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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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Bless you

(Anonymous)
Hi, Dejah's boyfriend popping back up from page two --

Bless you. Ellen and I went through a lengthy editing of my original post precisely because I went into a tangent about this. I will defend to my dying day the right for a person who has been accosted and abused to find some measure of peace and justice, but I am so damn tired of the fact that someone just has to say one word and an innocent man's life is completely over. Men are always, ALWAYS guilty in the eyes of the law and the eyes of the public. And I say that as someone who was abused by a man when he was a boy.

I ask the women I know and am closest to constantly if articulating the fact the justice system (and the court of public opinion) is slanted towards women makes me a misogynist. I mean, when I'm trying to vocalize an emotion this rocky and complicated, it's very easy to teeter into the realm of the same sort of person who accused me. "Woe is me, these people are picking on me and I must take drastic action by painting a wide group of people with the same brush." After what happened to me, I truly considered taking an oath of chastity. I wasn't even involved in a relationship with the woman who accused me, nor were we ever alone together. Considering her story was predicated on my supposedly violating her in the middle of a busy hotel lobby... You can see why I have very little faith in the court of public opinion exonerating an innocent party on evidence or common sense alone.

(Indeed, Ellen's had to stop me from crying a few times as I read this thread, because I KEEP INTERPRETING WHAT A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE SAYING AS ALLEGING THIS DOES NOT OR CANNOT HAPPEN TO MEN, and it makes me borderline hysterical -- do I feel I am anywhere near as wronged as someone who's been raped? God no. But it's still a pretty damned huge violation. Your name is sullied FOREVER)

I ask the women I know and am closest to constantly if articulating the fact the justice system (and the court of public opinion) is slanted towards women makes me a misogynist.

I don't think it makes you a misogynist, feeling that a group is being treated unfairly by a system does not automatically mean you hate yet a third group... but I do think it is a fairly incorrect assessment of the realities of what it is like to actually make a formal rape accusation; the justice system is pretty well established as being fairly unsympathetic to accusers of any stripe (whether they be male, female, child, elderly, it doesn't matter who is the accuser, the system is simply not supportive).

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