03/19/2014 Jonathan Taylor

RAINN smacks down the Feminist “rape culture” narrative

And some Feminists are all a-twitter about it. Literally.

RAINN (the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network), which describes itself as the nation’s largest anti-violence organization, has thrown its hat in the ring regarding Feminist politics and sex-assault victims in higher education. In their letter to the recently-formed White House task force designed to protect students from sexual assault, they say:

In the last few years, there has been an unfortunate trend towards blaming “rape culture” for the extensive problem of sexual violence on campuses. While it is helpful to point out the systemic barriers to addressing the problem, it is important to not lose sight of a simple fact: Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime. While that may seem an obvious point, it has tended to get lost in recent debates.

Which is exactly what men’s advocates and sensible everyday folk have been saying for years. RAINN continues:

This has led to an inclination to focus on particular segments of the student population (e.g., athletes), particular aspects of campus culture (e.g., the Greek system), or traits that are common in many millions of law-abiding Americans (e.g., “masculinity”), rather than on the subpopulation at fault: those who choose to commit rape. This trend has the paradoxical effect of making it harder to stop sexual violence, since it removes the focus from the individual at fault, and seemingly mitigates personal responsibility for his or her own actions.

It should be obvious to everyone (except for Feminists) that anyone who acts in the slightest bit masculine is not necessarily a rapist in waiting. But listening to the way a lot of Feminists talk, and the way a lot of Feminists present themselves, you would think that most men support raping women with wild abandon.

The authors of the website Community of the Wrongly Accused had this to say on the matter:

Rape is not caused by “rape culture” or masculinity. It’s caused by sociopaths who rape. To assert that doesn’t lessen the harm to rape victims, it simply makes clear that “redefining masculinity” is not the solution.

Feminists have launched a scorched-earth campaign against men and boys in academia regarding sexual assault. Any place where men gather among only men – frat houses, athletic teams, and so forth – are regarded as rape-enabling spaces. Of course, women-only spaces are not regarded by Feminists as spaces that enable false rape accusations.

Funny how that works.

That is why there has been a campaign to close down numerous campus fraternities, sometimes because of the actions of a singular frat member, and sometimes based on nothing more than an accusation. And we should all remember how, during the infamous 2006 Duke lacrosse false rape case, Duke University suspended the team and fired the coach immediately after three lacrosse players were falsely accused of rape.

Questioning the “rape culture” narrative of Feminism defeats the Feminist war on male space: the war on male solidarity, and male friendship. There is nothing inherently wrong with men gathering among men, or women gathering among women. But when the former is viewed as inherently evil and the latter is viewed as not only good but also necessary, that’s a morally problematic worldview. And that worldview is owed directly to the hateful beliefs of Feminism.

Jessica Valenti, author of the iconic modern Feminist book Full Frontal Feminism, had this to say:

Valenti Rainn 1

Newsflash: RAINN did not “dismiss” the flawed notions of “rape culture.” They deconstructed it.

And more:

Valenti Rainn 2

Incorrect. And I’ll just go ahead and say it: Valenti is lying.

It’s typical of Feminists to strawman their opponents’ arguments. They simply can’t hold any ground in an “argument” without lying about their opposition. You see, you don’t have to blame “all men” for rape in order to blame the vast majority of men for it. And that is exactly what Feminists do.

One of Feminism’s more common intellectual vices is its tendency to overgeneralize about problems, and overgeneralize about the evil of men. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the degree to which activists generalize about problems matters. Feminism cherry-picks disadvantages from only the female side of the equation, and then embellishes and blows them out of proportion.

We see this tendency among Feminists all the time. If one man at the top of society sends ten thousand men at the bottom to die in war, Feminists will ignore the suffering of the ten thousand men at the bottom to complain about the privilege of the one man at the top. They will then act as though women are “disproportionately singled out and disadvantaged” because women were not equally represented among the very small number of men who sent huge numbers of men to a horrible death.

I actually think there is a problem with rape-supportive attitudes and assumptions in society. But where I differ with Feminists is that I do not believe that they are “normalized” in society. I do not overgeneralize about it. Our culture, in general, does not support rape. If Feminists had instead called it a rape subculture, it would have made a lot more sense to me. I would probably even call it accurate.

But when they walk around saying “we live in a rape culture,” as if our culture generally supports rape, I won’t have any supportive or kind words for them. Nor should anyone.

