Myshkin

"Friend Zone" as Rape Culture and the Alpha\Beta Dichotomy

301 posts in this topic

4 minutes ago, DunderMifflin said:

Yes. You aren't likely to get the same views on this from men as women. I'm going to go out on a limb and say men in general don't as much know what it's like to be sexually desired so there's not as much focus on the negative parts of being desired and more focus on the positive parts of it. Most people of any gender would probably like to be found attractive and sexy if they are rarely or ever thought to be that. Plus I just don't have any fear or reason to believe that a gay man will ever rape me. not saying it isn't possible but I think the chances are pretty low.

Read up on why the statistics regarding male on male rape are low.

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Posted (edited)

36 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Read up on why the statistics regarding male on male rape are low.

I just mean for me personally. I have no real fear of being raped. Sure it could happen but so could a fluke accident. It's just not something I worry much over. so if a gay man was to ever be angry that I didn't want to have sex with him I'd personally  be more likely to be flattered rather than fearing he was going to rape me.

 

I mean just the notion of anyone wanting to have sex with me without me even trying to be nice to them or doing anything whatsoever is something I've never experienced so that idea would be way more stroking to my ego than creating fear that I'll be a rape victim

 

Edited by DunderMifflin

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13 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Are women who express anger or insult men who reject their sexual advances part of "rape culture"?  I have to say yes.  The idea that anger and insults are appropriate responses to sexual advances being declined is a problem.  Sex requires mutual consent.  If one person says "no" anger and insults are a method of coercion.  Coerced sex is rape.

I think if we also include 'women getting angry when they are rejected in love' as rape culture then we should probably all just be sent to jail right now. 

I think we just need to be very careful about where we start boxing up all these things. If you start labeling everything as part of rape culture you start to find it very difficult to identify behaviour that might justifiably be causing rape to occur. 

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2 minutes ago, Channel4s-JonSnow said:

I think if we also include 'women getting angry when they are rejected in love' as rape culture then we should probably all just be sent to jail right now. 

I think we just need to be very careful about where we start boxing up all these things. If you start labeling everything as part of rape culture you start to find it very difficult to identify behaviour that might justifiably be causing rape to occur. 

Anger with action is the problem.  Not mere anger.

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It's that old chestnut from Margaret Atwood, I believe- something along the lines of "Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them."

Rape culture is being challenged these days, thankfully, but there are still plenty of people who make excuses or blame the victim. It's also the insidious Belief in a Just World concept- "she did THIS wrong, so that's why something bad happened to her." In reality, the one who Did the Bad Thing is the one at fault, regardless of the victim's behavior. 

Not to mention the idea of "true rape" - stranger in the bushes kind of thing. Women are far more likely to be assaulted/killed by people they know. We want to fear the monster outside, not the monster in the house with us. No, most men won't behave like this, let's just make that point clear. But rape culture contributes to the actions of the men who do. (and yes, women murder people too. And they can rape people, too.) 

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Posted (edited)

5 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Anger with action is the problem.  Not mere anger.

Depends what action we are talking about. Shouting at someone? Sending some angry texts? Smashing stuff up? 

I've had all of these things occur to me when I've rejected women. I'd say actually its seen as a perfectly reasonable response by some. Those people are not healthy mentally for sure, but are they responding to a part of culture that justifies rape or are they just emotionally weak? 

 

Edited by Channel4s-JonSnow

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3 minutes ago, Liver and Onions said:

. But rape culture contributes to the actions of the men who do. 

But what parts of our culture normalise this behaviour, or justify it?

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4 minutes ago, Channel4s-JonSnow said:

Depends what action we are talking about. Shouting at someone? Sending some angry texts? Smashing stuff up? 

I've had all of these things occur to me when I've rejected women. I'd say actually its seen as a perfectly reasonable response by some. Those people are not healthy mentally for sure, but are they responding to a part of culture that justifies rape or are they just emotionally weak? 

 

The fact that some see such actions as reasonable is part of "rape culture".

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1 minute ago, Channel4s-JonSnow said:

But what parts of our culture normalise this behaviour, or justify it?

I would say nothing justifies it, but the normalization is the dangerous part. If people think it's normal or natural, they won't challenge it. Off the top of my head, one thing is the whole "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" idea. (which is BS beyond the metaphor, obviously)- that men and women are so fundamentally different as to be at odds with each other. And yes, men and women are not the same, but often those differences are based more on individual men and women than both sexes as a whole. And if men can't understand women, if they see them as something "other," it's easier to excuse crimes against them. 

Another concept is chivalry, or what people THINK is chivalry. The Nice Guy idea branches into this- if a man treats a woman "like a lady" (one must define "lady"), she will respond to his advances. She will appreciate him for what essentially should be basic human decency. A woman being put on a pedestal is in a tricky situation- what happens to her if she tries to climb off the pedestal and act contrary to that concept of "lady?" She's a fully-realized human being, not some ideal. What happens to women who never fit that concept to begin with? 

