What’s Current: Perpetrator of Toronto van attack connected to misogynist ‘Incel’ group

What’s Current is Feminist Current’s daily news roundup.

  • After mowing down a number of pedestrians on Yonge Street, Alek Minassian, 25, has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder. A Facebook post confirmed to have been posted on the man’s profile reads: “The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!”
  • Lucy Griffin, a consultant psychiatrist at Bristol Royal Infirmary, warns that the long-term effects of drugs designed to delay puberty, prescribed to so-called “trans kids,” are linked to osteoporosis, heart disease, and permanent infertility.
  • Elizabeth Sheehy and Isabel Grant argue that Canada’s Bill C-75, introduced last month, which proposes changes to the criminal law response to domestic violence, will do too little, too late:

“What women urgently need are resources, such as safe housing, social welfare and legal advice to escape violence and navigate the criminal justice system. They need the family court and child protection systems to ‘see’ the violence and coercive control that places them at risk And they need the police to respond effectively to keep violent men away from them.”

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan 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.

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  • oneclickboedicea

    Men are not fit to govern, they literally cannot see their own prejudice and the terrorism they use to ensure male supremacy exists.

  • Martin Langevin

    Before I met my wife, I actually took pride in my celibacy. It baffles me that any man would want to be thought of as a womanizer who’ll sleep with any strange woman. It’s not something for a man to be proud of even when it’s consensual.

    • susannunes

      That is what is one of the detrimental effects of pornography. It has created an entire generation of screwed-up, entitled men who are worse than previous generations. These guys don’t view women as human beings, just things to be used and cast aside. No wonder more and more women are walking away from relationships with men altogether or being extremely selective with whom they get involved. Too many men, especially young men, are screwed up.

      • Martin Langevin

        To be honest though, I admit that things could have turned out very differently for me. I was lucky. At one point, I struggled to remain celibate until I’d found the help that I needed.

        So how do we help these men? I might be wrong, but I’d say the first thing to do is to adopt strict pornography laws like they do in some countries. I think I read someone mentioning Singapore in another thread. Then again, Singapore doesn’t have a ridiculous constitution like we do in Canada. It has a constitution, but unlike ours, it seems to recognize that humans generally can’t handle liberty to excess.

        I think another thing is to teach them where to turn for help. A straight man who’s sexually assaulted by a a physically attractive woman is supposed to be a ‘stud’ and should count himself ‘lucky.’ After all, he ‘scored,’ he got without effort what other straight men could only ‘dream of.’ This leaves him with only two options. He can either internalize the idea that he should count himself lucky that a woman (and maybe even an attractive woman) wanted sex from him so badly and count it as a badge of honour that he can brag about with his friends, or he could do what I did: shut up and suppress it. If a man can somehow convince himself that he should count himself lucky for what happened, I have no idea how precisely that affects his mind since I’d never gone down that route. But I can’t imagine that it can be healthy in any way. It must certainly warp the mind to think of oneself as lucky to have been assaulted. And if a man thinks of himself as lucky to have been assaulted, then how seriously would he take the idea of him assaulting others in his turn? That could be dangerous.

        If a straight man fails to think of himself as ‘lucky’ for having had that experience in spite of the fact that he actually found his aggressor to be attractive, then the only way to avoid ridicule is to push it deep, and very deep down inside of him and never to open that Pandora’s box ever again. That’s the path I’d initially taken and I can say that that path is just as destructive as I imagine the other to be, albeit maybe in a different way.

        My sexual abuse as a child (not at the hands of my parents and they knew nothing about it since I didn’t dare tell anyone: I feared my dad too much to tell him anything of importance), though it caused far more harm than good (including making me vulnerable to further emotional and sexual abuse in my first marriage in adulthood to the point of attempted suicide), still benefited me in one way. It made me more aware of the traumatic power of the violation of boundaries. Unfortunately so much so that it had made me emotionally numb to a degree and to the point that I did start to think of sex like a drug.

