This is what rape apologism looks like

As some of my readers may know, I am not a big fan of labels. They make things too easy. A label allows people to write off other explanations, to generalize, and to tie things into nice little ideological bows. I try my best to avoid catchy terms so that I get to the core of the matter. However, sometimes the label just fits.

One such label is “rape apologist”. Feminists created the label initially to explain a type of person who looks for all the reasons why it is the woman’s fault for being raped (in general, the feminist perspective does not include male survivors). But as typically happens with ideologues, the term quickly became a weapon against anyone who disagreed with feminist views on sexual violence. Whether one questions a theory like “rape culture” or has the temerity to mention male survivors, plenty of feminists throw the “rape apologist” label around a lot.

Most recently, many internet feminists have labeled the Good Men Project “rape apologists” for running two articles about rape, one about a “nice guy” who committed rape and another by an anonymous man who binge drinks and may have raped several women and has no intention of stopping. The articles prompted much outrage from feminists, none more so than from Jill Filipovic of Feministe. She has gone on a crusade to completely undo GMP, claiming in her Guardian article to have gotten some media outlets to severe ties with the organization.

The problem with Jill’s criticism of GMP is that she wrote a similar article herself a few months ago. As I noted in my previous post, Jill had no problem calling a woman who had sex with her sleeping boyfriend not rape and considering the woman not a bad person and not a rapist. I pointed this out to her on Twitter, only to watch her double down and make a complete fool of herself before blocking me from her Twitter feed.

I called her out for what she is at this point: a hypocrite and a rape apologist.

I do not take either term lightly, and neither does Jill. It seems to have bothered her enough that she keeps bringing it up. I want to explain this just so it is clear, particularly for Jill since I am sure she will see this.

I call her a hypocrite because she clearly does not believe one of the two arguments she made. Either she believes anyone who has sex with a sleeping person is a rapist and there is no such thing as an accidental rapist or she believes that sometimes people do misread signals and accidentally rape someone by assuming consent where there is none. Jill says she believes the former, and but her argument about the woman from the Dan Savage column suggests she actually believes the latter. A hypocrite is not someone who says one thing and does another; they are someone who says the opposite of what they actually think and tries to get people to believe them. So either way, Jill is a hypocrite because clearly does not believe one of things she says she does.

The reason I call her a rape apologist is because her argument that “a few MRAs … [are] calling me a hypocrite and a rape apologist because they can’t tell the difference between the unicorn situation where a woman’s partner was sleepwalking and she had what she thought was consensual sex with him, and putting your dick in a sleeping woman” does not fly.

As I explained on Feministe (which I am sure she will delete), she needs to read what she just wrote. A person who is sleepwalking is asleep. They cannot consent because they are asleep. Nowhere in the woman’s explanation does she say her boyfriend had a sleep disorder. That was brought up by Savage and the psychologist. But even if the man did have a sleep disorder, how likely is it that his girlfriend would not know that by that time? And since when does not knowing a person has a disability make it okay to assume their consent?

I understand that as a feminist she does not take sexual violence against men and boys seriously. I understand that as a feminist she does not think women can commit rape. However, she must realize that saying that when a woman has sex with a sleeping man who she assumes consented is not rape completely contradicts her argument that it is wrong for anyone to have sex with a sleeping person.

A rape apologist is not someone who disagrees with you, who is not a feminist, or who posts two articles about rapists. A rape apologist is someone who makes excuses for rapists and justifies, minimizes, or denies someone’s rape. That is what Jill did, and that is why she is a rape apologist.

As I said, I do not take that terms lightly, and speaking as a male survivor who was raped by a woman, it is rather sad to watch a so-called anti-rape activist basically tell me that what was done to me for years as a child does not count. I am unsurprised that Jill did that, but it is a pathetic thing to watch, particularly as she tries to paint herself as the victim for being criticized.

I do not expect much of a response from Jill other than the nonsense she already wrote. I just want to make it clear that this is what real rape apologism looks like. This is what a rape apologist looks like. This is what male survivors and many female survivors have to put up with. Every time you have a problem figuring out what rape apologism looks like, go read the Feministe post and the comments and watch as dozens of so-called anti-rape activists back Jill because they like her, even though if anyone dared make the same comments about male-on-female rape they would lose it.

This is what rape apologism looks like.


24 thoughts on “This is what rape apologism looks like

  1. Might I suggest not generalizing about feminists? You have a lot of good to say and it detracts from the message. Say Some feminists instead, it’s the only criticism I can see in this article.

    That said Jill, SLEEPWALKING PEOPLE ARE ASLEEP WHICH MEANS THEY CANNOT CONSENT. You may feel the woman accidentally raped him, but it’s still rape.

