Monday, March 12, 2007

Flaws In the Stone Evil Rapist Theory

In a comment to Pandagon: Can't Win For Losing Bitter Scribe wrote:

OK, maybe there are men who can be educated away from rape. I’m a little dubious on that, but I suppose it’s possible.

But one thing I’m absolutely sure of is that there are some guys who are pure stone evil, and they express that evil by raping women. That’s why it’s important to be cautious (and to catch these guys and hammer them hard).
The issues around preventing men from committing rape are so important, I'm crossposting my response to this specific comment here. I responded to other comments on this post here and here and here and here.

Bitter Scribe,

One thing I’m absolutely sure of is that there are some guys who are NOT pure stone evil who believe they aren't doing anything evil when they rape.

My boyfriend who raped me is not evil and never was evil, but he still decided that he had the right to take sex from me even though he knew with 100% certainty that I didn't want it. His belief didn't materialize out of thin air.

The closest he ever got to admitting what he did was to say "I made some mistakes."

These are the type of rapists who look so sincere when they swear they've been falsely accused of rape. And the potential rapists are all those who hear a few details and nod in agreement that this rapist was falsely accused of rape.

They believe at least one piece of crap like these phrases (all it takes is one to excuse rape):

"If she's passed out, it isn't rape because that doesn't hurt her."
"If she's drunk, she's asking for sex."
"If she let's me inside her home for coffee, she's consenting to have sex with me."
"If she says no, I'm allowed to do whatever it takes, including a little physical intimidation, to get her to stop saying no."
"If we've been going out for X number of dates, she's consented to have sex."
"If she's walking alone late at night, she's looking for anonymous sex."

The problem with the stone evil rapist theory is that once a man proves he isn't stone evil, many people assume that also proves he can't be a rapist.

At least 99% of rapists are rational non-evil people who have rationalized away all the barriers which stop others from committing rape. Add in a little refusal to see how their actions hurt their victims and you have a very dangerous recipe.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 6:27 PM   1 comments links to this post


At March 13, 2007 2:30 PM, Anonymous Kali said...

There is a whole spectrum between evil and non-evil. I used to believe that bad men raped and good men didn't rape. But now I don't think in good/bad terms. I believe there is an entire spectrum of goodness to badness, and an entire spectrum for rape (from emotional blackmail to rape-murder).

Men who are very emphathic will not rape no matter what. Men who are lacking in empathy will try to pressure and coerce but will back off after a point. Men who are even more lacking in empathy will apply more force or use economic exploitation as in prostitution. Men who are sociopaths will go all out and get pleasure from their victim's pain.

Based on cross-cultural surveys of prevalence of rape, I believe that 50-60% of men are psychologically capable of rape (using the current US/Europe legal definition for rape). Laws against rape can bring down the number of men who rape to maybe 20-25% if properly enforced, or leave it at 50-60% if not enforced or enforced haphazardly.

Similarly, cultural attitudes that inculcate empathy in men towards women will bring down the rape rate. But a certain segment of men will remain immune to any attempts at developing empathy. Only threat of severe punishment, rigorously enforced, will stop such men from raping.


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