UNRAVELING THE KNOT

ALLAN G. JOHNSON'S BLOG

Why Men Rape, Part 2

Part 2 has now been bundled with Part 1. To read it, click here and follow the link at the top of the page.

4 responses to “Why Men Rape, Part 2

  1. Elf Friday, October 18, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    “A woman’s highest calling is to lead a man to his soul, so as to unite him with Source;
    her lowest calling is to seduce, separating man from soul and leave him aimlessly wandering.
    A man’s highest calling is to protect woman, so she is free to walk the earth unharmed.
    Man’s lowest calling is to ambush and force his way into the life of a woman.”
    Wisdom of the Cherokee, Native American tribe

    “It takes four generations to heal one act of violence.” Wisdom of the Cherokee tribe

    Concentric rings of collectively held taboos/denial (rape myths)
    1- “Nothing has happened.”
    2- “Nobody was damaged.”
    3- “She wanted it.”
    4- “She deserved it.”

    Wo/mankind is transitioning from “ranked honor/shame” societies to “linked equal dignity” societies. Paradigm changes ain’t. Women are . . . to outgrow their fear (of men) and raise their voice again, men are . . . to face their shame (re: women) and open their hearts again.

    At age eight, Maya Angelou was raped. She confessed the crime to her brother, who then informed the family. Released from jail after only one day of arrest, the rapist was killed, probably by Angelou’s uncles. As a result she feared the power of her voice and became mute for nearly five years. she learned to write and then to narrate.

  2. steve66oh Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    I must strenuously disagree with this: “Men rape because being able to decide whether a woman will have sex with them is an entitlement that goes with manhood.” I would agree with the statement if you had framed it from the perspective of the rapist, as ‘Men WHO rape DO SO because THEY BELIEVE THAT being able to decide whether a woman will have sex with them is an entitlement that goes with manhood.’ But I know of no facet of our society, and no non-rapist male, who actually believes that an entitlement of manhood is having the authority to compel another person to submit to sex. The vernacular I most commonly hear in relation to consentual sex, includes the phrases “I gave it up” (by women), and “I got lucky” (by men). To me, this indicates widespread acknowledgement and (except among actual rapists) acceptance of the actual power balance in sex: Women (and gay male “bottoms”) are the “gatekeepers”, they alone grant or deny consent and access to their bodies.

    In one report measuring the ability to predict the timing of initiation of sex within new relationships: “researchers assessed the correlation between preferences for the timing of sex and the actual occurrence of sex for men and women separately. For men, the correlation between preferences and actual first sexual commencement failed to correspond (r = .19). For women, however, the correlation between preferences and actual first sexual commencement was impressively high ( r = .88). Women are better predictors of when sexual activities begin, thus suggesting that women truly are the ones who grant access to sex in a relationship.”

    In a general sense, I agree that much of society’s definition of “manhood” is based on power and control, that men are judged highly for ability, occupying positions of authority or influence, demonstrating emotional restraint, and ultimately for achieving prosperity and success. (Ironically, there is also a huge component of “follow the herd, do what the other guys do, submit and conform to please your peer group and win it’s approval” built in to modern “manhood”.) I believe that most men are concerned about how they are judged against all these criteria, and are more or less insecure about how they “measure up”. (Advertising plays to these insecurities – even reinforces them – with incessant presentations of male power/success fantasies (hot chick, speedboat, tropical island – just to sell a phone with 48 hour battery..) The male fantasy is not to compel sex from unwilling women… it is to be [whatever it takes] to be PURSUED BY women who offer themselves willingly. Or, as Al Pacino said in “Scarface” – “First, you get the money.. then, you get the power.. THEN, you get the women”.

    I also believe that FOR THE RAPIST, the disconnect between “manhood = power & control (& success & clamoring women)” and “women control his access to sex” is an intolerable paradox. He sees the ads, hears the macho BS banter among guys, and believes that his manhood is measured by how often he has sex… and he UNDERSTANDS that he isn’t having sex because women aren’t giving him any… so he begins to believe that women are unfairly denying him “manhood”. He convinces himself that he is actually the victim, and that rape will “even things out”. I believe that rape is a crime of power – but it’s the rapist’s internal acknowledgement that he LACKS any legitimate, effective power in the realm of sex, which motivates and justifies (FOR HIM) to seize the illegitimate power of rape.

    • steve66oh Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 7:56 pm

      None of what I wrote above is intended to justify or excuse rape – or the lack of prosecution of rape – in any case.

      Two brief points I wanted to include but they didn’t get in..
      1) MEN have defined the power balance in sex away from themselves, by being too available, too eager and therefore (as in any free market subject to “supply and demand”) too undervalued. As a group, we men “flood the market” with pen.ises, we chase sex like a rare and valuable treasure (indeed, we define our own value by it) – it’s no wonder that women are convinced that they hold something of tremendous value… and expect to receive significant value in exchange.
      2) The false premise that a man’s “manhood” is ultimately measured by how many women agree to have sex with him (in contrast, women measure their value (in one dimension of many..) by how many men they can attract AND TURN AWAY) – this premise is offered by much media programming and advertising, and many cultural influences… but every man makes an individual choice (consciously or subconsciously) to accept or reject this premise. Most men never think about it, they simply accept it – and in doing so they submit their manhood to definition by others, and place it outside of their control – which is itself “unmanly”.

  3. EAB Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    This is the first time I have visited your website or read your writing. First, I want to say thank you for articulating so well the things that I have experienced. I have known most of my life that I didn’t measure up because I wasn’t male. But in addition to that, I didn’t measure up because I didn’t exhibit traditional feminine traits.

    Just a comment regarding the quote from Wisdom of the Cherokee, I don’t think a man’s highest calling is to protect woman, but rather to walk with woman side by side as partners (and by that, I don’t mean boss and assistant). When I read that sentence, I see another way to “other” women. In reality women have great strengths–including physical strength–to contribute to the world if only we were viewed as peers instead of “other”.

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