The assault on Lara Logan & the reality of rape.

***Apropos of the current political atmosphere (semantic debates about the use of the words “forcible,” and “accuser,” and political pontification on whether women should have a say in what happens to their bodies), here is a must read from Emily L. Hauser***

I’ve never been raped.

Why? Because I’m lucky.

Nothing more. Nothing less.

I’ve been groped on more than one occasion. I’ve been followed by men in a car late at night. I’ve been harassed on the street, and more than once not been certain it was going to end at “harassment.” A friend and I once found ourselves in a shared taxi with two men who tried to convince the driver (in a language they shared and we barely understood) to take us somewhere they could attack us (the driver physically pulled them from his car). I once discovered that my gynecologist was no longer in business – because he had raped several patients.

I am a woman, and I live in the world. This is what living in the world looks like, if you happen to be a woman. If none of that becomes rape? You’re lucky. Nothing more. Nothing less.

And while I might not have been raped, I know many women who were. Some more than once. Some when they were children. Some by people they believed loved them. Rarely, but occasionally, by strangers. And this is just the people I know.

I also spent five years as a rape counselor at the Tel Aviv Rape Crisis Center, where I learned just how tenuous my status as someone who had never been assaulted is. One of the most famous cases we handled involved a young woman and her date — a well-known musician. They got to his place, and after saying yes, she said No. She said no so vehemently, with such certainty, that he had to tie her up to complete his rape. And yet some people still wanted to blame her.

The other day, as all of Egypt poured into the streets to celebrate their victory over tyranny, CBS correspondent Lara Logan was separated from her camera crew, surrounded by a large group of men, and then brutally and repeatedly assaulted. She was saved by Egyptian women and Egyptian soldiers, and CBS reports that she is still in an American hospital.

When Twitter got wind of this, folks went nuts. Some want to blame Middle Eastern culture, or Egyptians generally. Some say the rapists were hired goons, unrepresentative of anything remotely related to those who participated in the Egyptian uprising. Some have actually managed to blame Logan, and one man who should have known better made light of her fate and suggested it would have been “funny” if Anderson Cooper had been raped, too (he’s since apologized, so I won’t link).

But the simple truth is that the only culture that is responsible for this is human culture.

In far too many minds, all over the world, a female human is little more than an outlet or repository for male wishes or power (take a look at ABL’s post, below). Rape is regularly and consistently used as a weapon of war. Rape is regularly and consistently used as a method of control.

But rape is also just regular and consistent. Men rape for no reason other than that they think they can get away with it — all the time, every day. Doctors rape, clergymen rape, husbands rape, boyfriends rape, employers rape, “dates” rape. Sometimes they employ tricks and ploys and intoxicants in order to convince themselves that what they’re doing is not (as Whoopi Goldberg so memorably put it) “RAPE rape” — but if she said no, or couldn’t say no, or was too afraid to say no? It’s RAPE rape. It’s all rape.

And lots of times, rapists don’t even bother to convince themselves. They wanted a vagina, and there was one in the room. They wanted to bond with their boys, and a vagina walked by. They wanted to show that bitch, or prove their worth, or relieve themselves, or take what any man in his right mind would take. RAPE rape.

Like most crimes, rape is a crime of opportunity. You don’t drive across state lines to pick-pocket — you go down to the corner. You don’t get on a bus to find women to attack — you attack the ones who are there and handy. Most of the time, those who commit sexual assaults do so within their own communities. Often within their own families.

Men and boys are also raped — every day — and that is at least one reason why that one tweet was so beyond-the-Pale wrong. No rape is ever funny, and the particular suffering of male victims is one with which we as a society have yet to grapple.

But men and boys, as a class, do not grow up and live with this fear, this threat, across the world and across cultures. This is women’s lot, and it falls on all of us.

Every.single.one.of.us.

I feel such pain and sorrow for Ms. Logan — not only did she survive this horrific attack, but her story is now public property, to be analyzed and picked over by all and sundry, people who have never met her and never will.

But her story is not as rare, or as easily dismissed as random violence, as so many would like it to be. Would wish it to be. And until we — humanity — admit that, millions upon millions of women and girls will be raped and assaulted year in, year out.

I’ve been lucky so far. I pray to God my daughter will be, too.

Crossposted at Emily L. Hauser In My Head.


[Why do the reports say that Ms. Logan “sustained sexual assault”? Is “rape” too uncomfortable of a word? ABLxx]






251 replies
  1. 1
    TenguPhule says:

    Why do the reports say that Ms. Logan “sustained sexual assault”? Is “rape” too uncomfortable of a word?

    It provokes Conservatives apparently. Something about it “not suited for young children’s eyes”.

    Or its just a small step to the demhumanization of the Y-Womb blood machines with breast attachments.

  2. 2
    Amir_Khalid says:

    Why do the reports say that Ms. Logan “sustained sexual assault”? Is “rape” too uncomfortable of a word? ABLxx

    Oh, definitely.

    Also, it bothers me that Lara Logan has been publicly identified as a sex crime victim, since I was trained as a journalist that you don’t do that, ever, to victims of sex crimes. Because with sex crimes the stigma is worse for the victim than for the perp.

  3. 3
    Mike S says:

    If you have the stomach for it read this vile post. I hope no woman ever dates that man. It’s all I can do to not want the piece of shit raped himself.

  4. 4
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Amir_Khalid:

    Also, it bothers me that Lara Logan has been publicly identified as a sex crime victim

    Me too, but it’s probably unavoidable given the circumstances. I expect, rather than hope, that she has the full support of her family and friends. So she is not in the position of a great many women in this circumstance.

    That said, she’s an adult but I still think it was extremely unwise to allow her to put herself in this position. There should have been someone there in a position to say no and with enough local experience to know why.

  5. 5
    Splitting Image says:

    But men and boys, as a class, do not grow up and live with this fear, this threat, across the world and across cultures. This is women’s lot, and it falls on all of us.

    Actually, fear of rape among men is probably a lot more common than you’d think, and it’s what drives a lot of homophobia.

    Being (involuntarily) outed as gay doesn’t mean primarily that other people have decided that you are interested in same-sex sex. The real implication is that they have decided you are an acceptable target for same-sex rape. This is why a lot of men (especially in “conservative” circles) are scared shitless of having other “conservative” guys think they are gay.

    A lot of people have enormous trouble understanding that rape and sex are motivated by completely different things, but the giveaway is that gay men are more likely to be raped by straight men than the other way round. (“But officer, he was the one who came on to me.”)

    The only other thing I would add is that rape is a lot more premeditated than a lot of people seem to think. If we divided the crime into first-degree rape and second-degree rape like we do murder (where the difference is the degree of premeditation that preceded the crime) you would probably find that rape is by far the more cold-blooded of the two crimes. A crime of passion it ain’t.

  6. 6
    Jebediah says:

    @Mike S:
    I’m quite certain that tonight I do not have the stomach for it… are you willing to summarize?

  7. 7
    Spiffy McBang says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: That’s absurd. At best it’s paternalism gone awry. It’s not a slippery slope argument to say that the mindset you’re suggesting would keep women from doing a hell of a lot of things where there might be a heightened danger of assault or sexual assault. Shit, the military would be 100% male, for starters.

    Women who want to be locked away safe and sound in their houses are free to do so. The ones who want to go out and do stuff like Logan understand the possibilities. She’s an adult; there is no “but”.

  8. 8
    Xenos says:

    I assume that CBS would not release this information, in such terms, without Logan’s permission. If that is true then it shows an admirable toughness on her part.

    I hope some of those women who intervened had cell phones with cameras and can contribute to the photo sharing sites like the flickr account mentioned here. The bastards can’t hide forever, inshallah.

  9. 9
    Ethan Hoddes says:

    A slightly more charitable interpretation of the use of the term “sexual assault” instead of “rape” is intended to preserve some of Ms. Logan’s privacy by avoiding specifying exactly what happened until she’s in a condition to speak for herself. Not that the specifics should matter.

  10. 10
    Spiffy McBang says:

    Re: use of “sexual assault” rather than “rape”- At this point I kind of wonder if it’s a legalese thing. If it’s rape, it should be called rape, absolutely. But to say it’s sexual assault isn’t wrong, just more vague, and thus safer (since saying it’s rape when it technically isn’t could become a major hassle). It sucks, and we need to find a way to change it, I’m just not sure it’s entirely discomfort with using the word “rape” (that probably depends on the writer more than anything). And if I’m right, that needs to be taken into account when arguing against the practice of always calling it sexual assault or we won’t change anything.

  11. 11

    @Spiffy McBang: i may be wrong, but i think @Viva BrisVegas was referring to the fact that she was publicly identified. (i hope i’m not wrong!)

  12. 12
    JenJen says:

    @Mike S: That post you linked to is truly vile, and I like to think opinions like that are provocative, but irrelevant and small. I hope, anyway.

    That being said, I do see that NRO has wasted no time in politicizing this horror, by highlighting the Twitter feed of an academic who said some pretty awful and disagreeable things in reaction.

    I really don’t understand people, especially seemingly influential ones like Jim Garaghty (don’t laugh), whose immediate reaction to the news about Lara Logan is “hey, look at what this remarkably obscure and rather random awful leftist is saying.” I get that that’s his gig, but honestly I’d rather be working the salad bar at Raxx than punching a clock just to churn out that kind of sadness.

  13. 13
    Amir_Khalid says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: I don’t have a problem with Lara Logan taking the risk she did in going to Egypt. I’m sure she fully understood that risk, as did any male journalist who went, and I admire her courage in going anyway. I would not argue that a woman journalist should be refused such an assignment if she was willing to accept the risk.

    @Splitting Image: Agreed. Rape isn’t about passion or lust, except in the rapist’s attempts at justification. It’s really a form of bullying.

  14. 14

    @Mike S: i couldn’t pick my jaw up off the floor. then i poked around that asshole’s blog and he’s a textbook misogynist. rambling on about how men are men because they can fix computers and change the oil in their car and women are bleeders. he’s admittedly waging a war against feminism. hooray for wars against intangibles!

    http://www.inmalafide.com/2011.....ect-women/

    he’s literally not worth another moment’s thought.

  15. 15
    DBrown says:

    Once, I read that up to 70% of woman indicate that they have been raped by a date/boyfriend or someone they knew and trusted – hope that is dead wrong but I fear it is close to reality; as a male, I am utterly lost how such things can occur to so many woman or how so many males could do such vile crimes against anyone. One sick world and thank god there is no god or else a lot of people would be in deep shit.

  16. 16
    Valdivia says:

    On twitter Nir Rosen was lamenting that she would become a martyr when in reality she was just a war cheerleader and gave the example of her defending McChrystal. After much excusing it he apologized but man, whatever her politics, how can someone be so callous and react that way!

  17. 17
    Arclite says:

    “sustained sexual assault”

    Does that mean rape? I was confused by that terminology, and whether she was raped or not. Anyway, what a horrible, horrible event.

  18. 18
    Arclite says:

    @Amir_Khalid:

    Also, it bothers me that Lara Logan has been publicly identified as a sex crime victim, since I was trained as a journalist that you don’t do that, ever, to victims of sex crimes. Because with sex crimes the stigma is worse for the victim than for the perp.

    I read somewhere that she agreed to go public.

  19. 19
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:
    You don’t understand. There is a real risk of rape anytime and anyplace. The riskiest behavior you can engage in is to be alone with a man, any man. Every date you go on could get you raped.

  20. 20

    I am so sorry this happened to Lara Logan. It shouldn’t happen to any creature, human or other animal. I don’t wish for her detractors to suffer rape themselves. Hell, I don’t even wish for her attackers to suffer rape. Again, it shouldn’t happen to any creature.

    I do wish peace for Lara but not too quickly. She has a lot of pain and rage to work through now. The process is not pretty and it cannot be rushed. But I do hope that after a season of raising holy bloody hell, she can find peace within herself.

  21. 21
    Gregory says:

    Why do the reports say that Ms. Logan “sustained sexual assault”? Is “rape” too uncomfortable of a word?

    I hope, probably foolishly, that the term means that Logan was subjected to some kind of assault that stopped short of rape.

    I noticed that this breathless blog entry at the L.A. Weekly departed from the source material by calling it rape (as well as indulging in a wholly inappropriate summary of Logan’s sex life, as if it has any bearing on what happened to her), but it seemed more like sensationalism than being privy to more detailed information.

    From what I gathered from the story, Logan was reporting from the scene with a camera crew and a security detail, from which she apparently became separated. Criticizing her for putting herself in that position — a sadly familiar theme when rape stories occur — seems completely inappropriate. She wasn’t alone; she had security that, in this chaotic instance, simply seems to have failed.

    Logan struck me as an excellent reporter from her work on the Iraq war. I’m shocked and appalled at this assault and hope she has a swift and complete recovery.

    @Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony: I beg your pardon, but not all men are rapists, kthxbai.

    ETA: This sad story is yet another reason I’m glad I ignore Twitter.

  22. 22
    bkny says:

    @Mike S: way too many of the comments at postings of this story are grotesque. and it’s clear that it’s just lack of opportunity that prevent far too many men from participating in an attack like this.

  23. 23

    Damn I just read about the Lara Logan incident. It’s shocking.

    There’s a wonderful book out there which everyone should read — men and women. It’s called The Gift Of Fear. Too often we women especially disregard those twinges of intuition that tell us, “this isn’t right.” That new neighbor who is so friendly … isn’t right. That blind date … isn’t right. That party my friend is trying to get me to go to … isn’t right.

    One of my favorite quotes from the book is:

    “At core, men are afraid women will laugh at them while at core, women are afraid men will kill them.”

    I think that’s very astute.

  24. 24
    DanF says:

    Well said ABL. As the father of two daughters, I hope they (and my wife) remain lucky too. Rape can be devastating to the victim. Even to worldly, mentally tough people like Lara Logan.

  25. 25

    Why do the reports say that Ms. Logan “sustained sexual assault”? Is “rape” too uncomfortable of a word? ABLxx]

    I was unsure what that meant too. Was she raped? Forced to perform oral sex? Was she groped? I thought rape meant a specific act involving penetration … and that maybe what happened to her wasn’t that but …

  26. 26
    aimai says:

    Oh yes to all of this post.

    I’d also like to say that rape,for women, is like racial insult to minorities–its almost completely invisible to “outsiders”–to men in the case of women, to white people in the case of minorities. We all know it happens, we all strategize our lives to avoid “it” or situations in which “it” happens, we know that an incident on the street can escalate to “it” in a second, or in an hour, and we know lots of women to whom “it” has happened and, more, we know that even our closest friends may not tell us that “it” has happened to them.

    I’ve been followed, harrassed, insulted, groped, phone called, but never raped or assaulted. As Ellasther says, I’ve been lucky. And I pray my daughters are always lucky, too. But the one thing I know is that staying home and locking them up won’t protect them. Women get raped all the time by neighbors, friends, relatives, chance encounters. You don’t have to go all the way around the world to have it happen.

    My heart goes out to LL and her family and friends, and I hope the way she was rescued and the strength and solidarity of those egyptian women standing up for her ameliorates the pain. I also hope that, for egyptian women, this will serve as a clarion call to fight back on their own behalfs. Years ago when feminism first started publicizing and criticizing and describing rape I remember a prominent Indian woman saying “Oh! I had no idea that other women in other countries had this problem!” You wouldn’t believe how isolated women are kept from one another, and how rape and rape culture feeds this isolation. But when women band together and demand safety in the streets–watch out.

    aimai

  27. 27
    Phyllis says:

    @Gregory: The thing is? We (women) have no way to know that just by looking at you-“nice” guys rape all the time.

  28. 28
    Maude says:

    @Southern Beale:
    I don’t want to know.
    She was asaulted and there was a sexual aspect to it. She went to the hospital as soon as she arrived in the US. She was injured.
    When other reporters were beaten up in Egypt, there wasn’t the parsing of words about what happened to them.
    The important point is that she was attacked because she was a western journalist.

  29. 29
    JD Rhoades says:

    @Mike S:

    I couldn’t get past the first couple of paragraphs.

  30. 30
    JD Rhoades says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    Lotta anger in that boy.

  31. 31
    Ash Can says:

    @Maude: No, the important point is that she was attacked because she was a woman. Let’s face it. If the main point was that she was attacked because she was a journalist, there would be no parsing of the particulars, as you yourself point out. She would simply have been roughed up, like all the other journalists, Western and otherwise, who were attacked. There’s a lot more going on here than just a Western journalist being attacked.

  32. 32
    magurakurin says:

    @Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony:

    The riskiest behavior you can engage in is to be alone with a man, any man.

    Isn’t this just a bit over the top? I get it. Rape is really common. Actually, I knew that. I think, and have always thought, it is really fucked up thing and that rapist are fucking scum bags. And, as an aside, the guys in the Army who are raping their own female comrades basically should just be shot on the battlefield.

    But, your comment makes it sound like all of us are just ticking time bombs, ready to rape if the right moment come along, almost as if driven by an uncontrollable urge embedded within our “manness” to rape. I understand the point you are trying to make, that a woman could be raped by someone they didn’t expect it from, but there are actual men who have never raped anyone and never will rape anyone. In fact, I’m willing to venture that there are millions and millions of such men. It sucks that so many men are fucking scumbags, but the suggestion that “any man” and therefore, I, pose a threat to a woman as a potential rapist is pretty fucking insulting.