        Luckily for me though, though I initially turned to masochistic porn and masochistic fantasies bordering on the macabre mixed in with suicidal fantasies (with the dividing line between sexual and suicidal fantasies becoming increasingly blurred), I soon discovered the availability of local group therapy at reasonable cost before my problem escalated further. I felt great shame at turning to porn and kept it very much my secret but I also found it difficult to resist watching videos of women committing degrading acts on men. I have little doubt that my past abuse played a role in that. It had already escalated quickly from ‘vanilla’ porn so I can now see in hindsight that had I not found help at the time, it could easily have escalated beyond that. In fact, I was already actively looking for a local domme online to degrade me and fantasizing about how to get a woman to kill me, how to kill myself in public sight, or even how to provoke suicide by cop as a way to express my rage.

        I say I was lucky because it was only by sheer chance that I’d found the help that I needed. My porn behaviour was so compulsive that I didn’t believe that a common therapist could help me. I just happened to come across the term ‘sex addiction’ online as I was looking up masochism and so started to read more into it. It seemed to describe my behaviour so I contacted a therapist. The cost of the therapy was too high for me so he recommended a local twelve-step group.

        Strangely, it’s only after starting therapy that I made the link between my inexplicably compulsive participation in porn (and drinking) and violent fantasies and my abuse at the hands of my babysitter and my ex-wife. It’s not that I had no recollection of these abuses. It’s just that I didn’t think of them as traumatic experiences. In my mind, the abuse I’d suffered at the hands of my babysitter was so far back in time that it didn’t make sense to me that it could be affecting my behaviour in adulthood. And as for my ex-wife’s abuse, I thought to myself that I was physically stronger than she was, she never physically abused me, and so it was my fault that I’d allowed myself to be a pushover and a woman’s emotional and sexual abuse can’t possibly traumatize a man in any deep way.

        So I never considered that these experiences might somehow be linked to my porn and alcohol. I think men generally don’t recognize a traumatic experience at the hands of a woman as such until someone proverbially gives him a slap across the head like my initial therapist did to wake me up and point it out to me. I remember thinking at the time how my wife’s behaviour towards me was just how women are. I remember how the idea that my behaviour could be linked to my past experience even bothered me. It made me feel weak and a pathetic excuse for a man.

        Had I not found the help that I needed, I could see myself having gone in one of a few directions. Seeing that I was already seeking a domme online, I might have eventually contacted one. I could have escalated to harder drugs (and I was already playing with the idea of trying over-the-counter sleeping pills), or turned to a violent suicide. I never actually contemplated killing anyone else. Instead, I hatefully and vengefully wanted to use my death as a way to traumatize as many people as possible to make them feel what I felt. That might have explained the desire to either provoke someone else to kill me or to kill myself dramatically in public sight such as by jumping.

        I had found the help that I needed, but only out of sheer luck. In my initial stages of recovery, I’d become compulsively sexually avoidant for a period of time. I feared women and would consciously keep a sexual and emotional distance from them. So in a sense, my celibacy after leaving porn (with the help of screen-blocking apps at the time) was not really a choice but I’m still thankful for it since the alternative could have been far more destructive to me and others.

        Only gradually did I learn to find the balance between compulsive sexual behaviour to one extreme and compulsive sexual avoidance to the other. It had taken my present wife some time to gain my trust, but she did. By that I mean the ability to trust that she would respect my sexual boundaries if I allowed myself to become vulnerable.

        I can say that generally speaking, male abuse is such a taboo subject that men generally don’t know how to talk about it even to other men let alone women. If they do, they’ll be ridiculed for thinking it a bad thing to have happened to them. Men need to learn that a man who experiences such abuse is not ‘lucky’ and that there is no shame for a man, even a straight man, to feel as though his boundaries had been violate by a woman, and even an attractive woman.

        If a man thinks thinks that he’s lucky to have his own boundaries violated, then how will he perceive the idea of him violating someone else’s boundaries? He first needs to learn to respect his own boundaries before he can learn to respect others’.

        • marv

          As a man you shouldn’t be spilling your guts out on a women’s site. Invasive.

  • Eva Jasmena

    We need to teach boys how to be happy without needing to get laid. The same applies to women too by the way. A woman raped me too, and in fact that contributed very much to my ending up in prostitution. We need to stop with this sexually libertine culture altogether and go back to when sexual rules were more clearly defined for everyone. It would appear that in reality, homo sapiens can’t handle sexual freedom given to excess.

