published Sunday, June 1st, 2014

Cook: Calhoun prom assault was never about beer

This is not about alcohol.

It's not about how much beer the teenagers drank after the prom. It's not about how much liquor or wine they had with them at their resort cabin party in the North Georgia woods.

This is about sexual assault.

And aggravated sexual battery.

It's about three men -- 18 years old, graduating seniors -- who police say committed sexual battery against an 18-year-old woman. A classmate. A graduating senior, just like them.

It's about whatever wicked pleasure they may have found by inserting some foreign object into her, so badly she was hospitalized.

"I've been here for 23 years," Gilmer County Sheriff Stacy Nicholson said. "Her injuries were substantial."

Beer doesn't cause that. Drinking wine on prom night doesn't cause that.

Something far more insidious does.

Something far more evil.

So as the Gilmer County sexual assault story unfolds, as more teenagers are arrested, as the evidence from the rape kit is released to the public, don't let what this tragedy is about become confused with what it's not.

Don't fall for the sleight-of-hand that this is about beer, or drunken kids, or unsupervised prom parties, even though the media may try and sell it to you.

At Wednesday's news conference, the sheriff laid out the facts in a customary way, then took questions from a crowd of reporters.

Fifteen questions went by before anyone asked about the victim.

Reporters asked about beer, and what kind, and how much. Who supplied it. Was there some mystery drug used to intoxicate the victim?

"Can you tell us how much alcohol we're talking about?" one reporter asked.

It was scandalous and tabloid-esque, taking nearly five minutes and 15 questions before anyone asked about the woman who'd been so victimized she wound up in the hospital.

Near the end of the news conference, one reporter asked the sheriff what lessons could be learned from this.

"Teenagers and alcohol just do not mix," he said.

Sheriff, you are right, so right. But this case is about something else entirely, and emphasizing the beer details only diminishes the real violence present in sexual assault.

When there's a murder, or homicide, or robbery, no one talks about whether the shooters were drunk or how much beer they drank.

It is only within rape where such distortions occur, even though research shows that alcohol is present in about half of all sexual assaults ... and half of all violent crimes, as well.

So when we liquify sexual assault, we feed into the dangerous and favorite narrative of misogynists everywhere: that drunken women are consenting, no-really-means-yes women, or that drunken women who cry rape are really just dealing with morning-after regret.

"One reason this ... is so infuriating is that rapists tend to target drunk women specifically because they know that people who are too drunk to remember what's going on make really bad witnesses in court," writes Slate's Amanda Marcotte. "We don't have an epidemic of women exploiting men's drunkenness to get them thrown in in jail, but we do have an epidemic of rapists exploiting women's drunkenness to get away with their crimes."

Know what causes rape?

Rape mentality causes rape.

And while alcohol can be a preferred weapon used by rapists, the foremost question we need to be asking ourselves as a society: What causes rape mentality, especially at a time when one in five college women is sexually assaulted?

"Most often, it's by someone she knows," reads a recent White House study.

This is not about alcohol; it's about something wedged into the male mind, something premeditated that says it's OK to sexually assault women. It is the pornographication of relationships: In 2013, a U.N. international study showed that 70 percent of men who admitted to raping women did so because they felt entitled.

As if they owned her body.

Such power ownership is not some gee-whiz feeling that appears from nowhere, a rape urge that falls out of the sky as five beers turn to six.

"What can you tell us about the victim?" a reporter, finally, asked the sheriff.

I'll answer: she wasn't a victim of too-much beer.

She was a victim of sexual assault.

Contact David Cook at dcook@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6329. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter at DavidCookTFP.

about David Cook...

David Cook is the award-winning city columnist for the Times Free Press, working in the same building where he began his post-college career as a sportswriter for the Chattanooga Free Press. Cook, who graduated from Red Bank High, holds a master's degree in Peace and Justice Studies from Prescott College and an English degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. For 12 years, he was a teacher at the middle, high school and university ...

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Sonja said...

Thank you for telling the truth. Simple as that.

June 2, 2014 at 11:49 a.m.
AgentX said...

Well said.

June 2, 2014 at 12:02 p.m.
DonnyJay said...

While I understand and agree to a certain extent about what your saying, I'm confused on how you can be so one sided on your rant. I suppose being a columnist, your free to publicly write your own opinions about stories but wouldn't it be more appropriate to write about facts and not personal beliefs?

June 2, 2014 at 12:17 p.m.
Ianhar01 said...

I agree with everything except this statement:

"This is not about alcohol; it's about something wedged into the male mind, something premeditated that says it's OK to sexually assault women."

