Trigger Warnings

Some of my posts deal with rape and that means that bits of this blog may be triggering.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

If it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck

Another Sunday morning, another article blaming women for men raping them in the Daily Mail.

This time it's Nick Ross, a very experienced journalist who for years presented Crimewatch at the BBC, that well-known hunting ground for sexual predators and rapists.  Here's the article for anyone who wants to read it:

He trots out the usual rape apology - women are like unguarded laptops, making it clear they have vaginas which can be penetrated (although given that they've usually got knickers on in public, along with garments which cover those knickers, surely their vaginas are covered in the same way that hidden laptops are? But  that's obviously not covered enough, maybe women should all go out disguised as post-boxes or something, so that it's not obvious we have vaginas?  But then I suppose men would rightly criticise the fact that we've got letter slots that incite them to wank into them, so post boxes wouldn't work.  I'll have to re-think that disguise, maybe I'll get back to you sometime with alternative suggestions).

But I digress.  Back to women and how we cause rape.  We get drunk, we go out unescorted, we stay out late, we wear clothing which can be seen as "incitement" to rape - all the bog standard arguments which we hear over and over again but which Nick describes as "heresy".  He seems unaware that far from being heresy, this is the usual victim-blaming rubbish churned out to justify men's sexual abuse of women on a regular basis.

As with all rape apologists, Nick doesn't seem to be aware that a woman can only incite rape, if there's a rapist around to be incited.  Men can't be incited to rape, if they're not rapists.  So Nick seems to believe that all men are rapists, otherwise his argument would not make sense.  Fancy that. Though he does concede that "no amount of temptation can excuse rape", the implication being that men are struggling through life desperately trying like St Augustine, to resist temptation.  Which makes one feel rather sorry for them.  It must be so difficult for them, poor darlings, all these women all around the place on the train, on the streets, in bars, in the workplace, just being there and tempting men, who must be making herculean efforts to not rape them.  I mean, it's not as if these women leave their vaginas safely at home either, where men can't get to them - they are silly enough to take their vaginas along to the workplace etc., with them, almost as if they're just another body part and not a dangerous incitement to men. I expect those reckless women are the same sort who don't passport-protect their laptops.

Here's the thing.  I don't believe most men do go through life resisting the temptation to rape women, because I don't believe all men are rapists. When men tell me that women are partly responsible for rape which men perpetrate because of xyz boring so-called heresy-rape-apology, when men use words like "temptation" as if they deserve some sort of gold medal for being strong enough and good enough not to rape a woman, I look round nervously to check that I'm not completely alone with that guy.  Because rapists don't tell you they're rapists before they rape you, but they sometimes give you clues, by expressing their views about women and rape.

The sort of men who think women are "temptations", rather than human beings, have the same attitudes to women as rapists do.  The sort of men who believe women are partly responsible for rape because men can't be held responsible for their own behaviour, have the same attitudes to their own behaviour as rapists do. So when men say or write stuff that makes them sound like rapists, women are justified in consigning that man to the "never be alone in the same space with" corner. Because women know that if it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it might just be a duck.  It might not, but women can't afford to take the chance.  So men, here's a tip: try not to quack like a duck lest women mistake you for one.


  1. Nick Ross is another male rape apologist because he like most men believes males have the innate right of sexual access to women and girls so therefore rape cannot happen.

    But if we believe males are incapable of refraining from enacting their choice and agency to subject innumerable women and girls to rape, then said males must be locked up in secure units. Then women and girls can go about their daily lives without the constant worry of 'will that nice respectable male I know enact his pseudo male sex right to my body!'

    But of course that will never happen because men have always claimed they are never accountable for their choice and agency to subject a woman/girl to rape or rather sexually prey on women and girls because this is a sacrosanct male right.

    Instead we have misogynists such as Ross whining that women are responsible for provoking males because despite males claiming they are autonomous when the issue concerns males sexually preying on women and girls suddenly males' are not accountable for their choices and actions. This makes a nonsense of male claims their sex is superior to women because males are supposedly autonomous whereas females are passive and inferior.

    However the primary reason why innumerable males continue to subject women and girls to rape and/or male sexual violence must never be stated and that is male belief in their sacrosanct right of sexual access to female bodies any time anywhere.

    This 'right' is upheld and enforced by mens' Male Supremacist Legal System which has always maintained the lie that women and girls are 'sexually dangerous to males and if a woman/girl charges a male/males with rape she not the male rapist(s) is responsible for supposedly 'sexually provoking an innocent male!'

    No surprise therefore that most women who have been subjected to male pseudo sex right to their bodies, believe it wasn't rape because this is what men and their Male Supremacist System have always claimed. Women learn as girls that they exist to sexually men and men have always denied women and girls their fundamental right of ownership of their bodies and female sexual autonomy. So therefore 'rape is not rape' when men say so and 'rape is only rape' when men believe it is. In other words men are the ones who define womens' lived experiences of male sexual violence not women. No wonder innumerable male rapists deny they are rapists because their sexual actions are not those of the mythical rapist!

  2. Hello HerbsAndHags!

    I don't know any other way to email you so I am leaving a comment. Can you please email me? I am a new follower and wanted to thank you for a comment you left on an article about the Oscars and that smarmy Seth Barflane....but this isn't the best place. You can erase this after you get my comment if you would please :)
    Hopefully it shows my email to respond to but privately. I appreciate your fierceness and candor but also your accuracy and wit. Thank you!
    More later.

  3. Being attacked has changed a lot of things in my life, but probably the biggest, most frustrating difference has been that it made me afraid. I don't ever remember being afraid of anything until I was attacked. I could stand on the edge of a cliff and think only of the beauty of the sky and sea and how wonderful it must be to be an eagle soaring above it all. Now I'm afraid of everything. Everything. That's not how I was meant to be. I'm no longer me.

    Do the boys who did this to me, or the girls who egged them on, know how much they have changed me? Do they care? Is there anything anybody could do to make them feel what I feel? Is there anything anybody can do to put my broken pieces back together? Or am I like Humpty Dumpty, fractured and shattered for all time?

    I don't know. I think about this alot. Most of the time. You might say it haunts me.

    Is my body still mine? Or does it belong to anybody who wants it and has the strength to take it? I've read blogs written by women who have been attacked, and I've cruised the therapy groups and forums looking for answers from fellow victims. What I found didn't comfort me. It haunts me. Many wrote about being abused and raped more than once, and it made me wonder if being raped marks you somehow in ways that bullies and abusers can sense. Will they smell it on me, I wonder?

    I know I haven't really responded so much to what you wrote as to how it made me feel, but I felt the need to write this anyway. You're an amazing writer. The kind of writer I'd like to be. That's all I wanted to say, I guess.