Masculinism, cont.–Raising Our Kids

The Red Queen wrote a post about my last Masculinism post in which she makes such a good point I had to bring it over here:

When Kid was very small, I started teaching him about consent. When we would roughhouse or tickle fight, one “no” was all it took for me to stop. And I taught him that one “no” was the line I drew at him stopping. Period. End of game. We both got to say when it was too much and those boundaries were absolute.

(She also says, “I am teaching my son that the only good way to enjoy pleasure is when both people are ready and happily excited about it.” which I love, but can’t quite figure out how to work in here.)

She explains that she uses this strategy not just as a way of reinforcing the idea that when another person says “no” it must be respected (an important lesson), BUT ALSO so that when he says “no” and finds that it is not respected, he recognizes that there’s something fucked up.

I know we’ve talked about this before, but this is exactly why I’m opposed to the whole “go on, give your aunt a kiss [or hug or whatever]” bullshit, especially when it is coupled by “do you want to hurt her feelings?”

I will not take a kiss from a child coerced into it by a well-meaning parent and, if I’m quick enough, I won’t accept a hug that way either.  Yes, it’s polite to tell me good-bye.  And yes, I love it when kids like me enough to hug me or cuddle with me on the couch.

But their bodies are their own and I want them to feel free to not have to make them available to people they don’t want to make them available to, even if it’s for something as innocent as a hug.

I have too often known people to use that exact reasoning on children — “come on, give me a kiss.  You don’t want to make me sad, do you?” — for nefarious purposes and it takes so little effort to undermine that strategy by teaching your kids that they have a right to refuse to do things to other people with their bodies and that they have a right to ask that things not be done to them.

30 thoughts on “Masculinism, cont.–Raising Our Kids

  1. *cheers & applause! cheers & applause!*

    Great post, B. From this, I just realized that I have been projecting a double-standard. On one hand, there have been times that I’ve told Amanda’s father not to make her feel like she has to give a hug, kiss, or whatever to him or others in his family (he’s very insistent that way, and plays the “hurt feelings” card)…or insisted to him that when they wrestle that if she says no, it means NO…and yet at the same time, I have been just as guilty of saying, “Aren’t you going to give Aunt B. (or whoever) a hug before we go?”

    Well-meaning in both situations, but definitely, ever so subtly sending the wrong message to her.

    I’m going to be a helluva lot more conscientious about that in the future.

  2. I never thought of it like that.

    I remember having to give hugs and kisses to my Uncle Bones (really, Uncle Bones!). He would just hold you there on his lap and squeeze the air out of you. It was awful. I hated it. (In his defense, he had two sons, but had always wanted little girls to dote on, so my sister and I bore the brunt of his affection. Years later, he would spoil the heck out of his grand-nieces. He was a crusty old Irishman with a very big soft spot for his nieces, let me tell you).

    But all these years I’ve been the kind of person to put on the big sad face when some child (a niece or friend’s child) doesn’t want to pony up the hug or kiss. I feel so bad now. On the other hand, I have two girlfriends whose girls attack me when they see me/i>. So maybe it balances out in the end.

    (and like ‘Coma, I sit in awe of you…)

  3. I join Ginger in the raucous round of applause and cheers. I think the other Masculinism comments thread was as revealing as it was frustrating, because at the heart of your post there (for me) was the very issue you’re discussing here, Aunt B.

    Instead of dragging the entirety of the rape issue into the false equivalence of “he said/she said,” it should be a discussion of respect for bodily autonomy.

    The issue of consent is a legal one, but the issues of willingness and sharing are far more personal and human. If the law has to get involved, it means that one or both persons involved failed to handle themselves at the personal or the human level. This gets back to the point you made earlier, Aunt B., about how we view sex and sexuality. Is sex something that a woman lets a man take, or is it something that a man and a woman share with each other? Do we assume that the genders are on equal footing in every sexual situation?*

    This post is a great lead-in to those issues. I’m wondering if some of the men in the other thread were reaching so hard to defend against the lying she-devil because it is easier than dealing with the concept of sexual egalitarianism. That is why I think a big part of the solution lies between teaching children to respect and enforce their own and others’ bodily autonomy and teaching grown men to make progress in enforcing social norms regarding sex.