  • Po21

    Yeah, reading the comments about it was disturbing. Many were also disgusted, but some said women should help them, or that boys needed more care to avoid situations like that ( because boys dont receive any attention…) Some were saying they should use “sex workers” to help themselves ( because killing prostitutes will cure them…) people dont want to see that they just hate women. They hate us for existing.
    I dont feel pity for them either. They just make me really sad.

    • susannunes

      I don’t feel sad for them, either. They leave me with complete disgust. They can change or get help to change, but they don’t want to.

      • pyrite00

        Remember Dr. Laura? Every fix-your-own-life-you-whiny-woman book she ever wrote sold big. When she wrote a couple telling MEN how they could act better and be better people —– sales were almost in the negative numbers range!

    • lk

      “Some were saying they should use “sex workers” to help themselves ( because killing prostitutes will cure them…) ”

      I used to be pro legalization of prostitution and spent a lot of times reading articles/videos etc by the prosex work camp.

      This idea is ridiculously popular (not to mention stupid and sexist) and completely disconnected from reality…there is NO evidence to support the idea that giving men access to one group of women to rape will somehow prevent them from being violent towards other women.

      And even if there was evidence to support this, it is wrong that we would suggest one group of women should just be available for men to rape and abuse as a “cure” for their misogyny and violence.

      I remember after Elliot Rodger’s there was a ton of conversation on prosex work blogs about how legalizing prostitution would end things like this. And I have no doubt this same kind of nonsense is going to come up again.

      I mean, do people really think that giving men access to women’s genitals will magically turn them into non-violent, non-sexist normal human beings?

      • Wren

        They often cite the reported drop in incidents of rape in areas of decriminalized prostitution as evidence of the benefits of legalization. For some reason (sarcasm) they never see this phenomena as evidence that prostitution IS rape.

        • lk

          Ikr, like we are going to get rid of rape with…more rape!

          It makes absolutely ZERO sense.

    • Kris

      Getting them laid won’t do anything either because it’s not actually about sex. It’s about power, control, status, and hierarchy.
      If it was just about the physical act and needing release they would jerk off or just fuck each other. They won’t even have sex with any willing woman either. They need a specific type of “hot woman” to be the reward they think they are entitled to, and as a tangible status symbol to increase their standing/compete with other men. ( also part of a fantasy of proving themselves to the alpha males and winning the game. Remember it’s all about game theory with these assholes).

  • Some Person

    I have a great deal of sympathy for Alek Minassin and people of his ilk. It must be very isolating to not have a handle on the common social queues and norms that seem to come naturally to most people, as seems to be the case here.

    Hopefully others like him can be reached and educated before something similar happens again.

    • Wren

      Uhhh….I struggle with social interactions and am extremely introverted and I haven’t mowed down a crowd of people with a van.

      • Morag999

        Same with me. I wonder how we manage not to go on hate-filled murderous rampages?

        • Hekate Jayne

          This is the most interesting male lie/reversal.

          About how males perpetuate the lie that women can’t control their emotions and males are the apex of logic and self control.

          Yet, women don’t commit mass murder on the regular. Or at all.

          But HEY. Thank God that we got them logical, self controlled males handling business.

          • Wombat

            Yep, one minute it’s “boys will be boys”, next it’s “women are too emotional”. Fact is, men hold social and political power (and have no intention of giving it up) and will say whatever shit suits their purpose at the time. Of course it’s not logical but they don’t need to be logical. They just need to claim they’re logical.

      • lk

        How many women/girls feel socially awkward in the world? How many of them struggle with finding romantic/sexual partners?

        Probably LOTS!

        Yet, these socially awkward women do not cope or react by killing/terrorizing or abusing people.

        Why we continue to give men like this our sympathy is beyond me. The only people in this situation who deserve our sympathy are the people who died and their friends/family/communities who have to grieve their deaths.

        • Wombat

          Autism is massively under-diagnosed in girls and women, leading to lifelong anxiety and social difficulties. Not leading to murderous rampages though, because girls are socialised to believe that the problem lies with us, not with other people failing to give us what we feel entitled to.

      • Wombat

        Me too, I’m an introverted person and sometimes after important social or work events where I’ve had to “put myself out there” I am so mortified at my perceived mishandling of social interactions that I feel like curling into a ball and never talking to anyone again. So far I’ve always got over it, but it’s tough at the time. Strangely, I have literally NEVER had even a moment’s inclination to harm any other person because of my social struggles.

