Apologies for the length of this blog post but I have been having an interesting conversation over at https://gigisrantsandraves.wordpress.com/2017/12/19/okay-so-235/ which is still going on. I have copy and pasted the chat so far and would be interested to hear your thoughts on it and gratefully welcome any corrections to things wrongly stated if you see any. Advanced apologies if I put some of my phrases indelicately at the time of writing although I did my best to be sensitive when approaching my points. The reasoning of each point and direction of the conversation is of particular interest.
The original post that I read was this:
My friend told me that she was watching TV and someone said they aren’t going to hire women any longer because then they won’t have any sexual harassment issues.
So once again women will be punished for the behavior of men and as always, men will not be expected to change their own behavior. I’m so bloody sick of this garbage.
It was the comment below that intrigued me enough to comment and set me off on reading a lot of websites and informing myself.
You are free to believe whatever you like. Rapes are not going down but if the stats you saw say they are, you can believe that. When I was being selected for jury duty on a rape case, the judge asked if anyone had been or knew anyone who had been raped, every hand was raised. Men said their wives, sisters and friends, women said the same, including themselves. She didn’t ask if any of the men who might be selected ever raped anyone, of course. I could go on and on but as I said. You can believe whatever you wish. I don’t think college women would be marching with their mattresses if it wasn’t a huge issue, but we all get to see things from our own point of view. It’s the same thing with pornography. I was the Chair for NOW in the state of IL and men simply refused to see the connect between pornography and violence against women. They didn’t want to see it, they didn’t want “those places,” in their neighborhoods either. The only thing that shut them up was when I asked if they would rather have the kid picking their daughter up for a date had just read Scientific American or Pornography. They stopped talking at that point I spoke before the American Bar Assoc. But men like pornography, they won’t give it up and women pay the price. I’m sure you can find stats that say it doesn’t do anything, that there’s no correlation between porn and violence against women, but there is. It’s all what a person wants to see. Women know what’s going on, men don’t want to believe it, so they don’t. Just like not hiring women will stop sexual harassment problems. Men never change their behavior, women just get hurt. So, as I said, you can believe that rape is going down, you can believe that it’s not epidemic on campus and that won’t change what’s actually happening to women, it never does.
I haven’t had time to study the links between porn and violence but I will scour the net for research supporting or proving this at a later, less chock-a-block date. Getting back to the campus issues, if rapes are going up and are not being reported, then that is sadly part of the problem. I’m not attempting to put any blame on the women for their harrowing ordeal, I hasten to add but the problem cannot be addressed loudly enough if the statistics don’t support it.
As an English observer, I am, admittedly out of the loop so all I have to go on are the official statistics and reports, which showed college women less likely to be assaulted than women outside the educational sphere, most tellingly the least educated were the most vulnerable to attacks.
Anyway I don’t wish to keep clogging up your comments section but I am glad we had this chat. Would you mind if I copied this conversation to my blog to generate more conversation? I think it would be good to give the topic more coverage and to listen to other people’s ideas. Either way thank you for reading, responding and not angrily shouting at me, as so many on the net seem to do these days when alternate points of view are put forward.
You can clog all you like. Here’s the thing. The OVERWHELMING number of rapes are not reported. Women have been blamed for being raped, asked what they were wearing, why THEY WERE OUT, why they were at a party, and many other questions that have nothing to do with why males decided to attack them. Stats are fudged, rapes are called other things, to make the departments look better. Women are ridiculed for being raped, advised to keep their mouths shut and not start trouble and asked what they did to make it happen. Police forces are now trained to handle rape cases but women still don’t report them. Many times, in college, the women know the guys who rape them. Other students warn women not to get the guys in trouble or kicked of school. Women are drugged and gang raped at parties. There are men who have said they didn’t “want” to do it but all the other guys were raping her and he wanted to get into the fraternity and rape was what you had to do to get in. Women take to each other. You may never understand, no matter how much you read, no matter what stats you comb. It’s an underground thing that is done and women are threatened and dismissed and expected to shut up. Girls come home from school and don’t go back. They don’t tell their parents, they tell their friends what happened and sometimes their friends don’t even support them. Schools LIE about the number of rapes to keep their funding, to keep athletes safe so they bring in more money by winning games. This happens in high school as well. I really don’t thing you can understand it. If you believe what you read you’re reading what someone wrote, something that’s not actually real. I was at dinner with close friends. One of the women was being beaten by her husband. She had run out of the house with the kids a number of times. He cut up her clothes, tried to stop her from going to work. The conversation turned to battered women. I said that one out of five women were beaten on a regular basis. He laughingly said, “That would mean that someone at our table could be being beaten. We all knew it was happening but he didn’t. He could have read all he wanted to read about battered women and shelters and still never known that his own sister was being beaten. Real life is different than what the stats say. In college women have sex they don’t want to have and that’s not considered rape by some. But it is. We live in a violent world. A man raped a 4 year old and said she led him on. Old women are raped in cemeteries while visiting their dead husband’s grave. There was a serial rapist who drove from his suburb to one closer to the city and raped women who were cleaning churches. He was a man who went to church, had three daughters and when he was finally caught, his wife and children moved away. Three boys my daughter went to high school with decided to rape her while they were eating lunch. She fought back, kicked the guy on top of her in the face and got away. She knew them, was eating with them and they just decided it was a good idea. I live in a VERY nice neighborhood. You can read and read but life for women is fraught with danger. You can believe the stats, you can believe what you read but you won’t get the truth. Women, marking on the quad, with mattresses to protest rape on campus. One school after another fell, when the truth started coming out. Men can talk about this but you’ll never understand the state of alertness women must be in all the time. How you can’t trust men, get into an elevator, walk to your car. A woman was raped when she went to put her christmas tree at the curb, a few years ago. Every single one of my husbands cousins have been raped. You’ll never get it. Women don’t tell. Just like the big reveal in Hollywood. Women have been abused forever and it’s just coming out now. Read all you like…it’s like reading to learn how to become a pilot but never getting in a plane. The ACLU (I don’t know if this is still valid) believes it’s wrong to murder women to make snuff films but once they are made, they protect the film under freedom of speech. Good luck with that one. You’re not supposed to kill women for fun but once she’s dead, it’s okay.
The ACLU position is a curious one as snuff films are illegal (unless the law has changed) and no snuff films – presumably until this one – has ever been found according to research, unless you count terrorist videos. Hypothetically if the person filming didn’t take part he/she could be protected under the first amendment it is tentatively argued. Anybody involved in the film in any other way would be seen as complicit in murder. I am assuming the victim’s family took the case to court and if that was the verdict, then the public record of that can be used to prosecute any known individuals involved. Although why they wouldn’t have been prosecuted or searched for, were the above to be the case I do not know. It would be on public record though and therefore easy to bring into the nation’s eye were anybody wishing to do so.
I totally agree with you that stats can and have been fudged over various fields to hide a number the powers that be don’t want to be known in many institutions and they need to be held to account over that.
My position is that I can only understand what I read, be they official statistics or testimony of victims and perpetrators, that is all I can do to find out what is real. Maybe I don’t ‘get it’ but until there is a full, clear picture it seems to me that anything could be swept under the rug or ignored because the facts aren’t there and they are what bring cases to court and people to justice. As I said before, it must be harrowing for anybody to relive that ordeal and go through the courts but it is the only sure way that I can see for justice to be done and a clear message sent out to any would be rapist. Only when the evidence through statistics mirror real life can the magnitude of the situation be truly understood by all. I can see no other way.