    Should feministe be boycotted for rape apology? Both for what Jill said and Amanda Marcotte’s sickening blaming of the victim n acting like he did it purposely as a way to control her.

  2. And sadly enough at least Alyssa called it rape the entire time in her article, so quite frankly I think Jill needs to follow her own advice and call it what it is.

  3. Some say Eduction, Eduction, Eduction and #SillyJilly says It’s Research, Research, Research, Foe her it’s always this is reality because Research proves it. She does have so much faith in people doing Research.

    There is research to show that Women Rape Men. Last year December 2011, Even the CDC had to publish and admit that Women Rape Men. The Research got published after a lot of delays and lot of political wrangling to allow certain congressional hearings to take place before the facts and data were made public. But It is Public and has been for so long. Politics is a dirty business. Anyone who has studied it and works with it knows Politics is a dirty business, and to advance you have to know where the bodies are buried.

    #SillyJilly also admits to Multiple Degrees in “Politics”, “Gender & Sexuality” and “Law”. #SillyJilly always uses Research to support her many arguments with other people, and she has to many arguments about just about everyting.

    So either #SillyJilly was a very bad student and did not so her homework, or she is being very Political when she takes the view It’s not Rape When A Woman Does It. .

    As they say “When Do You Know If A Politician Is Lying? They Open Their Mouths”.

    Well, at least when it comes to #RapeCulture, in future there is a nice face to put on it – from a perspective. What amazes me is that #SillyJilly is apparently a lawyer in Manhattan. I do have to use the word apparently, as ALL The Lawyers I know, from Paralegals to Barristers and Queens Council, they do understand basic language of the trade and what Rape means. They have the metal agility and clarity to understand how the word Rape is defined and how as an Equalityista and bastion of reality #SillyJilly should know that Women Do Rape Men – the research proves it, the CDC says so.

    Research now shows that being a 20 something Lawyer, with a high brow eduction, quoting the Harvard Law Review on a CV does show that ‘SillyJilly Filipovic is wrong about rape, she is a rape apologist, she acts as a rape enabler and she is dangerous to both men and women. She is also Egotistical in the extreme when she attacks others and wants them taken off line and not allowed to speak.

    It also shows just how rude and abusive she is when called to account. I love her attempts to link other people and groups to The Southern Poverty Law Centre – Research Shows that some very Political Feminists keep attempting that trick when groups are Pro Life, Anti Choice.

    Is #SillyJilly Seriously attempting to claim that the people she is attacking are Pro-Rape?

    Is #SillyJilly Filipovioc that desperate to escape her own words and how she thinks? .

  4. Might I suggest not generalizing about feminists? You have a lot of good to say and it detracts from the message. Say Some feminists instead, it’s the only criticism I can see in this article.

    I used several qualifiers in the article: “plenty of feminists” and “many internet feminists.”

    Should feministe be boycotted for rape apology?

    No. Feministe is not as prominent as GMP. The only traffic it tends to get is from feminists, and it is unlikely that any of the feminists reading the blog would drop it now. After all, they must have read Jill’s article about the woman and continued to read her blog.

  5. Should feministe be boycotted for rape apology? Both for what Jill said and Amanda Marcotte’s sickening blaming of the victim n acting like he did it purposely as a way to control her.

    Oh Archy – I do wish you would stop reminding us all of how there was just one mold when both Filipovic and Marcotte were made by the great potter! So many simply can’t believe the views expressed by Marcotte, they are so bizzare and unreal. I’ll just quote them, because no one will believe it without seeing it:

    Is it rape if you don’t mean for it to be rape?

    I accidentally raped my boyfriend. What happened was I awoke to find my boyfriend rubbing up against me. After a little while, he pulled my hand, motioning for me to get on top of him to have sex, as he has done many times before. I obliged, and all was well, until he apparently woke up and pushed me off of him. I did not have any indication that he was asleep, since he was an active participant the entire time and was NOT lying there like a dead fish. In the morning, he expressed his displeasure about being woken up with sex.

    Amanda Marcotte 9.19.2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    It’s…..possible that he was asleep.

    The likelier possibility is he was awake the whole time and lying about it in order to screw with her sense of reality. Additionally, he can make her feel both guilty and humiliated, putting him in a Position of power over her.

    Gas lighting is the likelier explanation. Yes, it’s a weird, elaborate mind fuck, but hey, it’s not weirder than the guy whose girlfriend wrote to Captain Awkward becaus he’s controlling and humiliating her by not letting her use their bathroom.

    Web Archived

    It’s bad enough Filipovic insisting a sleeping man is not raped – But Marcotte’s flights of weirdness…. Twilight Zone at full volume just isn’t enough.