  33. 33
    BethanyAnne says:

    @DBrown: My experience is that the 70% feels right – amongst my friends it’s more like 90%. There are a lot more rapists than is generally acknowledged.

  34. 34
    salacious crumb says:

    @Maude: Agreed 100%!! and there about a million protesters where she was, a couple assaulted her, and now the entire Middle Eastern culture. Apparently the West still mentally havent freed the Arabs of their caricatures

  35. 35
    salacious crumb says:

    @Ash Can:

    She would simply have been roughed up, like all the other journalists, Western and otherwise, who were attacked

    Lara Loagn gets roughed and people call it rape. Other female journalists got roughed up and guess what, everyone in the news media says they got roughed up. Lets face it a pretty blond white woman who has dedicated her life to defending the generals and government, gets assaulted by Middle Easterner savages, what else would any sane human being call it? RAPE

  36. 36
    Irving Clawhammer says:

    Well done. I would say the majority of people I know have been sexually molested. I’d put it at around 6 out of 10 humans having been violated, sexually, in their childhood or early adulthood. How many of the people I’ve grown up with were raped, I don’t know, but having escaped this mistreatment, I do know it IS only luck that has saved me.

  37. 37
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mike S: With a few exceptions, his commenters were pretty vile as well.

    @Angry Black Lady: You have a stronger stomach than I do. Had he been less vile, I might have poke around to to see if his piece was an exception, but, as it is, I didn’t see any reason to go further than the link. What an asshole.

    ETA: It is probably good to read it; just to be reminded that people like that exist.

  38. 38

    @Maude:

    But “rape” is a specific thing that makes it different from sexual assault. These are legal terms. That’s why I’m saying maybe there’s a reason the press is referring to this as “sexual assault” versus “rape,” and it doesn’t have to be this judgmental “ohh the media patriarchy doesn’t want to have their sensitive fee-fees hurt.” Maybe they don’t know.

    And yes they did use specific language when talking about what happened to other reporters. Anderson Cooper was beaten, that’s what all the reports said. He wasn’t robbed. He wasn’t raped. He was beaten. He was attacked.

  39. 39

    @salacious crumb:

    Lets face it a pretty blond white woman who has dedicated her life to defending the generals and government, gets assaulted by Middle Easterner savages, what else would any sane human being call it? RAPE

    Yes because you were THERE and you know exactly what happened!

    Oh … wait …

  40. 40
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @salacious crumb: Where the hell do you get that from what is being said?

  41. 41
    salacious crumb says:

    @Gregory:

    Logan struck me as an excellent reporter from her work on the Iraq war

    oh please. did you just come out of your cocoon? Didnt see how batshit crazy Lara Logan went against Michael Hastings when he published his article about McChrystal? She actually had to nerve to say that Michael was unpatriotic because he never served his country the way McChrystal. This coming from a journalist! her solution was to to keep her discussions with the general “off the record”

  42. 42
    salacious crumb says:

    @Southern Beale: and you were there?

  43. 43
    salacious crumb says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: can you elaborate?

  44. 44
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ash Can:

    There’s a lot more going on here than just a Western journalist being attacked.

    Not really, no. It’s true that a crowd beating up a male reporter probably wouldn’t decide to rape him as well, but rape is a crime of violence, and I’m not at all surprised that a physical assault on a woman turned into a sexual assault. It’s all on the same continuum, and trying to separate them into completely different and unrelated crimes is like insisting that there’s a fundamental difference between mugging a man for his wallet and snatching a woman’s purse.

  45. 45
    Phyllis says:

    @magurikuran: You should be insulted, but not because she or I have this attitude. You should be insulted because of the prevalent rape culture that we deal with every day.

  46. 46
    Gregory says:

    @Phyllis:

    We (women) have no way to know that just by looking at you-”nice” guys rape all the time.

    Since when is “just by looking” the only way to tell?

    Of course women sometimes are raped by men they trust — more often than by strangers, if I recall my facts right. But that shameful fact doesn’t justify implying that all men are rapists. The set of men, trusted or otherwise, who rape is smaller (I would hope *much* smaller) than the entire set of men.

    Shorter me: What magurakurin said.

  47. 47
    Ash Can says:

    @magurakurin: But you do pose a threat as a potential rapist. To me, and to every woman to whom you’re a stranger. Until we get to know you, even just a miniscule bit.

    This is how it works: If I’m in a place alone with you, I look to you first. If you’re behaving normally, not giving me any undue attention, fine. That puts me at ease, and everything’s OK. That shows me you’re seeing me as a person first, and a woman second. If, however, you do give me more attention that I think the situation warrants, then I have to immediately determine the intentions behind your attention. Are you just trying to be friendly, and/or polite to a lady? OK, fine. No problem. The situation gets far dicier, though, if you’re coming on to me. Are the overtures welcome or unwelcome? If they’re unwelcome, I immediately take silent inventory of all my routes of escape, both verbal and physical.

    All this can take place in the span of a few seconds. And it’s what all women do, because we must, for our own self-preservation. In the vast majority of encounters with strangers, it’s not really an issue, either to us (because the process is so fast and virtually subconscious) or to the men involved (because it’s instantaneous and concealed). But it’s most certainly there.

  48. 48
    Mnemosyne says:

    @salacious crumb:

    Lets face it a pretty blond white woman who has dedicated her life to defending the generals and government working for Halliburton, gets assaulted by Middle Easterner savages American contractors in Iraq, what else would any sane human being call it? RAPE

    Fix’d. But let me guess, getting gang-raped by Americans is totally different than being gang-raped by other nationalities so we can’t even make the comparison.

  49. 49
    salacious crumb says:

    @Mnemosyne: of course it is!

  50. 50
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @salacious crumb: Your comment read to me as though you were saying a few things that I find problematic. First, I saw an implication that Logan’s reporting and/or political views meant that she deserved what happened. Second, it seemed that you were saying that, despite the reporting, you doubt the sexual aspect of the assault. Third, alternatively it looks as though you believe that the sexual nature of the assault is being read in by Western readers due to a belief that Egyptians are primitive.

    Maybe I misread.

  51. 51
    Violet says:

    @Amir_Khalid:

    Also, it bothers me that Lara Logan has been publicly identified as a sex crime victim, since I was trained as a journalist that you don’t do that, ever, to victims of sex crimes. Because with sex crimes the stigma is worse for the victim than for the perp.

    I understand professional training and the beliefs that underlie it, but I’m kind of the other way on this one. I understand the stigma, but who places the stigma? I think if we as a society started treating rape as a CRIME and not as “something that happened that created a victim” it might go a long way to moving rape into the convictable crime column more frequently.

    I understand the current viewpoint too. I understand that it is so devastating that it’s important to consider the feelings of the victim. But I wonder how much damage in the long run that kind of thing does. However, if it involves children I think they should not be identified.

  52. 52
    salacious crumb says:

    Since all of you are so up in arms for the beautiful Lara Logan maybe you all can spend 2 mins thinking about these victims whose story didnt make it to the front page of the major newspapers. 9/11!! USA!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02.....1&hpw

  53. 53
    Ash Can says:

    @Mnemosyne: I agree; my point was that this wasn’t just thug-on-reporter or Egyptian-on-Westerner violence, it was male-on-female violence, possibly (but admittedly not likely) primarily so. Maude gave me the impression of separating this aspect from the assault as being of little or no importance, and I disagree with that.

    @Gregory:

    Since when is “just by looking” the only way to tell?

    This is exactly Phyllis’s point; not sure what you’re objecting to. The fact is, we women don’t know just by looking at you whether we can trust you. That’s life.

  54. 54

    @salacious crumb:

    What’s your point? I didn’t say I was there. You seem to have some kind of privileged information that a woman who says she was attacked and sexually assaulted while doing her job is somehow lying. What makes you think that?

    Fuck off. You’re a troll.

  55. 55
    Ash Can says:

    @salacious crumb:

    Since all of you are so up in arms for the beautiful Lara Logan a rape victim, and about the subject of rape in general

    Yeah, we are. Your point?

  56. 56
    Bex says:

    @magurakurin:

    Unfortunately the men who are rapists don’t wear signs on their foreheads saying so. Don’t get mad at the women who don’t know you, get mad at the men who’ve made them unable to trust unknown (or even all!) men.

  57. 57
    salacious crumb says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yes and no. First of all I never meant to imply that Lara Logan deserved what happened to her because of her political views. In fact this has nothing to do with her or her views. That fact is she was assaulted and this has been given coverage in a way that other victims of rape dont get. Do you think there would have been this kind of coverage if the perpetrators were American? And given that she is generally pro-establishment, her media brethen are giving this more coverage than is necessary. What I want is for Lara to get well give her side of the story and let all facts come out. Then lets make a judgment of what really happened.

  58. 58
    Maude says:

    @Southern Beale:
    You have to pardon me on this subject. I get very queasy when it is discussed.
    I see it as violence and a way to attack a vulnerability. It also is to humiliate the victim, male or female, sexual assault or not.
    I have never seen Lara Logan, so I don’t have an image of her in my mind.
    First and foremost, she is a person. She is a US reporter.
    I have trouble articulating what I mean.
    I just can’t express how awful I feel about what happened to her and thinking that she was probably thinking, at the time, that they were going to kill her. They may well have done so if those brave women had not intervened.

  59. 59
    salacious crumb says:

    @Southern Beale: you fuck off. The news stories about this event are still sketchy and yet you are up in arms because a beautiful blond woman got assaulted in an Arab country. She was assaulted like any other journalist, but some of you folks are hell bent on calling it rape. maybe you need to start posting at Pamela Gellers website. I heard they really hate Middle Easterners over there

  60. 60
    Mnemosyne says:

    @salacious crumb:

    Ah, the old “you can’t talk about a specific rape unless you discuss every other rape that’s ever happened!” attempt at misdirecting. That’s a classic.

    I realize this is a difficult concept for you, but we are upset about Logan’s assault and about other women being assaulted while on the job. We even get upset when women whose job is to have sex end up getting raped.

    But, hey, why actually look at the problems women face in the workplace (pdf) when you can snark on a journalist you don’t like, amirite?

  61. 61
    salacious crumb says:

    @Ash Can: no point. its good see to you defending a pretty blonde white lady who got assaulted by savages.

  62. 62
    Chris says:

    When Twitter got wind of this, folks went nuts. Some want to blame Middle Eastern culture, or Egyptians generally. Some say the rapists were hired goons, unrepresentative of anything remotely related to those who participated in the Egyptian uprising. Some have actually managed to blame Logan, and one man who should have known better made light of her fate and suggested it would have been “funny” if Anderson Cooper had been raped, too (he’s since apologized, so I won’t link).

    Debbie Schussel wins the gold prize for that. Do stop by if you think your stomach can take it.

    Funny thing is, those articles could just as easily be written “American Woman Rescued From Rape By Muslim Women And Muslim Soldiers.” But, of course, that’s not the spin you’re supposed to put on it.

  63. 63

    I went to bed far too late last night with what I’m sure was a blood pressure headache, and I’m just discovering this post now — thank you so much ABL & Balloon Juice for giving this a wider readership.

    All I want to do today is ride around the internet and educate the fucking masses but (of course…) I have a ton of work to do. I will try my best to be present in this thread.

    But first, just: thank you.

  64. 64
    debbie says:

    “She took a risk?” WTF is she — or any woman — supposed to do? Stay at home?

  65. 65
    Ash Can says:

    @Maude: I believe I misunderstood you earlier, and I apologize for that.

  66. 66
    Mnemosyne says:

    @salacious crumb:

    The news stories about this event are still sketchy and yet you are up in arms because a beautiful blond woman got assaulted in an Arab country. She was assaulted like any other journalist, but some of you folks are hell bent on calling it rape.

    Ah, the other classic misdirect — “we don’t know what happened — maybe she’s lying about the whole thing!”

    Again, if you have no clue why women who have jobs are concerned about other women who get sexually assaulted while doing their jobs, you may have to examine your basic empathy skills. Assuming you have any.

  67. 67
    salacious crumb says:

    @Mnemosyne: I just dont understand why this is getting so much coverage? yes its true I dont like her, but thats not the point. She was assaulted so were many other journalists. Im not saying what happened to her was good. Just dont understand why this is getting so much coverage.

  68. 68

    @salacious crumb:

    She was assaulted like any other journalist, but some of you folks are hell bent on calling it rape.

    And again, you are so sure it’s not, I have to wonder why. Why are you calling her a liar?

    I’m ignoring you now. You’re a troll and an asshole and you obviously have a problem with women. You’re not worth anyone’s time. Fuck off.

  69. 69
    Wil says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    but rape is a crime of violence,

    Maybe so, but I think a cute blonde reporter in the midst of thousands of young men who because of their culture simply do not have access to sex–ever–unless they are wealthy enough to marry, has to play a part.

    Sometimes the accepted “rape is a crime of violence, not sex” view rings a little hollow in the face of certain realities.

    Thousands of sex-starved men, bombarded with media like the rest of the world with women as sexual objects, with no outlet for it. Most of those non-rich men in those crowd photos were probably virgins.

    Pretty blonde thing in their midst. Rules removed because government has just been overthrown. Pandemonium and mad celebration, and a bad element also that is present in every large crowd.

    Do the math.

    While some people seem to be viewing CBS’s euphemism of ‘sustained sexual assault’ in the most lightweight way possible…some roughing up, some groping…I’m thinking that CBS’ use of the word ‘sustained’ means that she was gang-raped. Sorry, just have to go there. After all, it took a phalanx of women and soldiers to get her out of there. And she left the country and is in the hospital. Sounds like a lot more than groping or ‘roughing up.’

    Given the circumstances, she’s lucky to be alive. Sex is primal. If she hadn’t been rescued, she could have been torn apart and/or raped to death.

  70. 70
    Mnemosyne says:

    @salacious crumb:

    She was assaulted so were many other journalists.

    I was unaware that Anderson Cooper was separated from his security and sexually assaulted until a group of women and soldiers were able to rescue him. Please point us to that story.

    Yes, one of the reasons this story is getting covered in the mass media is because one of their own was assaulted. But implying that every woman posting here only cares about rape because a pretty blonde woman was assaulted is an incredibly assholish thing to do.

    Are you really claiming that ellaesther is only upset because a pretty blonde woman got assaulted? ABL doesn’t care about other women being raped, but is upset that a media figure was assaulted? All the rest of us who have been assaulted or have friends who have been assaulted only care because Logan is pretty and blonde? Fuck you. Fuck you with a rusty pitchfork.

  71. 71

    And today’s reprehensible conservative asshole is … Debbie Schlussel ….

  72. 72
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Wil:

    Maybe so, but I think a cute blonde reporter in the midst of thousands of young men who because of their culture simply do not have access to sex—ever—unless they are wealthy enough to marry, has to play a part.

    So what’s your excuse for the Halliburton workers who gang-raped one of their coworkers? They were just so deprived by being in Iraq that they couldn’t help themselves? Are all gang rapes the result of sexual deprivation?

    Sorry, that doesn’t fly. Gang rapes happen because men egg each other on, and they happen in every country and every culture. There’s a reason is now classed as a war crime, and it ain’t because those poor soldiers were so terribly deprived of sex.

    Trying to claim that this happened because of something specific about Egyptian culture is giving every other gang rapist a free pass because, hey, he’s not from a sexually deprived culture, so clearly the bitch was asking for it, amirite?

  73. 73

    As always, Echidne nails it:

    And what about the victim blaming? Let me count the ways:
    __
    1. This experience teaches women that there are jobs women just cannot do. They get raped if they try and should stay at home, reporting on high school football games. I include that example because I came across it three times in the first 200 comments linked to above. Thus, women can be reporters but only about something which doesn’t let you advance very far in your career or truly compete with men. And the reason is not the women themselves but what can be done to them by some men. Thus, it is the victim who should pack her bags and go home, while the assaulters don’t get told to do that.
    __
    2. This experience teaches women that gender equality is impossible and that they should accept it and not to try to horn into the military services, for instance. Sorta like vive la difference but from a misogynistic point of view. Something like a sexual assault is Just The Way Things Are, and we should all be reminded of the value of traditional gender roles. Except, of course, in the case of Muslims who shouldn’t have them.
    __
    3. Logan is good-looking and blonde. She should expect to be assaulted under those conditions.
    __
    4. She dresses seductively. She should expect to be assaulted under those conditions.
    __
    5. What happened to her was a proper revenge for all her years of spouting liberal dogma and her assumption that she can just flit about in a man’s job.

    The woman haters always crawl out from under their rocks when something like this happens.

  74. 74
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Wil:

    I’m guessing you think that this girl in Orange County (Ca.) was gang-raped by three boys because the poor dears were just so sexually deprived they couldn’t stop themselves from drugging and raping her.

  75. 75
    Valdivia says:

    And Salacious Crumb is doing exactly the same thing Nir Rosen did yesterday on Twitter answering my question for me. See she deserved it because she supported the Iraq War! Or worse, she made it all up cause she hates arabs. Disgusting. At least Rosen had the decency to apologize, I see our resident troll has not….

