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Fri Mar 21, 2014, 09:10 AM

 

RAINN rejects "rape culture"

http://www.rainn.org/news-room/rainn-urges-white-house-task-force-to-overhaul-colleges-treatment-of-rape

(March 6, 2014) -- The federal government should push colleges to improve the criminal justice response to rape, de-emphasize internal judicial boards, put in place bystander intervention and risk reduction programs, and ensure comprehensive care for victims, RAINN advised a new White House task force charged with creating a plan to reduce rape on college campuses.

In 16 pages of recommendations, RAINN urged the task focus to remain focused on the true cause of the problem. “In the last few years, there has been an unfortunate trend towards blaming “rape culture” for the extensive problem of sexual violence on campuses. While it is helpful to point out the systemic barriers to addressing the problem, it is important to not lose sight of a simple fact: Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime,” said the letter to the task force from RAINN’s president, Scott Berkowitz, and vice president for public policy, Rebecca O’Connor.

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Arrow 43 replies Author Time Post
Reply RAINN rejects "rape culture" (Original post)
lumberjack_jeff Mar 2014 OP
kjones Mar 2014 #1
lumberjack_jeff Mar 2014 #2
rrneck Mar 2014 #4
Doctor_J Mar 2014 #5
nomorenomore08 Mar 2014 #6
kjones Mar 2014 #16
kjones Mar 2014 #17
Eleanors38 Mar 2014 #32
Exultant Democracy Mar 2014 #3
nomorenomore08 Mar 2014 #7
Bonobo Mar 2014 #8
nomorenomore08 Mar 2014 #9
Warren Stupidity Mar 2014 #10
Bonobo Mar 2014 #11
Bonobo Mar 2014 #12
Warren Stupidity Mar 2014 #14
Bonobo Mar 2014 #15
kjones Mar 2014 #18
Warren Stupidity Mar 2014 #19
kjones Mar 2014 #20
nomorenomore08 Mar 2014 #35
In_The_Wind Mar 2014 #25
Eleanors38 Mar 2014 #33
nomorenomore08 Mar 2014 #34
Eleanors38 Mar 2014 #37
cui bono Mar 2014 #13
opiate69 Mar 2014 #21
cui bono Mar 2014 #22
Bonobo Mar 2014 #23
cui bono Mar 2014 #27
Bonobo Mar 2014 #28
cui bono Mar 2014 #29
Bonobo Mar 2014 #30
cui bono Mar 2014 #31
nomorenomore08 Mar 2014 #36
Major Nikon Mar 2014 #38
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Mar 2014 #39
Major Nikon Apr 2014 #40
lumberjack_jeff Apr 2014 #41
Major Nikon Apr 2014 #42
lumberjack_jeff Apr 2014 #43
lumberjack_jeff Mar 2014 #24
lumberjack_jeff Mar 2014 #26

Response to lumberjack_jeff (Original post)

Fri Mar 21, 2014, 10:19 AM

1. Hmm

I have to half-disagree with "Rape is caused not by cultural factors...".
First off, people are (short of serious mental defects) responsible for what they do.
We have brains, and whether or not it looks like it, we do all use them. So
ultimately, yes, I agree, "...but by the conscious decisions...".

However, there are definitely aspects of American culture that, while not causing
rape, may facilitate it or enhance it's likelihood. I think the connection between drinking
and waking up in a myriad of sorry conditions is well established, and that is an action
that runs pretty deep in American culture. (Drinking, we may not get credit for the game,
but we took it pro.)

I don't even know why I said this anymore, not even a huge point, and not likely to
be well received, but whatever. I'm an anthropologist, I can't help myself.

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Response to kjones (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 21, 2014, 10:52 AM

2. The arguments against "rape culture" as a useful paradigm;

 

1) 90% of college rapes are committed by 3% of the men.
2) rape victimization rates are about 60% less they were twenty years ago.
3) only murder is more heavily punished. It's not normalized behavior.
4) the purpose of "rape culture" rhetoric is to assign collective guilt, thus ameliorating the culpability of the guilty.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 21, 2014, 11:43 AM

4. "the purpose of "rape culture" rhetoric is to assign collective guilt"

Bingo. And in addition to ameliorating the culpability of the guilty it provides a lucrative revenue stream for bloggers, talking heads, fundamentalist ideologues and other assorted hogs with two feet in the trough. It's a perfect cultural casus belli.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 21, 2014, 12:37 PM

5. I also disagree with kjones's association between drinking and rape

 

1) 90% of college rapes are committed by 3% of the men.


And it would surprise me if those 3% were particularly drinky.

