lack of comprehension, or (b) pre-emptively satirising someone who is bound to show up here soon to perform (a).

        If (b), I apologise.

      • http://mmmariguana.wordpress.com Mar Iguana

        Yep, Acumen, now you’re catching on. ALL the evils of the world are perpetrated by men and whatever women do wrong is in response to trying to survive on this woman-hating Man Planet. That’s right. Deal.

  • http://speakoutonmaleviolence.wordpress.com/ Hecuba

    Men want one thing only from women and girls and that is total silence and total female submission and female deference to men! Pandering to men doesn’t work and Audre Lorde got it right when she said ‘the masters’ tools will never dismantle the masters’ houses!

    Perhaps non-white men should ask white male supremacists ‘what do you white male supremacists want us non-white men to do to ensure that we non-white men are accorded the same rights and male socio-economic power as you white men.

    I don’t think non-white men will be asking the white male supremacists this question because non-white men know that socio-economic power is never given it has to be taken.

    Women don’t be fooled – men don’t want to relinquish their male pseudo sex right to dominate and oppress women. If men did want to relinquish this power they would have done so centuries ago. Herstory tells us that men always collaborate with other men of whatever political/religious persuasion in order to maintain their Male Supremacist System.

    • http://huffysnappy.wordpress.com huffysnappy

      “Women don’t be fooled…” – I inferred that as part of Sam’s intent in writing the piece. That is, many feminist women are only too well aware that “men don’t want to relinquish their male pseudo sex right to dominate and oppress women.”

      (I think) Sam is calling men on their bullshit when they blame us for male violence towards girls and women using the pretext that we didn’t use the right words to explain to men why male violence toward (and exploitation of) women and girls is bad, and why we’d like it to stop.

      We all know that there are no right or magical words that will end male violence once uttered. Hence the challenge (plea) to men articulated in this piece.
      Maybe a few boys and men who read this piece, will get that point. That would be an improvement I reckon.

  • Slyer

    140 characters, hmm…. I will suck your dick 24/7, behave like your slave, be your total object, agree with everything you say, if you’d just admit women are not lesser beings.
    Oh, wait….

  • scansionbear

    What makes you think rapists listen to me (a man) any more than they listen to you? If I had it in my power to stop rape, I would stop it in a second. I am as powerless as you here. It’s not as if anyone consults me for my opinion before they commit rape; contrary to apparently popular belief, I don’t even remember the last time I heard a rape joke, because they are severely frowned upon in my circles. And yet rape happens, quietly and insidiously. If you really think there’s anything I can actually do to stop it, then tell me what it is.

    • hovercraft lovechild

      if you’re in any kind of lefty / activist circles, or even any non-political circles, then I’m 99% sure that when a woman is raped or abused by a prominent or powerful or popular man, he is not kicked out of that community. she is not supported, because it is inconvenient to support her when it means questioning a powerful or prominent or popular man. This happens over and over and over in supposedly “progressive” or left circles. Has you or your community ever kicked out a man for raping or abusing a woman?

      Do you use porn, which is the videotaped rape of women and girls? Were you raised on it? Is your sexuality irrevocably shaped and informed by it, and do you take that sexuality with you into your relationships with women, and never question whether that is ok?

      If you don’t believe ALL porn depicts rape, does it bother you that you can never know which films depict rapes and which don’t– or is rape just accepted by you as an operating cost?

      Have you never taken advantage of a girl or woman in your life? Maybe not in a way that you might recognize as rape, but in a way that depended on their powerlessness in relation to you, a powerlessness which exists because of the patriarchal gender hierarchy?

      Do you recognize in any concrete way at all that one out of every three women (at least) has been sexually assaulted or raped? We live in a culture that creates vast rituals to celebrate men and manliness and masculinity and power all the time– have you or your community made one single move to create a communal recognition of the rape of its women and the debt owed by it to those women for allowing that violence to go on? Have you ever taken a step to honor the tragedy and terror of your mother’s rape, your sister’s rape, your girlfriend’s rape? Or do you prefer to pretend as if this only happens to those other women, who are not around you, to whom you have no responsibility?

      In order to be respected, viewed as healthy, whole, or worthy, do women (in monogamous relationships with you or not) have to be sexually active?

      Do you think that just because you say you aren’t a rapist, that we believe you? Or that just because you truly believe you aren’t one, that you aren’t?

      Have you read Andrea Dworkin’s “I Want a Twenty-Four-Hour Truce During Which There Is No Rape” ? It is addressed to male “radicals,” an audience of 500 of them, in 1983. I highly recommend it.

