This Is What It Looks Like v8

I stumbled upon a debate between Schala and a blogger named Jamie Utt on Jamie’s blog. It is an interesting debate to say the least. Schala tries very hard to convince Jamie that indeed men and boys can be victims of sexual violence and that it occurs at a higher rate than people think. However, Jamie completely rejects that notion, and waffles between claiming to support male survivors, denying they are victimized at any rate worthy of concern, and parroting the typical feminist trope that women have it worse.

The result are wonderful gems like this:

The reason that feminist are opposed to MRAs opening men’s shelters is because there is next to no funding as it is, and when women are experiencing the brunt of the violence, feminist are doing their best to stem the tide of victims who need support.

I could not possibly comment on every inaccurate and illogical comment Jamie made. Instead, I chose a targeted response. Below is the comment I posted on Jamie’s blog. It is currently in moderation, and I am unsure if it will be published given its tone.

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The question was whether men would say yes that they had experienced sexual violence if it were called something else.

According to Jim Hopper, the answer is yes.

As for the CDC’s questions, they can be found on p.106, but here is sample of the questions:

How many people have ever used physical force or threats to physically harm you to make you…

-have vaginal sex?
-{if male} perform anal sex?
-receive anal sex?
-make you perform oral sex?
-make you receive oral sex?
-put their fingers or an object in your {if female: vagina or} anus?

As you can see, the questions are problematic if the respondent does not think they were forced or threatened. However, the bigger problem is that once people answered the questions, the researchers decided to count certain acts as rape and others as sexual assault, even though all six of the items legally count as rape (or sexual assault in states without rape statutes) in all 50 states.

The CDC results are not based on what people reported, but how the researchers divided the data. It is also worth noting that the researchers chose to exclude certain results deeming them too small to work with and in other instances only presented their population estimates, not the raw figures. In other words, it is very likely they manipulated the data to present the lowest possible rate of sexual violence against males and the highest rate of sexual violence against females, which explains why according to the CDC performing unwanted oral sex on a female is rape, while performing oral sex on a male, even a boy, is not.

This is not just something that men experience. Women regularly do not call their experience sexual violence or rape because of the shame that is placed upon any person who experiences this trauma.

It is demonstrably false that male survivors always come forward, always call their experiences “sexual violence” or “rape,” and never experience any shame. As a male survivor and advocate, I am curious as to what feminist theory led you to the above belief.

Regarding feminist-run organizations, have been male survivor advocate for more than ten years, and I have seen little support from feminist-run organizations for male survivors. Most do no provide outreach, offer little counseling, and are not trained to assist male survivors. You need not take my word for it. A Canadian study and male survivor organizations found the same thing. To this point, the National Rape Crisis Network in the UK refuses to support male survivors, instead offering a hotline available to male survivors only 3 days a week for 2.5 hours.

I understand in order for feminists to argue that sexual violence only happens to women you male victimization. However, current research shows that when we ask males about their sexual abuse experiences, they report a rate only slightly lower than that of females.

While I find your minimization of male survivors and your opposition to providing them support disheartening, as a male survivor I take no offense as I understand that is the nature of feminist ideology. It is most unfortunate that feminists like you support denying male victimization, however, there are now organizations unaffiliated with feminists that provide the support feminists claim male survivors do not need.

———————————————————————————————————————

Again, I realize that the tone of my comment is hostile. However, one of the problems with Jamie’s argument is that it completely ignores all the factors that might prompt skewed results.

Jamie does not accept that the CDC researchers deliberately categorized their results in a way that presented the lowest possible rate for male victimization, even though they admitted as much in their conclusion. Jamie refuses to accept that feminist-run organizations often do not provide assistance to male survivors even as he/she admits that feminist-run organizations prioritize assisting women over assisting men. Jamie rejects the notion that males may be abused at a higher rate than people assume even as he/she admits that some research can be skewed.

Across the board, Jamie simply parrots the typical feminist trope that “only women are victims,” even though he/she argued against doing that very thing in the article that prompted the comments.