Now, yes, a lot of this is being challenged these days. Both women and men are speaking out against it. 

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Posted (edited)

11 minutes ago, Liver and Onions said:

I would say nothing justifies it, but the normalization is the dangerous part. If people think it's normal or natural, they won't challenge it. Off the top of my head, one thing is the whole "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" idea. (which is BS beyond the metaphor, obviously)- that men and women are so fundamentally different as to be at odds with each other. And yes, men and women are not the same, but often those differences are based more on individual men and women than both sexes as a whole. And if men can't understand women, if they see them as something "other," it's easier to excuse crimes against them. 

Another concept is chivalry, or what people THINK is chivalry. The Nice Guy idea branches into this- if a man treats a woman "like a lady" (one must define "lady"), she will respond to his advances. She will appreciate him for what essentially should be basic human decency. A woman being put on a pedestal is in a tricky situation- what happens to her if she tries to climb off the pedestal and act contrary to that concept of "lady?" She's a fully-realized human being, not some ideal. What happens to women who never fit that concept to begin with? 

Now, yes, a lot of this is being challenged these days. Both women and men are speaking out against it. 

Isn't there a big difference between reducing the traditional gender norms and saying we are living in a rape culture? 

This is maybe my problem with all of this, drawing connections that are either not there are so very weak as to be irrelevant.

i think you are making a lot of assumptions about male behaviour for instance and joining the dots to draw a picture you wish to see. 

- you could easily suggest the exact opposite. That traditional gender roles protected women by putting them on a pedestal, which made men far less likely to attack them.

or you could say that chivalry prevents women getting raped as men feel the urge to make sure women are never harmed.

again it's all speculation and there is no proof for anything I said nor anything you said. 

Edited by Channel4s-JonSnow

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Channel4s-JonSnow said:

Isn't there a big difference between reducing the traditional gender norms and saying we are living in a rape culture? 

This is maybe my problem with all of this, drawing connections that are either not there are so very weak as to be irrelevant.

i think you are making a lot of assumptions about male behaviour for instance and joining the dots to draw a picture you wish to see. 

- you could easily suggest the exact opposite. That traditional gender roles protected women by putting them on a pedestal, which made men far less likely to attack them.

or you could say that chivalry prevents women getting raped as men feel the urge to make sure women are never harmed.

again it's all speculation and there is no proof for anything I said nor anything you said. 

It's simple: rape is seen by some as an acceptable punishment for those who do not conform to traditional gender roles. It's about "teaching" people (of course, generally females) to stay in their place/role.

There's a wealth of research showing the link between believing in traditional gender roles and being more accepting of coercive behavior and/or rape (just google it really). The idea that traditional gender roles "put women on a pedestal" on the other hand is quite laughable. You'd have to know absolutely nothing about history (and the news to boot) to even attempt to argue that.

The main problem here is refusing to understand (or admit) that rape, rape culture, and gender roles are all about power. It's about men asserting their domination over women. Fundamentally it's about treating the other sex not only as different but as inferior. "Separate is inherently unequal" as Warren wrote. The same has been true for gender relations for centuries: underlining the differences between women and men was always an excuse to see the women as inferior, not just physically weaker, but intellectually as well.
For some men, it is still very important to see themselves as superior to women at least, generally because they have personal issues affecting their sense of worth (not just teenagers, but grown men who are unsatisfied with their lives). Gender roles help these people because they allow them to put women in subservient roles, as well as justifying any "punishment" for refusing said subservience.

I'm aware that today there are those (generally, conservative-minded folks) who see traditional gender roles as "good" and that many (including women) say it is in the women's best interests. Notwithstanding the paternalistic perspective, the fallacy here is that this may be true today because people have a choice. And people have a choice because many people have fought for such a choice. To say otherwise would just be another form of historical negationism.

Edited by Rippounet

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1 hour ago, Channel4s-JonSnow said:

But what parts of our culture normalise this behaviour, or justify it?

"He shouldn't go to jail for years just for a couple minutes of action"

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26 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

It's simple: rape is seen by some as an acceptable punishment for those who do not conform to traditional gender roles. It's about "teaching" people (of course, generally females) to stay in their place/role.

Can you point to which parts of our society think rape is an acceptable form of punishment for not conforming to gender norms? 

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2 hours ago, Channel4s-JonSnow said:

@Ser Scot A Ellison
On the Brock point, well I don't know enough about the case, as it wasn't widely reported over here. We have similar cases, but I think you'd have to take them all on an individual basis. My point is that very few people think rape is justified  almost everyone agrees it is terrible and shouldn't happen. Where there is disagreement is on what constitutes as rape, and that can be quite a grey area. Its quite a step to call that part of a 'rape culture' and I think thats where a lot of the frustration comes in when these discussions happen.

On your other point, I've had women act angrily when I've rejected them in the past and called me all manner of names and said some terrible things to me. Are they part of rape culture? 

