boys dont cry

MindAphid at MindAphid at
Sun Aug 11 17:11:23 MDT 2002

i hope no one minds that i changed the title of the thread.  the national 
organization for women seemed to have got off the train way back in tulsa.

> >The commodification of sex is quite logical under capitalism.
>  It's quite logical under any economic system in which men hold power over 
>  women. Or I suppose you believe that rape and relationships formed on a 
>  material needs basis were blissfully non-existent before the First Man put 
>  a fence around a piece of land and boomed, "This is mine, and the name I 
>  will give it is my PROPERTY".

Historically, the rape of males was more widely recognized in ancient times. 
Several of the legends in Greek mythology involved abductions and sexual 
assaults of males by other males or gods. The rape of a defeated male enemy 
was considered the special right of the victorious soldier in some societies 
and was a signal of the totality of the defeat. There was a widespread belief 
that a male who was sexually penetrated, even if it was by forced sexual 
assault, thus "lost his manhood," and could no longer be a warrior or ruler. 
Gang rape of a male was considered an ultimate form of punishment and, as 
such, was known to the Romans as punishment for adultery and the Persians and 
Iranians as punishment for violation of the sanctity of the harem (Donaldson, 

Donaldson, Donald. (1990). "Rape of Males," in Dynes, Wayne, ed. Encyclopedia 
of Homosexuality. New York: Garland Publications.

>  >Xyxyxyyx mentions the magnitude of sexual prostitution in the USA (if
>  >that's what she means by "this country"), but its exponential malignancy
>  >in the erstwhile Eastern Bloc states really should be highlighted,
>  >emphasized and reiterated as the results of market relations' rough
>  >intrusion.  Whole peoples are in the process--NOW!--of being
>  >effectively, and materially raped by capitalism.
>  Men rape women. Capitalism rapes workers. Get it straight. 

women also rape men, and at increasing rates.

and men rape men, although the statistics are far less well maintained than 
for male on female rape.  this is partly due to the pressure on men to 
maintain their proper role as men and the attitude of society towards men. 
for instance, prison rape is taken simply as an amusing fact of life by most 
people, the subject of coutless jokes.  men are also supposed to be 
hypersexual and thus when a women treats a man as a sex 
object it is always assumed that he enjoys it, that he wishes this were the 
regular state of affairs.  prison rape is naturalized in this way as men 
quenching their tremendous, pent-up sexual appetites.

in any case, in the us, less than 15% of men report their rapes compared to 
25% of women.  its estimated that male rapes account for 5-10% of all rapes 
and that approximately one in fourteen men is a rape survivor, the majority 
being white and heterosexual.  male rapes are also generally more violent, 
with a higher rate of weapon use, physical injury and multiple assailants 
compared to the rape of women.  the psychological damage may also be heavier. 
 in addition to experiencing the same trauma as women, men often experience a 
heightened degree of pure shock and surprise having never been socialized to 
fear sexual assault.  they also often feel a loss of masculinity, and indeed 
begin to question their sexual orientation.  further, men suffer a greater 
amount of isolation and difficulty in dealing with the trauma of rape because 
of the social stigma surrounding male rape and the fact that they generally 
do not have the access to the resources (support groups, self help books, 
etc) that women do.

finally, even the legal aspects of rape differ for men and women.  in some 
states, the rape of men is not defined by law under the same terminology or 
degree of offense as the rape of women.  laws here in ohio regard rape and 
sexual assault equally with male or female victims, but other states dont 
recognize oral or anal penetration as being rape and instead categorize them 
on other forms of sex crimes (i.e., sodomy).

a hustler article makes all these points in a very succinct manner:

"Frank might have been stopped sooner, but male victims don't report, and all 
too often law enforcement and the justice system downplay the significance of 
the crime. In New York and North Carolina, for instance, it is a lesser 
offense to rape a man than it is to rape a woman. And, although this may be 
changing, rape-crisis centers have often not recognized the male victim. One 
man who tried to get help on a rape-crisis line was told, "We don't work with 
offenders." When he explained that he was the victim, he was accused of 
making a crank call and was hung up on. 

"The feminist movement has helped bring the rape of women and, more recently, 
the molestation of children to the public's attention, resulting in fairer 
treatment of victims in the legal system and tougher sentences for offenders. 
But adult male victims of sexual assault have a long way to go before they 
are given the same recognition." 

my personal experience somewhat confirms this view of feminism.  i brought up 
the subject of male rape to a friend and president of a local womens 
organization and she basically replied "so what?" another time, i shared some 
experience of male brutality with a socialist friend and she scoffed at the 
idea that men might face gender oppression saying "yea, men have it so hard." 
i could go on with personal experiences, but i will leave it at that.

anyway, there is a whole literature (including socialist and marxist writers) 
under the category of mens studies that deals with these kinds of issues.  i 
can give you some references if youd like, although i have read none of it 

>  I really hate it 
>  when people deconstruct rape or (prostitution) such that it is not "men" 
>  who are raping women but rather conditions, systems, or other entities. 
>  This dilutes the power imbalance between men and women (FYI this is 
>  otherwise known in feminist circles as "the patriarchy") and allows the 
>  male reader or academic not to feel involved in the power structure in 
>  question. It's a no-guilt mechanism.

before you stated that "capitalism rapes workers." does developing a systemic 
understanding of capitalism similarly dilute the power imbalance between 
workers and capitalists and allow capitalists to not feel involved in the 
power structure?  i think the problem here is an inability to develop a 
conception of objectified subjectivity, where by subjective forces take on a 
life of their own and maintain the appearance of objective, timeless reality. 
 if you view social relations as purely subjective, you end up with nothing 
but moralism and in actuality a view of objectified subjectivity as purely 
objective and essentialized (thus it is the objective facts of the nature of 
men to rape rather than social conditions which lead to such behavior).

the main point is that gender oppression, like all oppression, is not a 
one-sided affair.  if we must drag marx into this, his on suicide is an 
excellent example of this.  the american pragmatist philosopher john dewey 
also made similar arguments (i cant remember the articles off hand).

anyway, im all for no-guilt mechanisms.  guilt-tripping is a notoriously 
ineffective method of revolutionary combat.  better to try da shiee far to 
the taiyang or taiyin cavity, which with the proper amount of power and 
correct method will cause death.

>  Did I mention the bourgeois feminist who told me that prostitution was
>  >"empowering" for hookers?  Sheesh!
>  Did I mention the Marxist who wants to assume that they have knowledge of 
>  the apparently monolithic experience of women in the sex-trade industry?
>  Okay, so her statement was monolithic in scope as well, but yours makes me 
>  just as uncomfortable.
>  Talk to street workers who feel more empowered hustling than working at 
>  McDonald's. As a matter of fact, talk to me about that. That was my take 
> it.
>  This "bourgeois" feminist probably would make many men very uncomfortable. 
>  The idea that prostitution can be more empowering than non-sex-for-pay 
>  relations with men, is a threatening thought, isn't it?

to me, its not threatening so much as it is sad, sad that thats what things 
have come to.  a little postcard from the damaged life.

the nature of history is precisely that every definition degenerates into an 
illusion: history is the history of the unceasing overthrow of the objective 
forms that shape the life of man

- g lukács

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