Friday, December 5, 2014

Why "Teach Men Not to Rape" is a Sexist Message

I don't know about anyone else here, but I've somehow missed all the "Don't rape people" classes that have happened over my lifetime, and amazingly enough, I've somehow managed to never commit a rape in my life.  Not even once.  Haven't even contemplated the idea.  I even broke up with that one rather disturbing young woman who asked me, during one particularly energetic consensual sexual encounter, to help her enact a rape fantasy, with me cast as the attacker.


Yeah, I put my pants on, walked out her door, and told her to never call me again after that.  It was disturbing.


But I digress...


My point is that the statement "Teach men not to rape" is way, way too unspecific.  The statement "Teach men not to rape!" implies that the men, just because they are men, need to be taught such a thing in the first place.  That men, all men, are potential rapists just because they are male.  To believe that half the population (the male half) is somehow biologically inclined towards rape is to enthusiastically embrace hatred for the entire male half of the human race.


The statement also ignores the existence of women who rape.  Which of course raises the question, why don't you ever see any "And while you're at it, teach women not to rape as well" messages?


The "teach men not to rape" message is a reminder to all men everywhere that they are lesser, inferior animals and that they will be tolerated only so long as they can remember to pretend to be human beings when they're out in public.  Its a warning to men that they will only be allowed to interact with society only if they can remember to not rape every female around them, or swing from the rafters, or toss their feces at random passers-by.


I have noticed something interesting though.  The same people who shamelessly display "Teach men not to rape" signs wouldn't ever, not in a million years, dream of displaying a sign that read "Teach black people to not steal."  Or "Teach Jews not to be skinflints and cheats."  Or "Teach homosexuals not to molest children."  Of course, unlike non-thieving black people, honest Jews, and non-pedophilic gays, who don't need to be publicly "educated" to not steal, cheat, or molest children -- since they don't do these things -- men apparently do need to be constantly reminded not to rape people if they're going to be allowed to walk around freely in public as if they were real human beings.


Right?  I mean, am I right?


Now there are some feminists out there who were unlucky enough to not be born female, and these unlucky males actually agree that men do, indeed, need constant reminding to not engage in rape.  They are the "good ones".  They are different.  They're the ones who somehow manage to not rape their mothers, their sisters, their daughters, female friends and coworkers... they're the trained monkeys who perform a number of predetermined tasks.


These men get to wear a special white ribbon that shows that they are tame.  They properly loathe themselves for their maleness, and will help hunt the non-conforming, wild male who, while undesired, is still kept around to do the heavy lifting and the dirty work.


I wonder.  Do you think in 50 years,  those men and women who now so blithely talk about how all men are closet rapists will look back on this period in time with pride, or will they be ashamed that they were a part of a political movement whose entire goal was the denigration of an entire gender?


Will their neighbors roll their eyes and shake their head at the harmless old bigot who still espouses the idea that men are inferior by nature?  Will they proudly fly the sexist flag, reminiscing of the good old days when they could talk about men as if they were second class citizens, physically abuse them in public without punishment, and make them the butts of sexist jokes on television without fear of repercussion?


How will their children feel?  It must be similar to how some modern Germans feel knowing that some of their grandparents and great-grandparents must have been proud Nazis.


Seriously, if someone is seriously trying to put forth the idea that men need to be "taught not to rape", then I hope what they feel in 50 years is shame.

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