Please be forewarned that many people will find this article highly offensive. That being the case, a disclaimer is in order, particularly for those easily offended.
This article was written with the intent of offending. In fact, that is pretty much its primary purpose.
Unfortunately, when addressing instances of male disadvantage or female power in this society, offence is a necessary evil. We are a culture blinded and brainwashed by decades (arguably millenia) of disinformation and propaganda about men and women. We are also a species of animal more or less hardwired to take a dim view of compassion for men and boys. This leaves us with few tools to rattle people out of complacency and into a thoughtful discussion of those issues.
Intentional offence is one of them, and it is one proven to work as this website has repeatedly demonstrated.
This disclaimer is not an apology for, nor a retraction of, any of the points in the article. It is simply a clarification of context regarding the articles’ style, content and delivery. When society evolves to the point where we can have real discussions about issues facing men and boys, then the need for this kind of provocation will end, at which point the editorial staff of this website may consider removing this article from its archives.
This particular article is dedicated to Mary P. Koss, an influential researcher who has demonstrated over and over how the crime of rape permeates our culture and results in a living nightmare for women across the western world. Sort of. –PE
Second note: Male victims of sexual assault by women who are frequently told that what happened to them is funny or something they should be proud of, by cops, the popular culture, even so-called friends, will understand the exact intent of this article. –DE
Look, ladies, I get it. I really do. You think you were raped. At least that is your claim. And even if we take for granted that you are telling the truth about some asshole that ignored your insistence that you did not want to have sex; who even ignored your repeated, tearful pleas to be left alone, and instead forced himself on you sexually, violating your personal boundaries and bodily integrity in order to penetrate you in one orifice or another, that is still a far cry from justifying the use of a word as strong as rape.
In fact, you may be so emotional about the matter that you are not going to be the most reliable informant of the facts. As an alleged victim, you are certainly not the most qualified arbiter of what constitutes rape to begin with. It is undoubtedly better that you just shut up about the matter – go somewhere where we don’t have to look at you or listen to you complain — and let someone more capable gather the facts and make a mature sensible decision about what happened.
Like me, for instance.
Actually, I can’t think of anyone better qualified to make a rational determination of the facts; who can avoid the hysterics often associated with the claim of rape, or things that might be misinterpreted as rape, and who can make a sound, considered decision about what happened to you and what to call it. So please, give the rape crisis line and everyone else a break while I sort things out.
You can just tell me what happened, then go off and cry, or go on Oprah, or do whatever it is women do when they think that someone has raped them. I will sort through all the details and then come back to you later, after I have had some time to make a considered and complete evaluation.
I will be the one to decide if you were raped, or just someone who was temporarily inconvenienced.
I have to tell you, though, that I am not one to just go around calling every claim a rape on behalf of women just because they drum up a few tears, or have a few bruises to show off.
Like that girl at Steubenville; the one who partied a little too hearty and then just happened to be penetrated by some of the guys she was partying with. Opportunistic sex? Yeah. Rape? No, not rape. Not even close.
All the outrage I read about the sympathy for the “perpetrators” was way off the mark. These guys needed alcohol and drug education, perhaps a good talking to, but not prison. Prison is for rapists, real rapists, not a couple of kids that got carried away at a party.
Then there was that woman, whatever her name was, in India that made worldwide headlines just a few months ago; the one that was murdered and allegedly raped on a bus in Delhi. The facts on that one don’t wash, either. Sure, she was beaten. There is evidence to support that, particularly in that she died from her injuries. Without a doubt, she was murdered.
But not raped, so let’s try not to get carried away with the righteous indignation, mmkay?
The fact that she was allegedly penetrated sexually during the course of her attack does not prove anything. Contrary to modern social fantasy, rape is not about penetration. Not in the least. I know, we have some slanted legislation and a few haughty pundits that state otherwise, but we will get to more of that in a minute.
I mentioned Oprah earlier. She’s another one of those “rape” victims that seem to crawl out of the woodwork when there is a camera around. Her contention is that she came from a really bad family and that on top of poverty and a lot of other problems, she was raped when she was nine years old.