Speak to your own male mind. Mine has nothing of the sort wedged into it.

June 2, 2014 at 12:51 p.m.
Easy123 said...

DonnyJay,

What "personal beliefs" were imparted by Mr. Cook? Which facts were omitted?

June 2, 2014 at 12:53 p.m.
cklowe3333 said...

Thank you for pointing out that Sexual Violence, a crime, occurred and that although teen drinking does contribute to incidences of Sexual Violence, it is society and norms about masculine and feminine roles that are the real issue. It is NOT OK to force someone (male or female) into sexual acts without their consent. Consent without coercion or threats. Consent between two people who have made the decision to have sexual contact. Rape is a crime and should be punishable within the full extent of the law.

June 2, 2014 at 1:31 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

I'm in complete agreement with Ianhar01. There are plenty of men(most men, I like to think) who do not have ownership of a woman's body "wedged" into their minds. Rape is a heinous, violent crime and it takes a person of especially malicious intent to violate someone's space and personhood in such a way. It has to do with the degree to which one is brought up to respect the rights and space of others, women as well as men. I don't think men are any more wired (or "wedged," if you will) to rape a woman, or take ownership of her body, any more than they are to steal or murder or commit any other wrongs against other people.

If there is anything "wedged" into the male mind it is simply a propensity for violence, or if not a propensity, then a learned behavior from a society that glorifies machismo, misogyny, and raw male brute force that is as much to blame as anything. Unfortunately too many men who do not receive love and nurturing and a sense of self-respect as children fall prey to the glorification of machismo and violence that consumes almost every aspect of our society.

June 2, 2014 at 1:46 p.m.
probablyh said...

You guys are turning this into a "NOT ALL MEN" argument, which is a straw man argument and literally doesn't contribute anything to the discussion. No, not all men are sexual assailants. YES ALL WOMEN have dealt with harrassment and sexualization from men. You are doing exactly what the media and the sheriff are being called out on in this article for: redirecting the conversation from where it needs to be. It doesn't matter if YOU, PERSONALLY, would assault a woman. What matters is that there is a pervasive attitude in this country that allows many men to feel entitled to women and their bodies, which results in rapes, murders, and massacres like the one we saw days ago in California. Not all men would do such things, no. YES ALL WOMEN have experienced discomfort and some level of sexual harrassment FROM MEN. Ask your mothers, your sisters, your female friends if they have ever felt like a man harassed them or treated them inappropriately . There is an undeniable problem with our society that needs to be addressed so men stop harrassing, attacking, assaulting, and killing women. That's what this article is addressing. It's not saying you would rape in that situation. It's saying that young men DID rape in this situtation, and our general response as a whole is to say, "What mind-altering substance caused this behavior?" rather than, "What in our society tells young men that this behavior is okay?" We need to change the discussion and change the attitude. It's not a personal affront on you. It's a statistic that needs to be changed in order to protect our women.

June 2, 2014 at 2:21 p.m.
erin86 said...

lanhar and Rickaroo, I understand your urge to distance yourselves, as good and decent men, from other males who could commit such a terrible act. But this trend of footnoting every violent act against women with the disclaimer "not all men" is irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Not all men are rapists. Not all men are violent. We know this. The fact remains that some men ARE those things. Flinching away from that fact or becoming defensive is not only unhelpful to any dialogue about the problem, it puts victims of violent acts in a position of having apologize to the good guys for calling out the bad.

The author's point (I believe) is that there is no way to excuse, or even explain rape away by tallying up the number of drinks either party has had. The overwhelming sense of entitlement that allows a person to brutally violate another is something that has been taught and internalized deeply. So yes, something IS wedged into the minds of these males. Perhaps that's an uncomfortable fact for any good and decent man to face. But as a woman, I hope that the good and decent men out there can be a little less defensive, and a little more eager to punish the violent criminals that give us all, as humans, a bad name.

June 2, 2014 at 2:33 p.m.
LL said...

