Welcome to MasculinityU!

What does it mean to be a man? In today’s culture it means demeaning women. It means breaking down our brothers instead of building them up. It means status symbols: cars owned, women slept with, money in the bank. It means showing no weakness, protecting your pride, and “manning up” when times get hard. It means saying “no homo” after every compliment, lest people think you’re gay. It means calling men who are in touch with their emotional side “b—hes” or “p*$$**s”. It means never stepping out of the box society made for us and shoving people back in if they do anything to question societal norms.

It means we have a problem.

We can choose to stay with the status quo. We can choose to refuse to grow and change. We can decide that our image is worth more than our soul. We can do all of that OR we can start making the tough choices. We can challenge societal norms. We can evade the path of least resistance. We can temporarily sacrifice our image to make a permanent change in society.

MasculinityU isn’t the end-all, be-all solution. We don’t even seek to be the destination. Rather we hope to guide a generation of men as they start to rethink masculinity and make their own informed decisions. We hope to challenge our brothers to think about the meaning behind their words and the motivations behind their actions.

As we travel the country, we will document it here. We will also use this space to post commentary on the news of the day. This will be a place to foster conversation about these important issues and we encourage you to comment and send the site to your friends.

We named this initiative MasculinityU because we want it to be about constantly teaching and always learning. We must never stop educating ourselves and learning from the experiences of others, especially women. They’ve been talking to us for years and years and we’ve failed to listen to their lived experiences. It’s time for that to change.

Thank you for joining us as we set out on this journey.

 

Much love,

Marc Peters and Sacchi Patel
MasculinityU Co-Founders

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33 thoughts on “Welcome to MasculinityU!

  1. Marc and Sacchi,
    Thanks for the above. How do you think mothers play into their sons’ attitudes toward women and other men? I know, everything is blamed on mom but I’m not blaming here. I have two sons and their attitudes toward women, gays and heterosexual men are very much like mine. Do you see a thread between mothers and sons as far as their attitudes? I’m interested in what you have to say about this.

    • I’ll give this some careful thought, but for the time being let me say: I think that, yes, a son learns a lot from his mother. However, you can have the greatest mother in the world (mine is certainly up there) and still be influenced by the toxicity of our culture. You can raise your son with morals and values and good character, but he can still learn from friends, images he sees on TV and lyrics he hears telling him that Eminem loves a woman so much that he’s going to tie her up and set her on fire. What does it do to a man of any age to hear that as the conceptualization of love? I think that the best thing a mother can do (outside of unconditionally loving her son for who he is) is to teach him to be a critical thinker. The more we learn to examine what we hear and see, the better.

      I think that the way you phrase this question is interesting because fathers so often escape responsibility. It’s very hard for a mother to make up for a son not having a strong father-figure. I didn’t get that type of male attention at home so I’ve sought out incredible men who have taught me and mentored me and molded me into who I am today. The importance of male role models is so oft-overlooked. This is not to say that mothers aren’t one of the central figures in their sons lives. It’s just to say that that alone is not enough.

      Thanks for commenting and for reading,

      Marc

    • Jessie, I think you bring up a very interesting point.
      I reflected upon this and it very telling that when boys and men act out, women or their mothers are often blamed since they are forced to give/teach compassion, love, and civility.

      Fun Fact – this makes me think back to 2 weeks ago. I was flying back to Syracuse from an Anti-Violence Conference in Tacoma. As we waited in the Airpot i remember spilling this large iced coffee all over the seat, carpet, and my shoes. It made a mess as you can imagine. Our section was immediately called for boarding so friend ran to get napkins and we both quickly cleaned up the area for the next 5 minutes.

      There were two women about 2 feet away watching and talking about the incident. After we finally finished cleaning the spot to our fullest ability, one of the women (in a texan accent) softly grabs my arm and says,”I didn’t think you’d clean that up. Your mom raised you right.”

      I thought many things about that comment. Why did she assume that I had a mom? Why did she assume that it was my mother who taught me that I should clean up a mess? Why did she think that my mom had the skills to teach me how to clean up a coffee spill?

      In this case, yes my mom in a way received Credit…. how ever I found it interesting that it was domesticated/household work and morals that were visible here.

