Feminist: Male rape victims have more privileges than women

Originally posted on November 28, 2014

I take a simple position on discussions about sexual violence: leave out the politics. Politics make an already complex issue more complicated. They lead to bias, bigotry, and favoring the protection of political stances over addressing the problem. This is particularly true when feminists are involved in the discussion.

It appears many feminists are incapable of discussing sexual violence without resorting to “who has it worse” arguments. Advocates for male victims and men’s rights activists frequently challenge feminists on those arguments. Feminists usually respond by dismissing the challenges as “misogyny” or an attempt to silence women.

Yet there is good reason for people to persist in those challenges, and that is because when such arguments are left unquestioned, they lead to rather ugly statements. For example, Kaelyn Polick-Kirkpatrick wrote in The State Press:

[…] men’s rights activists and skeptics alike raise questions about feminism’s tactics. For instance, why not include everyone in conversations about rape given it’s such a prodigious problem? Well, conversations that include men do need to happen — everyone has a role to play in mitigating rape culture; but these conversations do not necessarily need to happen within the feminist community.

Feminism provides a safe-space for women to cope with and fight back against the oppressive society in which they live. It exists because oppressed people often need support from others who can empathize with their struggles — men have privileges that prevent them from being able to empathize with the struggles of women, even when they are survivors of sexual crimes. For instance, it is unlikely that a man will be asked what he was wearing during an assault, and it is unlikely that a man will be told that he deserved it due to his promiscuous behavior.

That impressive inane statement could only have come from a feminist. No one else possesses such contempt for men to state without irony that male victims of rape are too privileged to empathize with female victims.

Likewise, Polick-Kirkpatrick’s justification for this claim is something only a feminist would declare. No one who knows, works with, or treats male victims would ever state that it is unlikely that a man would be asked what he wore or told he deserved it because of his behavior. They would know those comments happen often.

Yet most despicable aspect is the tacit assertion that male victims are complicit in “oppressing” women, ergo they do not belong in feminist spaces:

When men insist upon participating in feminist conversations about sexual violence, they make women feel uncomfortable by taking up much-needed space in their community. While it is undeniable and incredibly unfortunate that anyone falls victim, the fact that women are the primary targets of sexually charged crimes, and men carry them out most often, demonstrates a systemic problem that the feminist community is trying to address.

When men want a space in this feminist conversation, it indicates the already prevalent patriarchal desire to control how oppressed groups fight their own battles. When one comes forward to report and discuss the atrocities they have experienced, this should not mean they take up the space of others in the same conversation, even within the feminist community.

The notion that acknowledging male victims silences female victims is a common feminist argument. So too is the notion that women are so “oppressed” that allowing men to speak in feminist spaces is simply a continuation of female “oppression.”

This is precisely why feminists and feminism have no place in discussions about sexual violence. Feminists are incapable of talking about these issues objectively. They must inject their politics into the discussion at every point. While this situation reveals the depth of feminist hatred of men, it does nothing to help male victims. It only worsens the situation by creating an adversarial dynamic and ultimately silences abused men and boys.

Polick-Kirkpatrick attempts yet fails to salvage what is left of her decency:

Ultimately it is undeniable that many men are victims of horrifying crimes. Hopefully, networks of support that bridge gender gaps will come about in order to offer support to all who need it; but currently, the desire of men’s rights activist to belittle the experiences of women in the name of their own is unacceptable.

Accusing men’s rights activists of belittling women’s experiences for mentioning male victims does not make it seem that Polick-Kirkpatrick wants abused men to receive support. It makes it seem that she does not think what happened to these men is wrong, criminal, or worth discussing, let alone worth addressing.

Feminists wonder why people do not like them. This is a perfect answer to that question. This is what feminists do when they think no one is looking. This is what they say when they think the door is closed. This is how they think and how they respond to people who do not agree with their purulent views. Why would anyone like such a person?

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24 thoughts on “Feminist: Male rape victims have more privileges than women

  1. I would not mind that feminism does not adress violence agains men. IF feminism would not claim the equality monopoly. If feminism only adressed female issues, MRAs only male, then there would be a place for a true equality movement.

  2. “For instance, it is unlikely that a man will be asked what he was wearing during an assault, and it is unlikely that a man will be told that he deserved it due to his promiscuous behavior.”