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 21, 2014, 06:38 PM

6. Generally speaking, predators do need a relatively clear head to operate. So you're probably right.

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #5)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 09:31 AM

16. I didn't say the rapists were the ones drinking

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 09:45 AM

17. Absolutely, just saying "rape culture" means nothing, and solve nothing.

I'm not saying "rape culture," but culture affects everything.

I mean, the most basic way culture and rape interact is that
it is culture which defines what rape is. In America, there is
statutory rape, in other countries, there isn't. Culture defines
what is right or wrong.
Most of us continue to follow the rules of our culture, some
of us don't. In this case, those that don't are rapist. Contrary
to "rape culture," those that rape are counter to the culture.
If anything, it's one more thing to add to your list.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 23, 2014, 04:20 PM

32. #4 stands out prominently.

 

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Original post)

Fri Mar 21, 2014, 11:01 AM

3. Wait are you telling me outliers aren't a good way to measure society, back to stats 101 for me

but on know stats 101 might also tell me that crime across the board including rape has been plummeting for the last 30 years to the lowest levels recorded in human history by an order of magnitude..

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Original post)

Fri Mar 21, 2014, 07:09 PM

7. It is true that only a small percentage of men commit rape.

The problem, as I see it, is that by and large the majority of men who aren't sexual predators don't do enough to discourage those who are. Just my opinion though.

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Response to nomorenomore08 (Reply #7)

Fri Mar 21, 2014, 09:23 PM

8. 50,000 people at Dartmouth demand reforms to campus sexual assault policies

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/03/14/3404111/dartmouth-rape-culture-petition/

Would that be an example of a rape culture or an example that rape is NOT an accepted part of the culture?

Or does that depend on what POV is, your agenda, your bias, your personal baggage? All of the above? None?

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #8)

Fri Mar 21, 2014, 09:50 PM

9. 50,000 people? That's fantastic, honestly. We need a lot more of the same.

I'm not saying rape is an accepted part of our culture, necessarily - it is a serious criminal offense after all, even if often inadequately prosecuted or punished - but a lot of people do tend to give rapists too much leeway, e.g. by focusing more on the victim's personal life than the perpetrator's crime, or by assuming that a high percentage of accusations are false when there's no real evidence of that.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #8)

Fri Mar 21, 2014, 09:55 PM

10. there aren't anywhere near 50,000 people total at Dartmouth.

 

undergraduate population: < 5000.

Try reading your link.

Steubenville.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #10)

Fri Mar 21, 2014, 10:06 PM

11. My error. nt

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #10)

Fri Mar 21, 2014, 10:14 PM

12. Steubenville is indeed an example of a rape "micro-culture".

Another example would be SOME fraternities and sports clubs.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #12)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 08:10 AM

14. that is pathetic.

 

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #14)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 08:33 AM

15. And that's just an empty statement

What can I say? There are frats and stuff that really do represent a rape culture but you want me to say that the entire culture is a especially culture.

I do jot agree and I don't see what is pathetic about recognizing the truth that certain pockets of culture are absolutely appalling while also recognizing that most people and mini cultures revile rape?

Which of is is being realistic and which is jabbing for points?

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Response to nomorenomore08 (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 09:54 AM

18. That's where I certainly disagree.

I've never encouraged anyone to rape anyone, and I've
definitely never witnessed (and thus had opportunity to
prevent) a rape. What more is there to do?

There are certain things that make people unwilling to
help, the bystander effect for example, however, these
are mental effects shared by men and women.

Even if one chose to follow the line of reasoning of
"rape culture," culture implicates all of us (men and
women). If America had a rape culture, it would be
on all of us.

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Response to kjones (Reply #18)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 11:51 AM

19. America has a nascar culture.

 

I'm not part of it, and yet, impossibly according to you, it exists.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #19)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 03:48 PM

20. Now that's a ridiculous statement.

So I guess you think you are the "pulse of the nation" or something?

Take it back to basics. Way back in high school, there were
(jock, nerd, goth, whatever), but whatever groups you weren't
a part of didn't stop existing just because you weren't a part of
them.

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Response to kjones (Reply #20)

Sun Mar 30, 2014, 02:55 AM

35. "Whatever groups you weren't a part of didn't stop existing just because you weren't a part

of them." Exactly. Just because your (or my) group of friends is nothing like the jocks from Steubenville, doesn't mean that said jocks don't have a pernicious effect on society as a whole, or that they don't reflect larger cultural pathologies.