    • susannunes

      I have no sympathy for a murderer who felt entitled to sex. He is a terrorist. He should have been shot on sight and saved Canadian taxpayers a bundle.

    • Hekate Jayne

      There are no “people of his ilk”. They are all male.

      They are all males that claim that women refusing to fuck them are to blame for their chosen violence.

      This isn’t about social inadequacies. This is about males choosing to be murderously violent because they aren’t allowed to own a female human as a fuck toy. As they all believe that they are entitled to.

      So you have sympathy for the murderous, entitled, violent, male jackass that chose to be a killer. Good on you, dudebro. I save my sympathy for the victims that his entitled, selfish, violent ass tried to take out for absolutely no good reason at all.

    • TwinMamaManly

      The problem is the patriarchy. These “incels” have been indoctrinated to believe they are entitled to sex and women’s bodies and the benefits to them of having a relationship with a woman. Frankly, it’s probably a blessing in disguise (or Mother Nature at work) for society that these socially inept and awkward males do not have the social and emotional intelligence to reproduce, thereby perpetuating their uselessness.

    • mysticserpent007

      Lots of people – both male and female – have trouble dating and/or getting laid. They don’t murder people. They don’t go on shooting rampages.

      If these types of incels had respect for women and actually treated them like human beings, I would agree with you. But they don’t. A lot of these “incels” don’t want real women, they want sex slaves. They think every single woman is obligated to service them. And this is wrong. This is how psychopaths think.

      No amount of education or psychological treatment will “cure” these guys, since psychopaths can’t be cured.

      And enablers like you are no better. You suck up to psychopaths even after you’ve seen evidence of their criminal behavior.

  • Hekate Jayne

    It is just more of the same.

    More males whining about how they CHOOSE violence, but it isn’t their fault. It’s the fault of women.

    Males control everything, yet are responsible for nothing.

  • Wombat

    “A world where men believe they are owed sex is a world that is unsafe for women and girls”.
    This is downright brilliant.

  • Wren

    Not to sound like a total snob, but I’m a classically trained musician and that audience behaved inappropriately for a classical music event. The ovation should be saved for the end (unless it was multiple ensembles) and certainly there should be no applause or noise between movements. The audience should respond befitting the mood of the music as not to disrupt the enjoyment of other listeners nor discourage the concentration of the performers. And whoops are never seen as a cultured way to approve of a performance. Anyway, I just want you to know that you behaved perfectly!!

  • Hekate Jayne

    Whenever white males get in a group of 2 or more and start pontificating male bullshit, it not only becomes a legitimate movement, it very quickly becomes political in nature and the (male) government gives it weight, consideration and vast amounts of sympathy and attention.

    Males already perpetuate economic systems (among other things) that guarantee a segment of the female population will be available for them to buy and sell as fuckable commodities. Males don’t see *these* females as human and *those* females as fuckholes. We are all viewed in one way.

    So males generally see us as objects for their use and participate/perpetuate/ignore trafficked women and girls. Then we have the MRA and incel manbabies, that have a pretty high percentage of males that whine about the unfairness of the distribution of the “female resource”. Combine those things with the large majority of males that just don’t give a shit. It is dire for women.

    I am sure that there are people laughing at it. They will laugh, they will give sympathy to the poor, entitled white male that was so upset over not getting a female fuck toy so he went on a murderous rampage. They will say if women had only been kinder, if only women would give these “nice” murders a chance, that he would not have been forced into violence. And how we need to help the poor, poor men’s.

    And that will be the focus. How to help the sad males so that they don’t go on rampages. And the male fix to that issue is not going to be pleasant or positive for women and girls.

  • Wombat

    Just to clarify I don’t believe that for one second either. I don’t think these men are “socially awkward and isolated” – at least not in the sense that those of us who are introverted/geeky/ASD understand it.
    *We* don’t feel a sense of entitlement to others’ bodies and genitals. If we can’t get laid we assume the problem lies with us, not with people who we think owe us shit.

  • Maria Gatti

    A disproportionate number of both the dead and the injured are women. If there were slightly more women than men, that could have been random given that the offices and retail in the area would tend to employ slightly more women, but EIGHT of the ten murdered people were women. I wonder if the creep was aiming at the Jordanian granddad’s wife, as it seems they were walking around together. Poor lady.