    Gas-lighting is messing with reality to control other people – and that is exactly what both Filipovic and Marcotte have been up to!

    Odd that – Nice Girls Can Rape, and Nice Girl says “I Did Rape Him”, And It’s Just a Mistake”, SillyJilly Filipovic and Her friend Amanda “Rape Loving Scum” Marcotte both say so.

    But a woman writes about a Nice Guy who raped and it’s being discussed …. and SillyJilly Swoops In with her Followers screaming “Men Are Always Rapists” and NO Questions. How dare you not follow the Party Line! We Will Hunt You Down!

    And sadly enough at least Alyssa called it rape the entire time in her article, so quite frankly I think Jill needs to follow her own advice and call it what it is.

    Ironic isn’t it – Alyssa says it was rape and gets torn to pieces by the Uber Feministe blogger Filiovic and her minions. If you saw it on The Natural History Channel It would turn your Stomach.

    It’s Filipovic and Friends who excuses, denie and act as the Grand Wizzier of Rape Apology when the person doing the sexual assault is a woman.

    Well at least you could get Marcotte to deal with reality and be quiet when she cocked up… she had the good sense to hide and shut up for self preservation – though she had to learn by trail and error – kicked out of Politics, The Duke “Rape Loving Scum” scandal, and then her excusing rape and looking so silly for backing rapists and excusing them…. exit and shut up, but she did learn over time!

    Maybe the potter cracked the mold after Amanda came out and before it got reused for the matching Jug? I wonder how many times SillyJilly’s loose handle has to come off before she ends up on the shelf as a safety measure from her spilling all over the place?

  6. @Archy…

    I’m a board member with the local rape crisis service which is part of a large statewide network. That network is unique in the world in being fully inclusive. It opened it’s doors to male victims in about 2001 but not without significant opposition from feminists within the network and the government of the time. There is still a large residue of “stuff” in and around the network that harks back to previous times and which must be dismantled.

    About six months ago I challenged the wording of the local group’s formal “philosophy” which spoke of male privilege being the cause of rape. This is quite discomfiting for myself because I was the only male on the premises when I was abused. It actually holds all male victims responsible for their own experience. It is being revised.

    It was during the ensuing discussion that the CEO announced her feminist credentials including having been a womens’ studies lecturer. In hindsight I’d view her response to me as defensive, something which should prove advantageous in future.

    The CEO asserted with regard to female perpetration that “it’s only three percent”. (note the “only”) When pressed as to source she referred to “national conviction rate”. She’s clearly never heard of Rebecca Deering or Lee Fitzroy whose studies in HER state of Victoria indicate something approaching a quarter. She would undoubtedly use the highest numbers available to her were the subject female victims or male perpetrators.

    I had taken the opportunity to challenge the form of information disseminated by the organisation – which occurs primarily via the CEO – and tends to conform to a male perpetrator / female victim absolute. Her reason for focusing so narrowly was, as she put it, “convenience”. It’s not the first time this word has been used when I’ve asked similar questions. I’ve written to organisations all over the world about whether they serve boys and men and, if so, how. I’ve heard or seen that word far too often for my own comfort.

    I often wonder about the motivations of folk who involve themselves in this field whether it be by direct engagement or other attachment to the discourse such as overt advocacy or “journalism”. Often I’m struck by how often it seems to occur because it’s the “feminist thing to do”. Too many seem to operate with what I’ve come to think of as “feminist certainty”. They are informed more by their idealogical settings than any actual exploration of their own. They “know” what is.

    The CEO of our local centre is a prime example of feminist certainty. She’s simply never been motivated to look any further than a conviction rate for female perpetration – sixty seconds worth on google. I fully expect she’s made a similar effort with male victims. Unfortunately, there seem to be a great many more, and they are all over the place.

  7. “But anti-feminists, MRAs and rape apologists like Jacob (who runs the Toy Soldier blog and who repeatedly fudges facts and straight-out lies to suit his interests) want us to believe that accidental rape is a thing that occurs with some regularity, and that rapists don’t really mean it. That’s a dangerous narrative.”

    … I like how she talks about what you think when you can’t respond.

  8. In 2010 Feministe posted an article by Rachel Hills about the “but she’s such a nice girl defence”:

    Interesting quote by Rachel here (my emphasis):

    Now, I know at least one woman who has physically forced sex upon a man who had repeatedly told her he didn’t want to have sex with her and was pretty pissed off with her afterwards – rape in no uncertain terms, if the genders were reversed.

    Bigotry or just poor writing – I don’t know.