    Actually, that would be a step *up* for men. Asking such question to a woman means considering the possibility that she might not deserve/have wanted it. A man deserved/wanted it regardless of what he was wearing and/or his promiscuous behavior or lack thereof, the possibility is not even considered.

    Still, being a rape survivor sucks for anyone, and everyone in that place deserves the help they need to heal.

  3. “When men want a space in this feminist conversation, it indicates the already prevalent patriarchal desire to control how oppressed groups fight their own battles.”

    A feminist conversation? Rape is a feminist conversation? That’s the false premise of her whole article.

  4. There it is again, the P word. That’s why feminism has to go, because it is built around the idea that we live in a patriarchy just like the pre-industrial societies of New Guinea and the farthest Amazon basin.

  5. “Still, being a rape survivor sucks for anyone, and everyone in that place deserves the help they need to heal.”

    Of course women need a space to heal, however, I doubt they will find it in a feminist space. The exclusion of men from these spaces is, in my opinion, at least as much about a fear of “humanizing” men, which is counter to the purpose of a feminist space. A feminist space for rape survivors isn’t about healing–it’s about nurturing what started as one grievance against one man, carefully feeding it with a one-sided narrative of male malfeasance, and transforming it into a grudge against ALL men. Healing can’t come from such a process, any more than from constantly picking a scab. The purpose of these spaces is to make women victims more damaged, not less, even if feminists genuinely believe they are helping to heal victims.

    How is a feminist group to nurse that one injury caused by one man into an animosity toward Man in general, if there are male victims showing up and connecting with female victims over a shared trauma? Even looking at the way this “male invasion” into “safe spaces for female victims” is framed as privileged oppressors trying to silence women victims–100% geared toward dehumanizing men (or preventing their “humanization”) and feeding the grudge. “Look at what a man did to you! It was caused by Patriarchy! And now look at what they’re doing to you–trying to silence you and take away your safe place to heal! The oppressors. Oh, sure, maybe they were raped, but they couldn’t possibly empathize with you, because all men are privileged under the Patriarchy, which is responsible for your rape. Poor dear.”

    That’s not about healing–it’s about converting victims into “believers”, all while convincing these female victims that there is no other safe space out there for them, only the sisterhood, and even the sisterhood is not as safe a place as it should be, as it is constantly under siege by privileged, sub-human men.

    That they do this (consciously or not) is bad enough even when you just think of the female victims they are keeping in a state of perpetual injury. Then you add this dehumanization of male victims (the mere claim that a man couldn’t possibly empathize with a woman is dehumanizing enough, even without the added claims of malicious or selfish invasion and violation of the space and the women in it), and THEN you add that they literally protest against men speaking of these things in OTHER spaces because “there is [allegedly] room within feminism [even when there isn’t]” and examining rape outside a feminist framework is dangerous, all while pushing a public narrative about rape that portrays men as uniquely capable of monstrous behavior…

    The hubris and indifference to the human carnage they are causing would astonish me, if I weren’t so used to seeing it.

  6. And once again, I put my foot in my mouth, by specifically trying to avoid doing it.

    I never said that feminist spaces were the right way to heal. Maybe I should have been clearer, my bad.

    I just commented on the “men don’t get asked what they were wearing” argument by replying that doing that would actually be a step up for men, but I added that this wasn’t mean to be taken as me saying women don’t deserve help when they are raped, that we should leave them on their own, just that this specific argument was invalid since on that very point it would be a step up, and I still support helping anyone who would be a survivor of rape.

    Hopefully one of these days I’ll finally learn how not to put my foot in my mouth… That’s not remotely the first time this happened to me…

  7. [i]For instance, it is unlikely that a man will be asked what he was wearing during an assault, and it is unlikely that a man will be told that he deserved it due to his promiscuous behavior. [/i]

    Whether or not a male rape victim hears these things or not, you can be sure that anytime a male rape victim makes the headlines, some unempathetic idiots will enviously *complain* that men don’t get asked these things.

    Being jealous of the way some rape victims might get slightly kess shit – now that’s classy!

  8. No no, my criticism wasn’t for anything in your comment, I only used your comment as a jumping off point to evaluate the fact that feminism presents itself as the only option for healing, when it’s not only not the only option, it’s really not even an option at all, if healing is what you want to do.