      When I scored the winning 3 pointer in my high-school basketball game… did anyone credit my mother for teaching me work ethic, basketball technique, etc? Nope.

  2. I’m sorry guys, I don’t live in the world you describe. In my world, men don’t demean women, nor put down other men. They don’t people that do that aren’t cool. They are judged, and ignored. I don’t surround myself with them, and I expect my friends and people with whom I engage in relationship to treat people in a certain way (in a good way).

    The secret to a successful life is empowering other people, and I have to be honest – that’s what I see. People are good. Men are good, but lack direction.

    Let’s not lament nor subtly give the media the kind of power over us where we allow the media to define masculinity as you painted it. I don’t think they do. I think they paint extravagance as extravagance, and expect people will want it.

    But real masculinity is found in leadership, in business, in healthy sexual relationships. In having a craft, in having a purpose. I am fortunate to have many friends and mentors who are real men. Who care about women, and empowering other people. The first step is not to challenge the status quo, it is to ignore it. Be the status quo. Talk about empowerment. Of yourself and others. Erase limiting beliefs from you mind by living on the edge. Awaken your inner giant. Be a badass. Real masculinity is masculine – dominant, powerful, and certain. But it is also generative and life-giving.

    A couple references you will find meaningful:

    David Deida – http://amzn.to/bUUSMU

    Joshua Pellicer – The Tao of Badass http://thetaoofbadass.com

    Best,

    Auren Kaplan

    • Auren-

      I appreciate you reading and commenting and certainly respect your opinion. I’m all for empowerment, however I disagree with you that we can simply choose to live in a world where this stuff doesn’t exist.

      We all live in the same world. We can make the choice to change our world, but I do not believe we can simply ignore those whose behavior we find disagreeable. I expect my friends to treat women with respect and I challenge them when they don’t, but there is a world out there beyond my friendships and yours. We cannot simply assume the status quo without challenging the current one.

      We are all responsible for the society we live in and we all (as RFK said) must seek a newer world- a better world.

      Hope you continue to read and discuss.

      Take good care,

      Marc

    • Auren,

      Thanks for brining that point up. The fact is when we look at sexual assault and rape, thought over 95-99% are perpetrated by men, You are right… only about 2% of men commit these crimes.

      So that means men are not inherently evil. And yes, though our socialization is problematic at times… most men aren’t rapists. However, the fact that it takes all people to live in a rape culture, we need to all empower ourselves and others and take a stand.

      Men historically haven’t been involved in the movement against violence and we’re just here to encourage and support more men to do just that.

      Thanks for reading.

      Sacchi

    • Hello,

      It’s nice to hear that the people you surround yourself with are intelligent, caring, and seem to be fairly well-rounded when it comes to the place of men in the world.

      Unfortunately, I have to say that your depiction of the men in your life does not mirror the men in my life.

      I really appreciate the responses already submitted by Mr. Peters and Mr. Patel. It is so true that the current status quo can’t be ignored simply because the people you have surrounded yourself with are already enlightened. There’s a book called Habits of the Heart that talks about lifestyle enclaves that we tend to form as we age, wherein the people in our circle are of, essentially, the same general opinions and perspectives. It’s great for our peace of mind because it reduces our stress and the friction of constantly butting heads with people who don’t think the way we do.

      This blog, I hope, will provide a place for both the converted and the curious, allowing those not yet initiated to learn more about a new perspective on masculinity.

      Thanks again to the founders of this blog for your efforts.

  3. I like your premise and your goals, sacchi and marc. I have lamented that, in general, people don’t bring up their children to be people; instead many seem to bring them up gender-oriented. All children need to be taught to take care of themselves in all ways, not girls doing dishes and laundry and boys taking care of the yard, or wherever the lines are drawn. We must prepare them to live without us. Critical thinking cannot be learned too soon. Teach them to question everything! So important for them to discover who they are and how to take their place firmly in the world.

    I look forward to your posts and good luck.

  4. Gentlemen… it’s very simple. Masculinity needs to be redefined by men, and men alone — and primarily for the benefit of *men*.