Assuming she is alleging that she was sexually penetrated (and that she was even telling the truth to begin with), she gets crossed off the list of real victims, even if her story makes good fodder for building a TV empire. It’s still not rape. It is still not even close.
As a matter of fact, it simply can’t be rape. None of these fanciful stories are legitimate rapes. I have looked at the facts and made a clear, totally supportable conclusion. The girl in Steubenville wasn’t raped. The woman in India wasn’t raped and Oprah Winfrey sure as hell wasn’t raped.
And the reason for it is as simple as it is irrefutably factual.
Only women can rape.
Only men can be victims. Rape is not even a crime of which men are capable. Well, sure, they are physically capable, in the abstract I suppose, but only if you define rape to a narrow and archaic view like forced penetration. When it comes to real rape, which is when men are forced to penetrate, it is only women who can do it.
I understand — you have doubts. You have likely been ill informed and misled your whole life about what rape is and who it really affects.
Need I remind you that no so long ago anyone you know would have pointed to the horizon and told you just how obvious it was that the earth was flat? It is still right there for you to see, is it not? Look around you! Isn’t the earth flat?
Fortunately, through the informative use of science and a bird’s eye view of the planet, we moved past myopic conclusions drawn from the tunnel vision of surface impressions and ignorance.
The world is not flat, or the center of the universe, and men cannot rape. It is a crime exclusively perpetrated by women.
Is your blood boiling yet? Do you want to put a fist through sheet rock? Is my heartless and insensitive handling of the above “victims” making you see red? Do you want my head on a stick in the town square for the sheer depravity and sickness in what I am writing?
Well, let me tell you, I feel your outrage. I get where it comes from; which is to say that you are driven by decency and humanity to instinctively recoil from gratuitous and malicious indifference to the suffering of innocent victims.
You are, after all, a person of compassion, right? You would never ignore the suffering of a victim or minimize the pain and crippling isolation of someone so traumatized. Well, wait, not so fast. You are probably not near as compassionate as you think.
I will explain, but allow me to preface that by saying that if you finish reading this and you are still outraged at me instead of Mary Koss, then your compassion is about as real as a Crystal Gail Mangum rape claim, which is to say it is complete bullshit.
If, in the end, you still think I am the problem. I’ll do more than just proclaim that you are a hypocrite, I’ll prove it. The only question remaining will be whether or not you have the moral integrity and courage to admit it. Decent human beings will.
The deliberately blind with no right to be angry about anything won’t.
First, a little recent history on the study of rape in this culture. Mary P. Koss is a widely-quoted and highly influential feminist writer on the subject. Indeed, so influential is the University of Arizona scholar that she has long been considered a “go to” authority on the subject of rape by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. This is not of little gravity given the CDCs influence on government policy. With thanks to Tamen of Genderratic, here is a brief overview of her relationship with the CDC.
- 1996: Expert Panel Member, “Definitions of Sexual Assault,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
- 2003 : Selected to direct the Sexual Violence Applied Research Advisory Group, VAWNET.org, the national online resource on violence against women funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
- 2003 : Member, team of expert advisors, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on teen partner violence;
- 2003 : Panel of Experts, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control on scales to measure intimate partner violence, resulted in the publication of CDC Intimate Partner Violence compendium, 2005;
- 2003-4: Consultant, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC Intimate Partner Violence compendium, 2005 IPV Compendium on assessment of sexual violence and inclusion as recommended standard assessments in the field of two Koss-authored assessments (Sexual Experiences Survey-victimization, and Sexual Experiences Survey-perpetration)
That is quite an impressive track record, especially for someone who has been caught red-handed exaggerating the number of female rape victims to ridiculous proportions while simultaneously making similar efforts to erase the incidence of male rape victims, including children, from public view.
Mary P Koss has been doing the same thing with victims and perpetrators of rape as I did in the first few paragraphs of Juvenalian satire in this article, with two key differences. One, she denies the victimization of male victims instead of females. And two, her work is not satire; it is research done in the public trust for an agency that sets government policy and plays a highly influential role in forming public opinion.
