A Man Gotta Have a Woman or He Don’t Know He’s a Man

A credible reference considers the term rape to be defined as forcing someone to have sex when they are unwilling (Cambridge.org). The origin of the term misogyny is Greek derived; misos defined as hatred, gune defined as woman; altogether representing an idea that holds hate for women, who are inferior to men. Would it not be required for one to hate or at least hold supposed power and disrespect in order for one to force sex upon another? Is it not rare for a man to be raped (other than men who are confined to a place where there are no women)? Since women are the prominent victims (by far), would rape not be considered a misogynistic crime? Here I will mention why rape occurs, whom the fault is given to as well as some history of this occurrence; with hope to explain why rape is an act derived from a misogynist culture and why there is no limit to how informed one should be regarding the crisis.

In Christina Hoff Sommers’s Rape Research, the question arises to whether rape is prominent in our society because we have a violent society or because of misogynistic intentions. If rape occurred because of mere violence, more men (not imprisoned) would be raped (by men). It is women they chose—therefore it is misogynistic. Does one need more of a reason for sex without consent to be because of a lack of respect for women and their wishes? The rapists are the same patriarchal men who see it as part of their nature to belittle women (although they would never refer to it as belittlement). They do so in infinite ways, without second thought. They are so deeply convinced in their lack of fault, their victims believe the same, preventing women from believing that anything happening is anything out of the ordinary—“He’s just being a man.” My concern is when the actions of men reach the boundary of falling into the category of “just being a man?” Lying on the couch while one’s wife does all of the household things after she too has just gotten home from a long day of work is obviously considered just being a man. Having drinks after work while one’s family prepares for bed is just being a man. Expecting your wife to be aroused whenever one is, despite anything her body is going through, is just being a man. Hitting on the young waitress or letting one’s eyes wander with no boundaries is just being a man. Speaking to a woman with no filter while expecting them to withhold their inferior response is just being a man. Beating one’s wife because she is there when one is mad is just being a man, as well as forcing penetrating to the matter just because one would be knocking out two birds with one stone on one’s agenda of being a man. What will always shock me is how men are okay with being a man[1]. They wish to be excused from being moral beings, simply because they are men. Nonetheless, who exactly is responsible for this in the greater picture? These men are born into an environment that promotes this type of behavior and they have rarely witnessed otherwise. The fault is theirs for not acknowledging the horrible standards they are adhering to but the most frightening issue is how blinded many of them are from any part of the truth; that they are not supposed to have control over women. To any whom may claim a victim wanted, needed or enjoyed being raped; if any of these were apparent in the scenario, it would only be because the victim is brainwashed by one’s misogynistic mentality and those one has surrounded oneself with. The women who put up with this live in an environment that enables them to believe that degrading behavior from a male is the norm or at least normal enough to endure some pain because of.

Many women in or out of relationships often assume that it was their fault that they were raped. This is a repetitive accusation: male who faults the female for not having sex with him after becoming aroused because it is her fault that he is aroused; the guy at the party who penetrates the unconscious girl but it is her fault for getting drunk and passing out in her own apartment; the husband who is drunk and forces his wife to have sex with him because they are married and he has nothing to lose (because he is a husband and this is his right); the woman who is taken from the street and raped because she was out alone and she should know better than that. From the smallest instance to rape-induced death, women have been trained to believe that they are always responsible for the sex that is forced upon them. When considering women surveyed who did not consider themselves victim of rape, it is important to consider: women in denial because they would rather not accuse their spouse of being guilty of something so bad, overly-conservative women who were influenced to adhere to whatever men wish regardless of their pain, women who are under the false idea that men are naturally more aroused than women—the list is infinite[2]. Rape research and statistics are so far from ever being completely accurate. The matter should have strong forces at aim to prevent occurrences, regardless of statistics. One reason for the constant inaccuracy of rape statistics is because there is only one word to use when referring to any sexual intercourse without mutual desire; rape. Therefore, more extreme rape occurrences have the same label as the less threatening situations, obviously making rape research and statistics more difficult to perform. By attempting to disprove what may be considered exaggerating feminist’s research, one will fail to remember that 1/100 is still too high of a percentage of raped women. We all know more than one hundred women; imagine any of them being forcibly raped. At The University of Georgia, a group met on campus before going downtown to drink. This group referred to themselves as “Return of the Kings.” Members of this group deem it completely okay and necessary for any women in their home to be raped and the websites that they affiliate with express this clearly. Why? Men rule and women drool, that’s why. Their moral conduct requires no motive other than the simple fact that men are greater than women. This group was on the campus that I visit every day. How can we possibly be too aware of sexual assault or undermine any instance of forced sex?

How can one consider that the reason rape occurs is because of a violent society rather than a society that belittles women when the highest number of rape occurs in patriarchal societies? Yes, an extreme number of male prisoners are raped, which is also terribly disturbing. Nonetheless, who could deny that if women were in prison with them, they would be victimized instead? We have lived in a misogynist society since the beginning of time. This is demonstrated religiously and politically and has always been. Why was Scotland motivated to start war for their freedom from English rule? They were tired of Englishmen taking their wives and raping them before they could marry. I am aware that times were more violent then but how would you explain why they did not rape the men instead without it being due to the lack of respect for women. Sure, it is disrespectful to the men who’s partners were being raped but the disrespect implied towards the women is too intense to be considered mere disrespect; as if they do not exist as beings and are pieces of other men’s property– stolen and penetrated. This is just one of many examples of history implementing the degradation of women. The world has politically progressed as far as misogyny is concerned. Yet, religion belittles the roles of women persistently today. Religion will manipulatively claim that women are better at performing certain roles, naturally. Nonetheless, this prevents women from prospering in ways that they would do so, if given the chance. This also instills sub ordinance to men and the idea that women know less about what is just, making women less likely to assume their spouse is wrong by forcing her to please him sexually. Why is the Holy Bible’s Eve portrayed as being responsible for Adam’s corruption and ‘responsible for the fall of man?’ Did Adam not possess the willpower to resist? Eve was created in order for Adam to have someone to love, not to be forever known for corruption; punished by cycles and childbirth. This form of history was produced by, as one would assume, men. As a young lady, church convinced me that my womanhood was punishment, not privilege. There are countless examples of religious- inspired belittlement of women that I need not elaborate on, many of which give sexual rights to men any time they please. It is hard to believe that the misogynistic characteristics in most all religions has not impacted the prevalence of sex forced upon women, the primary victims of rape.

The only susceptible reason that one might aim at proving violence to be the cause of rape instead of misogynistic intention is to keep conservative values in tact or make sure society does not become too aware of rape and why it happens. Are there men that are being protected here? Maybe Sommers does not want men worry about whether or not what they are doing is considered an act of rape. Assuming rape is a misogynistic act does much less harm than blaming a violent society. Women are being raped, women are taking the blame and women have been doing so throughout history. If rape is written off as something that would not occur if it were not for the violence in our world, no progression would be made in this culture of forced sexual encounters. If it requires some women to assume their instance of non life-threatening rape is just as important as a rape-induced death, so be it. If that is what it takes to prevent the traumatic and misogynistic rape crimes from occurring, who would dare resist? It is difficult to understand how Christina Sommers could be blinded to our misogyny-influenced culture and unfortunately this may mean that she is a primary victim of the blindfold that it provides.

[1] Sexual identity is an idea; constructed by society. Behavior follows identity though it should be the other way around.

[2] Just because someone does not know that they are being offended does not mean that they are not. This is relevant in all cases of discrimination and crime.

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