    I for one am not particularly receptive to arguments about redefininig masculinity that tries to change men for the specific benefit of someone else — whether that someone else is a woman, a child, or the rest of society for that matter.

    Your list of “What Topics Do We Address” is completely wrongheaded. Because most of these issues affect, by your own admission, at most 2% of men. How did such a tiny minority of men become the focus of your efforts to redefine masculinity? Talk about the tail wagging the dog…. It’s just plain stupid to ignore, or downplay, the concerns of the remaining 98% of men.

    So no thanks to your “topics”. They’re not relevant to the vast majority of men out there.

    You want to discuss a real redefinition of masculinity — one that is of, by, and for men?

    Let’s discuss how men tend to express and often want to receive their love through a physical relationship, and what this means for men and for their partners.

    Let’s discuss how men, on average, die *years* before women, and whether and what aspects of masculinity contribute towards this life expectancy gap, and what can be done about those aspects.

    Let’s discuss what where masculinity resides in a man. Is it is brain? His heart? His hair? His shoulders? His torso? His arms? His legs? His penis? His prostate? And if masculinity does indeed reside in any of these, what does masculinity have to offer to men who, say, have prostate cancer and face incontinence or impotence?

    Let’s discuss that very word: impotence, whose dictionary meaning is “loss of power” or “without strength”. Can a man who is impotent … still be masculine?

    Let’s discuss whether, and if so, how, men’s own definition of masculinity ought to be be redefined or expanded or at least refined to offer a place to men who don’t fit the traditional mold of masculinity.

    Let’s discuss what is healthy about male competition with other males, and let’s also discuss what is unhealthy about such competition.

    (Etc etc etc. You get the idea.)

    Most importantly, let’s hear from us men ourselves, who are listening or living or acting or accepting or resisting the changes that are happening all around us. These are our stories, these are our lives, and this is our masculinity — of men, by men, and for men.

    So please … dump most of your “Topics”, which hold very little appeal to the 98% of men who aren’t rapists, and start over with a real list of topics that are driven by concerns first and foremost about men and masculinity.

  5. “Masculine Men”, first of all…thanks for reading and commenting. We appreciate all feedback.

    So you want to discuss. Let’s discuss. Just because most men aren’t rapists doesn’t mean that a rape culture and a society that tolerates oppression doesn’t affect us all.

    I reject your premise that 98% of men are on point in their behavior. If you read the post for what it is, a description of where popular male culture is at, you’d find that it describes much more than 2%. How often are we around people at school or work and find them acting in a manner that is disrespectful to women. I reject that this needs to be by men and solely for the benefit of men. We are all members in this society and if one gender or ONE PERSON, is disrespected and put down, that reflects on us all.

    So let’s discuss how we can work to address the problematic direction that we’ve been heading at a culture. If you want to spend your time addressing why men die earlier or male competition, I respect that and I don’t discount its worth. Feel free to start your own blog.

    Take good care,

    Marc

    • I’m game. Let’s discuss.

      How would you define a “rape culture” and what evidence is there that the United States is one?

      We live in a culture where rape is denounced and criminalized. Even with an expanding definition of what rape can be and an increase in reporting, we have seen an 85% decrease in rapes since the 1970s.

      Doesn’t this make us more of an anti-rape culture?

      • Hey BL1Y-

        How often do we, as men, cross the street in fear of being assaulted (sexual or not)? As long as women are living in fear, then we have not overcome the rape culture to which I alluded. You mention that we have legal punishments (and as a former lawyer, you probably put even more stock in them than I do). We do and I’m glad for them. They do not, however, necessarily represent a value judgment as a people. We still try to rationalize when sexual assault happens. “Her dress was too short. She was wasted. She was asking for it.” I know that’s not your attitude, but that does not mean that it isn’t a mindset that permeates throughout society. If our society truly repudiated rape, more women would come forward and report. We would support survivors unconditionally rather than engaging in victim blaming. I guess that’s what I mean by “rape culture”

