Monday, October 27, 2008

Deserved Rape?

I saw this blog post: Uncommon Sense: Advice 4 women how to not get a "deserved" raping by Aaron P. Taylor and the contradictions were too much to not highlight.

You see, no woman “deserves” to get raped. Any woman who has unwanted sex forced upon her by another does not deserve the actions and subsequent psychological and physical pain she will receive as a result of having a man sexually place himself on and in her without her consent.

With that said: some women out there are doing things that, based on their actions, practically SCREAMS: “Please rape me - I don’t mind at all, really!”

The first quoted paragraph is nothing more than a hollow disclaimer. The body of his post shows his true opinion about the rightness or wrongness of rape.

The reality is that the woman's actions Taylor describes in this post don't practically scream anything. She asked him to dance multiple times and he agreed to dance multiple times. If he got turned on during the dancing that isn't her responsibility. However, if her dancing somehow committed her to more than dancing then his agreement to dance committed him to more than dancing as well.

If this "practically SCREAMS" logic were valid then his actions which he describes also practically SCREAMS (to all women): "Please stalk me and force yourself on me - I don't mind at all, really!"

After all, we've all heard the stories that sexually active men will never say no to a willing woman. So since Taylor showed his sexual willingness toward one woman then he has -- by his own logic -- shown his sexual willingness toward all women. And now he's announced it publicly that he's being unfairly denied sex. That's a more obvious advertisement for sex than he claims women project.

He's practically SCREAMING, "Oh, all you women of the Internet come find me and have sex with me."

Yet when his so-called logic is flipped back on him, Taylor isn't likely to have any trouble rejecting the "practically SCREAMS" logic he's so fond of.

It is not the victims' actions which cause crimes to be committed against them, it is the thinking of the criminals and those whose thinking aligns with those criminals which causes crimes to be committed. It is the projection (unconfirmed illusion) of what another person's actions scream which cause others to justify committing crimes or blaming the victims for luring the non-violent into acts of violence.

If this projection is valid in one scenario then it must be just as valid in all other scenarios.

A man who drunkenly promises his buddies an all-expense paid trip to Mexico once he gets a promotion and who then says, "Forget it," after that promotion then practically SCREAMS for those buddies to forge his signature on credit card cash advance checks until they have enough money for the trip of a lifetime.

Now, for you girls out there that may not be aware, when you dance with a guy over and over again, and get more and more suggestive in your intentions via dancing, a few things happen in the male psyche:

1. His brain sends blood from his head to his “little head” and gives him a boner

2. He starts to think: “I know we’re just dancing… but DANG, she must REALLY want me to give it to her right!”

And so it was: the next time we danced, our faces were touching again. Me, being the guy I am, decided to go in for a light kiss. I puckered up my lips, tilted my head to the side, and

BOOM! She turned her face and I got the cheek!

In item 2 Taylor admits that they were just dancing but his conscious projections (not all that blood went south as claimed) turn just dancing suggestively into something he clearly knows it isn't. Once the dancing started to get suggestive all he had to do to clarify her intent was to ask her if she was interesting in more than dancing. Then based on her answer he could decide whether to dance with her again.

But no, she's to blame for his own failure to ask and for his wrong assumption.

So, why do I tell you this story?

Simple: had I been a less-than-understanding guy (i.e., a forceful-type of guy who always “gets what he wants by any means necessary”), I could have just as easily forced a kiss on her, or worse - waited until after the club let out to follow her to her car, then followed her to her house. And, when she got out her car, I could have been right there ready to pounce on her, saying: “I think you owe me something, lady!!”

That's called a rapist and sexual predator not a "less-than-understanding guy."

The described actions are clearly crimes of anger and resentment not passion. Taylor agreed to dance multiple times with a woman and she didn't agree to more than dancing and for that "crime" against him she "deserves" to be raped?

That is seriously disturbed thinking.

Sound far-fetched? Seeing as girls get raped everyday around the world, it’s not an implausible story.

Taylor is giving us rationalizations for not only the rape of women like the one who spurned his kiss, he is making victims' actions responsible for all rapes. It is this ability of so many people to rationalize rape through victim blaming which is responsible for sexual assault in the US estimated at a rate of 1 every 2 minutes.

Women agreeing to dance and not agreeing to do more than dance is not the cause of rape. If that were the true cause of rape then children under the age of 12 wouldn't be 15% of the number of people sexually assaulted.

If Taylor were genuinely interested in preventing the type of rape he highlights, he'd be focusing his ire on men who would use this woman's actions to justify stalking her and raping her. But he doesn't waste a sentence trying to convince potential rapists not to rape.

He feels free to allow his ire toward women to spill out into public by framing his resentments as rape prevention advice despite the fact that his argument about "deserved" rape contributes to the very thing he claims to be against.

Now, had I gone through with the second example, I’d be called a “monster” who “preyed upon this girl for no reason,” and would be looked down upon for doing such a thing. And, like I said before, given the actions that were taken in the second example, that title would have been deserved.

But, what about the girl? What about HER part in the scenario?

Again we get a logical contradiction. If Taylor agrees that if he had followed that woman and raped her that he would have, "preyed upon this girl for no reason," then he cannot turn around and demand that a rape victim take responsibility for the actions of a rapist.

But this isn't about logic, it is about anger and displacing responsibility for a man's rageful actions onto women.