Have you heard anywhere that 1 in 4 women will be raped in their lifetime? You can thank Mary P. Koss for that statistical sound bite, and for the fact that it is totally and completely bogus. She was so anxious to create that kind of ideological ear candy that she drove her own train off the tracks on research methods.
There were numerous, rookie-league errors with the data gathered in Koss’ study, but for the sake of brevity we’ll just address the basics here. Koss threw in a ringer of a question in her survey of three thousand college women:
“Have you had sexual intercourse when you didn’t want to because a man gave you alcohol or drugs?”
Given the frequency of college age women who party and end up having sex with someone and later regretting it, and given the social pressure still on men to provide alcohol and other party materials for women’s pleasure, Koss’ question was a set of brass knuckles hidden inside a boxing glove. It got her just the result she was looking for.
Two follow-up statistics demonstrate the point well enough. One, 42% of these “rape victims” went on to later date and have additional sexual relations with their “rapists,” and, get this, only 25% of the women surveyed that Koss counted as victims agreed that they had been raped.
At this point an honest scholar would just acknowledge their methodological errors, write off their study and start from scratch again in an attempt to obtain some valid conclusions — which explains why Koss went full steam ahead with the results.
It did not take long for Koss to come up with a 1 in 4 number like that. In fact, if men were asked the same questions as qualifiers for being a rape victim, the same exact number, 1 in 4, would emerge from the research. With Koss’ methodology, twenty–five percent of the men you know, your fathers, brothers, uncles, husbands and sons are rape victims. One fourth of the males in this culture have been egregiously violated in the very worst of ways. I can just see Dr. Phil staging group hugs on TV. Well, if anyone gave a damn about those men.
Do you think 1 in 4 men have been raped?
Are you outraged that I am treating the idea like a joke?
Not being satisfied with simply manufacturing victims that do not exist, Koss takes the next logical step for any ideologue who wants to show that only women can be victims of rape, and only men can be perpetrators. She produces a paper that erases the idea that men and boys can be victims in any way.
In her paper, “Sexual Victimization in College Men in Chile: Prevalence, Contexts and Risk Factors,” co-authored with Evelyn Lehrer, Ph. D., and Jocelyn Lehrer, Sc. D., once you pass by the obligatory acknowledgements, Koss and crew get to the meat of their intent:
“It would also be desirable to conduct further quantitative inquiry using the revised SES (Koss et al. 2007), which contains items that have been crafted with behavior-specific wording to elicit information on a range of SV experiences. This will make it possible to base men’s rape prevalence estimates with more specificity on acts that involve sustaining forced penetration, leaving less leeway for men’s individual perceptions of what constitutes ‘forced sex.’”
There is much more available from Koss that ensures her intentions are being taken accurately. With credit to Tamen from the Generratic blog, the following observation:
But let’s take a look at the revised SES Koss et al would like to use instead on the Chilean dataset:
Here is a quote from the 2007 paper by Koss et al: Revising the SES: A Collaborative Process to Improve Assessment of Sexual Aggression and Victimization
“We acknowledge the inappropriateness of female verbal coercion and the legitimacy of male perceptions that they have had unwanted sex. Although men may sometimes sexually penetrate women when ambivalent about their own desires, these acts fail to meet legal definitions of rape that are based on penetration of the body of the victim. Furthermore, the data indicate that men’s experiences of pressured sex are qualitatively different from women’s experiences of rape. Specifically, the acts experienced by men lacked the level of force and psychologically distressing impact that women reported. (Struckman-Johnson, 1988; Struckman-Johnson & Struckman-Johnson, 1994).
We worked diligently to develop item wording that captured men’s sense of pressure to have sex and draw their responses into an appropriate category of coercion instead of to rape items. The revised wording is discussed in more detail later in the article.
Cut to the chase. What Koss is saying, through the unblinking text of two very different studies, is that when women say they weren’t raped, they really were, and when men say they were raped, they really weren’t.
