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Mon Dec 3, 2012, 12:21 AM

The rape threads point to a larger need...revolutionary change in what it is to be "a man".



We, as men, need to bring the old structure of "masculinity" down and build(to reclaim a phrase the Stalinists misused and unfairly discredited) a "new man" within its shell.

Rape is a product, more than anything else, I think, of the values that society prizes in men...the suppression of all emotions except anger, the fixation with "winning", the importance of asserting dominance at all cost, the refusal to accept "no" as an answer(because to do so would be taken as weakness)...and the way that those values cause corrode already damaged men and drive them to inflicting damage on others(including rape).

For rape, and for the other twisted results of the way manhood and masculinity has gone wrong to be stopped, the whole culture of masculinity has to be radically changed...and as many men as possible need to be part OF this change...both in our daily practice of life AND in the way in which we interact with other men.

There are other factors as well, and those who will post in this thread can add to the list and the causes.

I'm not sure when this work will be completed, but it has to start and it has to start now.

Until we can change the way we, as men, process emotions such as rage, frustration, fear and stress, create humane and respect-based power relations among ourselves, those who work for us/those we work for, those we live with/love/care about/spend time with, and those we are responsible for, there is little in life around us that can change...and massive change is needed in life it we're to survive and help others survive with us.

Don't know what all this will have to involve, but I'd like to start a long-time conversation in this thread and see what we can come up with-because we have to come up with something, and soon.

The way we live as men now causes far too many of us to harm others, whether through rape, violence, misuse of power, and inability to find ways to end powerlessness among ourselves and everyone we live with.

It's on us as men to make the changes within our gender.

Let's start now and see what we can do.

(NOTE: I posted this originally and GD and somebody said...not with entirely friendly intent, yet it struck me as an interesting idea nonetheless...that I should cross-post it here. Please send me links to related threads here where the discussion is going along these lines).

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Reply The rape threads point to a larger need...revolutionary change in what it is to be "a man". (Original post)
Ken Burch Dec 2012 OP
rrneck Dec 2012 #1
lumberjack_jeff Dec 2012 #2
Bonobo Dec 2012 #3
Ken Burch Dec 2012 #4
Major Nikon Dec 2012 #8
seabeyond Dec 2012 #7
Major Nikon Dec 2012 #9
Bonobo Dec 2012 #12
Warren DeMontague Dec 2012 #5
Denninmi Dec 2012 #6
Warren Stupidity Dec 2012 #13
Warren DeMontague Dec 2012 #14
Warren Stupidity Dec 2012 #21
lumberjack_jeff Dec 2012 #25
DavidDvorkin Dec 2012 #15
Warren Stupidity Dec 2012 #22
Bonobo Dec 2012 #24
opiate69 Dec 2012 #16
Upton Dec 2012 #17
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Dec 2012 #18
lumberjack_jeff Dec 2012 #19
Warren Stupidity Dec 2012 #20
Bonobo Dec 2012 #23
lumberjack_jeff Dec 2012 #10
Warren DeMontague Dec 2012 #11
TreasonousBastard Dec 2012 #26
lumberjack_jeff Dec 2012 #27
gonzo_del_oeste Dec 2012 #28

Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 12:43 AM

1. There are no gender ethics. There's just ethics.


Use power to defend the weak, not brutalize them.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:08 AM

2. Thank you for the x-post. I'll reply more in the am when I'm on a real keyboard. nt

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:15 AM

3. And yet...

Men and women are different. The beauty and balance comes from their differences. The essence of women is something that is often thrown out as virtuous and wonderful. Motherhood, creation, intuition, sensitivity.

Think of what manhood is touted for. Violence, short-tempers, machismo, "boys will be boys", "too much testosterone".

Those negative messages about men are touted regularly here on DU just as a small example of how prevalent they are and how accepted they are. Do you believe that we can swim in the familiarity of these negative stereotypes and not be affected as a culture? Of course not.

