Why we can’t have nice things: MEN and rape culture

June 1, 2016

When all the hullabaloo about banning transgender people from bathrooms in North Carolina hit the front page, my brilliant wife said something profound (as she is wont to do). She said, “As the mother of a daughter, I only have two things to worry about, BOYS and MEN.” There are no cases of transgender people attacking children in restrooms. There are endless cases of BOYS and MEN attacking girls and women in every conceivable location, including on a subway during morning rush hour in the nation’s capital. How we raise our BOYS has a lot to do with the hell that girls and women face on a daily basis.

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The reason people are opposed to transgender people using their restrooms is partially a product of transphobia but it’s also due to the fear that MEN, costumed in drag, will somehow abuse the bathroom right and assault girls and women. So trans people are punished for what MEN do. Frankly, I think much homophobia, in general, is rooted in this threat by MEN. Homophobic MEN are afraid gay men will treat straight MEN the same way straight MEN treat women; by sexualizing them, objectifying them, hitting on them, and raping them. I try to tell MEN that if a gay guy is looking at your ass, you’re safe. Just take it as a compliment. Those guys have high standards!

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Even before Cozy was born, MEN started telling me that I needed to get a baseball bat (or a gun) and be ready to beat down any BOY or MAN who harms my daughter. “If somebody lays an unwanted hand on my girl, I’ll kill him!” I’ve never heard a single father of a BOY say, “If my son lays an unwanted hand on a girl, I’ll kill him!” It’s up to the girls to not get raped. We train them for defense at an early age. When will we train BOYS not to do the raping and the assaulting and the harassing and the objectifying?

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There’s plenty of work being done to teach girls and women how not to become rape victims. Maybe she can take a class and learn a few good self-defense moves (“Go for his eyes!”) and her potential rapist will just go rape somebody else who didn’t take the class. There’s not much training of how BOYS and MEN can fight rape. But there’s plenty of training that helps BOYS and MEN to at least think about raping. It’s called our culture.

When I was a senior in high school I got called into the office. I routinely wore shorts to school to defy the unwritten dress code. One day the intercom in my Folk Guitar class squawked, “Will you send Mr. Blazak to the vice principal’s office?” When I asked why wearing shorts was forbidden, the very southern VP said, “Because legs are distracting.” I had to laugh at the thought of my sixteen-year-old BOY legs distracting anybody. But I asked, “What about the cheerleaders in their short skirts on Fridays? That’s not distracting?” The VP gave a chuckle and lowered his voice to say, “Okay, MAN to MAN, are you saying you don’t want to see their legs?”

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Right there is the mixed messages we give to girls. On one side, they have a narrow scope of expression or they risk slut-shaming (“Not wearing a bra? You’re suspended!) or being told they are asking to be raped. On the other side, they need to put as much energy into attracting MALES as possible and if their grades suffer, that’s just too bad. (“BOYS don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses.”) No wonder teenage girls get all emo. You have to look good to BOYS but not so good you “get yourself” raped.

Feminists are all too familiar with the concept of “rape culture.” It’s the normalization of rape in our society. The data is clear, nearly a quarter of all American women will become victims of rape. That’s a quarter of our daughters, wives, sisters, mothers, girlfriends, co-workers, and students. If I’ve got a hundred students in my class and half are female, at least a dozen are or will become rape victims. If you reading this and you’re female that’s not news to you. If you’re MALE, you might have done the raping or want to. Or just maybe you want to stop your fellow BOYS and MEN from raping. What BOYS and MEN fear the most about going to prison is what girls and women fear every day.

If you don’t believe rape is normalized, just watch a few episodes of Game of Thrones, a series that must be written by teenage rapist wannabes. “Rape as entertainment” is justified on that show because some of those rapists get their heads hacked off. Yeah! A survey last year found that 1 in 3 college MALES would rape women if they could get a way with it. Think about that. That’s rape culture. I’d like to give that survey to the MALES who watch Game of Thrones. I bet it’s a lot more than 1 in 3.

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A few years ago, I went the big Bi-Mart Country Fest in a giant field near Corvallis, Oregon. (Hey, I’m from Georgia and a good country song about beer can take ahold of my soul.) There was a young MAN in the crowd that had a T-shirt that read, “Let’s play a game. Let’s see how many drinks it takes before you fuck me.” I swear to God. This was a big GUY but I said, “Nice rapist shirt, dude.” He puffed up and said, “I’m not a rapist. I have a girlfriend!” His date looked like a scared rabbit.