    • http://mmmariguana.wordpress.com Mar Iguana

      Absolve yourself, scansionbear, then run along and play with your severely frowning circles. Round and round you go. Wheee!

    • http://johnstompers.com/ Carnation

      If you tell us what concrete actions to stop men from raping you’re already taking then we can further you along your anti-rape path. If convincing yourself that there’s nothing you can do is the thing you’ve done, there are hundreds of suggestions women could offer to get you started for real.

  • buddhaflow

    You want what you can never have.

    You know, deep in your heart, that

    Everyone wants 140 characters that can end rape, murder, war, environmental destruction, oppression, etc. Sadly, they don’t exist. You can’t fight fire with toast and jam. Tweets are utterly meaningless and ineffective at establishing any social change.

    Equally, as a peaceful, non-violent man – who doesn’t know a single man I would characterize as violent or abusive in any way, because I am highly selective about my friends, and as a man who never hangs out around places where alcohol is present – I don’t know why you think I will have any more influence on violent men than women do.

    I won’t have any more influence on frat boys and date rapists than your tweets will. Literally zero.

    Frankly, isn’t the belief that ‘Only men can stop other men from committing rape’ incredibly dis-empowering to women?

    You really want to stop rape? Impress on women that most rapists use alcohol as a weapon, and that they should really avoid it because it’s awful stuff that removes the human capacity for basic self-preservation, and because rapists seek out victims who are vulnerable and have diminished capacity resistance.

    But to do this, almost certainly the #1 most effective step that women can take to protect themselves from many rapists, would veer too close to ‘victim blaming’ and ‘putting the responsibility on her,’ so instead of taking any effective action you’ll implore Feminist men to convince all their close jock rapist friends to not rape, while you sit at your desk trying to find the perfect 140 character combination that will solve the problem once and for all.

    • buddhaflow


      “You know, in your heart, that this is a problem that simple words can never solve.”

    • Baffled

      “so instead of taking any effective action you’ll implore Feminist men to convince all their close jock rapist friends to not rape, while you sit at your desk trying to find the perfect 140 character combination that will solve the problem once and for all.”

      I think you may have missed the point of the article.

    • lizor

      “You really want to stop rape? Impress on women … , and that they should really avoid… ”


      • No one in particular

        @lizor, while I understand your frustration with the subject, but although research has suggested that encouraging others to prevent rape could yield positive outcomes, prevention training programs for the potential victim ARE proven to be effective (especially defense training). Studies have shown that these programs can reduce rapes by roughly 20%.

        Since anywhere up to 77% of rapes at least involve drugs or alcohol, the suggestion might not be as controversial as thought. To suppress the notion that victims being vigilant could reduce risk of rape, just for fear that saying so would make victims feel shamed seems to be somewhat counterproductive.

        Just to note, buddhaflow does not sugges that changing attitude or clothing would reduce the chances of being raped. Less than 5% of all rapes (including child rape) are said to be incited by the victim’s behaviour or outfit, so addressing these are rather pointless.

        • amongster

          how exactly do prevention training programs reduce rape? do you mean the women could fight off their attacker? cause that’s still a traumatic experience and i like to get rid of not just rape but rape attempts as well. i don’t see that happening through such programs aimed at women.

          • No one in particular

            Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

            Well, you are correct in that these programs can include ‘fighting off’ (defense training) your attacker, and, among other things, assuring the trainees that trying to minimize damage by being cooperative is most often not the best way of action.

            I fully agree with you that being attacked is still a traumatic experience and that other and more methods are necessary, but I intended to differentiate buddhaflow’s message from victim blaming.

            I do think that telling people that trying to fend of the attacker could be helpful in trying to avoid rape itself from happening, might make some potential victims feel a bit more empowered, but I could be wrong.

            Now again, I’m not in any way suggesting that the victim of the crime could be held responsible for the crime itself, but every option that could reduce the chances of rape happening is worth exploring.

        • lizor

          What gibberish, NOIP. You have no comprehension whatsoever of my frustration with the subject, or the subject itself for that matter.

          “Less than 5% of all rapes (including child rape) are said to be incited by the victim’s behaviour or outfit” … “anywhere up to 77% of rapes at least involve drugs or alcohol”. Seriously, dude?

          “the very reason I posted this issue here was to inquire about evidence about “rape culture” too, and although I’ve searched, to my knowledge, pretty extensively, I’m open to studies and articles proving me wrong”.

          Your oblivion/willful ignorance is an insult to survivors. And there are one helluva lot of us.