    It will also involve battling a backward, patriarchal notion that Amanda Marcotte highlights very well, i.e. that female sexuality is dirty and that women who want to enjoy sex are evil sluts. If we can shake that off at the societal level, and liberate ourselves from the psychotic notion that women have to walk an insane, impossible line between Madonna and Whore in order to be acceptable sexual partners, I think it will go far toward removing dominance and force from the sexual equation. This will likely reduce the incidence of rape and lead to better sex for everyone who’s with the program. Woo hoo!!

    *I am reminded here of Amanda’s take on why gay marriage is such a threat:

    …opponents of gay marriage do have a reason to fear that legal gay marriage will provide a more egalitarian model to straight people, one that a lot of us will happily take up.

  4. I agree in principle, but we (my wife and I) have somewhat of a finer line to walk in a metaphysical sense. We place much less emphasis on autonomy; as we like to say: “I’m not a body that has a soul – I’m a soul that has a body”. (Please understand I am not speaking of things like sexual consent – that’s another discussion)

    One of the things we model (as opposed to teach, really) is that we must be willing to sacrifice our comfort, our bodies,even our lives if need be, in service to God and our fellow humans. And,sometimes, most of the time, that means that what we think want is secondary.

    Now, this isn’t the guilt trip you speak of, but there is a parallel,because we are talking about service. And,it’s not a joyless thing, either – we have FUN making others happy, or at least comforted, as a first priority.

    I think what I’m trying to say is that we teach our kids that autonomy is an important principle, but not the highest principle.

    But,we stopped with the “give your aunt a hug” about the time they got worldy-wise, which is when they were about 3 :)

  5. I think that’s one thing that boys and girls get very differently, Slarti. I’m not saying in your house, necessarily, but in general. Girls get taught from the time that they’re very small that they do, in fact, exist to serve. Specifically to serve men. You get told that you need to be smaller for men, to be less smart, less funny, less threatening, less strong. To be sillier, to wear clothes that please men, to cut down every single thing that makes you you, and turn it into something pretty for someone else to look at.

    There’s no joy in that.

    And if you get, on top of that, this idea that your wishes aren’t worth being respected, that your body isn’t yours to protect and do with what you wish…. how are you going to fight back? If “Uncle Bobby” wants you to sit on his lap and will be sad if you don’t, you bad girl, then … you’ll do it. Because you don’t want him to be sad. Even if he touches you where you don’t like it. Because only bad girls make grownups (or later, men/boys/people in authority) sad.

    It goes off in all directions, not just sex. You have to attend this party, because if you don’t, people will be sad and won’t like you. You want people to like you, don’t you? If someone buys you a drink, you have to drink it, because you don’t want them to get offended or hurt. You wouldn’t want to be rude, would you? If someone stops you outside the supermarket “just to talk, I promise!” then you feel like you should stop and listen to them and let them invade your personal space because otherwise they’ll be upset.

    Me, I get to sit through certain coworkers pawing all over me (admittedly, nonsexually, but in a way that still makes me want to put hot pokers tied to firecrackers and doused with capsacin through sensitive parts of their anatomy) . Because if you tell the man no, he’ll call you a bitch and do it worse, even stronger, because he knows you don’t like it. And you know what? I still feel guilty over resenting it because I’m supposed to sit there and smile, and maybe I’m overreacting because I don’t like this guy, and is it really such a big deal that he shakes my hand when I don’t want to and occasionally physically barricades doors so I can’t go by them unless I stop and greet him by name?

    That is the cumulative effect of getting told to put aside your instincts and let other people do what they want with your body. Give them a hug to make them feel better, even if you really, really don’t want to. Shake their hands so they’ll like you. Don’t take things so personally, it’s not about you and your body, it’s about them and what will make them be happy. Why aren’t you happy because you’re making them happy?

    That’s why it’s so corrosive.