        Thanks for commenting,

        Marc

      • We live in a rape culture that associates rape with normal experiences of sex, a culture where certain members of certain political parties are trying to redefine rape so that it won’t apply to those who they feel haven’t suffered enough… we live in a culture where in movie scenes, a man being violent with a woman often ends in sex, a culture where sex and violence go hand in hand… Rape jokes abound and violent sex is considered a badge of honor, how many times have you heard a guy brag about making his partner bleed, or referred to sexual intercourse as banging, screwing, smashing, hurting on, etc…

        “No, one rape joke does not “cause” someone to go out and commit a rape. But a single rape joke does not exist in a void. It exists in a culture rife with jokes that treat as a punchline a heinous, terrifying crime that leaves most of its survivors forever changed in some material way. It exists in a culture in which millions and millions of women, men, and children will be victimized by perpetrators of sexual violence, many of them multiple times. It exists in a culture in which rape not being treated as seriously as it ought means that vanishingly few survivors of sexual violence see real justice, leaving their assaulters free to create even more survivors. It exists in a culture in which rape is not primarily committed by swarthy strangers lurking in dark alleyways and jumping out of bushes, but primarily by people one knows, who nonetheless fail, as a result of some combination of innate corruption and socialization in a culture that disdains consent and autonomy, to view their victims as human beings deserving of basic dignity. That is the environment into which a rape joke is unleashed—and one cannot argue “it isn’t my rape joke that facilitates rape” any more than a single raindrop in an ocean could claim never to have drowned anyone.”

  6. Additionally, though you bring a valid point “Masculine Men” that most men aren’t rapists or even “bad”, it doesn’t mean that we are proactive in our attempts to challenge other men’s behavior that actually is problematic. That is what we are trying to focus on.

    Seeing this as a problem that we all need to be a part of solving. That we all need to be empowered bystanders in. We can’t just sit around and watch things happen. That is what has been the case.

    Further, though only about 2% of men actually commit crimes like rape, the case is that 1 in 4 women on college campuses are still being victimized by rape or sexual assault by the time they graduate. There is and has never been any responsibility taken for sexual assault by men even though upwards of 95-99% of it is bring committed by men.

    Also, on the 2%: 1 in 4 women are being sexually assaulted, then that must mean that the same men are NEVER being challenged on their behaviors and thus they CONTINUE to act in a way that is highly problematic and hurtful to others. Our aim is to empower more people to be sure that no one’s actions go unchallenged. To quote the One Student Campaign: “One sexual assault is too many”.

    And to add another point: Though only a small percentage of men are raping, far greater numbers are harassing women on the streets as they walk by, sending abusive, threatening, or sexually demeaning texts, objectifying women, regarding them as “whores” or sluts” etc.

    ALL of this including sexual assault has such a lasting impact that we cannot even dismiss it because 2% “seems” like a low percentage. How can we turn our backs on the emotional scars something like sexual assault can have just because it is committed by a “small number of men”??

    -Sacchi
    Co-Founder MasculinityU

    • If you’re using the Koss study for that 1 in 4 statistic, those numbers are entirely bogus.

      73% of women who the study counted as rape victims did not consider themselves to have been victims of rape. 42% subsequently dated and had sex again with the people the study would have labeled as their attackers.

      The studies that produce these numbers take an over-broad approach to what they consider rape. If I have a long-time girlfriend, and our Friday night MO is to go to our local bar, get drunk, and then come home (by walking or taxi, of course) and have sex, these studies will label me as a rapist. Heck, I’d be a serial rapist. Of course, when both members of a couple are drunk and have sex, no one counts the male as a rape victim. Why? Because no one is trying to drum up bogus advocacy numbers about male rape victims.