Standing ovation for those of you who feel the need to proclaim yourselves as non-rapists. Go pick yourself up a trophy somewhere. Way to go! Way to also miss the point entirely. At least ONE IN FIVE WOMEN--that's 20 percent of women--are raped. That means someone you know has most likely been sexually assaulted. It's probably a bigger number because if a woman gets away unscathed, without visual marks, she most likely won't report it. It's a shameful experience and it's easier to stay quiet than have your wardrobe choices, drinking habits, sexual history, etc., publicized. Most of these women are raped by someone they know and trust simply because they happened to let their guard down and have fun, have a drink, do what most people get to do at prom or on a date, or with friends in any setting. They aren't attacked by strangers. The law is based on consent. A person must be able to consent to a sexual act. The absence of a "no" does not mean "yes." The absence of a beating or force or a violent attack does not mean "yes." Only "yes" means "yes." Women have to think about what they wear, where they go. They have friends check in when they get home. There are phone apps to check in at allotted time intervals and alert emergency contacts if a woman doesn't respond. We're handed rape whistles as college freshmen. We carry mace/pepper spray. We walk in groups. We always let someone know where we are, no matter how old we are. When women are raped by young men, the impact on the young men's future is brought up. Not the devastation of the young woman's life, feeling of safety, sense of security.

No, it isn't ALL MEN who are offenders. But it should be ALL MEN who, instead of crying "I don't do these things," declare "what can I do to stop this?" "How can I help?"

It certainly is ALL WOMEN who are subjected to a world where they can't feel safe. And that's the problem here. So, please, put your defensiveness on the back burner for a few minutes and think about the women you love and the things they go through, the worries they live with, and, possibly consider what you can do to make their lives a little easier.

June 2, 2014 at 2:43 p.m.
probablyh said...

here's a helpful article on how not to derail conversations about women's issues

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/05/27/not_all_men_how_discussing_women_s_issues_gets_derailed.html

June 2, 2014 at 2:53 p.m.
cklowe3333 said...

And here is a link to programs operating around the country that are rallying men to take the lead in changing these bad behaviors. Yes, you excellent men who we love and depend upon to be our partners, brothers, friends and parents...you have the power to change how women are treated. http://www.mencanstoprape.org/

Men Can Stop Rape is not an organization that blames men, it's an organization that engages men in discussion and changing social norms around poorly placed and misguided views on sexuality. It's a solution to a major societal problem, that in 2014, should not be affecting the lives of 1 in 5 women. Rape causes emotional, physical and life-long health problems AND contributes to additional problems such as as substance abuse, suicide ideation and heart disease.

In the original report a foreign object was used during part of the violence. Do you know in Africa, they also use foreign objects to rape women, which often results in death because the woman bleeds to death. This sexual violence was committed by three high school boys who should have mentors in their schools, churches and community; in addition to their parents, telling them that rape is a horrible, disrepectful and brutal crime. Instead, I think one clergy member said he "just wants the rumors to stop". I am sure he is a good man that would never do such a thing, but that comment alone reveals a general mentality about rape among men, which is "blame the victim" and "stick your head in the sand". Would they do the same if it was their daughter, son, or grandchild? I certainly hope not.

June 2, 2014 at 3:31 p.m.
Ki said...

But! But! We teach and justify rape as one of the spoils of war. Can't have I t both ways. In one breath say rape is OK and the next pretend outrage when it lands on your own doorsteps. Why not just cease to glorify rape and all acts of brutalities altogether? Otherwise you're all just a bunch of hypocrites!!!

June 2, 2014 at 3:37 p.m.
probablyh said...

Ki, no one here is saying rape is okay in any context. No one fighting this system is saying it's okay in other places, or other time periods. No one calling out this behavior is glorifying rape, anywhere, ever. If you know someone who is doing those things, they are not on the right side, and they are not representative of feminism or any progressive social activism.

June 2, 2014 at 3:56 p.m.
DR1838 said...

Not to take issue with the premise of the article itself, but Mr. Cook claims that 1 in 5 college students are sexually assaulted. I cannot stop laughing at how dumb that sounds. If that were true no one would be sending their daughters to college. Tahrir Square has a lower rape rate than that. The national average is 20 times higher than his claim. Just because an "official" number is put out there doesn't mean its true. You should have better critical thinking skills being a reporter.

June 2, 2014 at 4:26 p.m.
cklowe3333 said...

Actually, 1 in 5 is a true statistic that is used by the Department of Justice, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Medical Association. In fact, it is estimated that number is small due to the fact that most rapes are not reported.

June 2, 2014 at 4:38 p.m.
cklowe3333 said...

The reason the rate in Tahrir Square, Egypt is lower is because hardly any women report rape and the legal system does not systematically treat rape as a crime...so women suffer in silence. Educating yourself about the subject might make it more relevant to your world view.

June 2, 2014 at 4:43 p.m.
Easy123 said...

DR1838,

According to several studies, it is true. Unless you choose not to believe those studies. On what grounds are you ignoring/dismissing the statistic? Have you done a study of your own? Where is your research to support YOUR assertions. Just because you don't believe something doesn't mean it is actually false.