  6. OK. Two things.

    First, I feel again that I have to come to the defense of my Uncle Bones. Once I was all grown up, I expressed to my parents how much I had hated getting smushed by Uncle Bones. My mother was very dismayed by this news. She apologized to me for having put me into a situation where I felt uncomfortable (although, I don’t know how that wasn’t obvious at the time–but times being what they were…). My mother had absolutely no intention of putting me in harms way or making me feel uncomfortable. She went on to explain that upon my birth and later my sister’s birth, what joy and exuberance Bones felt at having 2 more nieces. He was a goo about us. So to Mom, putting us on his knee and letting him hug the piss out of us and kiss our cheeks with his scruffy lips was a kindness she was imparting to her little brother. There was no ill intention there, whatsoever.

    So, many years later, when I told Mom how much I’d hated it, she felt badly for me and for Bones. And I felt bad for Bones too. I don’t feel like I’m wrong for not liking the smushing, but I do feel bad that he never had his own daughters to dote on. When my cousins had little girls, he pulled the moon out of the sky for them and presented it on a silver platter. Had I been a different sort of girl, I could have capitalized on his generous largess. But I’m not that sort of person. But I am the sort of person who realizes that being his daughter would have meant being a Daddy’s Girl, and I think it would have made him a softer person.

    Secondly: Mag! Who is this man, and how can he get away with that kind of crap? That sort of behavior is completely inappropriate in a work environment. Have you no recourse?

  7. I might add, Slarti, that the religious angle provides another potential pitfall when it comes to bodily autonomy. Even if we accept in theory that service to God is placed above bodily autonomy, we must still recognize that in a practical sense one still has a responsibility first to oneself. The Catholic clergy sex scandals wouldn’t have become so widespread unless the victims and their families accepted that the Church and its representatives are the earthly authorities on what constitutes acceptable service to God. The priest who sexually abuses children gets away with it if the child sees him as God’s deputy, and not one whose demands can be questioned. (I’m not picking on Catholicism; other religions have had similar problems, if not with the same notoriety.) Religious hierarchies and bureaucracies, human as they are, are prone to the same corruption as any other human endeavors. No matter what god one answers to, one is still responsible for one’s own body.

  8. Secondly: Mag! Who is this man, and how can he get away with that kind of crap? That sort of behavior is completely inappropriate in a work environment. Have you no recourse?

    The guy? Oh, he’s Mr. Enthusiastic. Thankfully, we work in different offices, so I only have to see him at Monthly Meetings and Holidays. He’s like that with everyone, and they encourage it because he’s, er… jolly! And enthusiastic! And everything everyone wants to see! He’s one of the people who addresses everyone as “Family” and gets people catcalling at him to “Preach it, Brother Enthusiastic!” in the middle of meetings. He totally basks in all the attention, and likes pulling everyone into it.

    Which, incidentally, is the exact personality type I can’t stand. I hate it when people get up to the mic and do that “I can’t hear you! Say it louder!” thing, and I hate it when people I don’t know wander into my office, sit down, and start talking even when I’ve evinced absolutely no interest in talking to them. I’m pretty antisocial, but more than that, I absolutely hate being told what to do. (Well, okay, except for in certain circumstances, but none of these people have a chance of sleeping with me.)

    So… no, I don’t really have any recourse. He does that with everyone, it isn’t breaking a rule, and The Boss and The Managers like to promote that kind of touchy-feely “family” environment around here. The people that always get asked to be in front of the crowd, the people who get put in charge of holidays and asked to volunteer are all like that, and they’re encouraged to be that way. The most I can do is keep him out of my office, and force people to use The Boss’s door, instead of walking through my office to get to him, and things like that. But even pointing stuff like “he’s got his own door” or “I’m busy right now” gets people to laugh and say things like “Oooh, you’re busy, are you?” or “Ouch, feisty!” and stuff. Only really two people do it – mostly the rest just look at me funny and do what I told them – but it gets on my last nerves.

    And oh, I wasn’t intending any of that to impugn your Uncle Bones. I used “uncle Bobby” as a cipher for That Creepy Uncle. I don’t have any immediate aunts or uncles, as my parents are both only children… but the trope is pretty common, at least from what I see on TV.

