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Rape: Is It Really All That Bad?

Rape: Is It Really All That Bad?
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Rape is really confusing. I mean, how do you know if you’re raping someone? If they’re unconscious and you decide to have sex with them, is that rape? It is? Well, you could have fooled me. It’s just weird, you know — who even knows if the word “no” means “no,” or if the person you’re raping — er, just having consensual sex with — is observing Opposite Day?

Thankfully, someone is looking out for the poor, misunderstood rapists of the world. The Good Men Project,which describes itself as “a community of 21st Century thought leaders around the issue of men’s roles in modern life,” has decided to take a close look at rape. What they’ve found will shock you, if you’re unfamiliar with the site’s general Men’s Rights Advocate Lite bent. Alas, even if you’re familiar with The Good Men Project, you’ll probably be shocked; the posts are generally shocking. Indeed, this is the point where I offer a trigger warning for rape apology, victim-blaming and general awfulness.

“Nice Guys” Rape People

Did you know that not all rapists are monsters with fangs and leathery wings and prehensile tails? Some rapists actually present themselves as friendly fellows, quick with a joke or a light of your smoke, always willing to help someone out in a jam, unless they’re raping someone.

If you’re familiar with the concept of date rape — rape committed by a person who was seemingly nice enough for a victim to be friendly with, right up until they committed felony sexual assault — this may not strike you as particularly surprising. Alyssa Royse, however, has been thunderstruck by this incredible epiphany. I mean, she was a feminist, and yet her friend turned out to be a rapist! But seriously, folks,he’s still a super-nice guy. Hefeels really bad about it!

My friend, for instance, was genuinely unsure, which was why he called me. At the time, I was fresh from giving a rousing talk at SlutWalk, in which I very clearly stated that the only person responsible for rape is the rapist. I said that no matter what a woman is wearing or doing, no one has the right to touch her without her explicit consent. It was a great talk.

But it cannot undo generations of training in which the goal of getting dressed and going out is toget the guy orget the girl andhook up orget lucky. In this training, we are taught that in order to get the guy, we have to look sexy and sometimes have sex. The training has also taught men that the reason we dress up and look sexy is to “catch him”. We even use those words, as if our bodies themselves are the lure, and our sexuality the hook.

In this particular case, I had watched the woman in question flirt aggressively with my friend for weeks. I had watched her sit on his lap, dance with him, twirl his hair in her fingers. I had seen her at parties discussing the various kinds of sex work she had done, and the pleasure with which she explored her own very fluid sexuality, all while looking my friend straight in the eye.

Only she knows what signals she intended to send out. But many of us can guess the signals he received.

Yes, that’s right. This slutty slut sent out signals.Sexual signals.Fluid sexual signals. From aformer sex worker. Obviously, no man could possibly read those signals as anything other than a clear desire to be raped.

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536 comments

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6:53AM PDT on Jul 9, 2014

The title is misleading but if you continue to read the article to the end, you'll realize that the author is not in any way excusing rape, in fact he says that there is no excuse for it. The last page pretty much sums it up. Judging this article in particular by its title gives the wrong impression so please read the whole thing.

10:23PM PDT on Jun 26, 2014

If someone is unconscious, of course that is rape.

4:33PM PDT on Jun 26, 2014

The last comment is so right! What has happened to our society,that sex has become a form of entertainment and not for its obvious purpose-to include creating a loving relationship?!
Instead of forward progress,men especially,have become arrested in their development due the false notion of porn and become addicted to masturbation or accelerated mixing of power,control,etc-that causes rape. Increasingly,men turn to more and more debauchery,in order to chase the "high" of their sexual self gratification. That is what rape is-SELF GRATIFICATION at its worse.
Rape is out of control (one every 16 seconds in the USA-the military rapes prove this percentage)and should be declared a national emergency. As long as men remain the majority of politicians,law enforcement and other "power positions",it appears that NO ONE is standing up for us women and children. That's why,I believe that all women should own and learn how to use,their "equalizer" ie; a gun. It is the ONLY way that we can be physically equal to men!

12:37PM PDT on Jun 26, 2014

Human beings need to evolve at the voluntary level now. There is so much more to life than Sex.
Sex is still reigning most of our heads most of the time, means that we have sadly failed to explore the other magnificent dimensions of life.

We need to "grow up" (before we die ) !!

12:23PM PDT on Jun 26, 2014

Human beings need to evolve at the voluntary level now. There is so much more to life than Sex.
Sex is still reigning most of our heads most of the time, means that we have sadly failed to explore the other magnificent dimensions of life.

We need to "grow up" (before we die ) !!

10:58PM PDT on Jun 25, 2014

For those that don't get it, he's not excusing it in any way, he's saying his friend can't excuse it even if he wants to. Read the article all the way through.

8:20PM PDT on Jun 24, 2014

Yes, it IS that bad. And it's a CRIME - a RAPIST is a CRIMINAL.

12:16PM PDT on Jun 24, 2014

Forgive me from being mad.

12:13PM PDT on Jun 24, 2014

I couldn't even get to the end of this story!! I'm SO mad right now! Can someone PLEASE give me 1 good reason why rape 'is not that bad'????
How does someone even get to the thought of saying this?
It doesn't matter if the girl is drugged, unconscious, half-naked.. NO should mean NO, in whatever circumstance. Whenever it's forced, not wanted, it's rape. When the girl is unconscious, or for whatever reason not able to say no when she doensn't want ip, it's rape.
Rape really is all that bad!!
Thank you.

PS. I'm now taslking about girls only, but the same should count for boys!

8:19PM PDT on Jun 22, 2014

My take on this article is the author is countering the "but he's such a nice guy and it's all so confusing to men" article written by 'Royse'.

The last paragraph sums it up:
"If you view your sexual partners as human beings, you want their consent. Indeed, you know full well that if they’re happy with what’s going on, you will be too. For most men, and most women, this is not a difficult concept to grasp. There will always be those who choose not to seek out consent, of course — people who enjoy violating boundaries, people who choose to act without consent, people who choose to ignore what their partner wants. They are people, not monsters, and we should recognize them as such, but they are also rapists, always — and nice people don’t hurt others."

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