    In other words, my comment was not a “yes, but,” but a “yes, and”. Now I feel bad for not making my own sentiments clearer, lol. Sorry, sometimes I can come on quite strong, and sometimes it leads people to see criticism or disagreement where none is intended (it’s not the first time for me, either, heh). So, my bad, really.

    The portrayal of obsessive scab-picking and collective blame as a form of “safety” and “healing” for women traumatized by individual men is one of the most insidious injustices feminists feminists commit. It’s not the worst, by a long shot, but the seductiveness and subtleness of its deception, and the fact that it targets those who are already vulnerable, leaves a really bad taste in my mouth. Like a sexual predator grooming a person with a mental disability or someone similarly vulnerable.

    It’s common for feminist recruitment to happen in domestic violence shelters and youth crisis centers, too.

    Anyway, just wanted to clarify that no, you didn’t put your foot in your mouth. Though perhaps I did. 🙂

  9. It’s possible that her personal definition of feminism fits more with the idea that it’s a women’s issues-only movement and doesn’t fit with the other common definitions that it’s an equality or anti-patriarchal movement, but she’s making broad claims about “feminism” without qualifier. Damn right people should object to the behaviour of feminists given that those latter two definitions are commonly used. If you want to fight the patriarchy (and if patriarchy really does hurt men too) then it behooves you to fight rape as suffered by both men and women. Feminists are currently not doing this, so they are open to criticism.

    Having said that, anyone who can type the following:

    men have privileges that prevent them from being able to empathize with the struggles of women, even when they are survivors of sexual crimes. For instance, it is unlikely that a man will be asked what he was wearing during an assault, and it is unlikely that a man will be told that he deserved it due to his promiscuous behavior.

    with a straight face isn’t someone I’d consider any kind of ally in this fight. Not only is it statements like this that make male victims of sex crimes feel like they can’t empathise with (certain) women – rather than their privileges – but she also isn’t listening to the lived experience of men. Men don’t get asked these things because they’re assumed they always want sex to the point that they would never say no. That is its own form of oppressive norm, that the typical feminist model completely overlooks.

    In short, like most feminists she fails by her own proclaimed metric.

    (Also hi Karen! Keep up the good work! 🙂 )

  10. Sorry Karen, I’m so used to putting my foot in my mouth and utterly failing to get my point across I assumed I did it again. And no problem, I understand what it’s like to utterly fail to get your point across because you weren’t clear enough. 😛

    At any rate, keep up the good work! It’s good to see a human being who isn’t selfish to the point of pushing people under the bus in order to serve their interests (or at least what they believe to be their interests). 🙂

  11. Fridge Logic kicked in after a while… Feminists are actually mentioning male rape victims/survivors… Are we making progress and do they have their backs to the wall?

  12. Elisa, yes we have made progress, however, many feminists continue to fight against simply ending the sentence are stating “men are victims.”

  13. ElisaSky said…
    “Feminists are actually mentioning male rape victims/survivors…Are we making progress and do they have their backs to the wall?”

    Wait and see game for me. Feminism has been open to male victims for a long time providing the finger can still be pointed at men as the perpetrators AND those victims are willing to acknowledge that other victims should take priority. The real stumbling block for feminism has always been female perpetration.

  14. I’m not saying we won the war, but we have to take it step by step. Just like a war. Reclaiming territory our enemies conquered, battle by battle, mile by mile, until we get our territory back and get ready for the finishing blow on their army. The mistake to avoid is to cripple their civilians, who weren’t fighting against us. All that would lead to would be the civvies hating us and trying to get their revenge (Look at what happened in Germany post World War One. Hitler got into power because the population wanted to get away from the heavy sanctions if the Versailles treaty and wanted to find who was guilty. Hitler both gave the promise to rebuild (which he followed through with) and offered a scapegoat (and we all know who the scapegoat were, and what happened to them). So we should remember while we fight against feminists and any group willing to exploit men we must absolutely avoid to destroy the unaffiliated women. All it would lead to would be more suffering, first from the new second class citizens and then back to men after a successful push back. We need to stop the pendulum dead center (or as close to dead center as we can) as it’s the best that could be done for everyone in the long run.).