      • I know this is late, however, as a someone who has studied both Koss’s study and the critiques it has received I would like to share with you why these results are NOT bogus. If there is a man who exhibits all the signs of alcoholism and is asked whether he considers himself an alcoholic and he says “no” do we excuse his addiction because he does not recognize it? Now, the women in this country have a hard time already coming forward with sexual assault, it is one of the most underreported crimes. In the 1990’s the Date Rape crisis of the 70’s and 80’s was transformed into headlines reading “Crying Date Rape” and even in women’s magazines like Cosmopolitan (in 2007,) there was an article on Grey Rape which blamed the Feminist movement for empowering women to go out and have casual sex that “inevitably” leads to sexual assault (which of course is really just the girl’s fault for wanting to go out and have fun.) Just because a woman does not call her experience rape, does not mean that it was not rape. Instead, we should be looking into the reasons why these women who exhibited all the signs of having been a victim of rape, are still unable to call the experience rape. Oftentimes, a woman will justify her attacker’s actions, the same way that society does, in the usual way “I shouldn’t have been there, I shouldn’t have been doing that, I should have known what he wanted, I should have said “no,” I let him have sex with me even though I didn’t want to”
        And as far as women who have been attacked by someone they are dating, you do realize that intimate partner violence is a sad reality. Often, girls stay with their attackers and these are also the girls who will not assume their experience is rape. If their partner forces them to have sex with them, they are less likely to report it and to consider it violence, just a part of the relationship dynamic.

        Also, the study did not ask “did you have sex when you were drunk” it said, “did you have sex WHEN YOU DID NOT WANT TO because someone gave you drugs or alcohol.” These are two completely different things, women and men who have drunken sexual encounters do not factor into this study. do your research and be compassionate.

    • I can’t find a 2010 report, but the 2009 data released by the DoJ shows a rate of 0.5 rapes and sexual assaults per 1000 persons. If you just multiply that figure by a life expectancy, say 70 years, that gives us a rate of 35 per 1000 persons, or 3.5%. Now, if we assume that the only victims were women, then we’re up to 35 per 500 persons, or 7%. While this is certainly too many, it is a far cry from the 25% number.

      http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv09.pdf

      Also, the fact that the incidence of rape has declined by a staggering 50% in the past two years casts serious doubts on the existence of a rape culture. I’m pretty sure a 50% decline much more strongly points towards an anti-rape culture.

  7. Marc: Please provide evidence that rationalization and non-repudiation of rape permeates our society.

    More women are coming forward to report rapes, rape rates have declined drastically, and victim blaming is incredibly rare. By your standards, there is no rape culture.

  8. Gentlemen, I’ve read your materials, comments, and responses with an open mind.

    For example, I do support limited parts of your agenda. Yes, reducing violence is good … but violence against *all* people should be reduced, not just women.

    And yes, both men and women need to be taught how to take reasonable, prudent precautions to minimize the probability that they will become a victim of violent crime. But this is probably best done as part of a public safety curriculum, not the kind of consciousness-raising seminars that you two are apparently offering to lead.

    I’m sorry to say, however, that you both appear to have lost your way when it comes to your take on masculinity. Here’s a clue: masculinity has nothing to do with “demeaning women”, and your assertions otherwise simply do not pass the laugh test. Not only do you provide zero systematic evidence to back up your claims, nor does it appear to resonate with any of the men I have spoken with.

    So please give it a rest when it comes to masculinity. Each time you have raised it thus far, you have inflicted significant self-damage to your own credibility — which is a shame, really, because you do appear to have some valuable contributions to make (outside of the realm of masculinity, that is).

    So please consider this advice, sincerely offered in good faith: Avoid mentioning masculinity. Instead, stick to the basics, in terms of raising consciousness, and engaging both men and women to join together against violence and aggression against all people.

    Best wishes.

    Footnote: To answer your question, I have in fact on numerous occasions crossed the street to limit the risk of being assaulted. I also refrain from taking out my wallet, or wearing fancy jewelry, or expensive watches in public. Nor do I flaunt wads of cash in public, or otherwise act in ways to call unwanted attention to myself. And before you ask, no, I don’t consider myself a victim of “oppression”. I just consider myself reasonably prudent and cautious about my physical safety, while minding my own business.

    • I have not crossed the street to avoid being assaulted, but I have waited to cross the street for that reason, and have also taken more taxis than I would have if I felt safe. (Crossing the street is probably going to increase your chance of getting assaulted actually; you’re going to piss off some people who would have otherwise ignored you, and crossing the street isn’t much of a deterrent to an attacker.)

      But, I don’t go around claiming that Dominicans (I used to live in a Dominicans neighborhood) are oppressing white people, or that the average, law abiding Dominican needs to take responsibility for the actions of Dominican criminals simply because they have the same ethnic and national heritage.

