Tuesday, July 12, 2011

You Might Be a Rape Supporter If....

This list is a work in progress. It is my response to a blog post that has been circulating around the internet, titled, "A Man Is a Rape-Supporter If...."

Though I agree with some of the items on that list, and understand that the author meant "rape supporter" in the sense that people who buy clothing made in sweatshops support child labor, I believe that in defining rape supporters so broadly and indicting an entire gender, the post does more harm than good. For one thing, people who actually condone rape (and there are more of them than one would like to believe) will likely feel smug and justified in their beliefs after reading such a post.

Thus, I offer my own list of indications that one might be a rape supporter. It is not an exhaustive list. I do not have full knowledge or understanding of all of the issues brought up herein. Based on what I do know and understand at this point in time, I consider myself somewhere in between the anti-porn/anti-prostitution and the sex-positive feminists. If you disagree with any of the items on this list, or if there's another item you think that I ought to include, I am open to suggestions.

You Might Be a Rape Supporter If....

You have ever committed rape by the current legal definition.

You have ever talked someone into having sex with you when they initially expressed (verbally or nonverbally) discomfort with the idea.

You have ever touched another person's breasts or genitals without their permission or clear signs of approval.

You have ever gotten someone drunk in the hope that they would then agree to have sex with you.

You believe that teenaged boys who are raped by their attractive female high school teachers have really just "scored" and deserve high-fives rather than protection.

You believe that children who are sexually abused by adults are provocative or "asking for it."

You believe that women who dress in sexually appealing ways are asking to be raped.

You've described a client who was sexually abused by their current or former psychotherapist as having had "an affair" with their therapist, or you believe that the abuse was okay because the client "consented" to sex with the therapist.

You believe that it's impossible to rape a prostitute or other sex worker.

You believe that it's impossible to rape a man, or that men are lucky to be raped by attractive women.

You believe that anyone wants to be raped.

You believe that lesbians and bisexual women need to be raped in order to turn them straight.

You support transphobic laws and policies that push transgender people into the sex trade.

You've asked someone who was sexually assaulted or coerced into sex if they "learned their lesson," or told them to behave differently in the future to avoid being victimized.

You knowingly frequent strip clubs that look the other way when strippers are assaulted or mistreated by customers.

You knowingly purchase pornography that was produced under exploitative conditions.

You have knowingly paid for sex with someone who was forced or coerced into prostitution.

You regularly tell or laugh at rape jokes, and don't speak up when you hear others telling them.*

* Being afraid to speak up is one thing, but actually thinking that rape jokes are funny is quite another.


Lis said...

This hits very close to home for me right now as I am currently dealing with a situation involving the last item on the list. I would encourage all people to speak up about such things. I can truly say from personal experience that I know how scary it is and that responses to your feelings are not always pleasant especially if someone is stupid enough to make said comments.

Luella said...

Thanks for sharing, Lis. I'm sorry you're going through that right now. Unfortunately, rape jokes are all too common, and it's definitely scary to speak up about them in an environment where your concerns will be dismissed.

Kendra Holliday said...

Thank you for taking the time to create this list. I like your version better than the original.