It’s okay, for example, if a girl decides to wear a shirt on a date that shows a little cleavage. However, it’s another thing for a girl to go on a date wearing a top that shows just about everything but her nipples, then have a 30-minute conversation with a guy about how voluptuous and sensitive her breasts are, then spend half the night stroking her hand against the outer-lining of said breasts…

…and then get mad at the guy for trying to touch them towards the end of the date!!!

You see what I mean?? It’s called “FALSE ADVERTISING,” and that crap is very frustrating to a guy!

He positions himself as a powerless victim to this cleavage-bearing woman and others like her, but he (or the guy) made choices which included the choice to act on assumptions that he could have quickly verified or ruled out.

Taylor fails to consider that the cause of the rejection in this scenario could easily be "the guy."

His description dehumanizes her. She is nothing more than a product and her actions are advertisements. With a belief set like that motivating the man's actions what could go wrong so that a willing woman ends up so mad at him that her willingness turns to disgust?

The answer is everything.

But it is easier to label women as cruel teases and to label men who rape to be little more than hapless victims of those mean women.

So, when a girl comes along who is actively (read: not from a distance, not while sitting somewhere by herself, unaware that guy is looking at her, but actively) performing certain actions or saying certain things that signal sexual interest…

WHAT ELSE IS A GUY SUPPOSED TO THINK, other than: “This girl want to give me sex!”

In short, ladies: if you don’t want a guy to rape you, don’t do stuff intentionally that you know will make him want to jump your bones. You may think doing these sorts of things is “cute” and “just being a girl,” but it’s dangerous, and can get you hurt. Teasing a guy with soft whispers, body groping, or any other type of enticing maneuver is wrong if you don’t plan on following through.

So much for being against rape.

I suggest to Taylor that he drop, "This girl want to give me sex!" and add, "This is a good time to ask." Then he needs to ditch the seething resentment and anger.

His non-sex crime analogy about a promised retail sale undermines his logic that making men want to jump a woman's bones causes rape. His analogy shows that the criminal responses he understands come from revenge-filled rage not from any masculine biological response.

When he expects something from you then you'd better give it to him ... or else.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 7:46 AM   10 comments links to this post


At October 27, 2008 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The question Aaron Taylor asks is, What is a guy supposed to think?

Speaking as a guy, I say the answer is, This situation is not right. I could hurt the woman. I should back out of this before we both get hurt. He is supposed to think not only of himself but of the woman.

Men and women at times act stupidly. Think of how many times someone intoxicated has driven and caused an accident? If a guy has a few drinks, then drives, then maims himself by driving his car into a tree, do you say, well, he deserved it. No you do not, not if you have any humanity in you.

If a woman acts in a manner which Aaron Taylor calls provocative, that DOES NOT mean she intends to call down on herself a violent, potentially life threatening crime.

G-d D--n it man, take some responsibility.

At October 27, 2008 12:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You see what I mean?? It’s called “FALSE ADVERTISING,” and that crap is very frustrating to a guy!

No, it's called blaming a woman when your assumptions fall short and calling her a liar for it. Now get the fuck out of my gender.

Marcella, excellent post.


At October 27, 2008 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aaron is the reason why 'm scared to walk outside my house, if I have to be afraid of every action I make provoking someone into assaulting me than I might as well never leave my house, and I might as well stop breathing and stop living.

At October 28, 2008 5:37 AM, Anonymous Tokidoki said...

People like this freak me the hell out. I've met a lot of men like this in my life. "Oh well see you were talking about sex so it was totally normal for him to grope you." The funny part about that is, the guy who groped me ALSO knew I was a lesbian. Of course, that didn't enter his mind because all his blood was down south. What ISN'T an excuse? It's not hard to ask, people!

If "false advertising" of talk about my body invites rape, doesn't ACTUAL advertising invite stealing?

Oh, wait, I forgot we value money more than women in our society. Whoops.

At October 28, 2008 2:50 PM, Blogger InfamousQBert said...

i'm so sorry this guy exists. but thanks for bringing him to our attention. maybe some lucky girls who read his column will know to stay away from him in real life now.

At October 28, 2008 3:12 PM, Anonymous Shira said...

Marcella, I am currently participating in a thread on a typically feminist website, Punkassblog, about false rape accusations. Since you are such an incredible advocate for victims, and so scrupulously honest and have done so much research than I have, do you think you could look at the thread and maybe debunk some of the anti-victim commenters on there? I am doing my best but most of the commenters I refuse to even read, because it is so triggering to me to read that hateful tripe. Thank you.
Here is the link:

At October 28, 2008 4:47 PM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...

Shira, thanks for the heads up about the other thread. I'll go check it out.

At October 28, 2008 6:07 PM, OpenID girlythoughts said...

I am amazed that you were able to so calmly go through that whole mess of entitlement and assholery and sexism, especially if I'm remembering correctly that you're a rape survivor. Thanks for taking the time to write that all out for anyone who doesn't get all the things that are so horribly wrong there.

At October 28, 2008 6:53 PM, Blogger Evo said...

Hi Marcella, I've lurked before, but this is my first comment. That blog is terrifying. The scariest part, to me, is that there are a lot of guys out there who think the same way as Aaron, but are smart enough to never open their mouths about it, or write a blog like Aaron did. Thank you for calling this guy on his sickness and for all the work you do for survivors. Just knowing others are out there makes it easier.


At October 31, 2008 2:38 PM, Anonymous m Andrea said...

This was amazing as usual, and now after reading this and your other I'm sorry I left my last paragraph in, during my comment to him.

I said he probably wasn't a terrible person. I was trying to be fair, but in retropsect gave him more credit then he deserves.


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