So some of it is a chicken/egg thing. Women have raised awareness of negative images and negative rhetoric and yet there seems to be only scoffing when a man stands up and says "That's not fair". Often the scoffing itself is a perfect example of sexism because it is designed to shame men by saying, in effect "Don't be a baby".

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:40 AM

4. Men and women are different...this is true.

I'm calling for a better masculinity...a liberated masculinity that doesn't tie itself to those negative characteristics, that doesn't accept those limitations.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 12:40 PM

8. It's an easy call to make to distance yourself from those behaviors

It's also an easy call to make to support solutions that have a good shot at actually being effective towards curtailing that behavior. I also see this issue as one that doesn't just affect one gender. Rape is toxic to mental health and even when one gender is obviously disparately affected, that doesn't mean the other isn't both directly and indirectly. Yet you have some who believe that if a man offers a dissenting opinion on the most effective way to curtail that behavior, they are automatically saddled with said bad behavior and labeled a rape apologist at best and some have suggested far worse. While those individuals certainly are in the minority, I just don't see the majority pointing out the obvious flaw with that approach and just how septic it is to reasonable discussion and the benefit of diverse ideas regardless of whether you agree with them or not.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 11:48 AM

7. i have been fighting that for years on du.

do you know who i fight most often and the hardest with. you know, this image?

men

bar none, hands down.

since all the men in my life, especially hubby and two sons, who are very much masculine men, but not this out of control, violent, unemphatic human being, i fight it. consistently. with men.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:27 PM

9. I consider you one of the most reasonable people who post on HoF

However, the problem is there are those who seem to want to frame just about everything into a men vs women argument. I absolutely don't see it that way. I see it as where do we want to go and how do we get there. I think most would agree on where we want to go so we really only differ sometimes on how to get there. I have a wife and a daughter and as such have a vested interest in the ideas of diversity and gender equality and I believe in those things quite strongly. Rather than asking me about those ideas or trying to understand them, you have many who just want to beat me and others over the head with our differences. You'd think on a left-minded site there would be enough things we could agree on and build from there rather than spending an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out how we are different. That's the whole idea of diversity and it really is a beautiful thing that solves a lot of problems.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:01 PM

12. Yes, I know that and appreciate it. nt

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:33 AM

5. I disagree that men, in general, need "repairing".

Let me cut right to the chase:

Rape is wrong. Rape apologia is wrong. No means no and frankly, any time anyone on this board has tried to argue, in this group at least, for an "extremely nuanced definition of consent" I have consistently said no, consent is and needs to be a bright, unequivocal, clear line.

Most men don't rape, and most men don't tolerate rapists. This imaginary cartoon dude in the locker room with the "bros before h**s"... I've never heard anyone talk like that, nor have I ever known anyone who THOUGHT like that.

And the "rape culture". Elsewhere in GD you hear rape blamed on Hollywood. On Culture. On all sorts of things, all sorts of nefarious programming and spooky cultural mojo, not to mention whatever it is about "masculinity-in-general" that is deeply in need of "change"..

So how about putting the blame for rape squarely where it belongs?

The Rapists?

Does me saying that mean my "feelings are hurt"? Do I have "sour grapes"? Do I not empathize with women who fear assault? No. No, and No. Although I realize that opening my yapper on this topic will, invariably, mean I will have that crap thrown at me. Predictably.


And what you don't hear, however, is word boo about why, in the context of these explanations, rape rates have declined significantly in the last 30 years, peaking in 1992 and now at about 75% of their 1980 level as reported per 100,000 of population.

Didn't take 1/3 of your GD thread before people started reflexively complaining about those numbers, because they screw with the preferred narrative of a culture in decline, of a media 'objectification' crisis, of porn causing rape.

Wait, I thought this was about rape, right? Not porn. Not about something else. Not about some other agenda. Right? Rape, which we all agree is wrong. Always.

Of course, that's what all the threads are about. That's why the topic was brought to GD in the first place, with fully predictable mass DU meltdown results.

Of course.