    And here is a quote from Pluralist’s original post:

    And then I realised that had this been a woman in his place – not to mention my best friend – I would never have given this consideration. I was victim-blaming, basing my assumptions in tropes of male hypersexuality and female passivity. She didn’t handcuff him to a heater and force-feed him viagra . She’s a nice girl, she couldn’t have done that !

    TGMP published an article saying: He’s a nice guy, but he still could do that.
    Feministe published an article saying: “She a nice girl, she couldn’t have done that”.

  9. Sorry, but where is SillyJilly making comments like this?

    I’ve been doing a meta analysis of her writings and they are interesting. She keeps alluding to facts, but never states them. She keeps alluding to research, but never says who, where and when so she can’t be checked up on. She also loves to exploit past factoids that people have accepted and she juggles those in public to great applause.

    So I would love to know where her latest comments are coming from and I can add the to the full analysis to see if she has ever said anything which is factual – verifiable – accurate.

  10. Lamech, it is a very common thing people do when they think a person cannot respond to them. Jill is trying to save face, but she cannot because her explanation makes no logical sense. She is stuck, and she will not take the out I provided by simply conceding that the act was rape. All she can do is resort the “I know you are but what am I” tactic. It works for her crowd of followers, but I think any rational person reading her responses will see just how warped her thinking is. Let her do what she feels she must. She only makes a further fool of herself.

  11. Media, Jill’s recent comments can be found here and here.

    As for her alluding to research, that is a very common tactic. It takes no effort to show that women commit more sexual violence against men and boys than people think, and I am sure Jill is aware of those numbers.

  12. It’s THAT bad, Archy.

    Bad enough that Gwallan has had threats on his life just for speaking out.

    I hope you don’t mind me stating that, Gwallan.

  13. Eagle, threats of violence certainly and one occasion where I was hit/slapped. Not outright death threats. It is something that an cause aggressive reactions being so far outside the comfort and indoctrination zones of so many folk.

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  15. @archy…

    It’s a mixed bag in Australia. As I said the Victorian network is unique in the world. There’s nothing else on that scale that’s inclusive. I’ve been continually pushing the idea that an inclusive mindset is necessary to developing preventative strategies and that the Victorian network is a natural cradle for this. It goes down very well.

    Outside Victoria and, to a certain extent the highly populated south eastern stretch of the country, it’s not so good. Stories about laughter and accusations of dishonesty were urban legend for me until I started meeting victims from the western three quarters of the country. (Denial of service is not unusual and to a large extent stems from a federal Labor government’s actions in the nineties.) In a bizarre twist Victoria is the state LEAST inclined to imprison female perps.

    The centre I’m attached to DOES have a feminist CEO. This is not the case across the entire state. Even within my own setting I see many indications that it’s influence is waning. I’ve gained great traction for the idea that class politics always leads to exclusion when it becomes a part of administration, governance or any system. It’s only two years ago another board member, very long term and now retired, used the word “feminists” with venom I could never achieve for anything. I’ve not actually made any effort to identify who is and isn’t a feminist although that is about to change of necessity.

  16. Well if she doesn’t know where to find the research she can find over 600+ studies ranging from 1857 to the present at Here is just a small sample:

    In a study of 17,337 survivors of childhood sexual abuse, 23% had a female-only perpetrator and 22% had both male and female perpetrators. ( Dube, Shanta R et al. “Long-Term Consequences of Childhood Sexual Abuse by Gender of Victim.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine. (2005):28(5), p 430 – 438.

    According to a 2011 CDC report there are an estimated 4,403,010 female victims of sexual violence that had a female only perpetrator. (Source The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey)

  17. @Rhiannon…

    You’ll be pleased to know your site was the very first thing I recommended. You might also be pleased to know that the CEO concerned got a few noses out of joint on that occasion. I’m on those boards as a representative of victims. Her looking a victim of a female perpetrator in the eye and using the adjective “only” was noticed by a number of folk.

  18. Facts are a bothersome thing for some people I guess. I wonder what she would think about the study presented to US Africa Command about conflict related violence and the surprise findings they found. No one thinks about females as perpetrators of rape as a weapon of war but it happens as the study below demonstrated:

    Her findings, from surveys done in 46 villages in South Kivu, North Kivu, and Ituri Distict, show:

    The rate of sexual violence is 40 percent among women and 23 percent among men.
    20 percent of the population fought in the conflicts, 48 percent of which were female
    2.1 million women and 1.3 million men have suffered sexual violence
    1.3 percent of rapes among women were gang rapes
    39 percent of female survivors reported female perpetrators; 15 percent of male survivors reported female perpetrators.

    And thank you for what you are doing gwallan

  19. No, Rhiannon. Thank YOU for your monumental effort over such a long time. A time will come when you will be recognised for that work.

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