That, uh, “revised wording”? Men who are forced to penetrate under physical or any other kind of duress are not raped. That perception clearly has had an impact on matters at the CDC and other entities charged with the dissemination of information on rape and sexual assault.
In a recent media interview of TyphonBlue, she pointed out clearly how males who are raped get classified as “made to penetrate” (Read: NOT RAPED) in figures from the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NIPSVS) by the CDC, the same organization where Koss has had so much influence.
Tamen goes on to articulate more in his review of the subject:
“[The] CDC apparently found it inappropriate to call it rape – or rather they think it’s a unique male victimization that is separate from rape. The Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW) does not even bother to include it in the survey even if it under Sexual Offenses Act of 2003 Section 4 is punishable with a sentence up to life (SOA 2003 doesn’t call it rape either). The latest CSEW did a split-sample experiment to test a new set of questions. The new questions had an option that male victims who had been made to penetrate could answer yes. The analysts classified those who answered yes to that question as NON-VICTIMS.”
At this point it would probably good to remind you that this kind of hegemony over and shaping of descriptive language produces much more than just an imbalance in empathy between male and female victims of rape. As with most ideological objectives, it invariably leads to money, power and ultimately legislation that affects all victims.
The FBI, in January of 2012 redefined rape from a standard that had been applied since 1929. It now defines rape as, “[T]he penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” This is according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
In other words, to be a rape, it must involve penetration, which makes male rape victims legally invisible. It also ensures that whatever slight awareness of them actually existed is further eroded.
If you still think I am the problem, and not the legacy of Koss’ work, then you are part of this deprivation.
Addressing victims of rape is a federally and privately funded industry of significant proportions. It provides not only employment and organizational underwriting, it also serves as the academic raison d’être for ideologues like Mary P Koss. Entire careers are carved out of the institutional bedrock on theories, and often ideologies, as we see in the case of academic feminism.
Koss has a vested ideological, professional and financial interest in the idea that men cannot be raped, and even in the idea that whatever they may experience at the hands of female rapists, it does not impact them with the same intensity, or need for assistance (cha-ching), as when the same thing happens to women.
The short and sorry version of Koss’ take on male rape by forced envelopment is that it does not happen, and even if it did, men aren’t bothered by it. They have no pain that needs to be addressed, nor is the female rapist a problem we need to recognize.
In fact, this is woven into the progression of language we see from Koss as it morphs though the body of her work. She goes from not wanting to label women raping men as rape, then not wanting to label it “forced sex,” and then changes it to “unwanted” sex and ultimately to “ambivalent” sex.
Let’s see, even anecdotally, how that holds up. The following is another excerpt from the Genderratic Blog, and was originally posted to r/mensrights. Be advised, it is very graphic and may be disturbing for some.
First time I’ve told this story, other than to my doctor, therefore – throw away account. Also, I’m Swedish, so I’m sorry for all the grammar faults.
I was at a friend’s party and got a few beers. I believe I was the least drunk there. One gal started to talk to me and coming on to me. I had a girlfriend at the time and I wasn’t even attracted to her (big as a hippo), so I tried to ignore her.
A few hours later I was feeling very fuzzy in my head so I had to lie down for a bit. This struck me as odd, since the few beers were all I had to drink. Later on I understood that there were something else other than beers in one of the cans.
I woke up several hours later in my friend’s bed which were on another floor than the party was held. I was still feeling fuzzy in my head, so I didn’t really get what was going on. My hands and my feet were tied to the bed – each part in each corner. My dick hurt like crazy and I wanted to see what was going on down there. Someone was naked and riding my dick. It took me about five seconds until I understood that I was naked and was raped. It was the same girl who hit on me.
I screamed, but no one heard me. I tried to get away, but I couldn’t move, both because I was tied down and also because of her weight.
Fifteen horrible minutes later she decided she was done with me and let me loose. I collapsed and couldn’t move. She got dressed and went downstairs. I cried.