But I digress. See, these decline in rape rate numbers may be used by people who deflate the "porn causes rape" argument, but that doesn't mean there is no decline. So where do the actual numbers come from? The USDOJ, for one. They have a handy reporting tool. Here are the salient points for forcible rape rate numbers from 1980-2010, incidences per 100,000 persons.

1980: the rate was 36.8 per 100,000
1992: the rate peaked at 42.8 per 100,000
2010: the rate was 27.5 per 100,000


The entire data table is in this post, I have not reproduced it because it takes up a lot of space.

and remdi95

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1114&pid=5578

However, anyone who doubts the validity of those numbers is welcome to check them themselves with the DOJ reporting tool. (Please note it is the rate, not the actual numbers of incidents, which are at near the same level as they were in 1980. However, the population of the US in general has, in that time, increased significantly.)

So I ask. Are men already 'repairing'? Is the "rape culture" getting better? You talk of a "dire need to come up with something, and soon" ... I agree that violence is unacceptable, and we all should do everything we can to end it, in all its forms- but given that most men aren't violent, most men don't rape... this 'dire need'- is it based upon actual trends in actual reality, like the trend of violent crime in the US-- which is, also, declining?

Like the trend of violence worldwide.. declining?

"Dire need" would seem, to me, to indicate a problem which is getting worse. Like the ice caps melting. Not one that is, at least by credible statistical measurements, getting BETTER. Now, saying it's getting better doesn't mean it's NOT a problem that needs fixing. Doesn't mean it's not an UNACCEPTABLE problem. One is too many. But it should make us skeptical of narratives which try to offer spurious cultural explanations which seem to have little to do with the actual crime as it occurs in reality.

Or is rape, as I suspect, a violent crime which is committed by violent criminals who belong in prison, and of which one is still far too many, and one of which we ALL have a duty to speak out and draw clear lines around concepts like consent--- but which doesn't have anything to do with Hollywood, or some hypothetical "rape culture", or some problem Germaine to all "us men", most of whom already know we shouldn't rape people...

it is a crime, an inexcusable crime which should be called out, and vilified, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law... but one for which the responsibility falls, and you're damn right I'm going to say it- on the perpetrators, not all men in general.

And to imply that somehow the vast majority of men are in dire need of 'repair' I think is a massive, and silly, generalization that might understandably be driven by other cultural ideas or agendas, but realisticaly has little to do with rape.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 11:12 AM

6. Agree.

I don't need to be repaired, I am perfectly capable of responsible behavior.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:57 PM

13. Most men don't rape and most men aren't violent and yet almost all rape and

violence is perpetrated by men. Violence, including rape, is almost exclusively a male problem. We either own up to that or not.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:01 PM

14. Are you violent?

If so, then you are the one who should be owning up to it. See, I'm not. Only thing I've hit in my life is a bong.

Last time I checked, my head is attached to my own body, and as such I take responsibility for the shit I do, not the shit other people do.

However, if you're interested in (finally) answering my response to this point in the previous thread, maybe you want to start there:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1114&pid=5504

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #14)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:42 AM

21. Apparently none of us are violent and none of us are rapists and there is no problem

in our culture, which is not dominated by white Christian men, with violence, with racism, with sexism, with homophobia, with xenophobia. Alrighty, good to see that everything is perfect and there is no need for change.

I am my brother's keeper. Men need to own up and take responsibility for the world as it is, we created it, this is our society. "I am not a rapist" does not immunize you from the fact that we have a cultural problem with rape, and it is men who are doing almost all the raping.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #21)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:19 PM

25. The degree to which the innocent can prevent the guilty from victimizing is limited.

Rhetoric like "rape culture", which attempts to assign responsibility to the innocent, does nothing but alienate allies.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 09:18 PM

15. "Own up to it"?

Nope. I'm responsible for my own behavior. I am not responsible for the behavior of other men.

I assume that most bank robberies are committed by men, as well. So what?