A movement cannot sustain itself forever on hyperbole, gimmicks, clichés, slogans, hot air, and whatnot. It actually needs an intellectual foundation. Otherwise it’s just a hysteria, a craze, a political fad. And when it comes to sexual assault on campus, that’s pretty much what Feminism is.

And as RAINN has so eloquently demonstrated, it’s starting to come back to bite them. It was only a matter of time, of course.

Valenti isn’t done yet, however:

Valenti Rainn 3

I have a better question: how do Feminists like Jessica Valenti feel about organizations like RAINN – the largest antiviolence organization on planet earth – disagreeing with them?

Oh, but we already know how they feel: they are shocked! Shocked, I tell you. 

But perhaps Feminists are just misunderstood. Why can’t organizations like RAINN understand that Feminists like Valenti just want to defend women from male violence? Does that really sound so unreasonable? But switch out the sexes with the races, and they would be like the white nationalists who wring their hands and wonder why people criticize their efforts to protect “proper white folk” from black violence.

We need to be careful when we start talking about protecting “this group” from “that group,” especially in the context of violence. Feminists have clearly failed in that regard. It’s long past time for their betters to lead the way.

The narrative of Feminism is not only anti-male, it just isn’t accurate enough to help victims of sexual assault, and sometimes actively works against them. Three cheers for RAINN in taking a sensible approach to addressing sexual assault on campus.

Jonathan Taylor
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Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.
Jonathan Taylor
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About the Author

Jonathan Taylor Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.

Comments (6)

  1. Jonathan, the “rape culture” shibboleth has become a kind of shorthand for a society that supposedly allows rape to flourish. Fueling the engine of rape are supposedly traditional (culturally constructed, that is) notions of masculinity–meaning those traits or behaviors that most men share and practice to varying degrees. Patriarchy legitimizes the institutions that allow rape to flourish (e.g., the criminal courts do not protect women — you know, that nasty “due process” crap and all).

    It is a fancy way of hating men, as a class, and of blaming men, as a class, for anything bad, and for insisting that men (er, masculinity) must be reconstructed. In short, man-hate gussied up with sociology jargon. The true believers will recoil at such a characterization of “rape culture” — after all, they are claiming that RAINN itself doesn’t understand “rape culture” (which is akin to saying the Vatican doesn’t understand the Holy Spirit). The fact is, they transmogrify “rape culture” to mean whatever the hell they want anyway, so their views on the subject are scarcely worthy of refutation.

    RAINN wisely sees their approach as a divisive impediment to its mission of, you know, actually helping people, as opposed to dashing off angry blog posts and writing philosophical pieces on the usage of “trigger alerts” when everyone knows that “trigger alerts” are bullshit.

    The overblown reaction to RAINN’s post by the usual suspects manifests a troubling truth: radical feminism is fueled by a disdain for “masculinity,” or actually, the typical man. Once we leave those sad, angry people in the rear-view mirror, we can concentrate on eradicating rape while insuring the innocent aren’t punished with the guilty. But then again, what do I know?

    • True words, Pierce. I have long thought it entirely possible that, over the long run, Feminism may actually be more of a detriment to rape victims than a benefit to them.

      1. Denying false rape accusations are a problem and advocating against deterrences (i.e., punishments) toward false accusers opens the floodgates to false rape accusations. And a woman’s credibility is a pivotal element in rape prosecution.

      2. Radically expanding the definition of rape trivializes rape. When a woman makes a rape/sex-assault accusation, it is no longer unreasonable to question what the word “rape”/”sexual assault” actually means. Language requires a kind of narrowness in definition to retain gravity.

      3. We know what a lot of Feminists think about men who are raped by women.

      I could go on. But that’s enough for now.

  2. T.Smith

    It seems in the feminist lexicon that consent must be explicitly stated by the women in all (hetero) sexual scenarios, or it becomes rape, however a man can be accused of rape by his somehow suggesting or implying it.Something Jonathan pointed out recently with the Goshen college allegation of psychological rape, I mean what is that? They have just invented a crime. Now an alleged rape thought can be criminalized? This is the true rape culture, created and propagated by feminists who need women to live in fear.

    And of course feminists are only anti-sexual violence and anti-rape culture when the alleged victim is female and alleged perpetrator is male. But do they jump to the defence of all rape victims? No, and this is why valenti is so shocked by the response of RAINN, who truly represent rape victims.


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