You might want to actually research things before you post. It'll helped you look less ignorant.

https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/182369.pdf

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-05-29/glenn-becks-man-in-a-blonde-wig-fails-to-debunk-rape-statistics#p2

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2014/may/02/are-20-percent-women-sexually-assaulted-they-gradu/

June 2, 2014 at 4:43 p.m.
cklowe3333 said...

Actually, I am currently doing a research study for my graduate thesis project at Emory University on Rape Education programs across the country that focus on engaging men and boys in preventing rape before it occurs. So yes, I know a little bit about the subject. But, of course you are welcome to have your own opinion on the matter.

June 2, 2014 at 4:48 p.m.
Easy123 said...

You might want to reread who my post is addressed to.

June 2, 2014 at 5:13 p.m.
cklowe3333 said...

My apologies, I was letting the emotion of it all take over. It's a high blood pressure kind of topic.

June 2, 2014 at 5:24 p.m.
Ki said...

Probablyh' perhaps not on this particular story or other similar ones when rapes and gang rapes occur closer to home, but I've come across several opinions in the past both on this site and others locally where the opinions expressed were justifying rape during times of war as 'one of the spoils of war.' As if to suggest the rest of us should just 'get over it' and accep it as the norm, along with other acts of brutality.

June 2, 2014 at 6:13 p.m.
ACS said...

@DonnyJay has clearly never been raped or had a close family member raped..sister, mother, cousin, daughter, niece. When you do you will learn it has zero to do with the victim and all about power, control & anger issues with the assailant..I agree wholeheartedly with this author & applaud you for speaking truth in a climate that most aren't ready to hear. Too close to home- most don't want to look in their own back yard and think maybe that could have been my brother or son committing that crime. Maybe I did something as a parent, guardian or mentor that ingrained that sense of entitlement, you have a right to your feelings and to act upon them as you see fit...I mean she did put herself in that situation, right? How many times have one of you said that about the victim..only to empower the aggressor in his belief he is doing nothing wrong.

June 2, 2014 at 6:50 p.m.
timbo said...

I think it is obvious Cooks comments are directed in an accusatory fashion to all men instead of these pieces of crap that did the deed. That is the point he is making because he wants to be the hero of GPS. The little girls will love these comments because he is so sensitive. Men who have daughters and wives are just as outraged as Cook.

Come on..."wedged in the male mind." Maybe it is "wedged" in Cook's mind but it is nowhere in mine. "methinks he doth protest too much." He does work at GPS...just saying...(How do you like being stereotyped too, Mr Cook)

I believe in equality....women are no better, no kinder, no more honest, no more evil, and no better or worse in any way than men.

I think the biggest problem women have is shoulder injuries. Why? From patting themselves on the back all the time.

Why do liberal women want to take this stuff too extremes every time something like this happens. Whoever does this kind of thing needs to be punished but don't blame everybody. It makes you look foolish.

Cook is the typical liberal weenieman.

June 2, 2014 at 6:52 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

“Standing ovation for those of you who feel the need to proclaim yourselves as non-rapists. Go pick yourself up a trophy somewhere. Way to go! Way to also miss the point entirely.” - LL

What an impudent, presumptuous thing to say! You and a couple of other commenters here have insinuated or, like you, outright accused a few of us guys of having such a haughty and superficial attitude. But I have not seen anywhere amongst the males commenting here where they or I are patting ourselves on the back for distancing ourselves from rapists. I am in agreement with almost everything that David Cook says, I was only taking exception to that particular remark of his, that rape is “something wedged into the male mind,” as if it is just a “male thing,” something about our DNA. Now, maybe he didn't mean it that way but it sure sounded like it, and I totally disagree with that. Violence of ANY kind is a learned and reinforced behavior, resorted to by men, and women alike, who have not had self-respect and respect for others instilled in them from an early age.

You seem to have paid no attention whatsoever to that part of my comment where I pretty much agreed with you and most others on here that society itself is largely to blame for a lot of this overly aggressive (violent) behavior. But regardless of how much society is to blame, children raised in homes that instill in their children kindness, love, and respect for others will not, as a rule, grow up to be rapists or criminals of any kind, no matter what the media and movies and music industry are shoveling down our throats. Unfortunately there are too many kids today who are not raised in the nurturing environment that they need, so it is only natural that they learn their violent behavior from a society that glorifies violence, misogyny, and male power.

