Whenever someone makes the argument that one way to stop rape is to teach men not to rape, the response is usually some form of “but most men know that rape is wrong.” I don’t doubt that most men would say rape is wrong. I haven’t been out in the field to conduct a study on men’s attitudes toward rape, but we’ve had enough education around rape and sexual assault that it’s not hard to believe most men, if asked, would say rape is a bad thing. Great.
The problem is this — what do they consider rape? When the United Nations conducted a survey on sexual violence in Asia
, “researchers intentionally didn’t use the word ‘rape’ in any of their questionnaires about Asian men’s sexual histories,” according to ThinkProgress, “Instead, they asked men
whether they had ever ‘forced a woman who was not your wife or girlfriend at the time to have sex,’ or if they had ever ‘had sex with a woman who was too drunk or drugged to indicate whether she wanted it.’” If they had used the word “rape,” it’s likely that these same men who admitted to these non-consensual acts would have said they had never raped anyone.
Outside has so many smells.
There’s no point to a guy yelling, “Hey sexy baby” at me out of the passenger window of a car as it speeds past. Even if I was into creepy misogynists and wanted to give him my number, I couldn’t. The car didn’t even slow down. But that’s okay, because he wasn’t actually hitting on me. The point wasn’t to proposition me or chat me up. The only point was to remind me, and all women, that our bodies are his to stare at, assess, comment on, even touch. “Hey sexy baby” is the first part of a sentence that finishes, “this is your daily message from the patriarchy, reminding you that your body is public property”.
Oliver and Company (1988)