    Off to swim the anger off. Thanks EE for this rage-full but great post.

  76. 76
    Ash Can says:

    @salacious crumb: It’s getting coverage because Logan’s a relatively well-known person, the subject matter hits a nerve (as you can see from this thread), and because it’s still rare for a sexual assault victim to go public about it. This ain’t rocket science.

    @Wil: In other words, savages. Yeah, right.

    Sorry, there’s no cover in the sexual aspect. It doesn’t take a whole lot of manly restraint to know that this is not how sexual feelings are correctly expressed. To try to give it that kind of cover sugarcoats the actual crime and belittles men in general.

  77. 77
    West of the Cascades says:

    [Why do the reports say that Ms. Logan “sustained sexual assault”? Is “rape” too uncomfortable of a word? ABLxx]

    It may be an effort to be strictly accurate from a standpoint of legal terminology. In Oregon (and I think this is the rule in most states that still use the term “rape” as a crime on their books), rape involves penetration, whereas sexual assault is unwanted sexual contact that stops short of penetration. So CBS may be saying (and I stress “may”) that the assault was sexual but stopped short of rape.

    But that could be completely wrong because, by contrast, in New Jersey and some other states, all sex crimes are defined as some degree of “sexual assault” or “aggravated sexual assault,” and the term “rape” doesn’t appear on the books any longer. So … at this point, based on the terms used in the short news article, we don’t really know exactly what happened. But the legal distinctions may explain why the article didn’t use the word “rape” – not because it’s uncomfortable, but possibly because no penetration was involved. And even if that’s true (and I stress “if” because it’s not clear), it doesn’t make what happened to Ms. Logan any less despicable.

  78. 78

    @TenguPhule: Actually, I worked for several years at a rape crisis center, and “sexual assault” is generally used, not just for “lesser” rape (say — pushing down, grabbing breasts, but no penetration) but also for “more-than” rape — it’s my impression that in this case, penises were not, or were not the only, object of penetration.

  79. 79

    ugh – first reply & I’m in moderation because I used the word for a male reproductive organ in a clinical sense! I’ll try again:

    @TenguPhule: Actually, I worked for several years at a rape crisis center, and “sexual assault” is generally used, not just for “lesser” rape (say—pushing down, grabbing breasts, but no penetration) but also for “more-than” rape—it’s my impression that in this case, p*nises were not, or were not the only, object of penetration.

  80. 80

    @Mike S: I understand the sentiment — believe me, I really and truly understand the sentiment of wishing the worst of ills on rape apologists and rapists — but rape is far too often used as an ad hoc “punishment” of men and women both, and there are men as well as women reading this post right now who were raped as children or adults. It’s just not in anyone’s best interest to invoke it in anger.

  81. 81

    So what have we learned from this, ladies?

    If you’re raped: IT’S YOUR FAULT!

    If you want an abortion: NO! BECAUSE IT WAS YOUR FAULT!

    See how easy that is?

  82. 82

    @Viva BrisVegas: She didn’t put herself in that position.

    The men who assaulted her — repeated and brutally — put her in that position.

    The one thing that Golda Meir said that I can unequivocally get behind was this: There had been a rash of rapes in Israel, and the Knesset (parliament) had proposed that women be put under a curfew “for their own safety.” Golda’s response was: “The men are doing the raping. Put them under curfew!”

  83. 83
    Wil says:

    @Ash Can:

    Sorry, there’s no cover in the sexual aspect. It doesn’t take a whole lot of manly restraint to know that this is not how sexual feelings are correctly expressed.

    Gosh, I guess the men who repeatedly raped her skipped the class on how sexual feelings are “correctly expressed” in a place where they are generally completely repressed if one is not married. And by the way, although you characterized my opinion as “they were savages” in some kind of cultural slight, I did not say that. I don’t think they were savages at all. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be bombarded with sexual images from western countries all the time, but yet be living in a culture where you can’t have sex unless you get married, and can’t get married unless you are fairly wealthy. In such circumstances, I’m kind of amazed that anything with a vagina doesn’t get raped immediately.

    Go figure.

    It always amazes me how women just assume that sexual feelings can just be reasoned with over coffee all the time.

    It’s too bad what happened to that reporter, but given her looks (like here) I am not at all surprised. Maybe I just have more world experience than some people.

    It doesn’t take a whole lot of manly restraint to know that this is not how sexual feelings are correctly expressed.

    Ah….you “know” this, do you? Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Hah.

  84. 84

    @Splitting Image: This. And thank you for it.

    I don’t feel I have the capacity to appropriately discuss the situation in particular for gay men. I’ve worked with male survivors, but have never gotten very far into the inherent homophobia — homo-hatred, frankly — that is inherent to so much male-on-male rape.

    I have touched on it in the past, here: http://emilylhauserinmyhead.wo.....ver-funny/ but need to learn more.

    This is one of the many, many reasons our society has to grapple more honestly with the fact of homosexuality and the fact that we are the forces that drive LGBTQ people into closets.

    Thank you.

  85. 85
    Mike S says:

    @Emily L. Hauser/ellaesther:That’s why I fight the thought.

  86. 86

    @DBrown: The best thing that men of good will can do is to talk about this is public, to name and shame other men who treat women as consumables, and to raise strong daughters and respectful sons.

    I am so grateful to every single man I ever hear say things like you wrote here. We need to double, quadruple, ka-million-ize your numbers.

  87. 87

    @Arclite: & @ Southern Beale See my response to @TenguPhule, above (# 78)

  88. 88
    Wil says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So what’s your excuse for the Halliburton workers who gang-raped one of their coworkers? They were just so deprived by being in Iraq that they couldn’t help themselves? Are all gang rapes the result of sexual deprivation?

    Nope, and let’s not compare apples to oranges, one situation to a different situation, and one set of rules to a situation with no rules. Use your brain, lassie.

    Sorry, that doesn’t fly. Gang rapes happen because…

    Sorry, not interested in your uninformed opinion of why you think gang rapes happen.

  89. 89

    DEAR ALL

    I really want to keep reading and responding, but I really, really have to get to work.

    I will try very hard to get back here later.

    Again: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  90. 90
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Wil:

    Gosh, I guess the men who repeatedly raped her skipped the class on how sexual feelings are “correctly expressed” in a place where they are generally completely repressed if one is not married.

    I still haven’t heard what your excuse is for the Halliburton employees who gang-raped one of their coworkers, or the kids in California who drugged and gang-raped a classmate. Maybe those poor souls were so sexually deprived that they just couldn’t help themselves either.

  91. 91
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Wil:

    N

    ope, and let’s not compare apples to oranges, one situation to a different situation, and one set of rules to a situation with no rules. Use your brain, lassie.

    Really? Gang rapes are so completely different from one another that you can’t possibly compare them? Gee, thanks for mansplaining that one for me.

    Sorry, not interested in your uninformed opinion of why you think gang rapes happen.

    Uh-huh. Something tells me you’re speaking from personal experience here, Wil, since you’re so desperate to make excuses for these rapists. Anything you want to share with the class?

  92. 92
    Mnemosyne says:

    If anyone is interested in actual facts and not Wil’s sick fantasies, here are some for you.

  93. 93
    MattR says:

    @Mnemosyne: I am not sure if I should focus more on your obtuseness or your complete scuminess with that last response. As to the first point, it seems to have completely gone over your head that someone can say that a specific crime does not fit the profile without dismissing the entire profile. As for the second, I’ll avoid the personal attacks and just point out that it is hard to take your views on rape seriously when you trivialize it by casually accusing others.

  94. 94
    Maude says:

    @Ash Can:
    I didn’t want you to think that I was at all downplaying what happened to her.
    It kills me inside to know this happens to people, especially women. It is a fear that women carry.
    My mother and the neighborhood women were clear about not getting within reach of strangers. I understood that I was small and female. My brothers were also told to be on their guard. My mother was an aware person.
    As an aside, I have had a woman who has been giving me rough time for a long time because I do computer tech. I am going on a nice long rant to myself over this, a week from Thursday. I’ll keep free a space of time for this.

  95. 95
    twiffer says:

    @Wil: dude, fuck off. accepting other cultures, etc. is fine up to certain points. and one of those is rape. yippie fucking skippy, you have “world experience”. lot of fucking good it did you, since you seem to have learned jack shit.

    any man, regardless of how sexually frustrating his culture may be, knows that he has a choice about how to deal with it. it’s a choice between your hand and rape, and it’s a pretty fucking simple one.

    claiming that cultural pressures lead to rape is an excuse. if the culture thought is was okay NO ONE WOULD HAVE STOPPED IT. it’s an excuse and an asshole one at that.

    if you are horny, want to get laid and can’t, you go home and jerk off. you don’t go and rape someone.

  96. 96
    Maude says:

    @Wil:
    All I can say is read Susan Brownmiller. Her book, Against Our Will is a breakthrough book. Power is the key word.

  97. 97
    Ash Can says:

    @Wil: Rape is not a crime of sexual passion, it’s a crime of violence and dehumanization. Seriously, it’s not that difficult to understand. And if you do see a sexual-fulfillment aspect to any rape scenario, maybe you’d better look more closely in a mirror than at anyone speaking against rapists (and their enablers).

    @MattR: See above.

  98. 98
    satby says:

    @Wil: Rape is about power and bullying using sex as the vehicle. That you confuse sexual yearnings with a savage gang rape (or assault) is troubling.
    That you assume most of the perps might have been virgins and frustrated by being “bombarded with sexual images” is plain weird.
    Edit: and I see others have picked up on the strange way you see to excuse the perps of this violence by blaming their “repressed” culture.

  99. 99
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MattR:

    As to the first point, it seems to have completely gone over your head that someone can say that a specific crime does not fit the profile without dismissing the entire profile.

    Except that, as the research shows, this crime fits the profile for a rape by a roving gang. So trying to claim that it’s totally different than other gang rapes because shut up, that’s why, isn’t going to fly.

    As for the second, I’ll avoid the personal attacks and just point out that it is hard to take your views on rape seriously when you trivialize it by casually accusing others.

    Wil is defending rapists by saying they did it because they’re sexually deprived and claims that rape happens because men just can’t control their sexual feelings. And I’m the bad person for calling him out on it? Bro’s before ho’s to the end, I guess.

    (edited to add in the link)

  100. 100
    Tim says:

    Salacious Crumb rocks.

    No one on this thread knows what happened to Logan. “Sexual Assault” covers a huge range of alleged crimes.

    But why would that fact get in the way of a fun orgy of Amanda Marcotte tropes?

    It would be so boring to you know, wait for the facts to emerge.

    And yes whomever allegedly assaulted her is/are assholes and criminals. And yes, Logan was majorly stupid to put herself in that position.

    It is possible for both of these assertions to be true.

  101. 101
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tim:

    Yawn. Can’t you troll any better than that? At least call us feminazis who hate men and don’t shave their legs. Put some effort into it, boy.

  102. 102
    MattR says:

    @Ash Can:

    Rape is not a crime of sexual passion, it’s a crime of violence and dehumanization.

    While I agree with this statement, it does not answer the question why one particular group will choose to use sexual assualt to dehumanize their target while another will not. If you are brought up in a culture that does not respect women’s bodies or choices and are never educated otherwise, isn’t it more likely that you will cross that line and use sex to gain power? (Please note that this is not a statement on Egypt or the Middle East as it could just as easily apply to many parts of the US)

    @Mnemosyne:

    Wil is defending rapists by saying they did it because they’re sexually deprived and claims that rape happens because men just can’t control their sexual feelings. And I’m the bad person for calling him out on it? Bro’s before ho’s to the end, I guess.

    You’re the bad person for implying that Wil might be a rapist because he made those claims.

  103. 103
    Allan says:

    Nice derailing by rape apologists going on here. Keep up the good work!

  104. 104
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MattR:

    You’re the bad person for implying that Wil might be a rapist because he made those claims.

    So be it. As always, calling someone out on their offensive bullshit makes me a bad person, but spouting offensive bullshit is just good clean fun.

  105. 105
    wsn says:

    Thanks to Emily L. Hauser/ellaesther for writing this and ABL for posting this.

    And to Southern Beale for putting up Echidne’s succinct and (sadly) necessary primer on victim-blaming.

    To Tim, Salacious Crumb, wil, MattR – this is some shameful shit y’all are putting up here.

  106. 106
    MattR says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So be it. As always, calling someone out on their offensive bullshit makes me a bad person, but spouting offensive bullshit is just good clean fun.

    You do realize that it is possible to call people out on offensive bullshit without using offensive bullshit yourself, right?

    @wsn:

    To Tim, Salacious Crumb, wil, MattR – this is some shameful shit y’all are putting up here.

    Yeah. What I said was shameful (I’d be curious which specific statment that I made that was so shameful), but Mnemosyne calling Wil a rapist was A-OK. To paraphrase her, “chicks before dicks” I guess.

    @Ash Can: Nothing is neat about rape. In fact my whole point was that nothing is cut and dried and that there are no 100% rules. It seems that my comments to Mnemosyne are taken as fully supporting Wil’s thesis when in reality they were directed at her specific criticisms of his comments (specifically that all gang rapes MUST have the exact same factors that cause it)

  107. 107
    Ash Can says:

    @MattR: And I don’t think it’s as neatly confined to certain groups or cultures as you think.

  108. 108

    There is something women – and, ABL, as an Angeleno, specifically can do: take a first-rate reality based self defense class.

    I teach self defense to high school girls – I wear a big padded suit and a helment, and they are trained how to – in an adrenalized state – fight off their attackers. And it works.

    One of the things working in this environment has taught me is just how much bullshit women – including under-age girls – put up with every day. It’s pathetic. Still, one of the big hurdles we have to overcome in our classes is the reluctance of many women to hurt someone, even if that someone is trying to hurt them!

    Anyway, check out Impact Personal Safety in Los Angeles; it has links to other chapters around the country.

    I’d add that I don”t think this would have helped Ms Logan fight off dozens of attackers. But here on somewhat safer shores, women can do a lot to take luck almost completely out of the equation when it comes to avoiding sexual assault.

  109. 109
    gbear says:

    @Wil:

    It always amazes me how women just assume that sexual feelings can just be reasoned with over coffee all the time.

    You’ve never been out on a second date, have you? I’m looking forward to the women here tearing you to shreds for this statement.

  110. 110
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MattR:

    You do realize that it is possible to call people out on offensive bullshit without using offensive bullshit yourself, right?

    Once that person has demonstrated a level of willful obtuseness to facts and data — no, I don’t really think there is any other way to make them understand how offensive they’re being other than saying something just as offensive.

    Again, you’re defending a guy who claims that rape happens because men just can’t control themselves. And you’re upset with me because I can’t help but wonder why he thinks that.

  111. 111
    john b says:

    at first i thought will might have been making a valid point: culture could have played a role in this and made a rape of this nature more likely. but then he somehow got to the point that he was defending the people who raped logan because they were just so sex-starved. fuck. i was sex-starved as a teenager. i didn’t go out and rape people.

    i do wonder about the wording of “sexual assault” — whether that came from logan herself or whether that was the sheen that CBS put on all of this. i would assume though, that if she ended up in the hospital, if there was anything sexual involved then it almost has to be rape by any reasonable standard.

  112. 112
    Maude says:

    @Mutant Poodle:
    The wilding videos are popular with some teens.
    I used to find those in the browser history when I did tech where the majority of the users were teens.

  113. 113
    MattR says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Once that person has demonstrated a level of willful obtuseness to facts and data—no, I don’t really think there is any other way to make them understand how offensive they’re being other than saying something just as offensive.

    So if ABL says something I consider offensive and obtuse I get to call her a nigger in order to make a point?

  114. 114
    4jkb4ia says:

    Standing ovation. Was desperately hoping, “Please let one of the female FPers do this” and got better.

    “Sexual assault” could mean something short of penetration.

  115. 115
    evie says:

    Beautiful piece. Thank you for posting. Every word is true.

    There but for the grace of God…

  116. 116
    chmatl says:

    @Mutant Poodle: Thanks for this. I will definitely check out the link.

    My 14-y.o. daughter has a junior black belt (2nd stripe) in Kung Fu, but I’ve often wondered if that’s enough to keep her safe. What they teach at that age and level is very scripted, although they also do a fair amount of sparring. I was heartened to see she’s a scrapper when it comes to sparring, but against an adult male who doesn’t follow the script at all, I have my doubts. Seems like some reality-based self-defense training would be good for her (and for me as well).

  117. 117
    Tim says:

    Some people on this thread are incredibly stupid. And no, I’m not one of them. :D

    All anyone here knows is that LL was allegedly “sexually assaulted,” which covers a multitude of sins from nipple-twisting to gang-rape.

    Personally, I hope what happened to her is much closer to the former than the latter, but I doubt the same is true for the rape hysterics on this thread who are pleasuring themselves by imagining LL to have been violently raped while denouncing anyone who dares to ask for verifiable FACTS to be reported.