    The CBC reports a similar disproportion among the injured.


  • Maria Gatti

    Yeah, I’m a boomer, and have been hearing that for more decades than I care to admit to. I think even by my (abusive) brother when he was five and I was three and I still remember it. I learnt to read at three, in part to show the “/$%?!!! up.

  • lk

    Why? I’m not being obnoxious or rude with that question, I’m generally curious as to why you feel sympathy for men like Alek.

    I’m all for sympathy and compassion for fellow human beings..but I just dont think privileged men who hate women deserve it, I especially don’t think they deserve it when they take the lives of innocent people.

    • calabasa

      I don’t know why, it’s hard to say where it comes from (my family, genetics, who knows)?

      When I was 19 I had a spectacular evening-long argument with a pair of coke dealers who were selling my friend the drug that was killing her in which they were heatedly saying that “rapists and pedophiles” should be rounded up and castrated or put on a desert island. I argued vehemently that I felt sorrier for rapists than for their victims, as they would never do such a thing without some profound damage to their humanity, and by doing such a thing to a person they have damaged their *souls*–whatever such a concept means, their humanity, who they are–in a way they can’t take from their victims, even if they take their lives. I was pretty out of it and it was rich coming from a couple of drugs dealers but they got *pissed.* I had already been raped and abused by men at that point–something I had not grappled with yet or admitted to myself even, so the most I could say was that I had been “almost raped” and was still making the argument. They ended up asking me to leave with crossed arms and frowns.

      I have, God, so many years later–nearly 15 years later–had to struggle for a long while with how terribly sorry I feel for the man who so horrifically damaged me by being the “perfect boyfriend” (doesn’t exist) and then abusing and (after out breakup) repeatedly raping me in 2016. I have felt so awful for outing him on the internet, for rejecting his apology, for calling him a narcissistic rapist (although I have been overly kind and forgiving of him too at many points)–I have particularly felt horrible at the thought that *I* was the cause of someone’s moral downfall, not something I would ever want but a notion I need to divest myself of–I didn’t make him do it, and he was very sick (and had abused before) long before I met him.

      I would never wish on someone what I have gone through this past two years, including the man who did this to me.

      Considering my feeling–which I must have to have argued it so passionately at that age–that perpetrators suffer more than victims (something my sister, who used to be in the “feel compassion for” camp too, now hotly contests, for a number of reasons)–I have felt in some way responsible for the suffering I caused to my rapist by being so vulnerable to his predation and his discovery of just how much he likes raping vulnerable women; as if I am somehow the cause for his self-loathing. I would hate for anyone to feel even worse than I do about what he did to me, including him.

      I have no idea why I feel this way, but I do–I would absolutely hate to be such a person as Alex and I believe the man writing at The Guardian about this recently was right when he referred to such men who misdirect their hatred at stifling gender norms toward women and lash out in violence as “victims of the patriarchy too.”

      Considering that men have been set up and weaponized against women in this long-going class warfare and system of domination, I feel sorrier for those deployed to oppress others because to be raised to believe one is better is to part with a piece of one’s humanity. Humanity is found in humility and compassion, which ironically means we must be humane to the most inhumane among us (including those who commit atrocities and including those at the very top who oppress us all).

      I am struggling with how to reconcile this with feeling compassion from a distance, with finding justice and with what justice means, and with how to fight against the evil of the systems that make such a horrific event as this possible.

      I also feel sorry for all of his victims and his victims’ family–and for his family, as well. The whole thing is a fucking mess.

      • lk

        Calabasa, I have read your comments on this site and am always grateful for your honesty and willingness to share your experiences.

        “I don’t know why, it’s hard to say where it comes from (my family, genetics, who knows)?”

        Maybe, some of it might be genetics and some of it might be how you are socialized.

        I think though our (and by our I mean, people who are not at the top of the power hierarchy-women, pocs, people in poverty etc) tendency to have sympathy and feel sorry for those in power is pat of what maintains the status quo.

        The enslaved feeling sorry for the master and the oppressed feeling sorry for the oppressor does not make sense and only helps to reinforce a system that does not hold people in power for their violent and dangerous actions.