      In fact, saying that you and another person share a trait that is simply an accident of history or genetics, and therefor share moral culpability for each others’ actions is the very foundation of bigotry.

      I don’t think I have to take responsibility for the actions of other men, the same way I don’t think the average Muslim is responsible for 9/11 or the average Baptist is responsible for the Westboro loons.

      • Hey “Men” and BL1Y-

        I appreciate you all being such fervent readers and responders. I think it’s fairly obvious that you aren’t going to convince us that there isn’t a problem and we aren’t going to convince you that there is one. At this point I’m not sure the back and forth is really productive for anyone and I’d hate to see it dissolve from a disagreement into an argument. I just got out of a class where a CEO of a local nonprofit mentioned that sometimes people aren’t going to get on board and that’s okay. I hope that we can revisit this at a later time after more voices have chimed in. We are working from two different frames and it’s impossible to construct a meaningful dialogue that way.

        Be well,

        Marc

  9. Marc: I have asked what evidence there is of a rape culture. You have provided no evidence. You cannot claim I am not open to being convinced when your only argument is your own subjective belief.

  10. I just looked around for this post that does a pretty excellent job of explaining rape culture. It’s a bit long, but basically flawless.

    http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html

    The wikipedia page on it used to be great, but seems to have diminished as of late.

    Rape culture is real. Have you heard this recent story this story from YALE University?
    http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2010/10/17/yale-fraternitys-chant-reveals-depth-cultures-misogyny

    You know, Yale? I think it bears repeating: YALE.

    Thanks Sacchi and Marc, for getting this dialogue started.

  11. Basically flawless?

    First major flaw: It doesn’t explain whether a rape culture is one which has all the elements on its list, at least one element on the list, or some threshold number (perhaps weighted by severity).

    “Rape culture is treating rape as a compliment,” Provide evidence that rape is treated as a compliment in our society. As counter-evidence, consider that rape is one of the most serious crimes in our society.

    “Rape culture is treating straight sexuality as the norm.” This has nothing to do with rape.

    “Rape culture is rape being used as a weapon, a tool of war and genocide and oppression.” Doesn’t really describe the US or the rest of Western democracies.

    “Rape culture is 1 in 6 women being sexually assaulted in their lifetimes.” Again, I haven’t seen any reliable data that supports this claim, and in the last 2 years, rape incidence has dropped by 50%, pointing to an anti-rape culture.

    “Rape culture is victim-blaming.” No evidence yet presented that this is a prevalent view in our culture.

    “Rape culture is judges banning the use of the word rape in the courtroom.” Seems to be limited to one case, where the issue was that the use of the term implied a legal fact which might prejudice the jury. (Witnesses generally can’t testify about the law.)

    “Rape culture is the idea that only certain people rape—and only certain people get raped.” Going by your “we need to stop men from raping women” message, it appears that you perpetuate the rape culture. Cripes!

    “Rape culture is the narrative that sex workers can’t be raped.” The story the site links to is about a prostitute agreeing to have sex and then not being paid. This is …I think larceny, perhaps larceny by trick, but definitely not rape. Also not rape if I say I’m going to marry you and back out of the deal.

    “Rape culture is the insistence on trying to distinguish between different kinds of rape via the use of terms like “gray rape” or “date rape.”” That’s just common sense. It’s like the difference between simple assault and aggravated assault, or murder and depraved heart murder.

    I’d go on, but this site isn’t really worth any more of my time. Do you perhaps have a better definition of rape culture. And again, some actual evidence that it exists beyond a feeling that it’s there and a few anecdotes?