    Also, too, furthermore, and additionally, it seems to me that the way CNN is handling this plays right in to the ancient fallacy that the alleged victim has something to be ashamed of. Tell us what the fuck happened and quit playing around with vague euphemisms. If an anonymous Egyptian woman had been raped in that square, would CNN be playing coy with the facts and feeding right into the old bullshit that LL would have something to be ashamed of if the worst has happened?

  118. 118
    suzanne says:

    Y’all, just ignore Wil. He is an admitted misogynist who said, “Ah, but as I said, I don’t “truly care about women.” After my experiences dating some of you, I care about the one I finally found, and a few close and select female friends. The rest of you can be sold off as chattel and sex slaves and spend the rest of your lives being beaten and raped for all I care.”

    In fact, he just might be the type to really enjoy pie.

  119. 119
    Mnemosyne says:

    @john b:

    I think that culture absolutely did play a role in the assault, as did the situation — if Logan had been walking down the street in Cairo on a normal day, even by herself, the chances of being attacked like this are pretty slim.

    But she was in the middle of a crowd that was extremely emotional, and a group of assholes decided to take their aggressions out on her. She probably was targeted because she’s Western and a member of the media, not because of her looks.

    My argument is that it’s bullshit to claim it happened because young Egyptian men are sex-deprived and not because those assholes were angry about the media and found someone to take their anger out on.

    As far as the “culture” part goes, women are pretty oppressed and abused in Egypt — IIRC, they have the highest rate of female genital mutilation in the world. But given our sexual assault rates and the frequency with which famous men get a free pass (I’m looking at you, Roethlisberger), I don’t think we can really get on our high horse and tut-tut about how much more civilized we are.

  120. 120
    Sko Hayes says:

    Wow, I can’t believe some of the comments I’m reading here.
    Maybe some of you would be more comfortable on the misogynist blog that Mike S. linked to at the top.
    Over at that blog (and here too, it seems), it was quite reasonably discussed that she deserved it because she was a white woman in a country of brown people, and you know those brown people just can’t be civilized (read the Q’aran sometime, and get educated).
    Or she deserved it because there’s a picture of her on the internet in a helicopter with a “see through” shirt on under a flak jacket (never mind the fact that she’s not out on the street, but in a helicopter with some presumably well trained Marine unit).
    Or she deserved it because women don’t know their place (definitely the top vote getter here).
    In 2011, we’re still inundated with neanderthals.

  121. 121
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    “That said, she’s an adult but I still think it was extremely unwise to allow her to put herself in this position.”

    IIRC, Logan, as a freelancer, after 9/11 left London and got herself to Afghanistan on her own steam.
    Being in a square full of celebrating Egyptians probably seemed pretty safe compared to trying to get to Northern Afghanistan via Russia and the Central Asian states.

    For anyone whose visited Cairo or Egypt in general, you’ll know it’s normally extremely safe – you can walk around it late at night without getting hassled, and feels much safer than most US cities at night.

  122. 122
    suzanne says:

    @Mutant Poodle: Thanks for the info about self-defense class. I have to say, though, I understand why some women don’t want to take those classes. They make the valid point that the societal onus should be on men to not rape rather than on women to protect themselves. And I think they’re right that no amount of self-defense is going to be sufficient if the rape culture is that widespread.

    I really am ambivalent about that issue. Personally, I want to know as much as possible about how rapists operate so I can make the most informed risk assessment possible. But I damn sure don’t want to be blamed if I do get attacked. Because, ultimately, the only way to remove risk completely is to be, well, dead. And if someone’s gonna die, I’d much prefer it to be my rapist.

  123. 123
    debbie says:

    I don’t know who’s more offensive, that blog post linked too at the beginning of the thread (and some of these posts) or Glenn Beck, who’s now blaming the assault on Obama’s drive to widen the caliphate. He’s also insisting it’s the leftists who are minimizing the attack (in the person of a NYU instructor who initially said Logan more or less deserved it because she’d been pro-Iraq War), not red-blooded Americans like his audience.

  124. 124
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MattR:

    If she calls you a cracker and claims it’s not offensive at all and you shouldn’t be upset by it, then yes, you can bust out the n word. If you pull it out of your ass with no relation to the ongoing conversation, then no.

    Wil was giving a free pass to rapists. I wondered aloud why someone would give a free pass to rapists. See? Related. If he had given a free pass to rapists and I said he was doing that because he steals cars, that would not be related.

    I hadn’t realized that this Wil was the same one talking about being a proud misogynist on the Valentine’s Day thread, but now I can see the same nonsensical style of argumentation. Believe me, you really don’t want to be defending this guy. Take a look.

  125. 125
    Dr. Squid says:

    @Wil: Why again is a rape by those filthy Muzzies different from those by Blackwater contractors. After all, you know everything, so you should be able to tell me, fuckhead.

  126. 126
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I also assumed that the word “rape” was not being used because something other than P-i-V penetration happened, the details of which have not been disclosed.

    Part of the reason why this incident would get talked about is that we were led to believe that the crowd was jubilant and joyous, and “brutally and repeatedly assaulted” doesn’t square well with that. Those circumstances add a particularly repugnant aggravating factor, to me at least. All sexual assault is appalling. Sexual assault amid populist political joy is a gut punch.

  127. 127
    Dr. Squid says:

    @MattR: After reading this exchange, I’ve come to the conclusion that you pulled a cork out of your ass and let the unadulterated shit flow out after.

  128. 128
    bemused says:

    Are we ever going eradicate the ‘over powering sexual urges’ justification memes? I heard years ago of a local pedophile saying those 7 year girls shouldn’t have dressed ‘that way’. Saying females shouldn’t put themselves in dangerous situations where rape might be possible isn’t any more convincing. I wouldn’t accept any excuse from a father, brother, husband, or male friend who raped/assaulted anyon, male or female, and neither should anyone else.

  129. 129
    MattR says:

    @Mnemosyne: To start with, that is a completely false comparison. To make it accurate, ABL would not have to insult me or use a different racial epitaph. She would just have to say something about race relations that I found to be offensive (such as claiming that there were all sorts of negative racial stereotypes in the Doritos Super Bowl commercial).

    It is really pathetic that you would justify saying things that should normally be unacceptable just because you interpreted somebody else’s comments in a certain way. You decided that “Wil was giving a free pass to rapists.” but I just went back and re-read all of his comments in this thread and he did no such thing. He never in any way excused their actions or said they were acceptable in any way. What he did was to point out that while rape is a crime of violence, it also has a sexual aspect to it which should not be ignored. I am curious if you think that any female reporter in Lara Logan’s shoes would have been subject to the same treatment or if you think that her appearance in anyway affected the crowd’s reaction. (And I hope you can realize that posing this question does not mean that I think the crowd was justified in any way (EDIT: Or that it was Logan’s fault in any way))

    @Dr. Squid: I find it sad that you are upset by my comments but have no problem with Mnemosyne implying that Wil must be a rapist to have his views. (And really that extends beyond you to everyone else who has ignored that elephant in the room)

  130. 130
    Valdivia says:

    wow I went away thinking that Salacious Crumb character had said the worst of it and I come back and see this thread went to the dogs!

    Again just a big thank you to ellaesther and ABL for posting this. Any fucking kind of sexual assault is awful does it have to be P-i-V penetration for people to accept it as rape? WTH?

  131. 131
    RedKitten says:

    bemused has it exactly right. If my son grew up and raped a woman and tried to say that it was because he was horny, or she was dressed provocatively, or any other bullshit excuse, I’d kick his ass so hard that my toes would be tickling his uvula.

    We all have choices. We choose our actions. And if a man chooses to rape a woman, then that is on HIM, nobody else.

    This bullshit about how women shouldn’t do this, that or the other thing, is not only insulting to women, but it’s damned insulting to men. It implies that you guys are mindless, slavering animals who cannot be expected to have the mental fortitude to control yourselves. Were I a man, I’d be fucking insulted at some of the stuff I’ve seen written here today.

  132. 132
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MattR:

    You decided that “Wil was giving a free pass to rapists.” but I just went back and re-read all of his comments in this thread and he did no such thing.

    No? I’m not sure how else I’m supposed to interpret him saying that they raped her for sexual reasons and that men can’t control themselves when it comes to sex:

    I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be bombarded with sexual images from western countries all the time, but yet be living in a culture where you can’t have sex unless you get married, and can’t get married unless you are fairly wealthy. In such circumstances, I’m kind of amazed that anything with a vagina doesn’t get raped immediately.

    That’s not saying that there’s a “sexual aspect” to rape. That’s saying that men rape because of sex, which is patently not true.

    I am curious if you think that any female reporter in Lara Logan’s shoes would have been subject to the same treatment or if you think that her appearance in anyway affected the crowd’s reaction. (And I hope you can realize that posing this question does not mean that I think the crowd was justified in any way (EDIT: Or that it was Logan’s fault in any way))

    Given how much violence had already been directed towards journalists and the repeated attempts to shut down the media, yes, I do think that any other female reporter could have been victimized the same way, because she would have been seen as similarly vulnerable without her security and camera crew and that’s what the assholes took advantage of.

    That’s part of where the “rape is about sex” belief misleads you. Other journalists had been attacked by mobs in the course of the protests, but the attackers didn’t feel the need to further humiliate them by extending the assault to a sexual assault until they were able to get to a suitable object (ie a woman). Frankly, if Anderson Cooper’s (rumored) gayness had been known to the crowd, I think he would have been at just as much risk for being raped as Logan was, and it’s not because he has a pretty face. It’s because he would viewed as a suitable object for rape.

    Old women get raped. Ugly women get raped. Comatose women get raped. And it’s not because someone found them unbearably sexy.

  133. 133
    Sasha says:

    [Why do the reports say that Ms. Logan “sustained sexual assault”? Is “rape” too uncomfortable of a word? ABLxx]

    As has been mentioned, we do not know the details of the attack beyond it being sexual in nature. For now, “sexual assault” is the best available term to use.

    But it is important to understand that even if the sexual aspect of the assault consisted only of manhandling and fondling, it remains a depraved violation of another human being and one that emanates from the “rape culture” mindset discussed in this post.

  134. 134
    Dr. Squid says:

    @MattR: I think my language was too flowery last time, so I say it again only more slowly… You lied when you claimed Mnemosyne called Wil a rapist. You’re a rape-apologizing dipshit – end of story.

  135. 135
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Dr. Squid:

    Well, I was kind of implying it. Not that Wil is one, but that he sure seems to think like one.

  136. 136
    bemused says:

    @RedKitten:
    You said it infinitely better than I did. You rock.

  137. 137
    Tsulagi says:

    Why do the reports say that Ms. Logan “sustained sexual assault”? Is “rape” too uncomfortable of a word?

    It’s not that. The GOP Rape Panels have yet to rule whether this was forcible rape or just sort of rapelike. Until their determination it would be irresponsible to speculate.

    Non snark, I hope she recovers well from this trauma. And that karma is swift upon her attackers in the form of medical journey worthy ball cancer.

  138. 138
    Phyllis says:

    @Mutant Poodle: Why should I or any woman have to take a self defense class? The issue is rape, not self-defense. The conversation should be about stopping rape/sexual assault.

  139. 139
    cyntax says:

    @Valdivia:

    Again just a big thank you to ellaesther and ABL for posting this. Any fucking kind of sexual assault is awful does it have to be P-i-V penetration for people to accept it as rape? WTH?

    I read that more as people reacting to the strange wording and hoping that something other than the worst had happened. Though under those circumstances, I don’t think there’s any silver lining to be found. It’s just plain awful.

    And thank you ELH for a very poignant post.

  140. 140
    MattR says:

    @Dr. Squid: Bullshit for two reasons. The first is the direct quote from Mnemosyne.

    Uh-huh. Something tells me you’re speaking from personal experience here, Wil, since you’re so desperate to make excuses for these rapists. Anything you want to share with the class?

    The second is the fact that Mnemosyne posted several other comments explaining why it was acceptable for her to imply that he was a rapist. (I was careful to use that word imply since she did not directly call him one).

    @Mnemosyne: The basic problem that you (and others on this thread) are having is that you cannot differentiate between an explanation and an excuse. If I have the belief (even if it is completely incorrect) that attractive women are more likely to be sexually assualted that does not in any way mean that I think that those attractive women were asking for it, that they deserved it, that they should have done anything different, that the perpetrators were justified in their actions or even that those actions were understandable. Rather than trying to argue/correct the premise you decided to read into it and create motives that may or may not exist.

  141. 141
    Phyllis says:

    @Tim: <blockquoteAnd yes whomever allegedly assaulted her is/are assholes and criminals. And yes, Logan was majorly stupid to put herself in that position.

    Yes, the nerve of her for you know, doing her job, going out in public, etc etc whilst being FEMALE.

  142. 142
    hrprogressive says:

    Guess you won’t want to hear this story in which a person is trying to get out of jail because he was sentenced to life in prison for RAPING and robbing a woman in 1988, and he claims that his 8th Amendment Rights have been violated.

    Nevermind the woman he violated, of course.

    Link

  143. 143
    cyntax says:

    @MattR:

    The basic problem that you (and others on this thread) are having is that you cannot differentiate between an explanation and an excuse.

    The problem you’re having is that any explanation that doesn’t put full and complete responsibility on the man doing the raping is making an excuse for the men who perpetrate rape.

  144. 144
    Dr. Squid says:

    @MattR: I apologize for your being a dipshit who still can’t be bothered to put 100% of responsibility for rape on the rapist.

  145. 145
    RedKitten says:

    Still, one of the big hurdles we have to overcome in our classes is the reluctance of many women to hurt someone, even if that someone is trying to hurt them!

    It’s a nice thought, to think that if rapists knew that women could kick their asses, that they’d be less likely to rape.

    But I don’t think that theory really washes. So if I take a self-defense class and know how to karate-chop a guy’s throat, that might help me. But what does it do to prevent the guy from raping someone else, some other time?

    As well, Texas has the second-highest forcible rape numbers in the U.S. Isn’t this a state where the odds of your victim having a gun are probably pretty high? You’d think that would act as a deterrent to rapists, wouldn’t you?

    And lastly, self-defense courses do sweet fuck-all for the most vulnerable victims. You think an 85-year-old woman is going to be effective at self-defense? You think a 17-month old toddler girl is going to be able to hurt her attacker?

    No. You have to go right to the source — the rapist himself. And as long as people in our society excuse rape, as long as we place ANY responsibility on the victim, we will never get to the point where women can truly feel safe.

  146. 146
    MattR says:

    @cyntax:

    The problem you’re having is that any explanation that doesn’t put full and complete responsibility on the man doing the raping is making an excuse for the men who perpetrate rape.

    Hence the rest of my quote. I did not think I could be any more clear that the responsibility was completely with the perpetrators.

  147. 147
    Dr. Squid says:

    @MattR: Way to mansplain it to her, dipshit.

  148. 148
    Tim says:

    @Phyllis:

    You live in a fantasy world.

  149. 149
    cyntax says:

    @MattR:

    So why bring up any of this talk up about sexual imagery and repression then? And why posit that you’re supplying an “explanation”?

  150. 150
    RedKitten says:

    @Tim: Women have been raped while in their own HOMES, dipshit. So you also live in some kind of fantasy world if you think that rape only happens to silly broads who “put themselves” in “those kinds of situations.”

  151. 151
    Ecks says:

    Late to the party, but if people are still here, I award an internet or two to Mnemosyne for relentless and courageous being-a-grown-up-ness in the face of all the flying fur. Excellent stuff!

  152. 152
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    @MattR: I’m pretty sure your research would just confirm your unpopular theory. You are being discriminated against.

    Seriously, what’s the point of making provocative arguments over a thought experiment of yours? You imagine such and such thing about women who are raped. You don’t know if it is fact. Why the fuck do you need to insert yourself into a contentious topic based on that?

  153. 153
    MattR says:

    @Dr. Squid: You have already proven your inability to properly comprehend the comments on this post so why should you stop now.

    @cyntax: I did not bring it up and I think it was misguided to do so. The only reason I even joined the fray was because the reaction was over the top and IMO worse than the initial comments. If you even hint that the woman may have deserved it you get ripped by the masses, but apparently I am the only one who thinks implying that a commenter is a rapist because you disagree with him is unacceptable. (Others like Ecks see it as a sign of being a grown up)

    Regardless of what research shows, is it really surprising and/or unreasonable for a non-expert to think that physical appearance may have something to do with how some rapists might choose his target? No matter how much violence and control are the basis for the attack, if a man is presented a choice between two equal options I would expect him to go after the more attractive one. If we were talking about any other crime this would not be controversial. Would you be shocked to learn that muggers go after people who they believe are carrying more money?

  154. 154
    Yutsano says:

    @RedKitten:

    I’d kick his ass so hard that my toes would be tickling his uvula.

    I don’t want to make too light of this situation, but this did seriously make me LOL. Mostly because I know you’d do it.

    Were I a man, I’d be fucking insulted at some of the stuff I’ve seen written here today.

    I am a man. I am amazingly fucking insulted at some of the attitudes I’ve seen coming out of my fellow penii possessors. More than that, I’m saddened. We have a lot more shit work to do to get male-centric attitudes washed out of the cultural fabric.