          • No one in particular

            Well, if I’m wrong, could you please show me.

            And to comment on me knowing something about your frustration with the subject buddhaflow described, well, no, I do not know how much you are frustrated by that. I do however, as stated, understand THAT you are frustrated with his statement.

            Regarding the part about behaviour and outfit, I will add that the VAST majority of rapist did not even remember what the victim was wearing. The point I was specifically making was that victim blaming (dress/attitude) is pointless, and that I wanted to differentiate buddhaflow’s statement from this tendency.

            Telling me I’m wilfully ignorant isn’t just beside the point or insulting, I truly believe this kind of reaction is detrimental to the (for lack of a better word) rape discussion as a whole.

            If you disagree with my views, that’s your right, but if you are interested in my sources, please tell me, because I will provide them.

          • marv

            Advising women to drink less or not at all as a way to reduce sexual attacks is somewhat like telling low income people to eat less to avoid destitution. It would be pure insolence to prescribe harm reduction tactics to victims of either scenario when the root causes of their maltreatment are the unequal distribution of power among men and women and the unequal distribution of power and wealth among the economic classes- male supremacy and male capitalism.

          • https://www.facebook.com/vicki.wharton.71 Vicki Wharton

            97% of rapes in the uk are by a friend, family member or partner/ex. Drink or fighting them off is not the issue, its about living in a society where you cant even trust your friends or family not to attack you/violate you and where the government and justice dept is on the side of your rapist. Look how many policemen and senior media officials covered up jimmy savilles child rapes.

          • Gowan

            In a thread somewhere someone suggested that, in order to stop rape once and for all, all women stop associating with men and live on an island guarded by man-eating sharks. That would be a solution, if not for the fact that, the very next day after that step has been taken, the island would be attacked by rapists.

          • Me

            You can’t be shown what you don’t want to see.

            And lets not pretend that were we discussing an instance of a woman or a child violently defending themselves against sexual aggression or beating, “buddha” and you would be here to have an argument on whether they “went too far” with it, i.e. criticizing their mode of resistance.

          • No one in particular

            Thank you for your reply.

            In regards to your statement “You can’t be shown what you don’t want to see.”, I can, in no way, show you that my intentions are good, if you won’t accept my word that they are, partly since you have not supplied me with arguments to show me wrong (I do not shift the burden of proof for comments that I made, if you’re interested in sources I will provide them).

            As for your statement about “buddha”, please do not attribute opinions to me that I haven’t stated.

          • lizor

            “Well, if I’m wrong, could you please show me.”

            If you had any honest investment in the conversation that is occurring in this space, you would have read enough of this blog to realize how manipulative and disingenuous that comment is. And further your statement that I have a “right” to disagree with your views is pure pop-culture neoliberal chanting-by-rote.

            Based on your comments, I’m guessing some part of you fancies yourself heroic for taking an interest in “the rape discussion”. Here’s the thing: weeding out irrelevant, predictable reprimands about how we’re not correctly or productively talking about issues that we know intimately, issues in which some of us have worked, studied and invested decades of our lives; not spending energy on thoughtless, lazy, status-quo supporting admonitions that we have heard ad-nausea is not “detrimental”. What’s detrimental is your arrogance in presuming you know best, without apparently even noticing where you are or having the integrity to read up on the positions that have been articulated here by Meghan and the other excellent bloggers with whom she shares this space.

            No, I won’t show you. The evidence you say I should take time away from other more worthwhile pursuits to underscore for you is right in front of your eyes. Grow up and take some intellectual responsibility for yourself, and then maybe, eventually, you’ll be equipped to take some honest social responsibility for ending this epidemic of male sexual violence.

          • No one in particular

            Thank you for the recurring personal attacks.

            If I think I misused the word “right”, I’m sorry for the miscommunication. My intentions were to make sure not to communicate the idea that I was trying to discourage you from replying by saying your reaction was detrimental to the discussion.

            I’m not telling you that the way this blog or the comment are written is wrong or detrimental to the discussion, I’m saying that ad hominems are.

            As for the evidence, burden of proof is on the maker of the statement. If I made an error in my reasoning, tell me, if the information I’ve provided turns out to be false, tell me, for I am not aware of it, but scientific research is a rather trustworthy source.

            You however, have done nothing thus far to disprove my sources or reasoning besides criticising my alleged intentions, attributing personal traits to me and accusing me of manipulative tactics.

            Vicky Wharton (whose statements I will address shortly) and amongster made fine arguments against my case, but I find your explicit refusal to address my evidence truly disappointing.