You add the sexual violence that BOYS and MEN wage against girls and women to all the crime BOYS and MEN commit (Another school shooting yesterday?) and you wonder why presidential candidates aren’t spending more time talking about the threat by BOYS and MEN in this country and less about (the BOYS and MEN in) ISIS. I used to assign a book in my Criminology class called Men Are Not Cost Effective. Author June Stephenson makes the case that the bad behavior by MALES is so costly to our society (police, prisons, storage space for rape kits, etc.) that MEN should be taxed to help pay for their shit. Why should females pay taxes that go to arrest, prosecute, and lock up the BOYS and MEN who rape them? Maybe the MEN who didn’t stop them should pay. And just think what we could do with the trillions of dollars we have to spend dealing with the mayhem of BOYS and MEN? (Google “Iraq War”)

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I’m going to raise my daughter to be strong and understand the real threats of living in a patriarchal society. But I’m begging you to raise your sons to not rape her. It seems like a simple request.

Note: June 7. I want to dedicated this to Brock Turner’s father, the worst father in America and a representative of everything that is wrong with affluent maleness.

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31 thoughts on “Why we can’t have nice things: MEN and rape culture

  1. Hit all the high points. What an ugly and telling straw man this bathroom distraction was. Thank you for writing this. Only point I would make is that in fact, males do regularly rape other males (females females, as well) as a dominance behavior. I shared on my Fb; keep writing and fathering, Mr Blazak!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. “Even before Cozy was born, MEN started telling me that I needed to get a baseball bat (or a gun) and be ready to beat down any BOY or MAN who harms my daughter. “If somebody lays an unwanted hand on my girl, I’ll kill him!” I’ve never heard a single father of a BOY say, “If my son lays an unwanted hand on a girl, I’ll kill him!” It’s up to the girls to not get raped. We train them for defense at an early age. When will we train BOYS not to do the raping and the assaulting and the harassing and the objectifying?”

    -Men telling you to beat men who threaten sexual violence against your daughter are an example that actively disproves what you’re trying to prove with this paragraph.
    -The fact that you’ve never heard a father say they’ll murder their own child for raping a girl doesn’t really mean anything. How often do you have conversations like that with other fathers? How often really do they admit straight to your face that they would have no problems murdering their child for raping? Because if it’s not often, then your sample size isn’t high enough to demonstrate anything substantial.
    -Objectification is a staple of marketing. Attractive bodies are used to sell things because that strategy works. If you don’t like it, that’s too bad for you; corporations are out to make money, not to ensure that you feel comfortable with their advertising (FYI, male bodies are objectified pretty commonly as well). But if you really have a problem with a particular bit of advertising, just get that advertising trending on social media and you can expect an apology very soon, as well as a pulling of that advertising. The solution to objectification already exists, sir: just get a whole bunch of people to complain about it online and they will cave.
    Other than that, how exactly do you propose ‘we’ teach boys not to rape and assault and harass? What exactly makes you think that rape would cease if you taught boys about its harm? Can we take a moment to remember that the vast majority of men and boys already don’t rape and condemn it entirely, meaning that those who rape are a minority that would be difficult to pinpoint in a crowd? As for assault and harassment, same question, really. What is YOUR solution to the problem? Because if you have none, then it’s meaningless to demand one. Be the change you wish to see.

    “There’s plenty of work being done to teach girls and women how not to become rape victims. Maybe she can take a class and learn a few good self-defense moves (“Go for his eyes!”) and her potential rapist will just go rape somebody else who didn’t take the class. There’s not much training of how BOYS and MEN can fight rape. But there’s plenty of training that helps BOYS and MEN to at least think about raping. It’s called our culture.”

    -Living in such a dangerous rape culture, don’t you think women are entitled to a bit of self-defense? I agree the victim shouldn’t be taught to not be raped instead of the rapist taught to not rape, but a world in which that is the norm everywhere is not coming any time soon, so in the meantime, why would you oppose women defending themselves?
    -Once again, please propose a way to teach potential rapists not to rape and for them to accept and understand it. And if you can’t or won’t, just remember that there are a billion activists just like you who talk about problems and do nothing to fix them.

    “When I was a senior in high school I got called into the office. I routinely wore shorts to school to defy the unwritten dress code. One day the intercom in my Folk Guitar class squawked, “Will you send Mr. Blazak to the vice principal’s office?” When I asked why wearing shorts was forbidden, the very southern VP said, “Because legs are distracting.” I had to laugh at the thought of my sixteen-year-old BOY legs distracting anybody. But I asked, “What about the cheerleaders in their short skirts on Fridays? That’s not distracting?” The VP gave a chuckle and lowered his voice to say, “Okay, MAN to MAN, are you saying you don’t want to see their legs?””

    -Are you the authority on what people are attracted to in men? I, for one, find male legs very attractive. Please don’t speak for all of us.
    -You want to provide sources for this kind of attitude across the country, or should I try to find them for you? I’m not saying what happened in your school is a good thing, but I find it difficult to conceptualize this happening everywhere. Plus, what happened afterwards? How did you reply, and how did he reply?

