Wednesday, January 04, 2006

To Men Re. Rape

Here is an article by Julian Real called "What I Need To Say To Some Men I Know, about Suffering and Rape" posted at Feral Scholar.

To male readers: Read it. Reflect on it. Let it percolate for a few days, then read it again.


StopRape said...

"Awww, I dated a gay guy with a huuuuge mansion who couldn't love himself - so hear me: I understand great suffering."

This is the most bullshit essay I could have imagined finding today - you recommend this self-indulgent drivel?

Expecting a great work on stopping rape, I instead found myself linking to an "all about how sensitive I can be, just read and see!" masturbation session. No thanks.

There's some thinkers out there trying to stop rape - this guy isn't one of them.

Polly Jones said...

To me, it is not the quality of the post you linked to (which I didn't find so bad). But, your desire to raise awareness and challenge other men.

Scott said...

Hi stoprape...thanks for your comment. I agree there is a tone of self-congratulation in the article that really has no place in ally-centred writing, and if you take its intent as being some sort of Final Word on rape then its politics are sadly lacking. However, if it does no more than get folks (esp. men) to read the classic Andrea Dworkin essay to which it emphatically directs readers, then it has done some good.

As well, I suspect that the way the piece is put together has to do with the fact that sometimes the best way to make an impact on people with power and privilege when trying to address that power and privilege, especially if understanding it in a politicized way is new to the reader/listener, involves catering to them (us) in certain ways to get past kneejerk defensiveness. That kind of catering is something that people oppressed along the axis in question should NEVER have to do, so sometimes it falls to allies. Of course, allies get it wrong all the time -- overdo the catering at the expense of the politics, for example.

At the very least, I'll concede that my way of referring folks to the piece may have given an excessively positive impression of its politics. But I think, whatever its shortcomings, if reading it gets men to think about rape, particularly men who have never really thought about it before, and particularly if that thinking occurs in ways that get past kneejerk defensiveness, then it has done some good.

Also, if you have other, better resources, I'd love to see them.

Thanks again!