Monday, 30 September 2013

Thunderf00t gets confused - Part 3

It goes on. Mother of all trigger warnings for what's coming up.
As for the second strawman in the title, well for that, you've got to take a closer look at the crime of rape.
When I heard Phil Mason say that in the video, I honestly shuddered.
Now, from what I've read on the subject of rape, it seems to fall on a spectrum going from the traditional depictions of violent rape which seems to be much more of a crime of violence and domination than it is of sexual gratification and such assaults make up a relatively small amount, maybe only ten percent of the total rapes.
I'm not sure what he means by "the second strawman in the title". The title is "TEACH THEM NOT TO RAPE". Maybe he'd originally called it something else.

And I can't find a source for the percentage he quotes, which is odd. As a scientist you'd think he'd be careful to include sources.

EDIT: Thanks to the commenter who left these links to reports of actual studies and statistics:

This bleeds into things like date rape where they may actually be some elements of a normal relationship, and indeed, in many such case the victims know their attackers.
Here, the desire for sexual gratification - from the male - plays a larger part than the physical domination part.
This last part may be true or it may not - again, no sources quoted. What I think everyone agrees on is that in the majority of cases the attackers are known to their victims.

As an aside: some of Thunderf00t's erstwhile admirers on Men's Rights sites have taken issue with his characterisation of all rapists being male. He probably should have put a "usually" in there.

But to recap: Phil is explaining a "spectrum" that has "rape by stranger" at one end and "rape by someone you know" at the other. I can only assume that this idea, and the diagram he uses it to illustrate his point, is all his own work. If he's taken or adapted it from somewhere, please let me know in the comments.

This is what Thunderf00t's spectrum looks like, and once he's explained acquaintance rape to us, he says this:

Then you go through the transition between rape and just bad sex.

Emphasis in bold here, in full Thunderf00t turn-the-condescension-up-to-eleven in the video.

Notice the grey line between Rape and Bad Sex. Notice how it is blurred. This is not an accident.

So what, according to Phil Mason, is bad sex?
And like it or not, such a transition exists. I mean, for example, "Well, It was fully consensual to start with, but when we went at it, the sex was just awful, and at the end I asked them to stop, but they finished anyway."
That's example number one. To be honest, I genuinely don't know what Thunderf00t is trying to say here. In his mind, is this an example of rape or "just bad sex"?

Obviously, to any non-sociopath, in reality and in law - it's rape. Fully consensual to start with, not consensual later, rapist "finished anyway". Rape. Crystal clear. But I don't know if Thunderf00t understands that, and I worry that his adoring fans may also find it confusing.

I wonder if it's easier to understand by imagining the thought processes of the other hypothetical partner involved in this situation?

"Well, It was fully consensual to start with, but then they asked me to stop, but I finished anyway."

Yeah, that sounds like I raped them.

But Phil isn't finished. Another example:

Or, "Well, the sex was just awful, I wanted them to stop but I didn't let them know, because, well, whatever, they were my friend and I didn't want to hurt their feelings, or they'd made a real sweet effort earlier to make me feel special, and, whatever"

Thunderf00t kind of trails off when reciting this part, as though he doesn't quite know what point he's trying to make. I'm just as confused.
I mean, I get what he's trying to do: he's casting confusion and doubt on what rape actually is, and how anyone can ever be sure that it has occurred. He's used mention of a spectrum, and a blurred grey line, and made-up quotes from hypothetical rape victims, all to implant the idea that the issue of rape vs consent is so very very complicated we should be dubious whenever it's brought up, and be very suspicious of the motivations of the accuser. It's standard rape apology 101. I get that.

I just don't get how a man of Thunderf00t's intellect can claim not to be aware that that's what he's doing.

Part 4


Steve M said...

Thanks for this detailed take-down. He needed it.

On the subject of where he gets his '10% are violent' number, Lisak and Miller have the most detailed break-down I know of.

The breakdown between the modus operandi of the rapists also tells us a lot about how wrong the script is. Of all 120 admitted rapists, only about 30% reported using force or threats, while the remainder raped intoxicated victims

So he's pulling that 10% out of his butt. This followup post by the same author gets into the question of how wrong-headed it is to look at those 'non-violent' cases and start dismissing them.

Mike Booth said...

Thanks, I've added those to the post. I remember that meet-the-predators one now.

Argenti Aertheri said...

You, unfortunately, have one point wrong -- withdrawal of consent isn't legally rape in all places. Still rape, but not necessarily illegal, which really only makes endorsing it as "bad sex" all the worse.

Thanks for frisking this, and if you ever need stats help, or numbers crunched, drop a line in the manboobz comments and I'll be happy to help!

=8)-DX said...

I'm facepalming that this didn't remind me of "blurred lines" when I saw it.

It's quite possible to imagine a "bad sex" situation with mutual consent and later regret. And no doubt these affect all sexes and could be difficult to precisely define.

However "I said no and they didn't stop" is perfectly clear-cut. Disregarding the feelings and agency of the victim is exactly what rape is about.

The irony here is that "teach men not to rape" campaigns don't only educate about what consent is, but also stress that consent is something one should consider constantly, ask for and confirm repeatedly (especially with new "partners"). People insisting on enthusiastic, informed and clear-cut consent removes any "grey areas". Thunderf00t prefers things to remain grey.

Mike Booth said...

Thanks Argenti. I thought I'd said "most places" but maybe one of the edits cut that out.

SallyStrange said...

You may also want to make note of the very recent United Nations study, the largest to date that studies rapists and their attitudes, conducted primarily in Southeast Asia:

Results are very much in line with what Lisak and Miller found.

Also, note that the people in this study and in Lisak's, these are UNDETECTED rapists. They've never been accused, prosecuted, or anything. So, you might expect that THEIR use of violence would be on the low side, since it seems to be that beating a person as well as raping them is the only way to get thrown in jail for rape. Smart rapists know this and avoid violence.