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Response to kjones (Reply #18)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 08:52 PM

25. America has a rape culture. IMO: Anyone who does nothing to stop a rape in progress supports the act

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Response to nomorenomore08 (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 23, 2014, 04:25 PM

33. In most situations of "discouragement," we are speaking to the choir.

 

Those who commit rape, often repeatedly, don't have a sign around their necks, saying: "Hi. I'm a Rapist" for easy I.D.; after all, they are often serial for a reason.

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #33)

Sun Mar 30, 2014, 02:53 AM

34. No, they don't have a sign around their neck. That's kind of the point.

Usually you have to get to know people, find out a bit about their beliefs and attitudes, before their more problematic traits become apparent, and even then not necessarily in an obvious way. The important part is having the guts to tell somebody when they're wrong, even if that person is a close friend.

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Response to nomorenomore08 (Reply #34)

Sun Mar 30, 2014, 08:22 AM

37. I understand. But I run through a list of my friendd

 

and even those I don't know well, and there is little to go on. I can conjure and speculate, but not much else. In this world, the fuck-ups are often the usual suspects who are loud enough about it to drive others away, and the very few who quietly go about their business until they strike.

At my "hangout," I just don't see the red flags. One of my friends, a quiet, beautiful woman, got a TRO on someone who also hung out there, because he was stalking her. She didn't tell me who it was, and I didn't ask. But there were no "clues" to go on. Probably a usual suspect of the quiet variety. Do you know the old (probably obsolete) expression cops had for these kind? "Rape artists."

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Original post)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 12:35 AM

13. Can't find the part where they "reject" rape culture.

It clearly says: "While it is helpful to point out the systemic barriers to addressing the problem,", how is that rejecting it?

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Response to cui bono (Reply #13)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 06:16 PM

21. ...

 

Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime,”


I know.. hard to see, since it was only, ya know... bolded and all.

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Response to opiate69 (Reply #21)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 06:46 PM

22. "While it is helpful to point out the systemic barriers to addressing the problem"

doesn't sound like a rejection at all. If it were a rejection they would say it doesn't exist

Of course rape culture doesn't literally make someone rape someone else. The culture exists that makes it easier to go forward with it for those who are so inclined, it makes it harder for victims to come forward, it makes it harder to prosecute rape and it makes it easier for young men to not understand when something actually is rape.

It's really reaching to think that article says RAINN rejects the idea of rape culture. It says no such thing.

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Response to cui bono (Reply #22)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 07:22 PM

23. It certainly does exist in pockets

What I do NOT understand is how my saying that can be conflated with minimizing rape.

To me it is as clear as day that are twisted micro cultures where rape and preying on women is accepted.

Rather than pretending that the entire US or world culture is a "rape culture" as a whole, why not focus on where the problems actually reside?

Scoring points and creating enemies where they don't exist May make some people feel that they are fighting the good fight, but it is far closer to mental masturbstion than activism.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #23)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 10:00 PM

27. Well rape culture as a whole doesn't mean every single person

or even every single social network. Just as racist culture doesn't mean every single person/social network.

But it does mean that it is systemic. There is a general attitude about rape that is different than all other crimes. So yes, let's focus on where the problems reside. Like the judicial system, the blaming of the victims, the attitude of young men who think raping a passed out female is not rape. Also teaching boys from when they are in high school and just beginning to date what it means to respect a woman and not think of her as an object to be conquered.

Look at the Republican Party. As a whole they think women are property to be told what they can and can not do with their bodies. How many men are influenced by that, and women too. That's horrible. So there you have half the country with that sort of mentality. That's a lot. So all their kids are being taught that mentality. (And all kinds of other weird attitudes towards sexuality but not any real sex education.) So it's an uphill battle, especially with the backlash against women's rights lately, to even just have women regarded as people, let alone with a voice of their own to say what can and can't be done to them and their bodies.

So when women are being treated as less than men, are having (mostly) men legislate what they can and can not do with their bodies, are actually legislating that a woman who has been raped has to be vaginally probed by a doctor, and forcing women to have ultrasounds and being forced to look at them even if they're pregnant because of rape, well that all adds up to women being looked at as less than a man and as an object that men are allowed to control and do with what they please.

Of course I'm not saying it is a spoken idea, but it is a subtext that exists in our society that permeates the consciousness so that then you get people questioning the victim of rape to the point where they don't even want to report it lest they be dragged over the coals about it again, after they already feel completely violated and humiliated.

What I don't understand is why men feel such a strong need to invalidate the idea of rape culture. What difference does it make to you? Why not believe women when they say this is how they feel? We are the ones who live with it every day of our lives. Would you argue with a minority and tell them racism just doesn't exist?