And if we want to change it, the responsibility falls as much on women as it does on us men, because women are just as responsible for this culture of violence and glorification of primal male aggression. Most women today objectify sex as much as men do, to the extent that the only thing that seems to matter to them is how "big" a man is, from his willy to his bank account to his SUV or monster truck (if you're a redneck) to his house, to his yacht, and on and on and on. And don't tell me that's strictly a male delusion. The reason so many males lust for excessive size, wealth, and power for themselves is because so many women not only expect it but demand it. Sure, there are some women who are above the obvious stereotypes and superficial symbols of success and power, but unfortunately most women are playing right along with the men in encouraging and expecting those outward signs of masculinity.

June 2, 2014 at 7:12 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

continued...

Also, American women glorify war every bit as much as men, thinking that men who fight in even unjustified wars are more manly than men who say no to those wars. America is a rapist on steroids. We have raped the planet and continue to do so, raped other countries and continue to do so, killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people to ferret out a handful (by comparison) of known terrorists, and women are as much on board with American imperialism and wanton destruction as men are. We live in a nation with a culture of violence built into it, where power and aggression are looked upon as bold and manly, and diplomacy and peace are looked upon as cowardly and effeminate.

And then there's our pop culture: Rap and hip hop “artists” liberally pepper their lyrics with references to bitches and “hos.” And do women stand up and protest the misogyny? Hell no! They buy the damn music! They dance to it! Same with country songs, in which the singer waxes romantic about his big (manly) truck and doing the typical “manly” things like huntin', fishin', drinkin', workin' on his truck, and doin' the “heavy liftin.'” Women (at least the redneck women) eat that sh#t up and the country singers know it.

And do not for one second think that I am justifying rape when I say that. I am not. Just that women need to recognize that there are many ways that they themselves reinforce such brute-like “manly” behavior.

June 2, 2014 at 7:13 p.m.
ACS said...

@rickaroo I was on your bandwagon for a short trip...very short until you got to the part that women are as much to blame as men. Read back to what you wrote about being raised in a home that instills kindness, love and respect. Now go back and read what Mr. Cook wrote about assailants picking women who are too drunk to make good witnesses. I will take that one step further..women that act out that way- that make good victims cause their past makes horrible witnesses..are usually girls that at a very young age were molested, raped by their mothers boyfriends, older brothers coaches and any other male misguided figure. They learned at an early age they were to blame. They drink, they act out to forget that. In turn, they don't report rapes at an older age because they learned early on it was their fault. Why do you think they are at a bar or party so intoxicated they make good victims? Because they learned early on not to fight back ever..in the rape, in the report or the court process. Now the girls you refer to as being gold diggers, granted my word not yours.Now they are totally different breed..they grew up with the same sense of entitlement the boys that think no means yes did. Don't confuse the 2.Totally different!

June 2, 2014 at 7:35 p.m.
ACS said...

I am so disgusted by all these pro men comments & calling Mr Cook Weenieman. No ,not all men are rapist. He wasn't generalizing. Read the story...they raped her with a foreign object to the point she had to be hospitalized! Think about that...women's bodies are made to give birth to babies...she had to be hospitalized! Think about the pain she had to endure to get to that point. If you think ,regardless of how drunk she may have been, she wasn't crying out because her body was made to take something it wasn't made to take...You are an idiot. I hope if this doesn't alight with your sympathies being towards her.. I pray you never have a daughter...I pray you never have a wife..I pray your sister or mother never comes crying to you for comfort because they just experienced the same thing.

June 2, 2014 at 7:50 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

ACS, I am not saying that "women are as much to blame as men." I also realize that certain traits and outward manifestations of "manliness" condoned by society do not likewise encourage or give a man license to rape. But I'm just saying that there ARE many ways today that women encourage and expect aggression and brute power in men in ways that they are probably not aware of. We are, after all, a nation with a history of violence and brute aggression, and Americans, both men and women, seem to have a high level of tolerance for violence. High tolerance, hell...Americans seem to love it! Such that it's okay for our kids to watch people getting their heads wacked off and blood and guts spattered all over the movie screen, but we don't dare let them see the naked bodies of two people making love.

I am pretty much in agreement with what Ki said: "We teach and justify rape as one of the spoils of war. Can't have it both ways. In one breath say rape is OK and the next pretend outrage when it lands on your own doorsteps. Why not just cease to glorify rape and all acts of brutalities altogether? Otherwise you're all just a bunch of hypocrites!!!"

June 2, 2014 at 8 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Regardless of what I am saying about rape in sweeping generalities, I am not in any way implying that the young woman in the news here was in any way to blame. And I haven't really gotten the impression that anybody else here is even remotely implying that. She was the victim in an ugly, brutal assault in which three conscienceless thugs defiled and violated her and there is no excuse whatsoever for what they did. ACS, you and a few others on here seem to be reading more into some of these comments than is really there, I think.