  12. First of all, violence towards men, women, and transgender/sexual individuals has to end.
    Second, masculinity might not have to do with “demeaning women” (relatively) but why do men feel offended when referred to as a “bitch”, or “pussy” words that are correlated with femininity and how men feel “threatened” when their masculinity is questioned?
    We have to keep in mind that many victims of rape, sexual assaults, and domestic violence do not report their attacks. Many crimes go unreported which make statistics of rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence not accurate.
    We don’t value women more than men but more women are sexually assaulted and raped and speak out more than men do. There is this stigma in our society in which men may not feel comfortable expressing themselves and feel they have to be the “strong” masculine type and not show emotions or act like a “woman”. This again is a problem that ties into what society teaches men is ok and not ok to do because of MASCULINITY. What does it mean when men are taught to “act tough” and how that correlates with violence? As children we are taught that it’s ok for a woman to be emotional and not for a man.
    And for the person who spoke about victim blaming. BL1Y, it does exist and it does happen. As a woman myself, I have been taught that I can’t wear certain things or act a certain why because I may draw negative attention to myself and this attention can lead to other unwanted acts. Also, in many cases you can hear or people may mention that “she was wearing too revealing clothing” or was “drinking too much” as a way to justify what happened. Let’s take into consideration the whole situation with Rihanna and Chris Brown, the minute the news hit, people started talking about how “she asked for it” or “she must have done something wrong”.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/deadlineusa/2009/mar/16/rihanna-usa
    Check this article out about a group called SANE and victim blaming…
    http://www.lexingtonprosecutor.com/?p=3850
    And it is also important to keep in mind that just because it doesn’t happen in your circle of friends, or in your eyes, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen at all.
    Marc and Sacchi come from backgrounds in which they have studied gender and because of this, they have credibility to discuss gender issues, especially masculinity because not only have they studied it through academia but also are men who constantly have to deal with masculinity and what it means to be a man and the mix messages that society depicts.
    Look into RAINN, http://www.rainn.org/, which is Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network for more stats. They have a lot of information and statistics on rape and sexual assaults. Just go to get info and then Statistics on their site and it will lead you to it. And if you want more accurate facts and statistics look into places that deal specifically with rape and sexual abuse.
    The book, Transforming A Rape Culture also discusses “rape is epidemic because our society encourages male aggression and tacitly or overtly supports violence against women. Cumulatively, these 34 essays by such figures as Gloria Steinem, Andrea Dworkin, Ntozake Shange, Michael Kimmel and Louise Erdrich situate rape on a continuum extending from sexist language to pornography, sexual harassment in schools and the workplace, wife battering and date and marital rape” (The quote comes the summary in Amazon)
    Though the book was written in 1993, the culture has only become a larger rape culture. If you look at the way women are exoticize for the male gaze and how there is a huge lack of respect for women in the media and a misrepresentation of women, you can clearly see that there is a correlation between our culture and the way men treat women. Not all men, but most.
    There is also a huge problem when women are constantly being taught that they have to be careful when walking alone at night, having to hold your keys in between your hand as a weapon, having to carry pepper spray or maze, and the lack of feeling safe in your own community. Are men taught this growing up? Aren’t there gender binaries in which men can do what they want while women have to be limited? You can see it as kids are growing up that young boys are allowed to go out and play while girls are conditioned to stay in.
    If you look at this link; http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2010/tables/10s0295.pdf.
    In 2007, there were 90 forcible rapes out of 1000. (This does not include rapes that were not reported, sexual assaults that were reported or not, does not include incest or sexual assaults towards children reported or not). If you think about it and add up all the numbers then it’s a pretty large sum, especially since so many rapes and sexual assaults, again, GO UNREPORTED. And whether it has increased, decreased or stayed the same, again quoting the One Student Campaign: “One sexual assault is too many”.
    Thanks for all the comments and insights. I think we can all learn something from each other. Major thanks to Sacchi, Marc, and Greg for having this. I think it’s important to have a space for dialogue.

    • You completely misread that report. The top half is total number of incidents x1000, so 90 means there were 90,000 total, not 90 for every 1000 people. It even gives an example of how to read the table: “1,345 represents 1,345,000.”

      The bottom half gives the per capita number, which they reported as 30 per 100,000, or 0.3 per 1000, so not even close to 90 per 1000 persons.

      And actually, it does include rapes that were not reported: “Data include offenses actually reported to law enforcement and also offense estimations for nonreporting and partially reporting agencies within each state.”

      You know what? I was taught to be careful walking alone at night. I know to keep my wallet in my front pocket to avoid being pick pocketed. I park my car in lighted or attended areas. And, I make sure to be very polite when talking to police officers to avoid unnecessary arrest. Is that victim blaming? No, it’s prudence, and its taught to both men and women.

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