        I think how we feel about certain groups of people is important and is shaped by the racist and sexist ideologies that pervade our world.Think about the sympathetic tones that articles will take towards white/male criminals and the lack of sympathy in articles about people like Trayvon Martin/Tamir Rice/female rape victims and etc.

        So as a WOC, I will NOT give my sympathy to privileged men who rape/abuse and kill. I will reserve my sympathy and compassion for the women and children who continue to suffer and lose their lives at the hands of men.

        My refusal to give them sympathy is not because I am heartless, but because I am tired of feeling for people who do not feel for me and who inflict harm on others.

  • Some Person

    He probably has a whole host of problems (as we all do), entitlement being one of them.

    I’m not excusing his actions. I just feel bad for the guy. He clearly has deep seeded issued. Can you imagine being so lonely and so angry that you’d do something like this? It must be agonizing.

    You’re right, women don’t owe him anything. No one does. But empathy isn’t earned, it’s freely given. Otherwise what would be the point?

    • TwinMamaManly

      No I can’t empathise with being so lonely and angry that I’d “do something like that”. Not in a million years would I ever feel so lonely, frustrated, angry and entitled that I’d ram a truck into hordes of innocents intending to kill them. No woman would anyway.

    • Melanie

      Can you imagine how agonizing it is for the friends and families of the people he murdered? How sad and lonely and angry they’ll be without their loved ones? Or how agonizing it must be to be deliberately hit by a car? Your empathy is misguided at best. It’s interesting that your first thoughts are with the murderer and not his victims.

    • NadineLumley

      I believe he is also autistic

    • Liz

      So when are you MALES going to start participating in this EMPATHY that you speak of?

  • lk

    “Just rambling, no need to take seriously.”

    I actually think there is quite a bit in your comment that should be taken seriously!

    “I do not like violence, I do not like guns, but I support whatever women do to protect themselves from male violence and in self-defense and defense of others. If that means some rapists get shot, I could live with that.”

    Agreed. I do not think the solution to ending male violence is more violence, I do think though that there is a massive difference between the senseless violence men inflict and a women defending herself from male violence.

    Men inflict harm on women and girls over and over again with almost no consequence.

    I do think negative consequences for men who hurt women might make men think twice about hurting women. That negative consequence could include anything from being punched, stabbed, or shot by the woman that they attempted to hurt. Of course, I would love to see men face longer lasting more serious consequences: jail time, fines, etc….

    I think about the famous men whose behavior has been revealed because of the me too movement and I know for many of these men they will return to this same behavior because in reality they wont really suffer any negative consequences for their behavior and will be back to making millions and winning awards in no time.

  • TwinMamaManly

    Could you self-publish on Amazon as e-book? They’ve sent me some coupons to encourage me to use their online publishing facility.

  • TwinMamaManly

    “Relationship” encompassing a fuck-toy friends-with-benefits or something more stable where they have a woman at home to cook, clean, be available for nurturing/sympathy/sex on demand, and to incubate and raise their offspring. Not “relationship” how we women would consider it.

  • catlogic

    Bet they wouldn’t – white guy killing mostly women? Nope, no reason to kill him. Little black girls asleep in their beds, now _they’re_the dangerous ones.

  • TwinMamaManly

    Didn’t you realise Hekate, EVERTHING is our fault. I mean, we ate the apple after all….

  • calabasa

    By “we” I meant humanity. I think we all have a duty to be humane, and I don’t think it’s a dysfunction.

    I really don’t believe in an eye for an eye. I am much angrier at the system that creates monsters and victims than at the individuals caught up in this mess.

    I am angrier at a system complicit in covering up his crimes than I am at my rapist, whom I believe hates himself, and who was groomed by the sadomasochism that is the gender hierarchy as we all are.

    I actually forgive everybody, to be honest. Functioning well in an unwell society takes both luck and a certain giftedness.

    Nobody has to forgive–forgiveness is not real if it’s forced, and forgiveness is also kind of unattainable and kind of like happiness in that it’s temporal (I forgive sometimes, sometimes I don’t). However even on days that I don’t I’d never want anyone to suffer the way I have suffered these past few years so I suppose I just have to keep in mind that if someone has it’s not actually on account of *me*, and even if I don’t believe in free will, that doesn’t make another’s actions my fault or choice either–and if that person is suffering from those actions it’s from those actions, not on account of what I have said to him.

