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John

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Thoughts about rape [Jan. 19th, 2007|10:21 am]
John
I'm putting this behind a cut tag, but I think it's relatively safe and non-triggering.


Yesterday, I saw a horribly scary thing said about rape. It was here. It suggested that we could use bullying as a metaphor for rape. People understand bullying more than they do rape, after all.

What's horrifying and scary about this? It fits. It fits so incredibly fucking *perfectly* that I feel like, have I and the rest of the world been blind?

Are there studies looking into the linkage?

I mean, aren't most rapes easily defined as sexual bullying? And isn't bullying fun for some people? And isn't it too goddamned accepted in our society?

And it makes me wonder if the angst over "you're making it sound like a guy who just wants to get laid, and is being a bit aggressive in his approach, is a rapist!" can be boiled down to "but if you aren't (willing to be) a bully, you'll stop far short of rape."

I mean... gods. Look, I grew up getting busted on a lot, but I learned to give and take; I learned that sometimes, folks like to cut up each other, but it's all in fun. And it's a common enough activity that people have learned when they've accidentally crossed the line, and back off (and often, in private, apologize - they don't feel comfortable doing it right away, because it would spoil the game). But everyone (I hope) understands that there's some folks who look for the nasty insult, the folks who *want* to draw blood, and don't like those people, and recognize them as bullies.

So it's not like people don't often have risky interpersonal activities where they have to be sensitive to the reactions they've caused. And it's not like it's *hard* to avoid hurting someone with your sexual overtures.

I think that difference - the rapist wasn't just making a move, he was being a bully - is one that's accessible and maybe really, really strong.
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Comments:
From: penitence69
2007-01-21 07:57 am (UTC)

hmn

ok. so having read the thread, i think i'm hearing you were connecting with the description of a rapist as a bully, which sounds like it elucidated something for you. that's awesome! the problem is, anyone who CARES enough to educate themselves or who can actually care enough to back off for a while, couldn't possibly have rape issues simply because it shows they have a conscience (sp). for my part, i never talk about bdsm fantasies or rape fantasies because i've always feared sending the wrong message, i.e. being one of the women who perpetuate the "she doesn't REALLY mean no" myth. it's kind of the other side of the problems you faced! you know, there are so many levels to the issue of rape, no blog in the world can
A) cover every level of offense or offender or victim,
or
B) cover every aspect of the human psyche in regards to this particular issue.

so, i think it's awesome that you see the bullying as a tangible correlation. i think it's awesome there are educators willing to make those connections in educational settings. i think if there were more people who could identify childhood animal-mutilators decades ago, some violent criminals may have been identified much earlier. but, live and learn.

still, i appreciate people being willing to talk about the whole subject. for me, just being in on this discussion has elucidated the differences between mild power exchange fantasies and violence. it's also obviated any desire i've ever had to suggest role-playing it with my husband. it takes a specific personality to be an empath AND a fearsome warrior AND an actor! LOL!
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2007-01-26 07:11 pm (UTC)

Re: hmn

Well, my biggest connection with the description of "rapist as bully" is how to differentiate between "guys are supposed to make a move on women if they're interested... and sometimes that means, they'll make a move when she isn't interested" and "rapists will make a move on a woman, and frankly, they don't give a damn if she's not."

For a while, I had some angst over "how do you know if she's interested?" and I finally came to the ugly truth: you can't. You have to fumble through, make mistakes, and learn from them. So, make sure your mistakes are ones you can recover from without causing yourself grief.

But I would still hear women complaining about nonconsensual touch, and arguing about how, no, it's *not* okay to put the moves on a woman until she says "no".

And that's partly because there are guys out there who will walk up to a woman and start groping her. They'll stop if she says to, but part of what they're counting on is that she'll be to shocked to say anything for a moment.

And it's partly because, gads, no one wants to be pawed at or groped when not in the mood, even on a date.

But thinking of it from a perspective of bullying, no guy who's hoping to get a woman turned on, so she'll want to have wild, happy sex with him, is going to look anything like a bully.
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From: penitence69
2007-01-26 11:14 pm (UTC)

Re: hmn

LOL! you are so right! and it reminds me of what one of my sex therapists said several years ago: people shoot themselves in the foot all the time. some of them can't seem to be bothered to figure out what a partner wants so they can appeal to the other persons' desires.

i always equate that with chocolate: if i were a guy and knew my gal loved chocolate, i wouldn't be bitching about it, i'd be slathering *something* in chocolate!
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