Tuesday, October 24, 2017

6 Takeaways From The #MeToo Movement & Overall "Rape Culture"

Many people are trying to do what they see as the best response to the recent #MeToo movement. While many of these responses are coming from a good place, some of these responses are exploiting the 'movement' and/or are too extreme and would be more harmful to society than beneficial. Here are the balanced and appropriate takeaways from this chain of events:

**For the context of this conversation, let's focus on adult women and not minors.**

1. #MeToo should not be a trend. Rape should be reported to the police; not to Twitter and adult women need to speak up if they actually want to protect themselves. This is not being said to "shame victims" but to tell them the best way to respond.

If an adult woman is raped, the best chance of catching the rapist is to report the rape to the police immediately. While the Twitter movement may be nice for some victims to know they are not alone, it's not really going to stop rape, as rapists aren't going to be dissuaded by any "Me Too" stories.

Furthermore, the longer women keep these stories to themselves, the longer the rapist gets away with it and the more emboldened they are to keep raping other people.

2. #MeToo does not exclude men and should not be seen as "all victims are females and all perpetrators are men".

Since America is not a rape culture, we tend to see any rape as a bad thing and deserving punishment. However, when the victim is a male, they do tend to get less sympathy by society than female victims. That is not equality. Male victims deserve to be supported too.

As on so many occasions when the whiff of the witch-hunt is in the air, however, somebody ought to say, “Hang on: it’s not that simple”. Men whose sexual desires are out of control also prey on men; and it can happen, too, that women in positions of power will take advantage of men.

3. #MeToo should not be used to demonize men. When #MeToo is abused with false and/or exaggerated accusations, this trivializes real victims as well as creates new victims.

Women who are actually raped and/or assaulted are victims. Men who are falsely accused of rape and/or sexual assault are victims too.

Rape and sexual assault should never be tools for revenge or misandry etc.

Case continued for woman charged with making false rape accusations against SHU football players

Lesbian fantasist invented 15 rapes and sexual assaults which saw man jailed to get sympathy from girlfriends, court hears

Why were false rape claims allowed to ruin the life of a hero PC? Officer describes 'sheer hell' after being wrongly accused of attack by woman he met on Plenty of Fish dating site

UMass withholds diploma from accused student who graduated before it scheduled a hearing

If you haven't really looked into the issue, you might be under the assumption that "sexual assault and/or rape" is an epidemic on our college campuses with as many as 1 in 4 female students being a victim. However, if you do a little research, you will find that the actual rate of females to be raped or sexually assaulted on campus is more like 1 in 52, if not lower.

Just because we cannot completely eradicate rape does not mean we live in a "rape culture" [in the Western world]. Just because men are attracted to women and taught to be the "pursuer" instead of the "pursued" (by women, as well as men, and nature) does not mean we live in a "rape culture".

Rape and sexual assault are not as "muddy" and "blurry" as they are being made out to be. If women are equal to men then it is quite simple. You are only raped if you are physically forced to have sex without your consent. You are only sexually assaulted if someone physically forces you to have sexual contact without your consent. (i.e. penetration, contact/exposure of intimate body parts)

You have not been assaulted/raped if:
  • you gave consent but didn't end up liking the sexual activity you did together
  • you gave consent but didn't like his attitude/demeanor/behavior afterwards
  • you gave consent drunk, but chose to get drunk (no one spiked your drink without you knowing it)
  • you gave consent while on a drug, but chose to do the drug (no one slipped you the drug without you knowing it)
  • you gave consent but only because he kept persisting and asking you for it, yet he never physically threatened or restrained you to get it
  • you gave consent but only because you thought he wouldn't be with you if you didn't
  • you gave consent but only because you wanted to make him feel better
  • you did not give him consent to speak to you in a crude manner, but he did - this is unpleasant but it's not "assault" and certainly not "rape"

For any man or woman out there who claims to want equality for both genders and care about both genders, this will be a test for them: Will you stand up for all potential victims - male or female - including those who are victimized by false allegations?

4. Women: Decide what you want. Stop sending men mixed signals or you're just going to isolate the men who are afraid to be mistaken in a #MeToo situation.

Women will say "Never ask to kiss a girl [because it kills the romance]" yet Feminists are telling men Always ask to kiss a girl or ask her if you can "talk dirty" to her just to keep asking for constant consent all throughout any physically romantic/sexual activity. Is that really what women want? (They usually say no.) 