If you ever wanted to see the double bind that feminism puts people in, Jamie’s comments are the best example of it. Jamie clearly knows that research can be skewed in such a way that marginalizes certain groups of people. However, feminism argues that sexual violence is the domain of women. Only women can be victims and only men can be rapists, and it seems Jamie, to a certain extent, agrees with that argument. So Jamie waffles between basic logic and sexist ideology that prompts rape denialism and apologism.

Reading Schala’s comments to Jamie reminds me of watching Bill Maher’s conversation with Theme-park Jesus in Religulous. Like with Maher, Schala presents arguments and like Theme-park Jesus, Jamie does not allow a pesky thing like logic and demonstrable facts get in the way.

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22 thoughts on “This Is What It Looks Like v8

  1. He obviously has some vested interest in maintaining his belief system Usually with men denying some aspect of makle victimization, it is the prospect of the possibility of victimization they find threatening to their maculinity. In Jamie’s case he probably feels like a manly protector of fragile womanhood by constricting the focus to female victimization. He may also just have a some macho image of himself as invulnerable, and any man who admits to his own vicitmization threatens that self-image.

  2. I am somewhat confused in regards to the idea of “oppression olympics”. If sexual violence gets the nod as the more important or impactful violence isnt that in itself “oppression olympics”? The reality is, overall, men suffer more violence than women, hands down.

  3. Even if your comment was hostile, Toy Soldier (which I didn’t even detect one iota but that’s just me), there comes a point where hostility is absolutly justified with this person.

    Justification #1 – The person makes the following comments in regards to supporting male victims:

    “The problem with the way that you present your information is that you are acting as if the scale and level of violence against men is in any way comparable to the level and scale of violence against women, and it is not.”

    “We are living in times of incredible austerity where there is limited funding for shelters and advocacy programs. Hell, there is not a municipality in the country that isn’t backlogged at least two years on rape kits, and that is considering that only a tiny percentage of rapes are ever reported to the police. When the VAST majority of those injured, and an even MORE VAST majority of those seriously injured by domestic violence are women, shelters are sustained to serve the greatest need.”

    “Could we do a better job serving ALL survivors? Undoubtedly. But we’re fooling ourselves and doing a disservice to survivors if we pretend that the level and scale of violence against men is in any way comparable to violence against women.”

    Justification #2 – This person, and others like him/her have been saying it for decades. DECADES of minmization and turning the other way.

    Combine those two together and I think hostility is justifiably appropriate. There comes a point in time where being polite to these people won’t work anymore. They have to learn that supporting domestic violence and sexual abuse should be done in EQUAL measures regardless of sematics, studies, and other bullshit excuses like that.

    If they won’t even bother to consider this after DECADES, then they deserve rancor. Period.

  4. Ginkgo, I am not sure Jamie is white-knighting or avoiding acknowledging his own vulnerability. I think this is just an ideological thing, particularly given that Jamie says he worked in crisis centers before. There is a very clear mantra in feminist-run crisis centers that men are not victims, and it may be difficult for Jamie to accept his understanding of male victimization is inaccurate.

  5. I am somewhat confused in regards to the idea of “oppression olympics”. If sexual violence gets the nod as the more important or impactful violence isnt that in itself “oppression olympics”?

    Stop that. You know logic is not allowed in a debate about sexual violence.

  6. Eagle, the irony of Jamie’s argument about the level and scale of violence is that when we actually do have some studies that asked these questions. We have the Catholic study and the prison rape studies from 2010, all of which included questions about violence used during sexual assaults. In all three studies, males reported a higher rate of physical violence during sexual assaults. In the case of prison rape, male victims are not only more likely to be injured, but their injuries are typically more severe than women’s. This likely plays out on a general level, particularly in cases involving anal sex.