    “Feminists are all too familiar with the concept of “rape culture.” It’s the normalization of rape in our society. The data is clear, nearly a quarter of all American women will become victims of rape. That’s a quarter of our daughters, wives, sisters, mothers, girlfriends, co-workers, and students. If I’ve got a hundred students in my class and half are female, at least a dozen are or will become rape victims. If you reading this and you’re female that’s not news to you. If you’re MALE, you might have done the raping or want to. Or just maybe you want to stop your fellow BOYS and MEN from raping. What BOYS and MEN fear the most about going to prison is what girls and women fear every day.”

    -Sources. Please. The data is not clear if you don’t present it AND it does your argument a great disservice.

    “If you don’t believe rape is normalized, just watch a few episodes of Game of Thrones, a series that must be written by teenage rapist wannabes. “Rape as entertainment” is justified on that show because some of those rapists get their heads hacked off. Yeah! A survey last year found that 1 in 3 college MALES would rape women if they could get a way with it. Think about that. That’s rape culture. I’d like to give that survey to the MALES who watch Game of Thrones. I bet it’s a lot more than 1 in 3.”

    -Game of Thrones is a very X-rated TV show situated in medieval times similar to our own. From that description alone, what exactly would you expect to see? This is a ridiculous addition to your piece.
    Also, I challenge you to find any study demonstrating that the vast majority of Game of Thrones fans/viewers watch it because they find rape itself fascinating and entertaining.

    “You add the sexual violence that BOYS and MEN wage against girls and women to all the crime BOYS and MEN commit (Another school shooting yesterday?) and you wonder why presidential candidates aren’t spending more time talking about the threat by BOYS and MEN in this country and less about (the BOYS and MEN in) ISIS. I used to assign a book in my Criminology class called Men Are Not Cost Effective. Author June Stephenson makes the case that the bad behavior by MALES is so costly to our society (police, prisons, storage space for rape kits, etc.) that MEN should be taxed to help pay for their shit. Why should females pay taxes that go to arrest, prosecute, and lock up the BOYS and MEN who rape them? Maybe the MEN who didn’t stop them should pay. And just think what we could do with the trillions of dollars we have to spend dealing with the mayhem of BOYS and MEN? (Google “Iraq War”)”

    -If men are committing such enormous amounts of crime, then isn’t it more likely it would be reported and addressed by the government? I’m not saying you’re wrong about the violence or anything; it’s just that the way you’ve phrased this is really confusing.
    -Everyone already pays taxes that go towards police, prisons, and storage space for rape kits, and etc. I’m not sure you understand how taxes work; the total money is pooled together and then subdivided for use. It would be ridiculous to try to micromanage who pays more taxes for which causes and services.

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to write this and, at some point, I’d like to take the time to respond point by point. Let me just address your Game of Thrones comment. GOT is about as historically accurate as Ringo Starr’s Caveman movie is a historically accurate a portrayal of preshtoric times. The POINT is that is produced from the male gaze perspective. There’s lots of beautiful naked women on GOT but you never see a single dick. What about the female gaze? Absent on GOT.

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      1. Uhh you apparently haven’t watched the show. There’s plenty of dicks on screen, but never an up close view of a vagina, only breasts which are normal in many cultures outside of the US. Also, there are only two possible rape scenes out of lots and lots of sex scenes. One is with the strong female protagonist who was forcibly married to a tribe leader, but that quickly became a loving relationship when she asserted herself. The other is between the queen and her brother, but they had like 4 kids together so it was a one-off forced incident that was relevant to the story.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I really enjoyed this piece. Your wife sounds awesome, too.

    There was a good group who visited my high school, Men Stopping Rape. It was a positive, early intervention that invited boys to think and learn about rape culture. We need more things like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You asked a big question and I think I know how to answer it. The main question you asked was, “When will we train BOYS not to do the raping and the assaulting and the harassing and the objectifying?” Here’s my answer to it…

    Even though I grew up in a home where my dad was abusive, mom still took me to church every Sunday, youth group Bible study on Monday, church on Thursday, and Friday night youth group. I grew up being spiritual. I was always taught to honor and respect women as I would want my sister, or even my good friends who are women to be treated. Here’s where things went wrong for me. I was introduced to porn. Once that happened, I not only became addicted to porn, but became addicted to the fantasy of the pornographic acts. That became the “norm” for me many years to follow. It even became a problem within my marriage. It wasn’t until I started going to a men’s sex addiction group to realize that I did indeed have sexual addiction.

    Now, I share that because that is how society is. There’s many, many, many people in this country who battle with that. It doesn’t matter if the man grew up in a good home and are taught to treat women with respect. People change as they get older.

