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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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"knowing that if a woman accuses him of sexual assault or violence against her her word will automatically have more weight than his..."

See, and my issue is more that so many rape trials end up blaming the victim and pointing out all the ways she was "asking for it." A HUGE number of women who've been raped never speak up due to the way they are dragged through the mud in court. Seriously, having read what I've read (Alice Sebold's memoir "Lucky" is about her rape and subsequent trial) and seeing how badly the courts treat women who bring rape charges to men, I'm sort of surprised to read all these comments about men being falsely accused and such. Why would any woman put herself through the trial and all the crap they say and do to her reputation if she's lying? It's hard for women who HAVE been actually assaulted to deal with the trials... I just... the mind boggles. I suppose that's when you enter batshit crazyville and normal earth logic no longer applies.

I also wonder if women and men draw a different line in the sand as to where assault/rape begins. I can't help but think there are men who've been accused who didn't think they did anything wrong but the woman in question really, honestly feels like he took advantage of her and assaulted her. Is it that some men think "it's not rape if there wasn't intercourse"? Just mulling things over now...

I think many many many women have been in the place where they are uncomfortable, are doing something or having something done to them that they don't particularly want and may feel scared or upset about... but don't know how to stop it. Or they aren't sure if it would stop even if they spoke up and said no. It's a bad place to be in and I think more attention needs to paid to help women be assertive and help men *listen* to the women they are with... even if she's saying something he doesn't want to hear at that moment.

If a women (or man) says no and the other person keeps going, he/she is in the wrong. Period.
If the charge of rape/assault ruins their lives, I think they deserve it for being a jerk and doing something they must KNOW is wrong. A sudden case of deliberate deafness doesn't not make what they've done right.

If anyone says no and the other person keeps going,they are in the wrong - I agree with that statement entirely.

I don't agree with your statement that if the charge ruins their life, they must deserve it; what about the cases in which the person has genuinely not done something wrong? I do believe that those exist. You ask why a woman would put herself through the crap that an accusation brings if she's lying. I would like to ask you in return why you would assume in return that the man is lying, given that such an accusation can permanently ruin his reputation and put his career and future at risk.

In asking and stating this, I am in no way intending to trivialize the experience of victims nor those who've been put on trial and dragged through the mud; however, this kind of assumption, that this can't possibly happen, is damaging and unfair to BOTH genders.

I know more women than I can count on BOTH hands who have been raped, sexually assaulted, or narrowly escaped it.

I don't know ONE who reported it.

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