  9. OK. That creeped me out, Mag. I’d be fifty kinds of pissed if someone told me I HAD to attend the party on my day off, etc. Cruel jokes would be played at this party.

  10. I know we’ve talked about this before, but this is exactly why I’m opposed to the whole “go on, give your aunt a kiss [or hug or whatever]” bullshit, especially when it is coupled by “do you want to hurt her feelings?”

    Word. I’ve never made my kids do this. It’s just too coercive. Of course, educating my kids about their bodily autonomy means they insist on their right to go shoeless in 40-degree weather because it’s their body, but I can live with that if they can.

    One other thing I saw all the time as a preschool teacher and toddler-parent is how often parents force young children to share toys or activities when they clearly don’t want to, which creates horrible boundary issues. I nearly lost my shit in the church nursery one morning last year when my son grabbed part of a toy from a little girl and her mother told the girl: “He wants it. You need to let him play, too.” As calmly as I could, I had him return the toy to the girl while I explained to her mom that I did not want my son ever thinking it’s okay to take something from another person just because he wants it.

    That perspective hadn’t occurred to her; it was kind of a lightbulb moment. She was trying to train her daughter to be “nice”. I hope she’ll lay off that.

  11. That perspective hadn’t occurred to her; it was kind of a lightbulb moment. She was trying to train her daughter to be “nice”. I hope she’ll lay off that.

    *cheers* That’s an awesome moment. And, I think, a nice addition to what Red Queen talks about – not just that ‘no means no’ when you’re talking about touching, but when you’re talking about items and everything. And yes, teaching our daughters that it’s not okay when people take things from them without asking. Which goes for their bodies, their minds, and their stuff.

    OK. That creeped me out, Mag. I’d be fifty kinds of pissed if someone told me I HAD to attend the party on my day off, etc. Cruel jokes would be played at this party.

    … yeah. A bunch of us feel that way, but nobody is really in a position to stop it. Well, sort of, but I’ll blog about that after it’s done, I think.

  12. Mag, do they still make itching powder?

    I don’t know, but I think some discretely spilled itching powder in an already uncomfortable holiday costume would be, oh, just some good “family” fun.

    Just sayin…

  13. And before anyone gets to it, I want to point out that I’m not making the argument that kids shouldn’t hug and kiss their relatives, nor that they shouldn’t be taught how to play nice with others, share, and do other things that require sublimating their immediate desires in favor of things that benefit other people. I don’t think anyone else here is either.

    The argument is very specifically with arguments that stress that aversive reactions aren’t to be listened to – so “Would you like to give Aunt So-and-So a kiss goodbye?” is great, if it’s understood that if/when the kid says no, that will be honored, but “Why don’t you go sit on Uncle-such-and-thus’s lap? He looks sad.” is problematic, if it’s issued as a command or part of a guild trip. It’s the same thing with the toy example – sharing is good! Teaching your kids that it’s okay when other people take their things is bad.

    I just wanted to make that very clear before someone wanders in the thread thinking we’re trying to turn all of our children into selfish cold bitches or something completely false.

  14. And before anyone gets to it, I want to point out that I’m not making the argument that kids shouldn’t hug and kiss their relatives, nor that they shouldn’t be taught how to play nice with others, share, and do other things that require sublimating their immediate desires in favor of things that benefit other people.

    Exactly! Amanda is one of the most loving kids on the planet, but she makes no bones about indicating when she is uncomfortable with a person or situation. The key is the whole coercion factor.

    It’s critical to teach a child boundaries and how to sense when somebody is disrespecting them…but it’s also a fine line when you want to teach them to be a giving person at the same time.

    I also think

  15. oops…Well, I do think from time to time…lol.

    However, I was pretty much finished with my comment, and forgot to delete that incomplete paragraph.

    Sorry.

  16. I should have noted that B and I are probably getting to the same place by different paths. And magni has it right – these conversations are different for boys and for girls.