Apparently she couldn’t get my dick hard, so she had shuffed[sic] a Q-tip without the cotton up my urethra so it would keep straight. Four years later, it still hasn’t recovered.
Actually, this victim may be qualified under Koss’ personal criteria as a rape victim, not because he was drugged and restrained and forced to penetrate his attacker, not because he was assaulted while unconscious but because she penetrated his urethra with an object in order to produce a simulated erection.
The difference between this man being raped and just having “ambivalent” sex is a Q-tip. And unless it was the Q-tip that made him shed tears, then his pain wasn’t real either.
We have another case that was brought to the pages of this website. Former marine James Landrith met a woman in a night club through a friend and ended up having drinks with her. According to him, after agreeing to give the woman, who was pregnant, a ride home he wound up in a hotel, having been drugged, and woke up to find the woman on top of him with his penis inside her.
During the course of raping him, she threatened him with a rape allegation if he resisted, and also told him that any attempt to throw her off could harm her unborn child.
The rape happened before the young marine was 20 years old, and his response to the experience was typical for many victims of sexual trauma.
He embarked on a path of sexual recklessness and lost his trust in women, generally speaking. After 20 years of a dysfunctional reaction to the traumatic stress, he finally sought help and got it from a psychotherapist.
No thanks to Mary Koss. And likely no thanks to many readers of this article.
This attitude, so prevalent in modern culture, results in insensitivity that can only be described as mind boggling. From a report on the abuse of soldiers in Uganda. Eunice Owiny worked for Makerere University’s Refugee Law Project (RLP) to help displaced people from all over Africa work through their traumas. Here is a sample of what she discovered there:
“Men aren’t simply raped, they are forced to penetrate holes in banana trees that run with acidic sap, to sit with their genitals over a fire, to drag rocks tied to their penis, to give oral sex to queues of soldiers, to be penetrated with screwdrivers and sticks.”
Owiny may want to consult with Koss, as according to her worldview those men likely weren’t raped, but the banana trees were.
The social mechanics of this imbalance in empathy and concern is simple. Misandry, the hatred of men and boys and the indifference to their pain, is a social norm. Koss uses the natural human tendency to be blind to the pain and suffering of men in order to shroud her agenda and her ethical failings in research.
She doesn’t even have to work at it. The average human being will read the first few paragraphs of this article and indulge themselves in reflexive hatred for whoever wrote it. They will sputter out words like “despicable” and “horrible” like they had Tourette’s.
But move them down the column and their emotions change. The spontaneous outbursts calm down. They may even scratch their heads and mutter something weak about how we need to look more into this. They may even have a moment where they are forced to feel some compassion for male victims (though no outrage for how we treat them).
And then they will shrug that off and go right back to being angry with me for treating women victims with such egregious insensitivity.
All because I wrote a few paragraphs of harsh satire, metaphorically putting shoes on women that we force men to walk in every day of their lives…for real.
That is, as a rule, what we think of the pain of men.
Oh, and for those of you who think Mary Koss is wrong but I am still shameless and disgusting for saying what I did, I suggest a trip to the mirror because you are more disgusting than either of us.
I know what Koss is like. I can deal with her. She is an ideologue with an agenda and it is plastered all over everything she does. She doesn’t have empathy for men and she doesn’t pretend to.
In that way I understand Black men who say they would rather deal with an open redneck than a closet racist. At least they know what they are getting.
But for those prone to convulse with repugnance over some satire but who ultimately feel nothing over the suffering of men and boys, no matter how horrible or unfair, I really do hope you are angry.
And I invite you choke on it.
You, not Mary Koss, are the reason this kind of writing is necessary in the first place.
- Jill Filipovic of COSMO works at the speed of light! - October 25, 2014
- AVFM launches whiteribbon.org! - October 22, 2014
- Thanks to you, AVFM reaches fundraising goal again - October 6, 2014
- Oh, Danny Boy, the ink, the ink is calling - October 2, 2014
- A Voice for Men Fall Fundraiser - September 29, 2014