June 2, 2014 at 8:14 p.m.
ACS said...

Where you and Ki came to believe that brute and aggression are rooted in America and as Americans we revel in the spoils of war being rape??? Are you freaking insane? First off, we are originally talking about an 18 year old girl & 3 18 year old boys. Children! I don't know what war your talking about but there isn't one in my back yard. I don't raise my children to revel in guts & blood. They have a healthy respect with what's video games & real life. My boys know that when I say no- you can't do this- you can't go there- you can't talk talk to this person anymore..I am doing it to make them a better person for their future. War? Seems to me the war might be a reflection of YOUR heart. This isn't Bosnia, Benghazi or a 3rd world zone.

June 2, 2014 at 8:25 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

You obviously have no clue what I'm saying. You appear to be much too emotionally attached to this topic to even listen to what I have said. And even as I say that you are probably going to accuse me of not being emotional enough about it, assuming that because I am not a woman or have never been raped, I cannot fully empathize or appreciate the pain and humiliation a woman experiences. But you are only reading what you want to read and then filtering it through what appears to be some very raw emotions. I have other things to do now anyway. G'night.

June 2, 2014 at 8:44 p.m.
Ki said...

ACS you're unraveling and incoherent. Neither Rickroo nor I are minimizing what happened. We're both pointing out the hypocrisy and double standards we've both seen expressed right here in discussions. Whether it's the brutal rape of a young female on our own soil or the brutal rape and murder of young thirteen year old in Iraq. Such acts just don't suddenly jump out from nowhere. They become conditioned over a period of time. If the same had taken place in a war zone some of the very same outraged individuals condemning the act now would be making excuses for the behavior. Again! You can't have it both ways. The "spoils of war" didn't come from neither. It was mentioned by another poster prior talking about rape in relations to what's he considered at war.

June 2, 2014 at 8:56 p.m.
SAIGA said...

Three words: hip hop culture!

June 2, 2014 at 9:16 p.m.
bret said...

Tim Price ("timbo") .... misogynist much?

June 2, 2014 at 9:57 p.m.
Ccal said...

All men need to understand: this is women's daily lives, from day one. We fight the system that makes our lives this way. In that system, males are in the position of power. It's not your fault that you were born into that power, men---it only becomes your fault when you refuse to see & recognize it, listen to those trying to teach you about it, & change it.

You may think it doesn't affect you, but it does: not just in how it affects the women in your life, but also YOU, directly. "Female" is equated with "weak"; how many of you have been labeled "a sissy, crying like a little girl," or told if you don't want to lose status as a male, you aren't allowed to do anything that would bring on those labels? How many of you dads have employers who simply assume, if your kids are sick, your wife will take care of it, not you? That you don't need parental time, wifey's got that covered? How many of you have been told to "Man up!" instead of being allowed to express feelings of fear, sadness, exhaustion?

Feminism isn't just a fight for women's rights; it's also a fight against gender roles and discrimination that affects both genders. It's a fight to ensure that all are given equal rights & protections under the law, and equality in respect. You have a stake in this as well... but most of you are unaware of it.

As for abuse, harassment, rape, beatings, murder: yes there are male victims of these crimes as well, but what you need to understand isn't just that women face this throughout their lives, but also that it's the hyper-masculine standard that drives these crimes against both genders, even when the abuser or aggressor is a female, because that female is adapting to and using the hyper-masculine standard for power and violence to gain entitlement to it.

NotAllMen harass, abuse, rape, etc., but YesAllMen are affected by this standard, because it gets pushed onto little boys and grown men, and those who refuse to bow to it do suffer for it.

In the interest of helping you guys out there understand, here's some links. I know some of you may not want to bother with reading or watching the videos, but consider this: you have the luxury of ignoring this stuff, while the women in your life don't; we live with it on a daily basis. Isn't it worth 30 minutes of your time to read a couple articles and watch a 19 minute video, if it will help you understand how you can help make life and the world better?

If you want to start understanding how hyper-masculine violence gets portrayed as a role model of maleness in our culture, read this:

http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2013/03/selling-masculinity/

If you want to see how men can change from being bystanders to being Leaders, watch this (it's short):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTvSfeCRxe8

And here's a link of things you can do to be a better ally for feminists:

http://feminspire.com/16-ways-you-can-be-a-better-feminist-ally/

June 2, 2014 at 11:56 p.m.
Ccal said...