    • http://mmmariguana.wordpress.com Mar Iguana

      It’s not just your ignorance that is remarkable, buddahflow, but how are smugly proud of it you are. Pitiable.

    • Missfit

      It’s not the first time I hear that women should avoid taking too much aclohol to avoid risks of being raped. We could say to women that they can have a good time, feeling free and drinking the amount of alcohol they wish, but they should do so in women only environments. In other words, the ‘most effective step that women can take to protect themselves from many rapists’ is to avoid men. But that would veer too close to ‘man hating’ and portraying every man as a potential rapist. So instead, we tell women they should simply not drink alcohol, even when they think they’re among friends, because… well because every man, even a friend, should be considered a potential rapist? Now how do we get out of this?

      • lizor

        Good point Missfit. Alcohol does not rape. Men do. If you want to avoid rape, rationally speaking, which of the two should you avoid?

        • Gowan

          Men. Of course.

          Besides, it’s not as if men would magically stop raping if women wouldn’t drink alcohol anymore. They would just start raping women who didn’t drink alcohol.
          All those “rape prevention for women” tips are actually “make sure he rapes the other woman” tips.

        • Gowan

          Since some men here seem to want to know what they can do to stop rape; here’s a tip:

          Stop misogyny. Stop being friends with misogynists. I left two Pen&Paper roleplaying groups because the game master was a misogynist. Not of the obvious sort, just of the very subtle “women can be adventurers but when they marry they should be housewives” sort. And yes, that resulted in me not playing anymore. But it might also have shown them that their misogyny is not acceptable.

  • Vincenzo Puppo

    “Just say the words and I will work tirelessly getting women to repeat them, then men will stop the violence” : you must to change male educatio, is it so difficult to understand, disseminate it and fight for it? …and women will stop the violence… the end of violences in the world is possible only with the prevention.

    • https://www.facebook.com/vicki.wharton.71 Vicki Wharton

      Totally believe sexist violence spreads like a disease. Zero tolerance to every symptom by all around every outbreak, no matter how small, will lead to eradication as far as possible. Same approach as was taken to violence and subjucation of people of colour , people with mental physical disabilities, homosexuality or elderly. Young men have turned against their own communities.

  • stephen m

    I have brought this up before in previous posts and I think it is worth mentioning one more time. Last time I promise! If this model has validity it has the possibility of action. For example: “immunization” at the primary and secondary school level curriculum. When I first brought this model up the PDF was not behind a pay wall but it seems that now it can be read but not downloaded for free here:
    Contagion of Violence

    Google “Contagion of Violence” for more recent material

    Comments about the model from specialists most welcome.

    Rather than paraphrase I will quote from:
    _Contagion of Violence: Workshop Summary_ , Introduction:
    “The past 25 years have seen a major paradigm shift in the field of violence prevention, from the assumption that violence is inevitable to the recognition that violence is preventable. Part of this shift has occurred in thinking about why violence occurs, and where intervention points might lie. In exploring the occurrence of violence, researchers have recognized the tendency for violent acts to cluster, to spread from place to place, and to mutate from one type to another. Furthermore, violent acts are often preceded or followed by other violent acts. Contextual and social factors play a role in increasing or reducing the risk of violence; such factors might exist at community or individual levels.
    In the field of public health, such a process has also been seen in the infectious disease model, in which an agent or vector initiates a specific biological pathway leading to symptoms of disease and infectivity. The agent transmits from individual to individual, and levels of the disease in the population above the baseline constitute an epidemic. Although violence does not have a readily observable biological agent as initiator, it can follow similar epidemiological pathways. Just as with those infected by microbial agents, those exposed to violence have varying levels of resilience and susceptibility. In addition, the influence of the environment can play a major role not only in symptomology, but also in transmission.”
    Some interesting teaser headings:
    Dose-Response Effect
    Youth Factors
    Socioeconomic Factors
    Processes and Mechanisms of the Contagion of Violence
    Contagion of Violence
    Workshop Summary
    Deepali M. Patel, Melissa A. Simon, and Rachel M. Taylor, Rapporteurs

  • Nonyo B

    So are all men some sort of class blob that acts as one and can choose to turn off rape and murder when we feel like it? Everyone is an individual who makes their own choices and has a set of advantages and disadvantages, ascribing class criminality or class victimhood and waiting on class action is a ridiculous exercise.

  • http://dannyemills.wordpress.com dannyemills

    I have pondered a response to this for days – and words don’t change these things, actions do. There is no explanation or defense or solution to write here or anywhere: there are just actions to take out into the street, into the grocery store, into the workspace, stood at the bus stop, at home.