    Now when Jamie claims that their is this vast difference it becomes easier to understand one potential explanation. How many boys or men are willing to go to the hospital after being anally raped? How many of them will seek help if physically assaulted by a woman who also raped them? How many men seriously injured by a girlfriend or wife would seek medical attention? How many would admit who hurt them? How many people at the hospital would even ask?

    We cannot honestly answer those questions, and that makes it difficult to state who is actually injured more. But in the grand scheme of things it should not matter. I cannot think of any other instance where we deliberately ignore whole groups of victims because they are supposedly less injured than another group.

    As for the hostility, I try to be polite because if I am rude that makes it difficult for the next person to be taken seriously.

  7. I dont think jamie thinks men cant be victims, he just thinks women are “more” of the victims and being that there are limited funds for helping they deserve the bulk of them.

  8. Titfortat, while I agree that there may be some nuance to Jamie’s position, his argument is essentially that we should not waste time helping male survivors because there really are not that many of them. To me, that is tantamount to saying there are no male survivors.

  9. Go to the other recently commented article.
    Not only does he see ‘cultural appropriation’ everywhere( even when some of his black readers don’t) but he only applies his concepts to white people.
    I’m sure if I read even more of his stuff I’d find he’s nothing but your usual ‘social justice’ bigot.
    Once again, justice and sympathy are all about POWER , real and perceived.
    Such people are doing and will continue to do tremendous damage, all the while patting themselves on the back about how moral they are.

  10. I left 2 messages(not favourable), that initially showed up and are now gone. Typical of many so called “do gooders”, very.thin.skin. Its so much easier to have an open blog when you get to decide the openings, lol.

  11. I left 2 messages(not favourable), that initially showed up and are now gone. Typical of many so called “do gooders”, very.thin.skin.

    I have a theory about that: many “do gooders” are wounded people. They have been hurt in some way, and their “giving back” is a way for them to cope with their own pain. As a result, their “giving back” becomes a part of their core identity, as does anything associated with it. So when one questions an ideological point they hold dear, it is akin to questioning their very person. They cannot help but take it personally. Likewise, many “do gooders” surround themselves with wounded people, and it becomes paramount for them to protect those people at all costs. So when one questions an ideological point they hold dear, it is akin to attacking the people they want to protect. They cannot help but take it personally.

    What I find most curious is that many “do gooders” have no problem attacking other people, especially when they cannot win an argument. Jamie did this to Schala by calling her a MRA. It is interesting that the people who want to stop abusive behavior are often so quick to resort to it when in a tight spot.

  12. Yes, the good ole MRA tag. I get a kick out of that one considering I grew up with a single mother, raised by my aunts and grandmother also. I was a single dad for several years(primary custody initially) and now primary parent with teenage kids. So I fit the MRA tag perfectly, lol. ;)

  13. I also got called a man. I don’t think MRA is such a bad label, but I do know it’s used in a “you are backwards and likely white supremacist” insult way very very often.

    I support men and women’s right both, as an egalitarian, precisely because I figure both trans and men’s right are very often forgotten in the face of opposition of both progressives and conservator people and arguments (TERFs and right-wing conservative anti-trans arguments have the merit of being both misandrist and transphobic at the same time).

    And as a trans woman, I also feel they are often linked. Opposition to trans women is often opposition to men, or an attitude that “men are dangerous” disguised.

    I just heard from a newsgroup that Massachusetts lawmakers are uncomfortable with trans people in their identified sex’s bathroom and locker room (at all ages, not just schools), and so they will define trans people’s identified sex away as being “just their genitals”. And that’s from a state with protection for trans people from discrimination. Imagine Texas.

  14. I just heard from a newsgroup that Massachusetts lawmakers are uncomfortable with trans people in their identified sex’s bathroom and locker room (at all ages, not just schools), and so they will define trans people’s identified sex away as being “just their genitals”.

    I am curious how they would be able to pass or enforce such a law without violating a person’s privacy. After all, the only way one can know is either by forcing the people to disclose their medical records or stripping them, neither of which can be done without very solid legal justification.