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Response to cui bono (Reply #27)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 10:15 PM

28. "Racism exists" vs "America is a racist culture"

I emphatically do NOT deny that there are pockets where rape culture thrives just as there are pockets where a dying conviction for equal rights exist.

It's nothing but a semantic issue but the way things are said also matters. There ARE systemic problems and that is one of the reasons we are all Dems. I assume we all support equal pay, equal rights, equal protections. However it doesn't mean that we have to agree with how everything is framed.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #28)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 10:27 PM

29. For me when you say "racism exists" it means there are some racists in the country,

but when you say "racist culture" it means it's systemic, which it is. It's not just simply that there are some racists. Minorities are profiled, suspected more often, arrested more often, convicted more often even for crimes that more whites commit. And in many more areas than just crime. Affluent minorities are accosted for shoplifting even when they've paid for the item simply because it is ingrained subconsciously that they can't afford the item. I'm sure though that if you asked the store personnel who stopped them they do not consider themselves a racist.

Same idea with rape culture. Like I said, it's a subtext that permeates the subconscious.

I think an analogy would be that bacteria causes the infection, but the surroundings that allowed that bacteria to thrive is the "culture". So yeah, the individuals are the ones who actually rape, but the rape culture is what allows it to happen and be gotten away with and have far to lenient sentences way more than should happen.

I'm glad "we all support equal pay, equal rights, equal protections."

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Response to cui bono (Reply #29)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 10:30 PM

30. I'm big enough to admit

That you eviscerated me with that reply.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #30)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 10:31 PM

31. Heh.


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Response to cui bono (Reply #29)

Sun Mar 30, 2014, 03:33 AM

36. Thank you for your posts. You broke it down better than I probably could.

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Response to cui bono (Reply #29)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 01:12 AM

38. Definining anything as culture is highly subjective

Good luck finding consistent definitions for any of them, let alone all of the ones you are describing. Some of the feminist groups who promoted the first use of the term have a very different definition of rape than I do, let alone whatever culture propagates it.

"Rape culture" means whatever whoever is using the term wants it to mean. It's also an intellectual shortcut which allows whoever is using the term to define things as contributory to "rape culture" without much, if any, relationship to cause and effect. As far as I can tell the term seems to introduce far more problems than it could ever hope to solve and just doesn't seem to have much academic value. Furthermore items some throw into the "rape culture" bin have grown exponentially while the actual problem of rape has shrunk significantly, which also leads one to wonder what value the term really has.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #38)

Mon Mar 31, 2014, 11:04 PM

39. Going by their definition....

....we live in a "murder culture".

A lot of murder going on out there, more than most civilized nations.

Every show is a crime show on TV.

Lawyers always trying to get murderers off or reduced sentences with "mitigating circumstances".

Have you ever seen anyone use that term here?

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Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #39)

Tue Apr 1, 2014, 09:07 AM

40. I've seen it, but I don't put a lot of stock in it

With little or no causual data it really amounts to no more than speculation about cause and effect and I'm not convinced it actually accomplishes anything substanative.

Muder, rape, and other violent crimes are decreasing significantly over the same time period alleged "cultural" causes are widely propagating. This tells me those who further cultural contribution arguments either have it exactly backwards or they have a lot of explaining to do.

I just think time would be better spent focusing on things that actually do have a causual relationship and a meaningful hope of mitigation rather than things that don't.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #38)

Tue Apr 1, 2014, 10:24 AM

41. Agreed. It's also rhetoric without any tangible policy demands.

 

The issue isn't "what is rape culture?", because as you observe, it can be any list of bad things you want to throw at it; none of which are accompanied with any suggestions over what to do about it.

In fact many of the items on the list are also positively correlated with the dramatic decline in victimization.

One of the issues on most lists is the increase in defensive living skill training targeted at young women ("teach boys to not rape instead of teaching girls to avoid it". I don't know if that awareness and education is a significant reason for the huge increase in safety, but I find it hard to believe that it's to blame for the remaining victimizations.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #41)

Tue Apr 1, 2014, 11:23 AM

42. It's never been anything other than rhetoric

The question is whether it's productive or not. When those who are promoting the idea seem to have very little interest in cause and effect, it's hard to imagine how it's productive. For many it seems more like a way to promote anti-male bias sold under a thin veil of good intention.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #42)

Tue Apr 1, 2014, 11:25 AM

43. Rhetoric that doesn't effect change is by definition unproductive.

 

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Response to opiate69 (Reply #21)


Response to cui bono (Reply #13)

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 09:39 PM

26. Did you catch the part where blaming "rape culture" was described as an "unfortunate trend"? nt

 

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