    I have not yet had this particular conversation with my son, (falling down on the job) but the idea of putting the needs of others first is especially important for men when it comes to sexuality. I hope to say something like this:

    First of all, as men, our sexual needs are pretty easily met. How do I put this?

    First, in marriage or a long-term relationship: Let’s say a certain sexual position hurts your partner or makes them uncomfortable. The Christian male response to this HAS to be, well, that position is just something I’m not meant to be doing. You shouldn’t sulk, you shouldn’t seek out someone else more willing to try that position, for obvious reasons. And taking this attitude really costs a man nothing.
    Because, as men, the mechanics of the act mean that pretty much any old position will do the trick on or end. So, if you get to please God by putting the needs of another first,and at the same time get to have sex, it’s a win-win. :)

    Seems to me, in a singles situation, the same would be true. (Full disclosure: I didn’t spend very long as an adult single). Putting aside the morality or immorality of being a dog (I think that’s the term they use now), it’s highly impractical to, as a man, attempt to place your sexual needs over the wishes of another. Even IF you value quantity over quality (and let’s be honest, most men do), you aren’t going get any “repeat business” if you keep ticking off your best cusomers. Damn, this is a horrible analogy. I wish I could say this better.

    I say this from experience: there are so many men out there that put their own needs first, doing the opposite actually gives you a competitive advantage (although this should not be the primary motivation). All I know is, the absolute best sex is woman-initated sex. I only know of one way to get to that point, and that is by being an absolute gentleman. It is, possibly, the ultimate aphrodesiac.

    As for my daughter, Lintilla will have that conversation with her (sorry, we’re just not that enlightened). What I do, though, is go on mothly “dates” with her. In a couple of years, I’ll tell her after one of these: “This is how a man is supposed to treat a woman on a date. If you’re ever out with a boy, and he doesn’t treat you like this, call me and I’ll come get you”.

    I’m hoping it sticks. The absolute best way, I think, for a father to teach his daughter about sexuality is to give her the correct model of how a man is supposed to treat a woman, by loving his wife unconditionally and completely.

  17. Damn. I have gotten so much shit over the years for not allowing myself to be fawned over and groped by people who have no business touching me. It is as if I am supposed to be grateful for the attention, any attention, and just accept it and be quiet.

    And then—THEN—inevitably I’ll be commended for standing up for myself and my personal space while simultaneously getting sort of chastised for being rude…. “Gee, he might be mad at you now. Maybe you should make nice.” Come on.

    Part of the problem, of course, is that my parents were always good about not forcing me to do that awkward family stuff because they knew it was just weird for everyone, particularly me, their little misanthrope. I probably respect your personal space more than you even want me to.

  18. Oh, and B, let em apologise for the side thread myself. This post kind of melds in with the masculinity 101 post, and my comment would have actually fit in there instead of here. But, I’m so disoriented, I don’t even know what day it is – so I do have that excuse ;)

  19. I say this from experience: there are so many men out there that put their own needs first, doing the opposite actually gives you a competitive advantage (although this should not be the primary motivation).

    Dude, this is what Breviloquence tells me every day. Well, okay, Mack said it better, but that was a slightly different conversation, heh.

    I really don’t understand why this isn’t more widely talked about. Even though my parents told me all sorts of wonderful things about respect and whatever, I still got a lot of messages from TV, magazines, etc. that I would be lucky to find a guy that wasn’t a lying, cheating, always-horny baby that needed his ego to be propped up every few minutes. Every guy I’ve met and dated has had this huuuuuge leg up by simply not being a jackass.

    Oh, and B, let em apologise for the side thread myself. This post kind of melds in with the masculinity 101 post, and my comment would have actually fit in there instead of here. But, I’m so disoriented, I don’t even know what day it is – so I do have that excuse ;)

    Pffft. This is Tiny Cat Pants! If a thread doesn’t get derailed at least once, it can’t really count as a thread.

  20. What I do, though, is go on mothly “dates” with her. In a couple of years, I’ll tell her after one of these: “This is how a man is supposed to treat a woman on a date. If you’re ever out with a boy, and he doesn’t treat you like this, call me and I’ll come get you”.