Men and women have evolved into different gender roles, specifically where dating is involved: Men are expected to bear the pressure of asking women out on dates and making the first moves. While many men don't mind this too much as it is in their nature, they do mind when you punish them for doing what you told them you expected from them.

This is not to say that this gives men a license to "misinterpret" signals but rather that women should not be so quick to negatively judge what might just be a "misinterpreted" signals. Men aren't perfect, women need to be willing to cut them some slack and treat them more like humans than programmed robots that are malfunctioning.

5. Women: Don't ignore gender differences, even if you choose to reject gender roles. Recognize that sex often means different things and has a different impact for men and women depending on different factors so you don't regret sex. (And remember, regret sex does not equal 'rape' or 'sexual assault', because you chose consent at the time.)

The reason why sex is more emotional for women than men is because of our natural, biological differences. Men don’t have this as much for women, although this can change as they mature. As far as teenage boys, however, it’s almost strictly clinical for them. Boys need the “release”, whereas girls don’t.

This is why men and women’s approaches to sex are so different. When teenage boys are going through puberty, they really do need sex and they struggle to find some way to handle that. Teenage girls should know this so they understand why their boyfriends are pressuring them for sex so much, or why teenage boys are more likely to cheat on you if you don’t have sex with them etc.

This is the thing, young males going through sexual maturity (primarily about age 15-25) are experiencing a peak where they need sex more than at any other time in their life. In countries where we do not give these young males a "professional" option for a release, such as legalized prostitution, the young males are forced to bug the young females around them for a release instead. Well, most young females don't want to take on the role of "prostitute" for them, they want the role of "girlfriend", as they want to be more special than a 1-night stand (or series of 1-night stands). So then what do you get? A bunch of young males having to either manipulate young females into helping them get a release or they have to be painfully honest and tell the young females that they can't commit to them without the assurance of getting a release. Either way, the young females often feel pressured into being sexual before they're ready or more sexual than they're ready for. Instead of forcing young males between a rock and a hard place, we should give men "equality" and "choice". In some European countries, fathers take their teenage boys to professionals, where it is legal, to help them with this. This should be done in the USA as well because if the boys are going to professionals, they aren’t going to pressure their young female peers as much.

As a result of sex differences between most males and females, most males don't regret losing their virginity, whether the girl "really cared" about them or not. They're just not wired the same way most girls are, who are more likely to be affected by those kinds of emotional factors. To think that women are just the same as men and that there's no difference, hurts women because then they think that, act accordingly and results in a lot of those women regretting their 1st time.

We’ve been ignoring and/or undermining male-female differences for a long time now and it’s given a lot of people a lot of misconceptions. That’s unfortunate because knowing these things just helps illuminate a lot and makes things easier to navigate. It’s like trying to walk through a maze in the dark, as opposed to with the light on. We're not telling you which way to go, just trying to turn the light on for you so you can actually see which way you’re going.

6. Women: Don't ignore that "gender equality" includes holding women to the same standards as men. Do not default to holding men responsible for a woman's actions. This makes women seem like children, unable to be responsible for themselves. This is especially true when alcohol and drugs are involved.

When a young couple is drinking and has sex but the young female regrets it and we blame the young male for “rape” or “date rape” or any other form of “sexual assault” because she was drunk - even though he was too, we are practicing sexism and saying women are not equal to men.

What if she had more alcohol in her system at the time than he did? If we prosecute young males for 'raping' or 'assaulting' young females because she was more drunk than he was, then we need to equally prosecute young females for 'raping' or 'assaulting' young males because he was more drunk than she was. That it authoritarianism - and sexism when only applied to males.

Furthermore, if women are "equal" to men, then we need to respect women's right to choose, even if it's not what society would choose for her. This is especially true when it comes to their romantic and/or sexual relationships. On college campuses, men are guilty until proven innocent — even when the accusations are being refuted by the supposed victim over and over again.

These kinds of sexist proclivities push the belief and attitude in society that women are lesser/weaker/etc. than men, much in the same way that society acknowledges children as being lesser/weaker/etc. than adults and therefore not responsible for their own actions in situations etc. They are in direct conflict with the notion that women and men are equal.

Overall, it is very important that we remember to balance our feelings with logic in reaction to this movement. Something as "scandalous" as this is easy to get swept up in, and we don't want to look back and regret our reactions because we reacted too impulsively, carelessly and/or narrow-mindedly.