    But no, I believe what I have gone through is inhumane and my anger is mostly toward the society that encouraged and allows this. That doesn’t mean anyone else needs to feel the same way, but I think pointing the finger at individual people on either side of the dyad of victim/victimizer, while it feels good, often obscures the system.

    However, I totally understand feeling that way. I suppose others cannot understand how I am more angry at a society that automatically disbelieves me as a rape survivor or who blames that on me or who implies that I liked it than I am at my rapist.

    We do have a duty to be humane (all of us). I am one hundred percent against the death penalty for any reason and I’ll state my position on that plainly. That’s not projecting, that’s my opinion (one I have always held), and I’m entitled to it.

  • FierceMild

    “to say that WE must be humane to these monsters is to project your issues onto everyone else, especially women reading here, and I’m not having that.”

    I second that. I left Christianity for a reason.

  • FierceMild

    “It’s probably with younger audiences”
    Heehee, you’re seriously underestimating the nerdiness going on here! I thank you for thinking I might possibly be hip and with it, but when I say ‘show’ I mean Elizabethan theater, chamber music, opera, botanical garden art exhibits, poetry slams etc. Not exactly the stomping ground of the young and hip!

  • FierceMild

    Martinis and cassette tape inserts?

  • lk

    On one of the articles on here about Aziz Ansari, someone posted a comment about how so many people were critical of the woman he pressured into sex for things like going back to his apartment, drinking alcohol and etc.

    This person said we should really start turning it around on men and asking them questions like: why would you invite a strange woman to your apartment? why were you drinking? and etc…

    I thought it was brilliant!

    • Meghan Murphy

      That IS brilliant!

  • lk

    “In response to your comment in general that feminism has been a cry for freedom, I think we might have gone too far.”

    In what ways has feminism gone too far?

    • Eva Jasmena

      We need only look at sex-positive feminism and the desire to just legalize everything. A balance must be found between our freedoms and our obligations.

      • calabasa

        Liberal (sex-“positive” feminism, a misnomer if there ever was one; it is very sex-negative) “feminism” isn’t feminism at all; it is, in fact, the backlash against real feminism.

        Sometimes we call it fauxminism (or “faux feminism”).

        Just FYI!

  • lk

    I think when women do this, we are really doing what we have been socialized to do..which is see other women are our enemies because we are “competing” with them for men.

    The thing is that sacrificing other women NEVER works…violent men are never satisfied…if we give them the poor/immigrant whatever woman to abuse…he will still abuse the rich/citizen etc woman that is his wife/sister/coworker/neighbor and etc.

    I saw an interesting post on Instagram that was about female abuse and exploitation in the clothing industry and it said: You cannot exploit women in one country to empower them in another.

    I question the idea of a world where the exploitation of some women will somehow lead to the empowerment of others.

  • lk

    “I also read somewhere recently that it should be standard protocol for a perpetrator’s activities (social media posts, conversations, drug and alcohol consumption etc.) in the months, weeks, days and hours leading up to the assault and after the should be submitted as evidence in relation to their state of mind, rather than just the criminal act itself. Just like victims have to justify their behaviour before and after.”

    YES!! to all of this!!!

    I would add to this that we need to consider the perpetrators sexual history/fantasy: did he watch pornography/what type? was he promiscuous? how many people has he slept with and etc…

    No doubt though the male dominated justice system will argue that none of this information is relevant about the perpetrator, but that it is extremely relevant to know that a rape victim had sex and wore a bikini at the beach.

    In the article about Wolf assaulting Mari, it says: “Wolf’s Facebook post stating he wished to “fuck up some TERFs” was not taken into consideration despite the prosecutor arguing that it demonstrated premeditation.”

    Courts have the power to pick and choose what information they think is relevant and what should be considered, but often what they seem to think is relevant is information that benefits (usually male) perpetrators.

  • Melanie

    Sex predators can spot people who are vulnerable such as women suffering trauma, addiction or poverty, children, elderly women etc. There’s nothing inherent in those children or women that draws predators to them. It’s the predators preying on them because they chose to.

    • calabasa

      I know they can, I’ve been spotted myself many times because of the trauma I’ve experienced and mental illness which apparently make me vulnerable.