    That is a great idea; good for you for modeling that for her. I was at an unschooling conference in Spetember and one of the speakers claimed that the single biggest influence on an adolescent girl’s relationships with boys is her relationship with her father–if that bond is healthy, that’s what she’ll expect from other men and boys as well.

  21. Hi Aunt B and thanks for the love!

    I had a mom who pushed kissing creeps on me, so I don’t think I’ve ever even suggested that the Kid hug someone. He’s pretty lovey by himself and if he wants to, he’ll hug you.

  22. I wish I was taught the notion that not wanting to hug and kiss relatives. I’ve just never liked being in such close contact with the people I don’t see that often (and therefore not comfortable with them). And in my experience it was female relatives (aunts and grandmothers) that would invade my personal bubble the most. And I really wish the women in my family would stop pestering me about my love life…

    From the Church Secretary:

    I’m wondering if some of the men in the other thread were reaching so hard to defend against the lying she-devil because it is easier than dealing with the concept of sexual egalitarianism.

    Actually the concept of sexual egalitarianism is why some men defend against the lying she-devil. Women rightly have the expectation to go into a relationship (even a one night stand) with a person and not have to worry about being attacked, forced upon, coerced, or lied about. Why can’t men have that same expectation? And I am very much for eliminating rape (and all of its negative baggage for both genders) from the equation for that would make sex a lot less stressful and satisfying for all involved.

    From Slartibartfast:

    I’m hoping it sticks. The absolute best way, I think, for a father to teach his daughter about sexuality is to give her the correct model of how a man is supposed to treat a woman, by loving his wife unconditionally and completely.

    Parents being an example for their kids is an excellent way for them to learn how to treat and be treated by the opposite sex. Neither of my parents adhered to gender expectations. My was not afraid to cook and my mom was not afraid to lay the smackdown (that would be discipline) on us while growing up.

  23. Hey, I want to hear no apologizing for going off on interesting tangents.

    Slarti, I think you raise a good point and it’s one I think a lot about because it requires a kind of finesse and ability to overcome your own biaes that I only wish I had, but I can’t get it out of my mind.

    We do often come to the same conclusions from different angles. And those conclusions, for instance, about good ways to prepare girls for the world, are important.

    More important than how we got to those conclusions.

    I think.

    And this is a hard line for me to walk, because, not only do I want you to come to share my conclusions, I really, really want you to come to those conclusions in the “right” way.

    If you’re raising your daughter to not sell herself short and to be a thoughtful, loving person in the world, I should applaud that.

    And so I do.

    Danny, I’ve been thinking about your comments all morning and I have a lot of thoughts about them. I may need to put it into a post just to work it all out for myself.

    I’ve especially been trying to understand in my own mind how it is that I continue to assume and to talk as if all, or almost all, rape victims are female. And, I think the problem is that, even though, intellectually I’m operating under the definition of rape being anyone who forces another unconsenting person to have sex, I think, emotionally, I operate as if the definition of rape is “when a man forces a woman to have sex.”

    I’m troubled to realize that, but, yeah, I think that’s what’s going on.

    Which, of course, leaves me with a huge blind-spot. And one I think you’re sensing here–that it’s really hard for me to imagine male victims and the necessity of protecting boys and teaching boys bodily autonomy, even though I know, intellectually, that of course boys are just as vulnerable to being preyed on. It’s hard for me to get out of my own situation and feel it as real as I do with girls.

    It’s a lot to think about, for me.

  24. Women rightly have the expectation to go into a relationship (even a one night stand) with a person and not have to worry about being attacked, forced upon, coerced, or lied about.

    Danny, Danny. Again with the false equivalence. Let’s break it down and review. On the one hand, you have the possibility of being “attacked, forced upon, coerced.” On the other hand, you have the possibility of being “lied about.” Maybe I have some overactive feminine empathy, but I don’t think many women would put their fear of being “lied about” with the fear of being forcibly physically violated.*

    While it must not be a walk in the park to be falsely accused of rape, it ain’t like we’re all black men living under Jim Crow laws (or just black men living, period). Especially considering that most actual rapists get away with it, the odds of a man having his life irreparably damaged by a false rape accusation are waaaay longer than those of a woman actually being raped. In fact, I’d wager a year’s pay that those odds are so disparate as to render your point ridiculously moot.