So they say, but still people are overly willing to excuse rape and sexual assault - oh he was a model student this is a one of thing, oh she was drunk so really it's her fault, oh she wore a short skirt so she was asking for it, she flirted with him so obviously he should expect sex. 

People can say they think rape is terrible and shouldn't happen, but that is undermined by the lengths people go to when excusing offenders.

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2 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

So they say, but still people are overly willing to excuse rape and sexual assault - oh he was a model student this is a one of thing, oh she was drunk so really it's her fault, oh she wore a short skirt so she was asking for it, she flirted with him so obviously he should expect sex. 

People can say they think rape is terrible and shouldn't happen, but that is undermined by the lengths people go to when excusing offenders.

No I just think people have differing opinions as to what constitutes sexual assault , two people can look at the same event and come to a different conclusion. 

Rape is a difficult subject, sometimes it's a genuine attack, but at other times you might have a genuine miscommunication.  

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Posted (edited)

3 minutes ago, Channel4s-JonSnow said:

No I just think people have differing opinions as to what constitutes sexual assault , two people can look at the same event and come to a different conclusion. 

Rape is a difficult subject, sometimes it's a genuine attack, but at other times you might have a genuine miscommunication.  

Miscommunication how? Someone says no, you stop. Someone is in a state where it's obvious they can't give meaningfully consent, you stop. The idea of rape as "miscommunication" is pretty gross and exactly what I mean when I say people are too quick to make excuses for it

Edited by HelenaExMachina

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16 minutes ago, Channel4s-JonSnow said:

Can you point to which parts of our society think rape is an acceptable form of punishment for not conforming to gender norms? 

Anyone saying that a woman wearing too short a skirt or drinking too much is "asking for it," anyone saying "she should have stayed in the kitchen" when talking about a rape victim... etc. The examples are so numerous that it's hard not to come across them. Most people trying to excuse rape actually draw on their belief that women should conform to a traditional role in society and that if they don't they "deserve it."

I must say you're coming dangerously close to proving my point yourself.

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Saying someone is a model student is a common defense for any and all crimes. If a person maintains employment or a student and has never been in trouble before that's going to be brought up in any criminal trial.

Not sure who is really still saying the rest of that stuff about short skirts and drunkness=consent. And how much of that would be needed to form a culture. I mean I have a few Pakistani friends that practice and live things from Pakistan but I'm far from living in a Pakistani culture.

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3 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Jon,

How many people who defended Brock Turner did so by claiming what Brock Turner did "wasn't rape" or said the woman he raped bore the brunt of the responsibility because she got so drunk?  Is is those automatic defenses that are offered in those cases that have a cultural element and that I believe are why a "Rape Culture" exists.

To tie this back to the "friend zone".  It is the unjustifiable anger presented in the "friend zone" memes that ties into "rape culture".  The idea that because someone will not choose to sleep with you your emotional response is somehow justified because you are a "nice guy" and deserve better is just not justifiable in my opinion and the anger and vitriol lobbed at women is fundamentally inappropriate.

Consider how weird it would be if gay men who you are friendly with started using "friend zone" memes to express their frustration that their straight friends who they find attractive didn't want to sleep with them.  It's the same situation more starkly defined.  One party to the friendship doesn't find the other sexually attractive and the "rejected" party then vents their anger and frustration.  If it is proper for "nice guys" who are "friend-zoned" by women why wouldn't it be appropriate for homosexual men who have a crush on a straight friends to do the same?

 

Yes,  I think it is proper--again, the anger shouldn't be lashed outward, but worked through in a constructive way. Anger is okay to feel in a moment of rejection. You just can't direct it at the people you're angry at--anger is a time for reflection and discovery, writing and whatever internal expression you need.

Further to general comments in the thread:

I disagree with the anger issue--but everything else Myshkin makes sense to me, and I find it far more alarming that he gave such a succinct definition of rape culture, yet we have people ignoring that and twisting the definition to fit their own worldview. Rape culture is a systemic product of all the ways we excuse rape in our society--it is not always overt, but sometimes covert, and I think that's they this thread is important, because even if I don't agree with the example of the friendzone, I think there is some truth in it sometimes. Rape culture exists because we excuse our thinking patterns in specific ways:

"I'm friendzoned because SHE led me on. SHE flirted, SHE sent signals, and SHE played me. SHE owes me," is a real problem and I've even seen some of that in this thread unfortunately. It's different then than "I'm friendzoned because I am too afraid to tell her, I don't want to hurt the relationship, etc." That's why a good definition of friendzone was needed.

Either way, I have to say, rape culture does exist, that shouldn't even be an argument at this point. It's embedded in our language, how we speak, put each other down, it's embedded in reactions to rape cases where a woman did make it up "SEE? IT HAPPENS! THEY'RE LIARS!!" As if those few cases should stop careful, compassionate, and safe investigation of rape cases. We see the powerful get away with it from our President to our athletes. It is a real problem in this society.

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1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

"He shouldn't go to jail for years just for a couple minutes of action"

That's awful--where's that from--or did I miss it here?

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