    The phrase “porn soaked eyes” really stuck in my head, it’s powerful and it’s true. Soaked is right, it seeps into every interaction. It brought home a pervasive and significant example of the damaging short and long term consequences to women having to go through these experiences every day.

  • http://gravatar.com/regeya regeya

    ‘Let’s say I tell you men that you are wonderful, kind, heroic and humble. Will these words of praise stop the girl enslavement called “child marriages?”’


    Is it the job of every man everywhere to end this deplorable practice, and your job to…uh…blog about it?

    • http://mmmariguana.wordpress.com Mar Iguana

      “Is it the job of every man everywhere to end this deplorable practice…”

      Yes. Every man everywhere.

  • http://gravatar.com/regeya regeya

    From the last comment, I can only speak for me, but it’s not that I want words of flattery from women, I would just like to stop reading about how “men” do this and “men” do that. “Not all men do that” isn’t a call to stop being mean or to start flattering us; it’s a call to stop generalizing based on plumbing (sound familiar?) I know how many women react with anger and annoyance when some men talk about the shitty things “women” do, or the shitty things “feminists” do, and will respond with “not all women do that” and “not all feminists” do that. The notion that “but we can’t tell by looking at you whether you’re an abuser/rapist/whatever”, well, I know many people respond negatively to this, but I’ve yet to see a relevant counterargument to the corollary, which is that that, statistically speaking, when you walk up to an African-American male, there’s a 33% chance that he will go to prison at some point in his life. Is it okay, then, to assume that he’s a criminal?

    • norp

      What “criminal” means is always already inflected in north america by racism; what gets some identified as criminals (and not others) is a wide range of things, many (not all) of which are basically petty and which women, poc, and people in general are not threatened by (e.g. shoplifting, drugs, parole violations, trespassing or disorderly conduct– these are the types of crimes that in large part account for black men’s overrepresentation in prisons) . Rather, these crimes are in fact caused by and merely symptoms of what thteatens us (globalized capitalist patriarchy).

      “Rapist,” on the other hand, is only inherently inflected by gender and sexism in that it represents (to paraphrase someone smarter than me) not the codification in law of women’s bodily and sexual autonomy, but merely when sexualized abuse becomes so blatant that even men condemn it. Rapists aren’t a symptom of patroarchy, they are part of what constitutes it. I have sympathy for poor people who commit crimes in order to feed themselves or their kids, I have sympathy for homeless people who live illegally on land they do not own. I do not have sympathy for rapists.

    • https://www.facebook.com/vicki.wharton.71 Vicki Wharton

      I guess you want women and children to trust a group that does nothing to prevent or change its culture which produces a large number of individuals that are gender psychopaths. There are considerably less men in the human rights for women and children movement than there were whites in the anti racism movement so can we ascertain from that that most men prefer to see rapists and men that use pychopathic violence against women and children as a few freaks rather than a socially created person brought up on a male media and in a culture that references women and children as whores, sluts, c’nts and features reportage where we are portrayed as enjoying eating our own faeces off a mans penis, enjoying being raped, enjoying having gangs of men spunk over our faces. Porn has taken over from the bible in being the primary media for ensuring that women and children are kept in sub human status where the visitation rights of a rapist father are more respected than the childs rights not to be raped.

      • lizor

        “Porn has taken over from the bible in being the primary media for ensuring that women and children are kept in sub human status where the visitation rights of a rapist father are more respected than the childs rights not to be raped.”


  • http://kingdomofevil.wordpress.com kingdomofevil

    I don’t have 140 characters that will end rape. But I do have 140 characters, though I doubt they could actually end rape per se: “Why did you do it?” Heaven knows what their answer will be. Whatever it is, I doubt it will be “Because I hate women”. But no doubt that would be the underlying sentiment anyway.

    This might not seem quite relevant, but hear me out. Because ending the culture of rape (if we assume it to be primarily male) – a worthy goal. But tell me how well the Reagan government did at “ending the culture of drugs”? What I think would end rape is more policing of the crime – IF it was taken more seriously, and people did not feel as shamed to report it, and any officer who didn’t get with the program was immediately dismissed. If there’s anything to be learned from policing in New York, it’s that if you focus on one crime, rates of that crime will go down. And if the rapist is caughtt and convicted, they would be asked “Why did you do it?” And then we could understand why rapists do what they do. Because, at least in the case of a man raping a woman, they hate women on some level, and it would come through and we could understand that.

    So that’s my contribution, then. “Why did you do it?” Will it end rape? No. But it’s still a good question to ask.