      My point is that sexual predators, even the so-called “specialists” (who are almost always sexual narcissists), are the flip side of this coin that produces vulnerable women; both of us in a sense are engineered. There is a class of women viewed as disposable, and a class of men tolerated for sexually abusing these women (and they are trying to push that tolerance even further to make all men feel okay about abusing women).

      I just don’t think focusing on individuals solves this problem. Focusing on individual predators as if it’s just them making an inexplicable choice absolves the culture as a whole. Here’s an example of rape culture: sex equals love, what you do for a man sexually equals how much you love him. Many people, men and women, believe this; it leads to disordered sexual relationships. And then if women try to make boundaries? Is it then perceived as a rejection? If the woman makes boundaries, but is a vulnerable person, and the man rapes her because he knows he can, and he perceives the boundaries as a rejection–how much of what went wrong there has to do with a culture that conditioned him to be predatory as much as it conditioned her to be vulnerable?

      We need to hit back against this unwell culture. We also need to decide what to do with individuals who offend, because as a culture it’s quite clear we are unwilling to send them to prison. And we definitely need more services for women like me.

      In a country that cared about resolving this issues, someone like me would have a free rehabilitation center to go to in order to get help with mental health issues arising from repeated sexual trauma and DV, where I could do dialectical therapy, go to the groups, go to the gym, and generally have compassionate care while I try to heal from PTSD as well as retrain myself out of feeling at fault or in some way fundamentally broken, as if it’s my fault men have preyed on me or says anything about my worth as a person. Specific counseling with regard to healthy sexuality and boundaries is also important.

      Perhaps the men should be *committed* to a similar hospital in which they are held to account for their actions and treated for being sexually predatory or committing sexual or relationship violence. They would need a different type of therapy, but I think therapy could also be useful for them; and when they are released they go on probation and register as sex offenders until such a time as they haven’t offended for a while. I am thinking date rapists, partner rapists, etc.–your typical power rapists rather than the much more violent anger or sadistic rapists (who need to be removed from society if they will not stop offending). Most typical rapists would respond to being committed for a period of time simply because they wouldn’t want to be imprisoned the next time (studies show low levels of recidivism for sexual predators actually sent to prison, which I find interesting; it’s like fines for punters–minimum fines being enforced would deter them. Right now there’s simply no punishment for rape almost one hundred percent of the time and rapists know it).

      A lower burden of proof and civil commitment plus probation would do more to address the issue of individual rapists in our societies than a prison-only policy. We need facilities to rehabilitate them, and facilities for their victims, as well, to avail themselves of services.

      I am not holding my breath for any of this considering Trump has slashed funding to VAWA shelters (including rape crisis organizations) by one third since coming into office (his administration has, anyway). Also considering the massive cognitive dissonance surrounding porn and prostitution; basically on the left right now the culture is pushing hard to normalize the mass degradation of a disposable class of women for all men–this is the epitome of a rape culture. I kind of despair over that; all we can do, I suppose, is speak out.

  • Meghan Murphy

    That ain’t us, tho

  • Hekate Jayne

    This is what I hear, in a whiny, manbaby voice:


    The fucking audacity of a crycry male to come into one of the few woman centered spaces on the web, just to tell us how we be meanie MEAN women for saying true things about a dude that hated us so much that he murdered a bunch of us. And then to twist your words into something that you didn’t even remotely say.

    I can’t be mad, though. Males can’t deal with facts or reality. I suppose words be hard for the poor dears, too.

    Fuck that guy.

  • Hekate Jayne

    I have been thinking about this question and how to say what I mean.

    Males like me until I open my mouth. Women kind of prejudge me usually based mostly on the way that I look. And once I open my mouth, they straight up dislike me. Not all women, not most women. But enough that it is hurtful.

    And I am pretty sure that the women that take an issue with me without knowing anything about me have all sorts of feelings of competition with other women because of male society.
    In other words, I don’t think that their dislike of me is anything personal, I think that they are just so male identified that they think that women are a waste of time and they prefer males.

    But also, I live in a tiny, right wing, conservative, red town in the south. And I am an agnostic atheist womens’ liberationist, and I don’t hide it. So I am all kinds of behind the eight ball right at the start, I suppose.

    And of course people are shocked that you are exceptionally smart while being pleasant. Because smart women are always unpleasant. Smart women are uppity bitches. Intelligence is unfeminine. Amirite.

    Fuck those people.