  155. 155
    Paula says:

    @Ethan Hoddes:

    I don’t really understand why the use of “sexual assault” is so horrible here, considering that it could be Logan herself who didn’t want to specify what happened to her but still wanted to identify the nature of the crime.

    Seriously, though, I’m not familiar with Logan’s reporting, but good for her for having the guts to go public.

  156. 156
    Maude says:

    @RedKitten:
    Did a happy dance when I saw you here.
    I bet your son would need a new set of teeth if you kicked him.

  157. 157
    RedKitten says:

    Regardless of what research shows, is it really surprising and/or unreasonable for a non-expert to think that physical appearance may have something to do with how some rapists might choose his target?

    Ah, but it’s not always what you think. Rape often doesn’t have to do with attractiveness. Sometimes the victim resembles the rapist’s old girlfriend, or his boss, or his mom, or some woman who made him feel powerless and angry. Sometimes it’s just the way the victim carries herself, or the look on her face. Sometimes the rapist imagines that the victim is judging him, or laughing at him, or thinking that she’s too good for him.

    Over and over again, it’s been proven that rape isn’t about desire. It’s about control — it’s about asserting your will over another human being.

  158. 158
    MattR says:

    @RedKitten:

    Ah, but it’s not always what you think.

    And this was my point. It is not what you think. And it is kinda counter intuitive that sexual desire plays a minimal role in rape. So why would (the hypothetical) you assume the worst about the motives of someone who is unaware or skeptical of this?

  159. 159
    gocart mozart says:

    The sum total of all the facts that we know about this horrible incident comes from the official statement of CBS News. I assume that the statement was written by a friend/colleague of Lara Logan with her approval and/or consultation. ‘Sexual assault’ is a somewhat vague term that can run the gamut from groping to “rape/rape”. I am sure that she has her reasons for wanting to be somewhat non descriptive about what happened; some degree of privacy perhaps. I think we all can wait a few days or weeks until she feels comfortable enough to discus the matter publicly in greater detail herself or not at all if she so chooses.

  160. 160
    cyntax says:

    @MattR:

    The only reason I even joined the fray was because the reaction was over the top and IMO worse than the initial comments. If you even hint that the woman may have deserved it you get ripped by the masses, but apparently I am the only one who thinks implying that a commenter is a rapist because you disagree with him is unacceptable.

    There’s no hinting or playing at the idea that a woman deserves it. That’s it end of story. Trying to defend that idea is beyond misguided, it’s giving cover to rapists. At that point you become complicit in perpetuating ideas that allow rapists to rape. Is that really what you want to do?

    If we were talking about any other crime this would not be controversial. Would you be shocked to learn that muggers go after people who they believe are carrying more money?

    Rapists are cowards who go after whomever they think they can most easily rape. That’s it. It’s really that simple. Bringing in the appearance of the woman, the time of night she was out, all of that is a smokescreen that you’re lost in.

    Again, I’m asking you as one man to another, why do you want to put any sort of qualifying conditions on rape? There should be none. And until they are none, I don’t think we can get rid of rape.

  161. 161
    Ecks says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That’s saying that men rape because of sex, which is patently not true.

    To be 100% fair, it’s SOMETIMES true that this is ONE ingredient in SOME rapes. There’s a lot of rapes (especially gang ones) where sexual attraction little to nothing to do with it. But for some minority of rapes, probably mostly ones that are characterized as impulse control ones (often date rapes or crime-of-opportunity rapes), sexual attraction can be one of the motivating forces. Not a necessary condition nor a sufficient one of course, not the most common motivation, but it CAN be an element.

    In this sense it’s like some other forms of crime. People steal for lots of reasons, most often as an expression of power (shoplifters are frequently caught with enough money on their person to buy whatever it is they were stealing), but sometimes something is stolen, in part, because it is desired so badly (though, OF COURSE, there have to be a bunch of other things wrong with your thinking before you allow such a temptation to lead you to action).

    In other news, please continue your ass kickings and general assertion of sanity into this thread.

  162. 162
    RedKitten says:

    So why would (the hypothetical) you assume the worst about the motives of someone who is unaware or skeptical of this?

    Because only too often, those who claim that the female’s attractiveness was a contributing factor to the rape, are only doing so as a way to imply that the woman is therefore somewhat responsible for the rape taking place. And if only she hadn’t worn that outfit/been blonde/worn makeup, she would have not been raped.

    And that bumps up against my argument that until we start holding rapists 100% responsible for their actions, we’ll make no progress as a society.

  163. 163
    RedKitten says:

    If you even hint that the woman may have deserved it you get ripped by the masses,

    Well, um, yes. And rightly so. Because under no circumstances is it ever acceptable to hint that a woman may have deserved to have been raped. Nevah-evah.

  164. 164
    suzanne says:

    @RedKitten: @Mnemosyne: @Yutsano: Word. This. I concur with your statements. I wish to subscribe to your respective newsletters.

    Quite frankly, the only way we get rid of rape, or make a dent in the problem, is for MEN to stop tolerating this shit from other men. Until there is so much societal shame to commit rape that no one would ever want to. Until misogyny is considered the height of repulsive, inhuman behavior and those who behave this in that manner are shunned from polite society, this will be with us.

    But I can’t help but see how some of us here are more incensed on Wil’s behalf than on Logan’s, because OMG! Dontcha know, being called a rape apologizer is like TEH WORSTEST THING EVAH!

    I often bring up the point that sexism is alive and well, even amongst liberals. This thread is a perfect case in point.

  165. 165
    Nutella says:

    @Gregory:

    I beg your pardon, but not all men are rapists, kthxbai.

    True. But every man is Schrodinger’s rapist so women are right to be cautious.

  166. 166
    MattR says:

    @cyntax:

    Rapists are cowards who go after whomever they think they can most easily rape. That’s it. It’s really that simple. Bringing in the appearance of the woman, the time of night she was out, all of that is a smokescreen that you’re lost in.
    __
    Again, I’m asking you as one man to another, why do you want to put any sort of qualifying conditions on rape? There should be none. And until they are none, I don’t think we can get rid of rape.

    Pointing out that muggers are more likely to work at night in isolated places does not put any qualifying conditions on mugging. It is an attempt to provide greater insight into the crime. It does not mean that you should not go out at night. It does not mean that it is your fault if you wander off into a dark alley and get mugged. It does not mean that muggings don’t happen in the daytime. As such, I categorically reject the assertion that I am putting any qualifying conditions on rape.

    But just in case it needs to be said. Rape is wrong. It always is. The only ones who are to blame are the ones who perpetrate the crime.

    @Ecks:

    To be 100% fair, it’s SOMETIMES true that this is ONE ingredient in SOME rapes. There’s a lot of rapes (especially gang ones) where sexual attraction little to nothing to do with it. But for some minority of rapes, probably mostly ones that are characterized as impulse control ones (often date rapes or crime-of-opportunity rapes), sexual attraction can be one of the motivating forces. Not a necessary condition nor a sufficient one of course, not the most common motivation, but it CAN be an element.

    Be careful. Thems fighting words on this blog.

    @RedKitten:

    Well, um, yes. And rightly so.

    I did not mean to imply otherwise. I brought it up to contrast it with the non-reaction mentioned in the second half of that statement.

  167. 167
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MattR:

    Regardless of what research shows, is it really surprising and/or unreasonable for a non-expert to think that physical appearance may have something to do with how some rapists might choose his target?

    I understand someone thinking that. I don’t understand someone being informed of that fact and then dismissing it entirely with a condescending remark about understanding why men rape better than I do so he doesn’t even have to read what I say.

    Once someone makes this claim, “Sorry, not interested in your uninformed opinion of why you think gang rapes happen,” one wonders what exactly makes him an expert over the criminal profiler I linked to. He presented no credentials and no links to his claims that I was wrong, so he doesn’t have any statistics on his side. What makes him so confident that he understands gang rape so much better than an expert in the field that he doesn’t even have to read the link?

    No matter how much violence and control are the basis for the attack, if a man is presented a choice between two equal options I would expect him to go after the more attractive one.

    And you would be wrong. He will go after the more vulnerable option. If one girl is prettier but looks like she could kick his ass, he’ll go for the one who’s plainer but less likely to be able to fight back. One of the reasons some sickos start attacking teenage girls or elderly women is that they’ve tried to attack women their own age and were fought off, so they keep going down or up the age scale until they get to someone who won’t be able to win a fight against them.

  168. 168
    mrmike says:

    A very famous adult film actress once opined

    “If there’s more than one man involved in the scene it’s not about the woman”

    Assaults of this sort would seem to be the logical end point of that mindset. Men in groups do even stupider and more unsupportable things than men alone do. Particularly in cultures where machismo is a big thing. The woman is just a prop. This is not to excuse the perpetrators, nor to attempt to explain them. It’s just commentary on the mindset that is endemic and helps prop up the rape culture.

  169. 169
    MattR says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And you would be wrong. He will go after the more vulnerable option.

    Then they are not equal options.

  170. 170
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ecks:

    To be 100% fair, it’s SOMETIMES true that this is ONE ingredient in SOME rapes.

    It’s also the reason why serial killers tend to kill women who resemble one another — that’s the type who attracts him sexually. But I don’t think you’ll find anyone who’s willing to say that Ted Bundy just couldn’t help himself when he saw those attractive women.

    Well, you do have some nutty Christianists who claim Bundy was driven to murder women by P0RN!! but that’s because he told them that to fuck with their heads.

  171. 171
    cyntax says:

    @MattR:

    As such, I categorically reject the assertion that I am putting any qualifying conditions on rape.

    Well, that may not have been your intent, but you should consider that since numerous people are giving you feedback to the contrary (and remember we can only go on what you write), you might be miscommunicating your intent.

    What you said here, for example is clear (and kudos for that), what you were saying previously was not:

    But just in case it needs to be said. Rape is wrong. It always is. The only ones who are to blame are the ones who perpetrate the crime.

    That’s really all there is to it.

  172. 172
    Ecks says:

    @MattR:

    The basic problem that you (and others on this thread) are having is that you cannot differentiate between an explanation and an excuse.

    Ok, I get where you’re coming here, and I sympathize with this, I do, because I’ve been on your end of some of these general types of exchanges before in my younger and more naive days.

    Short version: Wil here was like a guy who showed up at a discussion of a Black guy getting lynched and saying “well it sure is terrible that they’re lynching him, but there’s a whole lot of black on black crime”. What he said may or may not be true, but in the broader context of the race relation realities in America, it’s a spectacularly dumb gambit.

    Long version: The thing you’re running into here is that this conversation is not taking place in a vacuum. We are not the first people to sit down and talk about this thing here. There’s a long and violent history to these things in which a lot of people with very clear agendas to deny, downplay, victim-shift, and otherwise make the whole fuss go away have used the rhetorical device of presenting themselves as the only rational thinkers in the room, and have attempted to explain it all away. Those who got upset and said “no, this is a big fucking deal,” would be swept aside as “hysterical” (a word that is derived, incidentally, from the latin hystericus “of the womb,” to describe women as particularly flaky), or as being too emotionally distraught to think clearly, or, failing those, as “hostile” and “out to get men.”

    This history isn’t exactly hidden, and it’s not exactly old. In fact, go check some of the posts and comments linked from here and you’ll see quite a lot of it ongoing like that.

    So while I’m sure you didn’t mean any harm by wading into this and just trying to be analytical (Wil doesn’t seem like such a pleasant character himself), you have to realize that what you write is going to be read in the context of a long, ongoing, high stakes, and loaded discussion.

    If you’re going to allege that these attacks happened because the men were just sex starved, then the first thing you have to do is flag first, second, third, and then again repeatedly that this is merely an attempt to catalog the type of rape, and that this is purely for intellectual interest as it doesn’t really matter WHY the rape happened, just that it did. And then you’d have to go on to maybe justify where your deep insights about the character of Egyptian society come from, given that they seem disturbingly close to a whole lot of hurtful and flimsy stereotypes that arabic men are just crazy uncontrolled savages who can’t help but abuse women. Some sort of acknowledgment that one was playing with explosive and hurtful stereotypes would be helpful here, along with some kind of indication that you weren’t pulling these “facts” out one’s ass (which is, I rather suspect, from whence they came).

  173. 173
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MattR:

    Then define “attractive.” People are attracted to all kinds of different looks. I know men who think Lady Gaga is teh hawt but Kirsten Dunst is a dog.

  174. 174
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Oh, geez. I hope I didn’t just set up some weird “who’s more rapeable, Lara Logan or Christiane Amanpour” discussion.

  175. 175
    Ecks says:

    @Mnemosyne: Agree, 100%.

  176. 176
    Linnaeus says:

    @suzanne:

    Quite frankly, the only way we get rid of rape, or make a dent in the problem, is for MEN to stop tolerating this shit from other men. Until there is so much societal shame to commit rape that no one would ever want to. Until misogyny is considered the height of repulsive, inhuman behavior and those who behave this in that manner are shunned from polite society, this will be with us.

    Yep. Men need to do a better job of doing this – and I don’t excuse myself from this either.

  177. 177
    MattR says:

    @Mnemosyne: Attractive to the rapist, or in the case of a group I would say to their societal norms. And it is a good comeback to ask how I know they would find Logan attractive, and I will admit that I was pushing an American-centric view of attractiveness.

    Now having clarified what I mean by attractive, let me ask – do you think my expectation is wrong or is possible that sexual attraction/desire might play a part sometimes?

    No matter how much violence and control are the basis for the attack, if a man is presented a choice between two equal options I would expect him to go after the more attractive one.

  178. 178
    cyntax says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    [snort] Yeah, I’m outta here. Good luck with that.

    But everything up to then was teh awesome.

  179. 179
    Nutella says:

    If you even hint that the woman may have deserved it you get ripped by the masses

    And you deserve to get ripped by the masses because you are supporting the rapist and blaming the victim. You are encouraging rapists to rape. Stop it.

  180. 180
    Ruckus says:

    @RedKitten:
    Were I a man, I’d be fucking insulted at some of the stuff I’ve seen written here today.

    I am. And I am.
    I don’t get assholes trying to pick apart this story, looking for some reason to defend men as not the perpetrators here. Men did this. As they do. Not all of us men are rapists, but all of us are capable, in the same way that not all humans are murders but all are capable. Maybe you are one of the good guys, maybe not. But no one can tell when you are one of the good guys by looking. And they for sure won’t think you are a good man by defending rapists in any way. They live with this every minute of the day, for their entire lives. What threat to your very being do you live with every minute of every day? Yea, I didn’t think so.

  181. 181
    RedKitten says:

    Quite frankly, the only way we get rid of rape, or make a dent in the problem, is for MEN to stop tolerating this shit from other men. Until there is so much societal shame to commit rape that no one would ever want to. Until misogyny is considered the height of repulsive, inhuman behavior and those who behave this in that manner are shunned from polite society, this will be with us.

    E-zactly. We need to start treating rapists in the same way as we treat cannibals — as people who are so fucking socially deviant and sick that society recoils at the very thought.

  182. 182
    salacious crumb says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yes U can go fuck yourself. try to be a little more creative with the language. How about you start posting a new article everyday for every victim of sexual assault other than the cute white woman Lara Logan?

  183. 183
    Amanda says:

    For everyone dumb enough to claim that rape is purely about oppression and control and not at all about sex, I advise you to read A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion by Craig T. Palmer and Randy Thornhill. Science says that you are absolutely wrong.

    Not that this changes anything about how morally repugnant rape is.

  184. 184
    salacious crumb says:

    @Valdivia: You clearly have reading issues because in my previous post I clearly stated that her being assaulted had nothing to do with her beliefs. All i said is that Miss Pretty Blonde doesnt deserve the kind of attention on this blog when there are thousands of women getting sexually assaulted every day. Hope you had a good swim

  185. 185
    Anne says:

    Long time lurker here–I’ll probably regret wading into a heated discussion, but as a female I want to weigh on on MattR’s comments. I have to say I think he has a valid point. To say that, for example, an armed robbery is about violence does not mean that it is not also about greed. And to say that rape is about violence and power doesn’t mean that it isn’t also, at least sometimes, about sex.

    Another woman posted upthread that we women have to be always watchful and careful when someone catches our eye, or otherwise shows interest. Yes, I totally agree! And yet people are saying that sexual desire plays NO part in ANY rape? I’m sorry, I just can’t agree.

    Why should we admit the possibility that sexual desire might play a part in SOME rapes? Because the better we understand rape, the more likely we can prevent them from happening. I understand the fear that talking about the motivation of the perpetrator can slide into “justifying” him, but I think it’s important to make the effort anyway.

  186. 186
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MattR:

    Now having clarified what I mean by attractive, let me ask – do you think my expectation is wrong or is possible that sexual attraction/desire might play a part sometimes?

    I don’t think I’ve ever said that it never plays a part. As I mentioned above, the victims of serial killers often resemble one another because that’s what the killer finds sexually attractive.

    But I can absolutely guarantee you that Logan was not targeted primarily because the men of Egypt are sexually deprived, as Wil claimed. Her looks probably didn’t help her situation, but given how many other Western journalists were attacked prior to this, I don’t think that the attackers’ primary motivation was, “Wow, look at that hot blonde!”

