I watch a lot of The Young Turks. I’m never sure if that’s a good thing or not. A few months ago they started a new channel called TYT University, which features stories and tips for students in university or high school students thinking about university. In general it’s a pretty good channel, but a week ago they posted up a 2-part series which made me quite upset.
TW for sexual assault/rape/misogyny for everything below:
They basically took chain mails I’ve been getting for years and posted them in video form. All of the shitty advice that tells women what to do not to get raped. I decided to post a comment on the second video, and thankfully others had posted similar comments:
Or how about, start teaching men that women are humans and that rape is wrong? How about working to get the conviction rate for rape up to the point that they’ll start believing it? How about we get police officers to start taking sexual assault charges seriously? This would do more to prevent sexual assault than telling women what to do/not to do.
Someone commented and criticised me for not saying men get raped and women can be perpetrators of sexual assault. I completely understand that and I apologised and still do apologise for that, and in general speaking in binary language. Any person of any gender can rape and be raped.
But then they kept going with the red herring. False rape allegations.
…putting laws in place that get women who have clearly made false rape allegation sentenced for the same amount of years as their wouldbe victims would have been given or how about considering the fact that is take an exceptional fucked-up person to forceably have sexual intercourse with another person against their will,something which they’d probably do despite being educated to respect others.
This is a red herring, because false rape allegations are no higher than false allegations for other violent crimes, commonly estimated at about 2%. So 98% of allegations are truth, and those are only those who report. If women who didn’t report started reporting, I’m sure the percentage of ‘false rape’ would drop under 1%.
Whether or not some women do make false rape allegations, this distracts us from the reality that only 6% of rape charges are convicted. That’s disgustingly low. A very low percentage of people report rape for fear of not being taken seriously, or because they don’t think there is enough evidence against the rapist. Or sincerely being scared. For many reasons other than that. It’s such a complicated issue.
I take offense to the word ‘rape’ not being used by the commenter. Instead they use ‘forceably have sexual intercourse with another person against their will’. It’s as if either this person is scared to say rape, or they don’t fully understand the meaning of this. Furthermore this person does not understand that this isn’t a ‘mad or bad’ argument. Either the rapist is crazy or the rapist is a horrible horrible person. Now, of course, the rapist IS a horrible horrible person, but we also have to understand the culture in which they live, and they are victims of that culture. Not at all should we show any sympathy towards them, but an understanding of how rape culture skews the minds of everyone around it would lead us to the conclusion that, under other contexts, these people might not be the people they are.
Which is why ‘teaching people not to rape’ is so important. Rape culture needs to be dismantled.
* Just found out this person is an MRA, or figuring they are because they linked me to an MRA video. Loser. I thought I was engaging with someone who could be debated, but I’d rather not be called a ‘bimbotic bitch’ like they did to another woman who disagreed with them.
- Mumsnet rape and sexual assault survey results, and a word on statistics (thefword.org.uk)
- RCASA’s Friday Facts: Sexual Assault of Men (rcasa.wordpress.com)
- Reaction: I never said yes-rape documentary on BCC3 (kismethypno.wordpress.com)
- 80% of women don’t report rape of sexual assault, survey claims (telegraph.co.uk)