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breeden
ursulav

Because one can of worms is never enough!

Okay, gang, I'm off to spend an evening canoodling with my significant other, and will not be on the internet.

Please be civilized to each other in the prior post, I beg of you, while I'm not here to bounce. This is one topic where emotions run really high, and I don't want to have to close threads because I think it's an important topic to discuss, and we're all basically on the same side. If the conversation DOES get ugly, it's okay to say "I don't see anything productive coming out of this," and step away.

It's okay to be pissed. Just be polite.

However, before I go, for the purposes of discussion, one thing I've run across in this discussion (and other posts related) that I hardly ever run across is fear vocalized on the part of men that they'll be accused of rape or sexual harassment when they're just tryin' to get lucky as best they can.

Now, my kneejerk reaction is to scoff a bit, I confess--that's a kneejerk, and I make no bones about it--because, well, being female, my fear is that some dude is gonna rape me, then carve me up like a christmas ham in the basement and wear my skin around like a little hat. This is the sort of thing I worry about. My kneejerk, therefore, is something like "Pfff! You think YOU have problems?"

And that may well be unfair. Hell, granted that fear is not a zero-sum game, it's definitely unfair. Everybody has a right to be scared of ill treatment.

But--thing is--every single woman I know, with no exception I can think of, knows somebody who has been sexually assaulted or abused. In fact, with VERY few exceptions, that person is either somebody close to her, or her own self. These aren't stories, this is...y'know...something that we basically just live with. Life sucks, lots of people get hurt, we brazen on through because the only alternative is to curl into fetal position and weep for humanity.

However. It occurs to me that I may be doing men a disservice in general by dismissing this fear just because it seems like women get so much more of the short end of the stick. Suffering, too, is not a zero-sum game. So. I'll ask two questions then:

A) If male, are you afraid of being falsely accused of rape? Is this a Major Fear--i.e. something you worry about every time you're trying to get to know a woman? (Hell, is this something you worry about if you're, say, alone in a parking garage with a female in the next aisle getting into her car?)

B) If either gender, do you personally know anybody who has been falsely accused of rape? (Not friend-of-a-friend stories, but you, yourself, are at least the level of on-line acquaintanceship with them.)

(Okay, two and a half.)

Somebody'll probably suspect that this is a snarky passive-aggressive way to get men to admit that this is a load. It's not. Honestly. I'm genuinely curious. For all I know, a staggering percentage of men really do go into a relationship in mortal terror that they're going to end up with their testicles in a vise. I KNOW what it's like to be female, but I've never yet been male (at least not in this life!) and I honestly don't know what my own response to the discovery that this might genuinely be a widespread problem would be. 


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Premise 1: Rape is an absolutely heinous crime - personally I would prefer being accused of murder than of rape because murder can be informed by motives that have nothing to do with satisfaction of one's basest desires at the expense of causing another person to never, ever feel safe again.

Premise 2: People are starkers. Being alone with a strange woman is therefore always dangerous, because she might be starkers in a way that will lead her to accuse you of something outlandish.

Therefore I always feel anxious when alone with a strange woman. The fear may not be rational, but to the man of honour, no accusation could be worse, and this particular loss of reputation is worse even than death. This is because most men of honour would be quite content to kill rapists if there weren't a legal system that prevented it.

The answer to question B is difficult, because a man who claims to be falsely accused of rape will be viewed by men of honour as a bullshit artist who is probably guilty and therefore worthy of death. In other words there is no way this can be measured, and that is the reason that a false accusation of rape is so deeply feared.

Semantic breakdown - probably a "this side of the pond" thing - "starkers usually means "naked" in my lexicon *g* So being alone with a strange person who is starkers...

Stark naked, stark raving mad, yeah, that could lead to a bit of confusion for some. Not a word I use at all so I could pick out which one was meant, but for the people who use it all the time only one way?

I'm Canadian (albeit an Anglophile) and I still did a double-take at the term of choice; I had to remind myself that it presumably meant stark raving mad rather than stark naked.

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