  187. 187
    Jeanne ringland says:

    @Amanda: You must be one of the authors.

    Here’s a quote from the editorial review on Amazon:

    “….The authors base their argument partly on statistics showing that in the United States, most rape victims are of childbearing age. But disturbingly large numbers of rapes of children, elderly women, and other men are never adequately explained. And the actual reproductive success of rape is not clear. Thornhill and Palmer’s biological interpretation is just that–an interpretation, one that won’t withstand tough scientific scrutiny. …”

  188. 188
    Paula says:

    Now having clarified what I mean by attractive, let me ask – do you think my expectation is wrong or is possible that sexual attraction/desire might play a part sometimes?

    1) Why, exactly, are you so stuck on trying to prove this point?

    2) Presumably, all (straight) men and women want to be seen as attractive to the opposite sex. I also assume that men, like women, would know the difference between appropriate and inappropriate times for it. I don’t believe that men are sex-crazed animals who just want female attention all the time. A lot of them probably don’t want it at work, they probably don’t want it when they’re occupied with a social situation that’s otherwise serious, they probably don’t want their personal and physical space infringed on.

    3) The thing about being a young girl, a young lady, an adult woman is that you can expect the above the happen at any time and for many women, it happens ALL the time. And TRUST that we know the difference between getting appreciative stares at a party in a nice outfit vs. being in street clothes and minding your own business, or being @ work and just trying to get along with everybody, even the creepy dudes. When you spend most of your life subjected to unwanted sexual attention, from your life as a very young girl to when you’re an older woman, you develop the understanding that most of it is NOT about how attractive you are to those people. It’s about them asserting their power over you, and showing the world that this woman, no matter what she does, is subject to the whims of this man.

    4) Unwanted sexual attention is a continuum, and the men who whistle at young girls with backpacks just because they’re wearing shorts are NOT, categorically speaking, different from men who attempt rape, because the thing at heart of all these actions is about men asserting power over women. For myself as a feminist, this makes it very easy to separate the question of attractiveness from the issue of why sexual assault happens, and why the assault — whether it be the “legal” definition of rape or something just short of that — is an affront to ALL women.

  189. 189
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Amanda:

    I love when people parade in waving books that were debunked a decade ago.

  190. 190
    Anne says:

    @Jeanne ringland:

    I would turn that back around and say, if attractiveness plays NO part, why are the majority of rape victims of childbearing age?

  191. 191
    Ruckus says:

    @Ruckus:
    Just want to say that below the line “I am. And I am.” in my post above I was talking to the men, not to RedKitten.

    I do think that we need to know what causes men to be rapists. Otherwise it’s probably impossible to even start to get a handle on the issue. Why are some men able to never assault or rape? Better yet why do some people have to have control of others? And do it by force. Is there a different dynamic in gang rape than solo? I would assume so but actually have no idea. It sure doesn’t seem to be cultural as rape has happened over the centuries and in all cultures. Some less, some more but I haven’t heard of any culture that has not had rape. Is it that men are scum and we are slowly crawling out of the ooze?
    I don’t have any answers but I’m willing to listen and discuss.

  192. 192
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Anne:

    1) Women of childbearing age are easier to get to: they go to school, have jobs, etc. Children and elderly women tend to be more secluded.

    2) Women of childbearing age date, and many rapes are date rapes.

    3) Most rapists also fall within the “childbearing age” range and so are more likely to be in contact with women of the same age.

    Also, what range of “childbearing age” are you using? 16 to 45? 18 to 40? 14 to 50? Women are “of childbearing age” for about 30 years these days, so it’s hard to claim it’s somehow significant that the largest demographic group is more likely to be raped.

    ETA: A 9 year old was raped and impregnated by her stepfather. Does she count as being “of childbearing age”? Clearly she must be, since she was able to get pregnant, but most people don’t think of 9 year-olds when they think of “childbearing age.”

  193. 193
    Paula says:

    @Ruckus:

    I can’t do a historical survey of attitudes about sex, because that’s over my head. But certainly for us, living in 21st century America, men do it because they have a society that thinks it’s still de facto “OK” if you do this to women — despite there being no social or biological need of it and despite the fact that we have actual laws against that kind of behavior.

  194. 194
    minachica says:

    Am I the only one who suspects that a couple of butt-hurt guys are back here in drag?

  195. 195
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ruckus:

    Is there a different dynamic in gang rape than solo?

    I gleaned from that website I linked to at #92 that the dynamics of gang rape are much different than individual rape and have more to do with male bonding between the group members than sex with the victim. The sex is a bonus, but the important part is showing yourself to be a member of the group by participating in the rape.

  196. 196
    Anne says:

    @minachica:

    Sigh. I knew I would regret wading in here.

  197. 197
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @salacious crumb: Seriously, are you making the argument that people cannot or should not talk about a particular sexual assault because they do not talk about all other sexual assaults? Logan is a reasonably well known person. Well known people attract more media coverage than less well known people. Logan is a media person. Media people are interesting to other media people.
    This is the way of the world. It does not diminish the crime inflicted on other victims to notice this one. I will also note the the human span of attention is not limitless; we cannot pay attention to everything that ever happens to everyone.

  198. 198
    Ruckus says:

    @Paula:
    I’m not sure that men think it’s OK. I sure don’t. And a number of men have expressed here that it is not. Even some who have been seen as defending rape have stated that it is not OK. I agree with you absolutely that some men do and maybe even many men do, in this and most other cultures.
    I’d like to know, if it is ever possible, why. Why do, and I’m going out on a limb here, most men think it is absolutely not OK? And why do some men think really crappy behavior needs to be defended? Is it upbringing? Is it cultural? Is it religious? Is it guilt?
    I don’t have any answers but I think we have to ask, otherwise I don’t see humans making much forward progress.

  199. 199
    Ruckus says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    I would assume that the bonding is the major affect and the rape is the vehicle, as this seems to be how pack animals act.

  200. 200
    Tsulagi says:

    @RedKitten:

    Well, um, yes. And rightly so. Because under no circumstances is it ever acceptable to hint that a woman may have deserved to have been raped. Nevah-evah.

    I’d go with that. Or to use force. And have already had that conversation with my male spawn after an “incident” he had in his previous school year. In elementary school for crisssakes. Actually the incident is kinda funny if you knew him and maybe something you have to look forward to.

    My son has a good heart and is kind-natured. He’s also a big kid. Already taller and heavier than his mother; he’s the biggest on his peewee football team and fairly strong. Anyway, even though he gets straight As, last school year he had a brain fart. He went up to a girl on the school grounds and asked her “Do you want to have sex?” That’s my son, real smooth.

    The girl tells a teacher who then escorts him to the principal’s office. They call his mother telling her why he’s there and to come pick up our little miscreant. Of course that was just a little embarrassing for him. I come home and the SO tells me I have to have a talk with him. She stresses serious talk. The conversation started like this…
    Me: Is this girl someone you hang out with during school or have seen outside of school?
    Son: No.
    Me: She’s someone in one of your classes?
    Son: No.
    Me: You’ve talked with her before, right?
    Son: Not really.
    Me: So let me get this straight, you pick a girl damn near at random walk up to her and ask “Do you want to have sex?”

    No answer but could tell from his look that was it. Major brain fart. I busted up laughing at the stupid of it. SO hears me coming to the doorway to give me her most disapproving look. Could tell he was completely mortified wishing there was a hole he could crawl into.

    Actually we had a decent conversation after that. Most of it one way coming from me but tried to be sensitive. During which told him that in later years when he poses that question hopefully with a little more finesse and style, if a girl says no it’s no. Full stop. There is no rationalizing or wishful thinking that no really means yes. In the absence of a yes it’s to be taken as a no. That if he ever used his size and strength to take what he wanted at that moment, he could justifiably be arrested, jailed and his future screwed. In addition his mother would be deeply disappointed as would I that no amount of sincere apologizing or trying to make it right would ever fully correct. Could tell he knew I was serious and there was no wiggle room. Raising kids is an adventure.

  201. 201
    Jeanne ringland says:

    @Anne: @Anne:
    I’d ask for proof of that statement, but it doesn’t matter.

    If that is so, it is because the majority of women are in that age bracket, of child-bearing age.

  202. 202
    Jeanne ringland says:

    @Mnemosyne: I was going to say the age bracket starts at about 12 years old and continues (these days) to age 50.

  203. 203
    Jeanne ringland says:

    @minachica: Are you lookin’ at Anne?

  204. 204
    Paula says:

    @Ruckus:

    It’s not that men think “rape” is “ok”. It’s that men are surrounded by a culture where women are often inseparable from their sexual functions — witness how difficult it is for people to separate “Lara Logan, foreign affairs journalist” from “Lara Logan, attractive blonde”.

    Again the continuum of unwanted sexual attention is such that, for some men in some situations, they cannot tell the difference between a woman as an individual and as an object of that is there for their sexual gratification, and it leads to assault of some kind. Most men obviously don’t get this far (I hope), but certainly they’re surrounded by implicit messages that treat women in certain way that can become a powerful subconscious determinant in certain contexts.

  205. 205
    mafisto says:

    After reading every comment, and slightly bemused at being labeled a potential rapist, I’m wondering what the point of the guest post is? There seems to be a call to action near the end, but I’m not sure what it is. I get the point that apparently all women live in fear of being raped at all times, but is there a prescription for this?

  206. 206
    Ruckus says:

    @Paula:
    Agreed.
    In the case of current american culture you are 100% correct.
    My question is what explains this in other cultures and times? Is it power? Is it a need to have some control where little to none is felt? Is it a bad upbringing?
    I believe this to be a learned behavior as it seems you are saying. Some humans learn reasonable social behavior, I’m absolutely sure some have not.

  207. 207
    Tim says:

    @RedKitten:

    Women have been raped while in their own HOMES, dipshit. So you also live in some kind of fantasy world if you think that rape only happens to silly broads who “put themselves” in “those kinds of situations.”

    Please point out where I wrote that “rape only happens to sill broads who put themselves in ‘those kinds of situations’.”

    I thought this thread was about the LL situation in Egypt, not in home assaults in general everywhere in the world.

    Nice strawman and name calling.

  208. 208
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tim:

    Please point out where I wrote that “rape only happens to sill broads who put themselves in ‘those kinds of situations’.”

    You mean where you told Phyllis she was “living in a fantasy world” if she thought women should be allowed to do their jobs without being raped?

    I thought this thread was about the LL situation in Egypt, not in home assaults in general everywhere in the world.

    So you’re doubling down on the thinking that if Logan had just stayed home like a good girl, this wouldn’t have happened to her? Only a short step from there to “she should have known this would happen” and right into “it’s all her own fault for being there”-ville.

  209. 209
    Paula says:

    @Ruckus:

    Well, realize that until a short time ago, women and men were taught that the ultimate goal of women should be procreation, housekeeping, and subservience to the father of their children. It’s still true in many places around the world (like South Dakota, apparently). Again, this does not mean that every man who wants a wife and children are criminals — it just means that much of the human race is unaccustomed historically to thinking of women as being separate from their sexual functions, which through most of human history equaled their domestic and social functions. And that, from the POV of men, is a position of power that has been unsettled only very recently. All men, of course, handle this in different ways in their relationships w/ women. Many times they accept, sometimes they do not.

  210. 210
    JJ says:

    Would love to have been able to read the entire blog entry, however, much of it was blocked by ads (like right smack dab in the middle of the written text). :-/

  211. 211
    Tim says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Wow, you are so full of shit.

    I wrote nothing bearing any resemblance to what you pretend to have read.

    You are dishonest in the extreme.

  212. 212
    Wil says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So you’re doubling down on the thinking that if Logan had just stayed home like a good girl, this wouldn’t have happened to her?

    Stayed home? No, that’s quite an exaggeration. But how about “stay on a rooftop instead of wading into a frenzied mob”? A few days beforehand she was apparently telling Charlie Rose that it was too dangerous for her to go back to Egypt under the circumstances. Apparently she changed her mind, and not only that, but thought it was a good idea to wade into a gigantic mob. Yeah, good thinking.

    Only a short step from there to “she should have known this would happen” and right into “it’s all her own fault for being there”-ville.

    Actually, as an experienced reporter, she should have known that wading into a mob like that was incredibly stupid. What, her mug on the teevee from the center of the mob is really THAT much more important than a distance shot??? She put herself and her camera crew in great danger, and while danger is part of the job, judgment and not being stupid is also part of it.

    Since we weren’t actually there, we don’t know the exact circumstances, but it would have been nice (in hindsight) if one of her crew had taken her aside and said “You want to go in the middle of that? Are you fucking insane?”

  213. 213
    mafisto says:

    @Tim:
    I think I can provide some context. Mnemosyne is not actually having a conversation with you, Tim. She(?) is having a conversation with a caricature of a rape apologist, which has been assigned to your name.

  214. 214

    DEAR ALL

    I said I’d come back – and when I finally had the time, at about 201st comment, I just… couldn’t.

    30 years of righteous but contained rage came spilling out last night, and I just couldn’t bring myself to slog through this swamp to sort the assbags from the assholes, the assholes from the idiots, the idiots from the misled, the misled from the kind-hearted.

    I slunk away. I long ago made myself a rule that goes something along the lines of: IF YOU CAN TELL SOMEONE IS AN UNREPENTANT DOUCHE-BAG FROM THE FIRST WORDS OUT OF THEIR MOUTH, WALK AWAY. This is better for my blood pressure and my piece of mind.

    But I want to give very, very big ups to the commenters who have fought the good fight here!

    I am deeply grateful. I do believe that we are on our way to a better world for women (which, not incidentally, will be a better world for men, too) and it’s in part because people like you have a stomach for conflict that I just can’t bring myself to find. Thank you.

  215. 215

    @mafisto: yes. the prescription is a daily dose of PEOPLE STOP RAPING OTHER PEOPLE.

    problem solved!

    NEXT.

  216. 216

    @Wil: you are obviously trolling (what with your tailor made handle), and you’re not even doing that good of a job of it. the good thing to come out of your buffoonery is that it got people talking and maybe someone whose brain is not rotted will take something good from the discussion.

    you had your lulz. now go set yourself on fire.

    it’s been entertaining people. next time i check, there will probably be a new slate of idiots mucking about.

    unforch, i have work to do.

    peace out.

  217. 217
    Wil says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    @Wil: you are obviously trolling (what with your tailor made handle), and you’re not even doing that good of a job of it. the good thing to come out of your buffoonery is that it got people talking and maybe someone whose brain is not rotted will take something good from the discussion.
    you had your lulz. now go set yourself on fire.

    Thanks ABL. I enjoy some of your rants, although sometimes they are right on, other times kind of stupid.

    Sorry if you have to label a ‘troll’ someone who has a different opinion than what is apparently the rigidly enforced groupthink so-called “progressives” employ sometimes.

    It’s sad when I see liberals being just as closeminded and “you will think what I tell you to think” and “only my way is right, there will be no further discussion” as some of the worst of conservatives.

    Indeed, it would be nice if someone took something good from the discussion, like maybe if you are encountering a massive mob of celebrating Egyptian men, and you are a western blonde woman, security detail or no, perhaps your news story would be just as effective, journalistically speaking, done from the balcony of a nearby building with a good view of the crowd rather than wading right into the middle of it because you think you are Lois Lane and Superman is no doubt around somewhere.

    That would be a good thing that could come of this discussion, don’t you think?

  218. 218
    Wil says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    now go set yourself on fire.

    Interesting suggestion.

    I wonder how it is materially different, really, than telling you to go get yourself raped?

    Seems like a bit of a double standard.

  219. 219
    Ecks says:

    @mafisto:

    I get the point that apparently all women live in fear of being raped at all times, but is there a prescription for this?

    The prescription is not a magic bullet that we can administer in one righteous blow and move on from. It’s that we undergo the tortuous process of culture change, by which we, collectively, have lots and lots of conversations like the one we’re having here, until it starts sinking more broadly into a lot of people’s minds just how common rape is, just how vile it is, and how we have to collectively stand up to it by not implicitly or explicitly condoning it.

    See, it’s not really a big deal to you and I, because we don’t have to put up with this shit. So it’s pretty easy for us to sit back and go “well we’ve all condemned this now and said it’s bad, right? So that’s it then, case closed.” But we don’t then have to spend the rest of our days watching carefully to see when we might be attacked (which is an exhausting process), so it’s very easy for us to just say, and declare it case closed, isn’t it. The hard work of making sure that people don’t ever, ever tolerate it… that takes longer and isn’t simple or linear.

    @Wil, So in future, when there are celebrating mobs of them strange furr’n brown men, we should only let male reporters go in and interview them, because we can’t trust our women folks around them darkies, right? And if some dumb broad does go charging in and she gets raped a bit, well that’s bad and all, but really her own darn fault, because what did she expect, right?

    Yeah, go DIAF.

  220. 220

    @Wil: I don’t have time to get raped today. I’m busy.

    In all seriousness, fuck off. You’re boring. At least if you’re going to ooze stupidity from your facehole, have the common courtesy to embellish upon the tired misogynistic tropes of yore.