  15. That’s for bathrooms (where it shouldn’t show except for “visibly trans” people and non-normative people who aren’t trans) and for locker rooms (where it could arguably be more visible if changing in front of everyone).

    They don’t care about post-op people, though if they look non-normative they could still be harassed for it, even more if people feel they “have the right to do so” because they suspect the person is trans. The presence of a penis in a female locker room could make cis women uncomfortable (they very very rarely ever cite how a vagina could be problematic for cis men – which is why I think it’s an argument against presumed violent “males”), so they’ll prevent non-op and pre-op trans women from using it, if they’re found out anyway.

  16. I find it quite illuminating that certain feminists have no issue when viewing men as possibly dangerous because of their gender and obvious size advantage but if I was to use that same logic when certain females apply for certain jobs I would immediately be labelled a sexist. Ah, the confusion of it all, silly me. :)

  17. A locker room situation is different. One is expected to be fully undressed at some point, and I can see how a transperson’s presence might cause issues for some people, particularly if the person is non or pre-op. However, with restrooms, how would anyone know unless they looked or the person made a point of showing off? What if the person used the stalls? How would anyone know what was or was not between their legs? Barring transpeople from using restrooms would require people to somehow know who has what, and I cannot see how anyone can do that without invading someone’s privacy.

  18. Isn’t it peculiar. When women are under-represented it’s an outrage and a call to arms. When men are under-represented it’s appropriate.

    Jamie is actually giving us a primer on how discrimination is done.

    Left this which WILL be deleted…
    Really Jamie. Censoring victims? I can give you the history of abuse related services in Australia and the picture isn’t pretty where feminism is concerned. Of course you won’t permit this. The bad acts of feminists are not for public consumption. The ideology must be protected and silencing victims is the way to do it. Too bad if male victims and victims of female perpetrators end up being told to “fuck off” as some have been. Too bad if victims desperate for help are laughed at. There’s fewer of them after all. Let them eat cake.

    Jamie, you claim to be involved with abuse related services. So am I, and in a role representing victims. What I’ve seen from you here is disgraceful. Don’t ever claim your feminism makes you some kind of standard bearer for equality when you are clearly a supporter and maintainer of discrimination.

  19. “A locker room situation is different. One is expected to be fully undressed at some point, and I can see how a transperson’s presence might cause issues for some people, particularly if the person is non or pre-op. ”

    And fat people and religious people (of any religion, I’m not religious) make me uncomfortable. I don’t try to legislate their right to use the locker room.

    Individual changing rooms/cubicles wouldn’t be asking too much I hope? As much as people don’t want to see my bits or some other trans person’s bit, I don’t intend to flash them, and I’m sure non-religious men and women also have this stance (of not wanting to show their bits willy-nilly).

    For the record, in locker rooms historically, I’ve never undressed to nakedness. I’ve been topless (for about 10 seconds), but never bottomless. I had shorts underneath, or underwear, and never showered in PE, in day camp, or anywhere that’s not my home or a friend/family’s home, and don’t intend to start ever.

  20. I didn’t see the comments here that Utt deletes comments he disagree with, otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered to reply to this comment:

    Any person who considers themselves egalitarian but makes statements like this, “So ingrained the notion that rape “is something that happens to women” (and feminism is part of the reason of this), that men will deny their experience could have been rape” is fooling themselves into a false understanding of egalitarianism.

    with a comment containing a reference to the Mary P Koss article where she says is inappropriate to call it rape when a woman makes a man penetrate her without his consent.

    It is now deleted.

  21. My theory on “do gooders” is somewhat different. I think they’re either perpetrators or have thoughts and fantasies about perpetrators. That’s why they’re so hostile towards other men – they project their own predatory thoughts onto them and can’t imagine them as victims. It also explains their unquestioning deference to female victimhood – it’s their fantasy after all so they like it playing out that way and their own feeling of guilt takes care of the rest. Hugo Schwyzer is a perfect example.

  22. Pingback: A Worthy Debate | Toy Soldiers

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