    And I got in a tangent again. What I was saying is, we have to take it step by step. Wars are never won in a single battle after all. And we must be careful not to go too far.

  15. Elisa, while I do not look at this situation in terms of war, I do tend to take the Art of War approach. It is important to know your enemy and know yourself. What is it that feminists want and what is it that you want? If you understand these two elements, one can “win” any “battle” with feminists.

    To me, the most important concept is retreat. Not necessarily for my side, but for feminists. I always leave those I debate with an out, a means of leaving without utter embarrassment. This is what Germany lacked in WWI. This is also what feminists fail to do when they attack other people. They do not know or want to know their enemy, and they leave the enemy with no way out. A cornered enemy will fight back, particularly if defending something sacred to them. This is what happened with GamerGate. The so-call “social justice warriors” left gamers with no method of face-saving retreat, yet decided to attack the gaming community, the most sacred thing to gamers. This was going to fail, as it has.

    In contrast, most of the criticism against feminism and feminists leave a fair retreat: simply admit, without equivocating, the other side has a point. That is all feminists need to do to walk away untouched. They need only admit these issues are important, that they must be addressed, and that feminists and feminism do not need to address them. Yet try to find feminists who admit those three things without adding “but” or playing the “who has it worse” game.

    As for the “causalities,” one should be care to frame discussions around feminism and not women in order to avoid the perception that one dislikes women in general. However, given how feminists treat non-feminist women, one need not worry about women in general siding with feminists.

    The final point is one that I think some people may have a hard time accepting: one must know when to stop. This is one the major issues with left-leaning social movements. When they achieve their general goals, their movements should disband as they are no longer needed. However, instead the movements become larger and more demanding. If one listens to these left-leaning groups, there has never been more sexism against women, racism, or homophobia in the West, an obvious delusion. Yet is what many on the left believe because it is necessary to hold such conspiracy theories if one wishes to maintain one’s movement.

    Those fighting for men’s issues should learn to sit down once the basic goals are achieved.

  16. I wonder if the author took time to look at the site she linked to? They state on their site in the About Us section:

    All survivors of rape and sexual assault, both male and female, are potential survivors regardless of race, religion, financial status, educational background or sexual preference…..RCC staff members have received specific training on diversity and underserved populations and are ready and able to respond to the needs of the diverse cultures found in our community. Males, seniors, non-English speakers and the mentally and physically disabled are survivors that often need the most intensive services.

    It seems that the site she linked to seems to understand that abuse is abuse, everyone and every situation is unique unto itself and people are people.

  17. Sometimes feminists have said good things about male survivors, but all too often it’s shit like this. It’s actually surprisingly easy to debunk this

    “…everyone has a role to play in mitigating rape culture; but these conversations do not necessarily need to happen within the feminist community.”

    If that is the case, it is not feminism’s business to tell advocates of male assault survivors ‘shut up, we’ll handle this’ because it is quite plain that they have no intention of doing so.

    “…men have privileges that prevent them from being able to empathize with the struggles of women, even when they are survivors of sexual crimes. For instance, it is unlikely that a man will be asked what he was wearing during an assault, and it is unlikely that a man will be told that he deserved it due to his promiscuous behavior.”

    Again, utter crap. For starters, anyone who has NOT been sexually assaulted (unless they are trained to deal with it like a therapist for example) can’t understand it regardless if they are male or female. And being a survivor of continued sexual assault over four years would probably explain why five different female friends, colleagues and acquaintances have disclosed to me that they were sexually assaulted or raped. Sometimes out of the blue.

    And as for these so-called ‘privileges’, the what were you wearing flavour of bullshit doesn’t apply, but the ‘you had an erection/ejaculation, you wanted it, it wasn’t rape’ flavour of bullshit does. And a close friend of mine outright told me that what happened to me was because of something I did. In fact, fuck it! The very IDEA that ANY rape/sexual abuse survivor is ‘privileged’ is outrageous!

    “When men insist upon participating in feminist conversations about sexual violence, they make women feel uncomfortable by taking up much-needed space in their community.”

    Boo-bloody-hoo! Feminists don’t like male assault survivors! Is this a sense of entitlement I see before me? Conversations are two-way streets, not one person shouting. And so what if feminists feel uncomfortable? Safe spaces are battered women’s shelters. Survivor’s groups. NOT activist groups.