    This leads me to take issue with your lead-in to this false equivalence:

    Actually the concept of sexual egalitarianism is why some men defend against the lying she-devil.

    I would really like you to explain this. The “lying she-devil” I mentioned was strictly an ironic construction. Again, the entirety of your response implies that the lying she-devil is as threatening to men as the rapist is to women.

    Danny, I’m not trying to belittle or attack you here, because I’m sensing your sincerity. I am puzzled, though. This topic originally started with Aunt B. admonishing men to take greater responsibility (and show more maturity) for their sexual attitudes and behavior toward women. Most of the male responses have been rather defensive, and much of the defense presented has been of the red herring variety. My question, if I can phrase it coherently, is this: what are you really being defensive about? I don’t buy the fear of false rape accusation thingie. I’ve never thought of women as anything but equals (sexually and otherwise), so I can’t see that any woman without significant psychological difficulties (which I was unable to detect) would spring such a thing on me. I’m sure it might happen once or twice in a blue moon, but let’s be serious. There must be something else, something that we haven’t been able to pin down.

    *Notwithstanding, of course, the cruel irony that many rape victims will find themselves painted as liars, which means they will be “lied about” in addition being physically violated.

  25. Women rightly have the expectation to go into a relationship (even a one night stand) with a person and not have to worry about being attacked, forced upon, coerced, or lied about. Why can’t men have that same expectation?

    Generally, men do have that expectation. Women are more likely to be raped than men, and of those rapes, more of them are from friends, lovers or family members (that is, people they have relationships with and cause to trust) than random crazed strangers on the street. When straight men (not boys; pedophilia – for everyone – is a different beast) do get raped, it is much more often by people they don’t know very well (hazing, gang initiation, etc.) or strangers (prison).

    And, you know, what CS said.

  26. From Aunt B.

    “Which, of course, leaves me with a huge blind-spot. And one I think you’re sensing here–that it’s really hard for me to imagine male victims and the necessity of protecting boys and teaching boys bodily autonomy, even though I know, intellectually, that of course boys are just as vulnerable to being preyed on. It’s hard for me to get out of my own situation and feel it as real as I do with girls.”

    Truthfully I’m just trying to get over the old assumption that all victims are women and all rapists are men myself. You’re not the only one that has some thinking to do .

    From Church Secretary:

    On the one hand, you have the possibility of being “attacked, forced upon, coerced.” On the other hand, you have the possibility of being “lied about.” Maybe I have some overactive feminine empathy, but I don’t think many women would put their fear of being “lied about” with the fear of being forcibly physically violated.*

    I worded that wrong. It should have been, “Women rightly have the expectation to go into a relationship (even a one night stand) with a person and not have to worry about being attacked, forced upon, coerced, and lied about.” Your footnote properly explains what I meant to say.

    About your “lying she-devil”. You’re right a woman is more likely to get raped than a man is to get falsely accused. However the fact that the guys posting here are mentioning the lying she-devil does show one very legitimate fear, how so we know? I know I haven’t interacted with the entire female population but in my limited experience it seems to me that women expect men to just know when, what, how and everything else. Now this does apply to all rape situations of course. I think what I’m trying to say is, “Okay when I try to ask I’m told I should just know but when I think I know I’m rejected.”

    No I won’t take you up on that wager but the disparaty (I think that is a word) should not allow it to be swept under the table.

    From Mag:

    Generally, men do have that expectation. Women are more likely to be raped than men, and of those rapes, more of them are from friends, lovers or family members (that is, people they have relationships with and cause to trust) than random crazed strangers on the street. When straight men (not boys; pedophilia – for everyone – is a different beast) do get raped, it is much more often by people they don’t know very well (hazing, gang initiation, etc.) or strangers (prison).

    So familiarity with the attacker is supposed to alter the expectation?

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