    Either get creative or go get yourself raped set yourself on fire.

    You can do it; put your back into it!

  221. 221
    mafisto says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    While that’s funny, the post had a sense of hopelessness to it which touched me. Combine that with the vitriol that’s come out of the comments, and it seems like a more serious response is in order. We’re talking about something that is part of the human condition, which means that rape, like murder, torture and other forms of cruelty, is something we will likely always grapple with. So really, what is the next step? Saying “well, bad people shouldn’t be bad” is not productive, nor is the generic observation that people do shitty things all of the time.

    @Ecks:

    This is a better response, and in line with your excellent comments so far. But I’m still confused about what that “hard work” is? Is it just spreading the word that rape is more common than most people expect? I’ve read several flame wars on the subject of rape, and it seems like the only prescription anyone comes up with is, “Be against it! Really strongly!” Not to be overly pragmatic on the internet, but I kind of like ways to help, not just feel overwhelmed, helpless and angry. Which begs the question, why am I on BJ in the first place?

  222. 222
    Just Saying This says:

    @magurakurin:
    It sucks that so many men are fucking scumbags, but the suggestion that “any man” and therefore, I, pose a threat to a woman as a potential rapist is pretty fucking insulting.

    That your response to this identification of the simple reality of life for women is to complain that it hurts your feelings is an indicator that would keep me, personally, from being in a situation where I would find out if you were really a rapist. She sez: I must live in a reality where I am at risk of being tortured by a person for fun with little legal recourse, unless it is particularly egregious. You sez: OMG you hurt my feeeeeeelings.

    Face it. every man is Heisenberg’s rapist. Until a woman observes you in the situation where you can rape, and gives you that opportunity at great risk to herself, she cannot know if you are a rapist. If you want that to change, work with other men to stop rape. Do not complain that we should shut up about brutal assualt because it hurts your feeeeeeeelings. She should not only risk rape but also not even mention that she is at risk because OMG your precious feeeeeelings.

  223. 223
    Wil says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    @Wil: I don’t have time to get raped today. I’m busy.
    In all seriousness, fuck off. You’re boring. At least if you’re going to ooze stupidity from your facehole, have the common courtesy to embellish upon the tired misogynistic tropes of yore.
    Either get creative or go get yourself raped set yourself on fire.

    You started it, honey. Pretty hard to piss and moan about one terrible act and then wish a different terrible thing on another. Fuck off yourself.

  224. 224
    Wil says:

    @Ecks:

    @Wil, So in future, when there are celebrating mobs of them strange furr’n brown men, we should only let male reporters go in and interview them, because we can’t trust our women folks around them darkies, right? And if some dumb broad does go charging in and she gets raped a bit, well that’s bad and all, but really her own darn fault, because what did she expect, right?
    Yeah, go DIAF.

    Did I ever say anything about ‘brown men’ or ‘darkies’ or anything even close to that?

    Nope, only you did. Nice straw man. I guess all that is rattling around in your own head.

    And Die In A Fire? Really?

    I love how you are all about promoting discussions and awareness to some day (thousands of years from now at that pace) violence like rape won’t happen because everybody will be afraid of the giant bad karma frown you will beam at them. But you are telling people to die in fires.

    Christ, sometimes you dogmatic nitwits are pretty fucking funny!

  225. 225
    Ecks says:

    @mafisto: Y’know, it’s a good question, and not an easy one. One of the things I do think about is that 30 years ago sexism used to be a casual part of every day life. Mad men is a drama but it does a not bad job of illustrating the kind of crap that was routine. My mom has stories of that kind of thing from the 70’s… was even fired from a job when her company moved, and they didn’t want to break up families by transferring married women. That would NEVER fly now. Why? Partly law suits and deliberate social policy choices. But also a lot of educating people about what sexism is, why it’s wrong, and why people making little sexualizing and down-putting comments to female friends and coworkers is just unacceptible. When people STARTED pointing this stuff out they were castrating feminist bitches who just don’t have a sense of humor, and paid an enormous social cost in direct retribution. Now the guy who makes the overt joke is just viewed as an asshole. It’s a slow slog of a process, and not very satisfying to be a part of, but the overall change that results is dramatic.

    This isn’t to say we’re out of the woods on sexism now – far from, but it’s just a HELL of a lot better than it was.

    Rape generally happens in private (except gang rape), so it’s harder to social pressure directly, but just the way it’s talked about, discussed, the way gender relations and dating relations are talked about and discussed (“banging chicks” is an atmosphere conducive to thinking it’s ok to keep pushing things when one is making it hard for you), the way people react when the topic of rape IS brought up, the fact that people DO bring up rape and talk about it at all (rather than letting it fall into a black hole of silence – those make it appear something one can get away with without really paying a price)… these collectively convey an awful lot of information to people about what just is and is not done… and that is a surprisingly powerful thing.

    So we all have to be part of this nebulous activity which is changing the culture of the way men talk about and relate to women. The useful frame is to keep reinforcing that they are just people, like you or I, each an individual. They are not a class of objects for fucking or banging or what have you. Keep in mind, the problem isn’t the words “fuck” or “bang” or whatever… it’s the general attitude that depersonalizes sex as something you ‘get’, or ‘earn’ or ‘deserve’, or are entitled to after you do X Y or Z. Sex is something you share, as one person, with another, whether in a committed or non-committed way, but something you share. If we keep reinforcing that frame, and stigmatizing others, I have some faith that things will improve somewhat more.

  226. 226
    Ecks says:

    @Wil: You enjoy pie?

    Well I never.

  227. 227

    @Wil: i like how you seem to have had your response to whatever my response was going to be all prepared. “you started it honey” like you think you stuck it to me real good-like.

    please. as i said before, you’re boring. i urged you to get creative and all you could come up with is “fuck off yourself.”

    i mean, “fuck off yourself”? really? that’s it? that and “ho ho ho you progressives are so closed minded” as if the crap flowing from your face is worth consideration.

    you’re not even trying. you’re not even a troll. you’re a caricature of a troll.

    also, you’ve proven yourself to be stupid, as well: equating “set yourself on fire” with “go out and get raped” is folly. one is voluntary. the other isn’t.

    do try and keep up.

    finally, this —

    I love how you are all about promoting discussions and awareness to some day (thousands of years from now at that pace) violence like rape won’t happen because everybody will be afraid of the giant bad karma frown you will beam at them. But you are telling people to die in fires.

    — doesn’t even make sense.

    i think you’ve been trolling this thread for so long your circuits are misfiring. might be time to charge your battery, dude.

  228. 228

    @Ecks: he’s not even worth what effort it would take for me to find the new pie filter. that’s how weak his sauce is.

    “fuck yourself.”

    honestly. does no one even respect the art of trolling anymore?

  229. 229
    Ecks says:

    Ok, trying to be absolutely fair to Wil, is there anything at all he’s contributed to this conversation other than being a dick and getting all butthurt when people call him on it?

    It seems like there is one point you could pull out, and with a bit of effort, rework it into a wrong but non-insane point. It would go something like this:

    This reporter walking into that crowd was like leaving your laptop unattended for two hours at central park, or being a White guy wandering around Harlem at 2am in 1987 – dumb, because although crime should NOT happen in these situations it will in such a predictable fashion that you’re really a fool for bringing it upon yourself. Regrettable for sure, but nothing we should get too bent out of shape about.

    The problem with this is that, as the guy who has actually lived in Egypt pointed out above, it simply is not true. Egypt is generally a very safe place for men and women to be walking around alone late at night. Safer even “than many cities in the United States”. Sure some of these crowds had been a little agitated and pushed reporters around a bit, but there hadn’t been any deadly serious assaults, so it really wasn’t reasonable to expect what happened. And while it is incumbent on people to take some common sense safety precautions in the face of clear dangers, people also have to be able to live their lives and perform their jobs, and if those safety concerns fall so dramatically on only one segment of the population (i.e., women) that they are blocked off from certain important, high status, and desirable jobs, then it’s quite understandable that ambitious women SHOULD push back against those constraints. Only by enough people pushing back does it EVER change.

    So there, Wil, even when you are cleaned up and rephrased to the point of respectibility (if you were a better writer I wouldn’t have to do this for you), you are STILL wrong. And that’s why you are drawing so much ire and condemnation here.

    In future, when you get this many smart people this generally pissed off with you, stop and ask yourself one question: “Have they all gone crazy, or am I saying something stupid?” We never like to admit it to ourselves, but its surprising how often the correct answer is the latter one.

  230. 230

    @mafisto: That hopelessness is something I was definitely channeling as I wrote, hopelessness and fury over that hopelessness. To quote the great William Corgan: “Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage.”

    What ABL said is, in a very real way, the only answer: People have to stop raping people. Period.

    It seems flip to put it that way, maybe, but when you start from that — rape is never ok, ever, and it must stop, all of it — and then build out from there, you’re starting from the only right place to start.

    If we presume that PEOPLE MUST STOP RAPING PEOPLE as opposed to: Well, gee, it happens, we need to help women (and men) keep themselves as safe as they can, because what are you going to do? — you look at the whole picture, from a perspective of solution, not pieces of it, from a perspective of problem-management.

    Well, if it’s not something we need to know how to live with, if it’s something that just MUST STOP, how do we achieve that? We’ll have to change the way we talk, the way we raise boys, the way we raise girls, the expectations we have of men and women in society, our thoughts about what is sex and what is power and….

    It’s massive, it’s radical. Saying PEOPLE MUST STOP RAPING PEOPLE is, then, in that sens, radical – but it should be the baseline from which a whole series of decisions are made.

    PS I do believe that Wil is a big fan of pie. A big, big fan.

  231. 231
    Wil says:

    @Ecks:

    In future, when you get this many smart people this generally pissed off with you, stop and ask yourself one question: “Have they all gone crazy, or am I saying something stupid?” We never like to admit it to ourselves, but its surprising how often the correct answer is the latter one.

    I got to where you said “smart people” about yourself and the little dogma you sell, and then burst out laughing. Sorry.

    In fact, it just seems like there is a group of people with a certain point of view that ignores realities of situation and context and thinks everything can be explained in a one-size-fits-all fashion.

    There is another group of people who take situation and context into account, and understands that on some level, everybody is responsible for their own safety. This is so simple as to be common sense.

    Apparently it’s too simple for you so-called “smart” people to grasp it.

    But I’m glad you enjoyed patting yourself on the back.

  232. 232
    Wil says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    @Wil: please. as i said before, you’re boring. i urged you to get creative and all you could come up with is “fuck off yourself.”
    i mean, “fuck off yourself”? really? that’s it? that and “ho ho ho you progressives are so closed minded” as if the crap flowing from your face is worth consideration.
    you’re not even trying. you’re not even a troll. you’re a caricature of a troll.

    Yeah, sorry if I don’t feel required to take your advice. Not really interested in playing ‘creative insults’ with you. I thought you said you were busy?

    also, you’ve proven yourself to be stupid, as well: equating “set yourself on fire” with “go out and get raped” is folly. one is voluntary. the other isn’t.

    Setting oneself on fire has a high likelihood of dying attached to it. Rape, not so much. Silly argument…your specialty, it appears.

    finally, this— I love how you are all about promoting discussions and awareness to some day (thousands of years from now at that pace) violence like rape won’t happen because everybody will be afraid of the giant bad karma frown you will beam at them. But you are telling people to die in fires.—doesn’t even make sense.

    You can’t figure out a typo? (change the word ‘to’ before awareness to ‘so’ and read again)….you must not be much of a lawyer.

  233. 233
    zuzu (not that one, the other one) says:

    @mafisto: Prescription?

    I dunno, maybe stop being “bemused” that women have to view every man as a threat, even the men they know. There was a post about a year ago on Shapely Prose called “Schroedinger’s Rapist.” The upshot of the post is that you may very well know you’re a nice guy who isn’t a rapist, but the woman you’re approaching on the street, or going out on a date with doesn’t know that. And that her concern is her safety, not making you feel like a great guy for not being a rapist.

    And that it’s really silly for men to get all bent out of shape when it’s pointed out to them that women have to be suspicious of every man, yes, even you, nice non-rapist guy! Because the cost to you of being wrongly viewed as a threat is a little social awkwardness, but the cost to her of trusting the wrong person is potentially deadly.

    Instead of getting pissed off at women who are telling you what they have to do to get through the day, maybe the prescription is to follow the advice in this post about men who rape repeatedly because they can get away with it:

    Listen. The men in your lives will tell you what they do. As long as the R word doesn’t get attached, rapists do self-report. The guy who says he sees a woman too drunk to know where she is as an opportunity is not joking. He’s telling you how he sees it. The guy who says, “bros before hos”, is asking you to make a pact.
    __

    The Pact. The social structure that allows the predators to hide in plain sight, to sit at the bar at the same table with everyone, take a target home, rape her, and stay in the same social circle because she can’t or won’t tell anyone, or because nobody does anything if she does. The pact to make excuses, to look for mitigation, to patch things over — to believe that what happens to our friends — what our friends do to our friends — is not (using Whoopi Goldberg’s pathetic apologetics) “rape-rape”.

    __

    Change the culture. We are not going to pull six or ten or twelve million men out of the U.S. population over any short period, so if we are going to put a dent in the prevalence of rape, we need to change the environment that the rapist operates in. Choose not to be part of a rape-supportive environment. Rape jokes are not jokes. Woman-hating jokes are not jokes. These guys are telling you what they think. When you laugh along to get their approval, you give them yours. You tell them that the social license to operate is in force; that you’ll go along with the pact to turn your eyes away from the evidence; to make excuses for them; to assume it’s a mistake, of the first time, or a confusing situation. You’re telling them that they’re at low risk.

    And stop expecting women to fix this problem. Men rape; men need to stop rape.

  234. 234

    Yeah, sorry if I don’t feel required to take your advice. Not really interested in playing ‘creative insults’ with you. I thought you said you were busy?

    There’s a difference between not being interested and not being able to. I challenged you to come up with something other than the boring misogynistic bullshit you’ve been splattering all over this thread. You can’t. It’s ok. Not everyone is up to the task.

    And I *am* busy, thank you for asking! I’m currently procrastinating, so I thought I’d periodically pop over here to poke at the hornet’s nest (you, obviously, being the hornet’s nest.)

    Setting oneself on fire has a high likelihood of dying attached to it. Rape, not so much. Silly argument…your specialty, it appears.

    Silly argument, or “argument that you can’t understand”? Let me help: I suggested that you set yourself on fire. You, in response, suggested that I go get myself raped. If you were to actually take me up on my suggestion and set yourself on fire, that would be an entirely voluntary act, would it not? If I decided to go out and get myself raped, that’s not really something I can do on my own, wouldn’t you agree? How does one go about “going out and getting raped”? Maybe you know. Maybe your services are available. I don’t want to speculate, but it would be irresponsible not to.

    I’d be interested to hear your explanation about “getting raped” methodology, but let me hazard a guess: it will have something to do with me dressing slutty and going to a bad part of town where I, as a woman, just shouldn’t be because there are Men Out There who are looking for a good rapin’ time.

    Look: I get that we are entangled in a likely eternal game of oneupmanship; so you’re going to keep responding and I’m going to keep responding because we’re both pigheaded and bored. I’m avoiding writing this brief, you’re avoiding doing… whatever it is that a person like you does. But if you fundamentally can’t see the difference between setting yourself on fire, on the one hand, and going out and getting raped, on the other, I can’t help you. And sadly, that will be the end of this dance, and I will be forced to tackle my work.

    Still, while you may not understand my point (it’s complicated, I know), I imagine that The Smart People grasp my meaning. Yes, the smart people — the ones at whom you laugh because that’s probably how you react to people who speak in intelligent ways that are beyond your comprehension.

    You can’t figure out a typo? (change the word ‘to’ before awareness to ‘so’ and read again)….you must not be much of a lawyer.

    Oh, yes. You’re right. I got through law school and passed the bar, but somehow I missed the Law and Politics of Discerning Typos seminar. Silly me. Someone should report me to the State Bar!

  235. 235
    Ecks says:

    @Wil:

    In fact, it just seems like there is a group of people with a certain point of view that ignores realities of situation and context and thinks everything can be explained in a one-size-fits-all fashion.

    Wow, you sound like a smart smart guy who’s figured everything out, and it sounds to me like you’re about to drop some enlightenment on us. To unravel the irreducible complexities of the situation out in a way that that even us simple minded proles will be able to follow. I’m all agog. What will this wisdom be?

    There is another group of people who take situation and context into account, and understands that on some level,

    Omigod this is it everyone, prepare yourself for some knowledge being DROPPED!!

    everybody is responsible for their own safety. This is so simple as to be common sense.

    … Riiiiight. [checks to see if there’s any more…] [there isn’t] [checks again] [nope that’s it]. So the complex nuanced situation that is too difficult for us dumb dumbs to understand is that… we are all… responsible for our own safety. [facepalm]. Man, you really are dumber than a box of hammers. I’m just imagining you phoning the police.