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Response to DavidDvorkin (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:43 AM

22. So what?

So men should work at changing the dominant male culture. Or not. Your choice.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #22)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:55 AM

24. In Buddhism, true change begins by changing oneself.

What really -and be honest- can anyone else do other than empty platitudes which you seem to place a great value on.

Because (remember, be honest) bemoaning the state of men is not going to change anything even though you may think it will help you appear to be a sensitive male who is "not like those other pigs".

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 09:22 PM

16. There's only 4 people on this planet for whom I am responsible in this way.

Myself, and the three young men who happen to be my children.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 09:53 PM

17. "We" aren't owning up to anything..

I've never committed a violent crime in my life and I don't believe in the concept of collective guilt.

I'm responsible for myself and my loved ones...and nobody else.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 10:02 PM

18. Besides gender, are their other groups that need to own up for things?

Do you got to the forums for those groups and call them out as well?

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #13)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:33 AM

19. Most muslims are not suicide bombers. Yet all suicide bombers are muslim.

Do the other 500 million need to "own up to that"?

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #19)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:30 AM

20. Muslims need to address jihadist violence within Muslim culture.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #20)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:52 AM

23. And what do you think -and be exact- that a middle-class Muslim in say, Sweden,

could do to change the fact of jihadist muslims in Afghanistan or Pakistan for example?

Please be as specific as possible.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:41 PM

10. I'm sorry for my snippy response in the other thread.

I have found that most "advice to men" given in GD is actually intended to seek approval from women. Whether or not that was what you sought, that is what you received.

Like Warren, I don't think men are broken. What I will say is that I think there's a narrowly-defined definition of masculine that some people in our culture use as shorthand, and often as a pejorative.

The positive attributes that I associate with masculinity are virtues like self-reliance, community spiritedness, externalized aspirations (goals for the community as opposed to self), motivation, character, responsibility, courage, work ethic and curiosity.

When I think of those things, I don't see Jack Bauer, I see Dennis Kucinich.

Rape isn't an outgrowth of manhood and masculinity. It is an outgrowth of criminal character.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:48 PM

11. I've also been living on the West Coast for a long time, I just don't see the cultural rigidity

A lot of that stuff sounds very anachronistic, "leave it to Beaver" to me.

I understand about historic and certainly in some quarters cultural messaging about what is "manly". It's just not all that much on my radar. And part of it, for me personally, may be that I've always been the sort of person who doesn't give much of a shit about what other people think either way.

I would agree with all that Jeff has written, above. I do think that there is a sensitivity, particularly in this group, to subtle messages about "whats wrong with teh menz". As much as some folks may protest that's NOT what they're saying, it comes through loud and clear.

Which isn't to say we- as men- shouldn't support the right and ability of everyone to be who they want to be, express themselves and their emotions, and break out of any societal-imposed box they may feel confined in.

But lastly, like the Zen Parable of the Goose in the Bottle; I believe growth is, at the end of the day, an internal process.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 06:16 AM

26. Yeah, but it's a much bigger issue than rape...

our role is radically changing and we could become obsolete.

Historically, we're bigger, stronger, and don't get bogged down by pregnancy and the female biology that makes it possible. So, we were responsible for the hard work and security of the tribe while the women cooked and weaved. Practical division of labor in a primitive society.

That got perverted over the years with growing wealth, but still had some good roots for a while.

But now, there is little manual labor requiring great strength and security doesn't require good sword handling. Women are exceeding our numbers in college degrees, management access in many fields, and our function as provider and protector is diminishing, not in the least because of the growing female headed single parent families.

So, aside from sperm donation and the occasional fun in bed, what is our role in the distant future?

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #26)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 10:37 AM

27. Unchanged.

The challenge and goal for many women today is finding a man with earning potential equal to her own so she won't have to slave her life away in the workplace for a husband whose highest and best value to the family is childcare.

Maybe it's all for the best. Maybe my sons deserve a shot at the good (stay-at-home) life.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #27)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 12:00 PM

28. 6th

My woman gave up on expecting me earning more than her.

I pitch in and do stuff in a greater ratio from my income than she does.

She still happy after 5 years.

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