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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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544 comments

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1:38PM PDT on Aug 18, 2014

I can't believe I just read this article. I couldn't finish it. I feel bad for anyone unconscious that is getting raped. Yes, raped since the woman having sex with your friend in the morning did not have a choice or voice to even say "no".

6:45AM PDT on Aug 13, 2014

What a f$&ked up world we live in.

6:10PM PDT on Aug 4, 2014

Maybe once men realize they are not superior to women, there won't be as many rapes.

3:04PM PDT on Aug 3, 2014

I understand this whole article BUT I REALLY RESENT THE TITLE & think it was used just to get attention. This rape culture is just another manifestation of the general deterioration of civility in our society : road rage, air rage, athletes fighting on the fields & courts, brawls in schools, parents & students who disrespect & assault teachers & school staff, youtube videos showing parents encouraging kids to fight, glorification of bad behavior in the media & a general "If I want it I'll take it" " If I want to do it, I will" mentality. Then there are the people who commit crimes & get off because of money to get lawyers who'd sell their own mothers, celebs who get away with bad behavior,pop music with nasty lyrics that glorify women's body parts & raunchy sex, & the subliminal messages to boys that they aren't real men unless they can have sex with or without consent. Then there are the suggestive clothes aimed at little girls & women with racy words on the bottom of their shorts & pants, & bikinis for preteen girls who don't even have a figure. I've even seen young teens & tweens running around amusement parks ( with waterparks) in tiny bikinis with no cover ups & seen grown men staring at them ! I see how girls are subliminally taught to be overtly sexy...even some dance recital routines are too racy for little girls to be doing....but people find excuses to do it anyway. Many women..including myself...do not like

7:44AM PDT on Jul 27, 2014

As Jeff states,"nice people don't hurt others". True, but I wish he had dealt with the "nice guy's finish last" saying that recognizes that some women prefer "bad boys" [including criminals] and find "nice guys" boring. @ Nikiritha M. "means that we have sadly failed to explore the other magnificent dimensions" Not necessarily. Like all other animals, [yes, we are] the major motivators are food and sex for most of us. A smaller number add "the other magnificent dimensions".

7:53PM PDT on Jul 26, 2014

Excuse me, I have to go throw up.

9:44AM PDT on Jul 22, 2014

Really if a person does not know the difference. I can't even read this it makes me sick

5:48PM PDT on Jul 13, 2014

OKAY. I don't even need to read the second page of this article. There are two things– rape, and sex. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS CONSENSUAL SEX AND NON-CONSENSUAL SEX. THERE IS SEX AND RAPE. You cannot have "non-consensual" sex with someone. It doesn't exist. They are either consenting and agreeing and WANTING to have sex with you, or it's rape. Period.

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.

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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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