    Cops: 911, what is your emergency?
    You: I’ve just been robbed!
    Cops: Are you at home?
    You: Yes, I just got home and the place has been trashed.
    Cops: So you left home and someone robbed your house?
    You: Yes.
    Cops: Sir you have to look after your own safety. Why did you leave the house?
    You: I’ve got stuff to do.
    Cops: This is very complicated, so I’ll say it slowly: We all have to look after our own safety.
    You: So you’re saying I shouldn’t leave my house?
    Cops: It’s common sense.
    You: Wha?
    Cops: Anyway, I have to go lack after my safety now.
    You: YOUR safety?
    Cops: It ain’t easy, being a cop.
    You: But my house? My stuff?!
    Cops: Bye. [click]

    Some people are too dumb to breathe.

    Anyway, I’m now done with you. I tried to see it your way, tried to see if you actually had a point, but you don’t. Not even close to one. “you all have to look after your own safety.” What a fucking joke.

  236. 236
    Wil says:

    @Ecks:

    Wow, you sound like a smart smart guy who’s figured everything out, and it sounds to me like you’re about to drop some enlightenment on us. To unravel the irreducible complexities of the situation out in a way that that even us simple minded proles will be able to follow.

    Nah…..doesn’t seem like a situation with “irreducible complexities” so I think you will be able to follow along, simpleminded or not.

    Responsible for your own safety=be aware and mindful of your situation and what’s going on around you. “Hey, a gigantic mob is forming in a place where reporters have been repeatedly attacked…..let’s film from a rooftop until we see what the situation is…”

    See? Not that hard. I can’t believe you wrote that entire silly cop conversation just to distort my point. I guess that’s all you folks do…distort distort and distort some more because your basic black-and-white view of everything just doesn’t hold together very well.

    And BTW, if you’ve ever had your house broken into and been robbed, you’d know that the cops don’t do anything about it after the fact. They take down your information to give you a sense that somebody is listening, but then you never hear back and never get your stuff back.

    So even in your silly distorted cop story, it turns out that you have to be responsible for yourself there too. Imagine that.

  237. 237

    it’s not so much “distort distort and distort” (lack of commas notwithstanding) as it is “mock, mock, and mock” because you have shown yourself to be worthy of nothing more than mockery.

    also, I AM STILL SAYING THINGS.

  238. 238
    Wil says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    Look: I get that we are entangled in a likely eternal game of oneupmanship; so you’re going to keep responding and I’m going to keep responding because we’re both pigheaded and bored. I’m avoiding writing this brief, you’re avoiding doing… whatever it is that a person like you does.

    Sorry to disappoint, but I decided to curl up with the gf and the critters and watch a movie instead. Hope you got your brief finished, typo-free.

    But if you fundamentally can’t see the difference between setting yourself on fire, on the one hand, and going out and getting raped, on the other, I can’t help you.

    There is more than one way to split a hair, ABL, sorry if I don’t split it the same way you do. I guess if you need me to take the insult literally and respond with an insult that doesn’t deviate from the pattern you set, I’d have to say something like “Go stick a red hot poker up your twat.” I guess I’m just more creative and less literal, and didn’t see the need to one-up you using the exact same style. Can’t follow the rules if you don’t specify what they are.

    Yes, the smart people—the ones at whom you laugh because that’s probably how you react to people who speak in intelligent ways that are beyond your comprehension.

    Those would be the smart people who encounter a typo in a paragraph and it’s such an insurmountable barrier that they are just completely confounded and unable to make sense of the whole thing, right? ;)

    Oh, yes. You’re right. I got through law school and passed the bar, but somehow I missed the Law and Politics of Discerning Typos seminar.

    Perhaps standards are dropping? Actually I’ve read things written by lawyers and have been frequently appalled at some of the errors in their writing. (I guess that’s what clerks are for.) I even once had to get a lawyer to send a landlord a sternly worded letter about something, and when she sent me a copy first, I was so embarrassed for her when I had to write an email pointing out that her letter was full of errors and could not possibly be sent to the landlord until they’d all been fixed. It was pro bono, so I guess you get what you pay for.

    In your case I think you’re just pretty literal, either by personality or by training…based on getting tripped up by the typo without being able to take a sidestep and see it, and your idea that if I played the insult game with you, my insults had to match exactly the ways yours functioned or else you considered them invalid.

    Being literal is not a bad thing…in fact for a lawyer, it’s probably very useful.

  239. 239
    Allan says:

    My favorite part of this thread has been the diligence with which Wil has continued to keep fucking that chicken, even as the post has migrated off the front page and into oblivion.

  240. 240
    Wil says:

    @Allan:

    My favorite part of this thread has been the diligence with which Wil has continued to keep fucking that chicken, even as the post has migrated off the front page and into oblivion.

    What can I say…I am inspired by Angry Black Lady, who also seems to be here. I wonder if she will see that I replied to her, since I apparently used a banned word (not the c-word) and now my comment is in moderation.

  241. 241
    No one of Importance says:

    I have to wonder if the mothers, sisters, and even the girlfriends who live in Canada (does Wil’s live in Alberta or Vancouver?) know what their menfolk get up to behind their anonyms on the internet. Because if they do know about the hate speech, the rape apologia, the attempts to degrade and disempower women with loathsome, vicious words, and the raw contempt for the female gender, then there is no bottom to the well of pity I feel for them. I don’t have to share a life with Tim, Wil, Wyldpirate or any of the hundreds of thousands of willy wearers spewing garbage all over women and rape victims, and yet I feel dirty just because I’ve witnessed just a small sample of their foetid, damaged thinking. Can you imagine what living with that must be like?

    For the men themselves, I have no pity. The only thing stopping them changing into decent people is their own rampant sense of superiority, and that’s hardly an insurmountable obstacle. After all, women have to overcome an overweening male belief in superiority to achieve ordinary miracles every day, and if we can do it, surely a man can.

  242. 242

    @Wil: of course i’m still here, dear. i told you we were in an eternal game of oneupmanship.

    i don’t know what words are banworthy, but i’ll go release you from your wordpressian prison.

    and no, i don’t side-step typos because i’m a perfectionist. it’s incumbent upon the writer to express his intent. it’s not incumbent upon the reader to discern what you meant. you make a typo and try to turn it into a statement about me? i applaud your ballsiness.

    re: splitting hairs… it’s what i do. i’m a lawyer. i once won a case based on the placement of a comma in a statute. that’s why grammar and proper english matter.

    re dropping standards: i wrote on to law review, so i’m fairly certain my writing cred is legit. some might say 2 legit 2 quit, but those people are likely wearing hammer pants, so fuck them.

    the more you know!

    ::shooting rainbow::

  243. 243
    Wil says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    @Wil: of course i’m still here, dear. i told you we were in an eternal game of oneupmanship. i don’t know what words are banworthy, but i’ll go release you from your wordpressian prison.

    Thanks dearie. It didn’t occur to me that the word would be banned, since I was just giving an example of mimicking your insult style. I forgot about automatic filters.

    and no, i don’t side-step typos because i’m a perfectionist. it’s incumbent upon the writer to express his intent. it’s not incumbent upon the reader to discern what you meant. you make a typo and try to turn it into a statement about me? i applaud your ballsiness.

    Here we are again with the black-and-white, one-way-only view of things. Yeah, it’s incumbent on the writer to be clear, but it was a typo and by the time I noticed it, the time for editing comments had passed so I couldn’t correct it. Sometimes you have to bend to the reality at hand (like Lois Lane in Cairo should have) instead of insisting that an inflexible attitude is always correct.

    Look at it this way, despite the general idea of “incumbent on a writer to express his intent” a lot of the best literature in the world is considered classic and timeless precisely because the writer did not clearly express his or her intent, leaving it to the reader to draw a meaning from it, or multiple meanings, rather than commanding what meaning the reader should draw. More of your literalism at work here? Much of our best literature is something that we continue to pore over. Most of that ‘clear as glass’ writing has crumbled to dust.

    re: splitting hairs… it’s what i do. i’m a lawyer. i once won a case based on the placement of a comma in a statute. that’s why grammar and proper english matter.

    Good for you. Winning is nice. If the writers of our Constitution had been more careful about their comma placement, we would not have some of the major disagreements we have in the country today. Perhaps it was not a mystery to the writers of the time.

    Grammar and proper English do matter, and I work with various styles of them every day. Nevertheless, nothing is perfect, and even the most perfectionist writer is going to have a few typos, and a system that shuts down the ability to edit after 5 minutes means that uncaught typos will be permanent. No way around it, short of changing the system parameters.

    re dropping standards: i wrote on to law review, so i’m fairly certain my writing cred is legit. some might say 2 legit 2 quit, but those people are likely wearing hammer pants, so fuck them.

    You “wrote on to law review”? Uhhhh…..unless that is legal jargon I’m not familiar with, that makes no sense.

    Oh wait! The reader can discern things too! I can figure out what you likely mean even though you constructed a retarded nonsense phrase because you were probably tired.

    So in fact it doesn’t have to be a black-and-white, one-way street. You, the imperfect writer, and me, the imperfect reader, can nonetheless communicate because it’s not all on you, and it’s not all on me, but it’s a partnership, some gray nuanced thing in the middle.Thanks, ABL. You’re nice. Mean, but nice. I like that. Probably makes you a good lawyer, even if you did “wrote on to law review” and all.Late night though I am, I’m done for the evening. If you are still up and want the last word, it’s all yours. cheers…

  244. 244
    mafisto says:

    @zuzu (not that one, the other one):

    Just a heads up – that type of response is precisely not how to have this conversation. Look up “bemused”; it does not mean “insulted” or “pissed off”, but I think you know that. Instead of engaging in good faith, you chose to go for a condescending tone that simply alienates and kills any chance at open dialogue. And no, the awful reality of rape does not give you license to immediately act like a jerk on the internet when addressing someone asking for perspective and an opportunity to help.

    We’ll have to change the way we talk, the way we raise boys, the way we raise girls, the expectations we have of men and women in society, our thoughts about what is sex and what is power

    @Emily L. Hauser/ellaesther:

    Actually, this quote of yours is a much better place to start than a general admonition to “stop raping people”. Are there any resources online that talk about the conversations we should have with our children, and with other adults? I’m looking for specific ways to frame the words, as I’m pretty good at being against rape as way of life.

    Before anyone like zuzu feels the need to respond to me (assuming this thread isn’t completely dead) in a sarcastic or hurtful way, I have three young daughters. There isn’t a single thing on this planet more important than their continued health and well being. I will not respond to additional attempts to insult my integrity. Save your bitterness for someone else who cares.

  245. 245
    Ecks says:

    @mafisto: Agreed, Emily’s speechifying on what we should do is really what my longer blurb was TRYING to say. She put it better though.

    @Wil, ABL is right, I’m mocking you because your prescription is just so inane. Would this journolist have been attacked if she stayed on a rooftop and done a longshot? Sure, no. Not that day, not by those people. But a produceer in that building could have attacked her. And if she’d never left the USA a friend or a date or a stranger or a coworker or anyone. And this isn’t just “she could have been hit by a meteor” hand waving here, because more than half of ALL women have been sexually assaulted, almost all of them without ever leaving their home neighborhood, or walking around the bad bit of town at night, or anything recognizably “dangerous” like that. It happens every single day, many times a day. It will happen hundreds, thousands of times today, right here in America.

    So you’re attempt to triumphantly undo one attack by saying “well gee, if she just hadn’t gone to place X at time Y, or if she hadn’t worn Z or said A, B, or C, then she wouldn’t have been attacked, ergo she just has to take responsibility for her own safety” is just mind-numbing stupidity. There is literally NOTHING she could have done to guarantee she wasn’t going to get raped, and so if you’re going to pin the blame on her for not avoiding the raping situation (which is what you are implicitly doing (though I have no doubt you’re going to try to wriggle out of it) then you might as well say its her fault for breathing, or for existing with breasts and a vagina. Your argument simply is not coherent. It does not hold up to thought. But I expect you’ve never even tried to think it through too much, you’re too busy drinking your beer and snuggling your girlfriend, and feeling all safe that YOU aren’t gonna get raped, so why feel bad about other people who did. All it takes is a little bit of hand waving that goes “well in her situation I just would have done simple thing X” and that particular situation would never have happened, therefore I don’t have to empathize with her, therefore I don’t have to feel bad now. Perfect!

    In fact, I don’t even think you WILL try to wriggle out of this implication, you’ll just pretend it doesn’t exist, because that’s how you operate in this thread: “insult, insult, broad assertion that looks like thinking but isn’t really, insult, insult, sit back and wait for the lulz.” Prove me wrong now, come on, give me an actual thoughtful reply that shows some MINIMAL understanding of the situation. Go on, I double dog dare you (safe in the knowledge that you can’t).

  246. 246
    Nick Istre says:

    I’m a bit late to this discussion, but here goes:

    To those guys reacting to @Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony‘s post:

    You don’t understand. There is a real risk of rape anytime and anyplace. The riskiest behavior you can engage in is to be alone with a man, any man. Every date you go on could get you raped.

    I’m a male and I can completely (well, almost, as I am not female) understand this viewpoint from a woman. Here’s a thought experiment for those who think this is over-the-top.

    I will make the following assumptions of the physiques of an average man and woman:

    Male – height: 5′ 9.1″, weight: 180 lbs, bench press: 81 lbs
    Female – height: 5′ 3.7″, weight: 152 lbs, bench press 44 lbs.

    Height and weight averages are for the U.S. I think, but variances don’t change much. For the “bench press” value, I took the numbers from this chart, using the Un-trained columns with 181lbs body weight for men and 148 lbs body weight for women.

    Basically, imagine yourself as an average woman in the average man’s world: Everybody is 1.085 times taller, 1.18 times heavier, and can bench press 1.8 times what you can lift.

    I am 5’9″ (69″), weight 200 lbs, and last I checked, had a max bench press of around 180 lbs, In this thought experiment, everybody else is 6’2.9″ (74.865″) tall, weighs 236 lbs, and can bench press 324 lbs. I can easily see myself behaving very different in this world where everyone else is a potential physical threat to me. Just one guy like this would very likely give me a severe beating on a one-on-one street fight, unless I get really lucky. And I’m not positive that martial arts training could make up the difference in reach, mass, and raw strength here.

    This was obvious to me without the thought experiment, but I find this helps with helping many males envision the world women live in.

  247. 247

    @mafisto: I know perfectly well what “bemused” means, and it’s a damned weird response to what you were being told about how women view men.

    Concerned? Yes, you should be. Bemused? WTF? If you meant “confused” or “bewildered,” you should have said so. If you meant “having feelings of wry amusement,” that’s a problem in this context, don’t you think?

    Also: nice tone trolling!

  248. 248
    mafisto says:

    @zuzu (not that one, the other one):

    I’m glad you looked up the word. For a moment there, I was afraid I had misused it. The problem is, there is no use of “bemused” that justifies your response, in either tone or content. Let’s assume I meant “wry amusement”. Reread your response. The problem for you now is that either you:

    1.) Did not know what the word meant, and just lied about it to try and control the conversation.
    2.) Knew what it meant, and attacked me in an unprovoked fashion anyway.
    3.) Have no idea what you wrote, and redoubled your attacks because it feels good to be angry.

    Look, I know this is the internet, and I tend to stay away from conversations where people accuse others of being rapists, dipshits, telling them to die in fires, etc. But I was truly bemused (read: bewildered) by Emily’s essay. I had no idea that most or all women perceived most or all men that way. It’s a bit much to chew on, suddenly knowing that every woman you know has at some point in time seen you as a potential rapist. Maybe I’m an idiot for not knowing this already, but I talked to a few friends last night about this essay, and it was news to them too.

    I know you don’t necessarily care about my opinion, but if you really think that men need to be part of the solution, everyone needs truly engage one another in a meaningful way. Otherwise, your reaction looks like nothing more than wild, hyperbolic gesturing, and that marginalizes your position. This is true of any form of advocacy; the people who are going to make the difference are people who want to know more, but don’t have the tools to ask the right questions. An immediate assault means the questions stop, along with the will to try and make difference. There are a lot of causes we can spend our time and energy on, far more than any one human can tackle.

    So, I’m asking those questions, and have gotten answers directly from Emily. It was kind of her to engage me, and I’ve said as much. If I were a tone troll, I would have attempted to undermine her position next, right? Instead, I asked for more ways to engage. I must be a truly awful tone troll, if I understand the term correctly.

    I’m sure I just wrote something else to piss you off. I’ll stop wasting my time, but I’ll leave you with this: not everyone knows what you know, and that ignorance doesn’t immediately make them your enemy. Hell, stand up for what’s right, but give people a chance to be on your side before you unleash your fury on them. That’s how we make allies in any struggle.

  249. 249

    @Ecks: this. a million times this.

  250. 250

    @Wil: in law school, people with in the top whatever percent of the class automatically get chosen for law review. there’s a “write-on” period where students choose to prove their worthiness of being on a particular journal by doing a writing assignment. i chose law review, journal of social policy, and some other journal. law review accepts a certain number of “write-ons” as in people who didn’t have the grades but did well during the write-on process.

    there you have it.

    (it’s a blind write-on process, for those who are wondering, and some of you surely are.)

  251. 251
    Cara says:

    Blecch. Just love all these rape apologists hiding behind female pseudonyms.

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