Ki, I'm a newcomer to these forums, and I oppose rape no matter where it is, or who it is. You said "If the same had taken place in a war zone some of the very same outraged individuals condemning the act now would be making excuses for the behavior. Again! You can't have it both ways." Because your comment was directed at ACS, it sounds like you're referring to her/him specifically---so has ACS supported rape in time of war on here before? Have the others who are outraged here over this rape done so? I'm outraged over this rape, but I've never advocated for rape in war---it makes me sick to think about it.

I've seen people in other places cheer the idea of rape in prisons as well; again, I don't. It doesn't teach rape offenders anything to become victims themselves, and when prisoners in for non-violent crimes are raped, they tend to become more violent when released back into society.

NO ONE ON THIS PLANET "DESERVES" TO BE RAPED, NO MATTER HOW EVIL THEY ARE---and if we condone it as "retribution" under any circumstances, we're saying "rape is okay when____," and that helps uncaring and evil to grow in our own hearts. This is also why I advocate against torture---doing it or supporting it brings us closer to the very things we profess to hate.

June 3, 2014 at 1:03 a.m.
Ccal said...

Now, addressing the article: it makes me so angry and frustrated that reporters spend 15 minutes discussing alcohol instead of rape, because it says something about how so many people still don't understand consent, and still blame victims. Many of these people don't even understand how they're victim-blaming... because they're so used to it as "a normal standard of behavior." The fact that an entire group of reporters seem to be some of "these people" says a lot about how victim-blaming and rape-stereotypes get perpetuated in our culture.

Too many people think they "know all they need to know" about rape, so they don't bother to learn any more. Too many think most, or all, rapes are "the stranger in the bushes," even though 9 out of 10 rapes are done by someone the victim knows, and often trusts. Rapists aren't swamp things crawling out of the night to rape and then crawling back into their holes, by and large---they're your best friend's older brother, your classmate, your co-worker, your boyfriend, your boss, your husband, your grandpa, your cousin, your neighbor, your teacher, your minister, your coach. A great many of them are repeat offenders, raping several different women over the course of their lifetimes. They're the fine upstanding pillar of community, the boy next door, the terrific boss who buys donuts for the crew, the guy you've been dating for months and think you are in love with, the man you married who shows another face in your private lives.

(see part 2 below)

June 3, 2014 at 1:36 a.m.
Ccal said...

Part 2

In other words, they're guys who look just like, outwardly act just like, and seem just like most of you, and very often are people who gain a female's trust by acting normal, presenting as normal, before raping. For females, it's like life is Russian Roulette: you never know which guy will be a "click" and which will be a "bullet." Do you realize what an act of courage it is to trust a guy long enough for him to show you he isn't a rapist, or an abuser? So yeah, maybe 99 guys out of 100 are good people who would never ever rape... but if you ask ten people to "pick a number between 1-100," they're not all going to say "100," now are they? The actual number they pick could be any number from 1-100, right? Now imagine that you're a female trying to decide who you can trust---that randomness of numbers means any single one out of that 100 might be the bullet... and you have no way of knowing until it's rushing down the chamber at your face.

Do you know how frightening that can be, how it can affect all your relationships? How women constantly try to assess and reassess to try to guess if a guy is a bullet or a click? Even then, we can't...because all too often (9 out of 10 times) it's someone we've already learned to trust in some fashion.

I remember this coming up on a forum where we had a LOT of super-nice guys... and they were horrified to learn from every female poster there (about 1/3 of the total posters) that no matter how nice a guy is, that at some point we've had at least the fleeting thought "might this guy rape me?" They had no idea that the fear was so prevalent, and it dawned on them that at least some of the women in their own lives had probably thought that question about them.

And I haven't even touched on groping, harassment, abuse, body image=human worth, or all the ways women around us are constantly put down, silenced, etc. It's a wonder any of us manage to be sane.

Again, this isn't an accusation of any of you---it's an attempt to make you aware of what life is like for us, in the hope that you will take that awareness and become leaders in changing things, instead of unaware bystanders.

June 3, 2014 at 1:36 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Tim Price (timbo) is many things. Adjectives to describe Tim Price include: Mysogynist, racist, hypocrite, moron, fatass, homophobe, xenophobe, sexist...etc.

Need proof? Read any of his posts.

June 3, 2014 at 2:01 a.m.
Ki said...

Ccal, my response was in reference to a prior response ACS made to Rickaroo and me. The response was NOT accusatory in any form made directly to ACS. When using the term YOU it is a general term that is not necessarily directed at one individual. Basic reading comprehension explains that concept.

June 3, 2014 at 12:46 p.m.
timbo said...