    “When men want a space in this feminist conversation, it indicates the already prevalent patriarchal desire to control how oppressed groups fight their own battles.”

    Or maybe because nobody speaks for them? And feminists claimed to be the only ones fighting sexual abuse, frequently claim that they care for male survivors and then say this? And she has the nerve to claim that male survivors are trying to control women? Rather than find someone to stand up for them? Like I said, sense of entitlement – kind of ironic considering they accuse others of the same sin.

    “…but currently, the desire of men’s rights activist to belittle the experiences of women in the name of their own is unacceptable.”

    So anyone who speaks for male survivors is an MRA? That’s kind of dumb. And asking for a voice is belittling women? No female survivors I’ve encountered have ever claimed such a thing – if anything, they have been nothing but supportive (as we male survivors should be to them). But trying to cling onto sexual abuse as a women-only thing? THAT’S what’s unacceptable here.

    This so-called ‘writer’ should bow her fool head in shame. Disgraceful.

  18. elementary_watson:

    Whether or not a male rape victim hears these things or not, you can be sure that anytime a male rape victim makes the headlines, some unempathetic idiots will enviously *complain* that men don’t get asked these things.

    One of the worst examples of this I’ve seen is on a comment to a male victim’s post about a woman attempting to violently rape him. The comment read:

    The sad part is, no one will ever ask you what you were wearing and how much you had to drink.

    How callous can one be?

    Apparently the attempted rape and the impact the male author describes it having on him wasn’t sad </snark>

  19. When men want a space in this feminist conversation, it indicates the already prevalent patriarchal desire to control how oppressed groups fight their own battles.
    I’d pay a blank check to a feminist that can reconcile this with the constant pleas that feminists want to work with men and want men to be their allies. Feminists have a habit of seeing men that want a space in the conversation as invaders and defend this habit with a hypocritical determination that they would scream the bloodiest of murder over if were done to them.

  20. Pingback: Cracked on Male Rape and Feminist Problems | Feminist Criticism

  21. First line of the article;

    There is no instance in which a victim of sexual violence should be silenced.

    Followed by an explanation of why men need to stop butting in in feminist discussions of rape. She’s not silencing them, mind, she’s just telling them not to speak.

    [/doublethink]

    men have privileges that prevent them from being able to empathize with the struggles of women, even when they are survivors of sexual crimes.

    Which is ironic, coming from a woman showing a staggering lack of empathy for men.

    For instance, it is unlikely that a man will be asked what he was wearing during an assault, and it is unlikely that a man will be told that he deserved it due to his promiscuous behavior.

    There’s an image on tumblr I saw once where someone famous simply retorted “that’s because no one cares when a man is raped”.

    Of course, if a man is abused by his girlfriend for sleeping around, or because she thinks he did, people say he deserved it. There have been experiments with actresses pretending to beat up actors in public and vice versa, and in the former case they were largely ignored while everyone helped the latter.

    The notion that acknowledging male victims silences female victims is a common feminist argument. So too is the notion that women are so “oppressed” that allowing men to speak in feminist spaces is simply a continuation of female “oppression.”

    And yet, women apparently have an inherent right to be heard in male spaces in the name of representation.

    Ultimately it is undeniable that many men are victims of horrifying crimes.

    That sure seems like minimizing language to me.

    @Danny:

    I’d pay a blank check to a feminist that can reconcile this with the constant pleas that feminists want to work with men and want men to be their allies.

    Simple. Different groups of feminists. This article is written by the type who thinks men have issues as rape victims, but sees it dealing with rape a zero-sum game that men cannot be allowed to win any “points” in lest women automatically lose. The ones who claim they want to work with men tend to studiously ignore the problems with mainstream feminism that prevent more men from signing up, and often seem to want men only because they think that men will be more listened to.

    Both groups seem to be highly unlikely to provide more than a token acknowledgment that feminism’s flaws even exist, much less say they should be addressed.

    Also, I’d just like to point out the people going on a tear in the comments.

  22. @karen straughan on November 28, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    ^^THIS!^^

    @Greg Allan on November 28, 2014 at 10:29 pm
    ^^THIS^^ *1000

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