Easy123....You never disappoint...The only insult I have for you is worse than anything you can say about me. LIBERAL..The definition is someone who uses emotion rather than logic to make decisions. They make themselves feel good about themselves by insulting and putting down others because they have no rational argument.

If someone like you hates me, that means I am living a good life. Thank you Easy123. I am definitely opposite from you.

June 3, 2014 at 1:47 p.m.
timbo said...

I left out one more thing about liberal women. They cannot take any criticism whatsoever without name-calling and put downs. You all must be waging and "war on men."

June 3, 2014 at 1:49 p.m.
timbo said...

ACS...thanks for making my point.

June 3, 2014 at 1:50 p.m.
timbo said...

After reading these feminist posts, you gals are kinda scary. I might need counseling. Maybe Cook the weenieman can give me the name of his.

There are some women that can teach me something but not any of these on this forum. Wow...bizarre. You really hate men. I hope you don't have a father, son, or husband. Do they know how much you loath men? How little you think of them? Why don't you go home and tell them?

June 3, 2014 at 1:54 p.m.
mightyteegar said...

First things first: anyone who says moronic things like "liberals are all like this" or "conservatives are all like that" doesn't deserve to be part of any conversation where intellectual capacity and integrity are involved. They need to take their group-minded attitudes and mental laziness and go home until they can address specific issues and specific people.

I'm looking at all this angry parley going back and forth and it's pathetic. First we have the "not all men" people, and jumping into their faces are the "yes all women" people. Neither side is interested in cooperation. All they want to do is yell their position as loudly and repeatedly as they possibly can.

Look at all of you. So divisive. So enraged. So ... tribalistic. And SO not interested in meaningful and constructive dialogue about what is a very serious issue of rape culture.

Stop drawing lines around each other. Put down your self-righteous indignation and burn the veil of anonymity, and for $DEITY's sake TALK to each other. And don't feed me the line that "this is the internet, that's just how it is" because that is an utter cop out.

We're all humans, right? We all allegedly have compassion and sympathy and mostly functioning brains, so where is that here? What are you really more interested in, improving society or being right?

June 4, 2014 at 9:04 a.m.
CGraham said...

Well said Mr. Cook. Thank you.

June 4, 2014 at 10:26 a.m.
ArtVandelay said...

I agree with this. I would add one thing though - you're right that 'When there's a murder, or homicide, or robbery, no one talks about whether the shooters were drunk or how much beer they drank.' However, they do almost always report on the other drugs in their system (or even that there were no drugs). Just... for the record.

June 9, 2014 at 4 p.m.
clhkkh said...

Unfortunately I didn't read this article until now. As a parent of a child sexually assaulted by two young men (17) when she was 16, I feel I have a VERY INFORMED opinion of the content of this article. I can honestly say the part that made me cringe and so so sad was "it took 15 questions before they asked about the victim". Our family has been through more than any family should ever have to endure. We have endured 4 separate trials with two convictions. We were forced to move our daughter out of town for her senior year due to threats and harassment since the "boys" were quite popular and well off. I agree that not all boys and/or men think this way. Of course not. Our son is VERY respectful to women, and this was before his sister was assaulted. Both my son and daughter have always been the ones to "look out for their friends and/or other women" at parties etc. But I agree WHOLEHEARTEDLY with David Cook. Women are not prizes. If you work hard enough to "get her", you do not get rewarded. I cannot say how many times during the past three horrendous years we have been asked what my daughter was wearing, and was she drinking. If she was naked and drunk (which she was not), she did NOT DESERVE to be attacked. Being drunk or dressed provocatively does NOT INVITE bad behavior. She wasn't "asking for it" in any way. The young men (one pleaded guilty and the other did not)are sick. Plain and simple. No other explanation is possible. Perception of women NEEDS TO CHANGE. Period. I personally want to thank David Cook, for stating what seems so obvious to our family...

June 24, 2014 at 4:29 p.m.
soserious said...

Ki and timbo. You do realize right that while telling all of us about how you respect women you are accusing the women around you - posters you disagreed with- of being, irrational and clearly overemotional? You call them all feminists and say they need counseling while also claiming no piece of rape culture is wedged in your mind. I mean the irony here is just in your face blatant. Definately neither of you have had anything wedged in your minds before. No one shall ever accuse either of you of not being properly manly by having anything put anywhere inside of either of you that you didnt agree to having there. Dont you just hate it when people do that?

July 4, 2014 at 5:36 a.m.
soserious said...

By the way kudos to the author. This piece is awesome.

July 4, 2014 at 5:40 a.m.
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