    I do blame the porn industry because it’s easy to get addicted to it. It’s easy to think and even act out the pornographic scene. I’m sure there are cases where porn has nothing to do with it and could be their upbringing. But the porn industry has a huge influence on society today. That’s why, I’m all for doing away with porn all together.

    If you want to know how bad sex addiction can be, there’s an actor in Hollywood who has just became my favorite because he has opened up about his porn and sexual addiction. His name is Terry Crews. So, it’s not about raising our young men the right way. We need to stop letting porn, social media, and the internet to stop raising our young men and women.

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  5. I feel a tremendous amount of pressure to raise my son well. I used to think the worst thing that could happen is if he believes there is no god or grows up to hunt and kill animals with his gun collection. But in the few short years of being his mom what I am most afraid of is that he will be school shooter or rapist even though I tried my very best to instill in him feminist principles. It’s the fucking scariest thing I’ve ever done raising a boy.

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  6. I am raising a boy, and I teach him on a daily basis, do wrong (rape, steel, kill, DUI etc.) and I will always love you, but you are wrong if you chose to do those things. I will not stand by your side when you are wrong, I will not foot the legal bills if you are wrong. I will however fight to the death if you are being wronged ( boys can be raped, abused, taken advantage of, etc too). I am currently pregnant with a baby girl and the exact same principal will be upheld. No exceptions.

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  7. The “hullabaloo” isn’t about transgender people being predators, it’s about predators pretending to be transgender to cause more “hullabaloo”! Your wife isn’t all that genius if she can’t see the difference.

    Btw, you don’t need to “cross dress” to pull this off anymore. Not all trans people “present”. You need only “identify” as the opposite sex.

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  8. ZERO Transgender Predator is A Myth

    Although per capita trans people commit prostitution (commonly in public bathrooms) far more often than cis people, trans people commit, rape, murder, molestation etc at the same exact rate as cis gendered people. This doesn’t change simply becasue someone identifies a particular way. If that were so, one need only force all people to become trans to end all rape. There are endless cases of trans predators. Here’s a short list:

    Trans Predator Data: Jason Pomares, Norwood Smith Burnes, Taylor Buehler, Tomas Lee Benson, Christopher ‘Jessica’ Hambrook, Paul ‘Paula’ Witherspoon, Anneli Rufus, Scotty Vest, William Baker, Kelly Dawn Hullenbaugh aka Robert Domasky aka Debbie M. Anderson, Richard Rendler and the list goes on and on.

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  9. First off this article is whats wrong with this country, why because im a father of 2. 1 boy and 1 girl and in no fucking way am I raising my son to objectify women or rape them. Also I teach my daughter and son to respect one another as well as their fellow human beings. I dont know where you grew up but it must have been bad for you to automatically asume all men and boys are rapists. I was raised to treat woman with respect and for you to say this is just plain wrong. Or my question is have you ever raped or wanted to rape a woman? Because from reading this article it gives off the sense that maybe you did. All I can say is next time don’t jump to conclusions or assume all men are rapists. May you be blessed with Peace, Love, and Harmony in this life and the next.

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  10. -sex has alot to do with rape just as money has alot to do with robbery, only that there can be added motives along with sex and money. Have been to rape/sex abuse trials, so know what the prosecutor will say, what the defense lawyer will say, etc. Read a book by Randy Thornhill & Craig T. Palmer on rape. Professor Thornhill is an evolutionary biologist while C.T. Palmer is an anthropologist. The fact is that rape is a crime motivated by sex. Any1 who says that rapists don’t do it for sexual motives is talking rubbish. 84% of rapists say that sex is a main motive. Rapes are found in the animal world. They’re found amongst insects such as crickets, waterstriders, scorpion flies, etc. They’re found amongst birds such as mallard ducks & red jungle fowl. They’re also found amongst primates such as Orangutans. Males rape females for reproductive reasons in the animal world. A male who has problem getting females (such as males who lose mate fights) rape females so as to reproduce.

    Rapists mainly target young women. while rapists can attack women of all ages, most rapists go after women who are girls to 35 years old.75% of women who are raped are under 30 years old, 10 to 12% of women raped are 30 to 35 years old, 7 to 9% 36 to 39 year old, with 5 to 8% of women rape victims being 40 or older with most in this group in their 40s, the last years of prettiest. Menopausal women, those 50 & older make up 1 to 2% of rape victims. After 40, the woman’s chances of getting raped starts going down significantly. If a man robs a 45 year old woman, he’ll take her money. But if the same man robs a 25 year old woman, then he is more likely to commit rape in addition to robbery. This is true in wars. Soldiers who win a war steal, loot & rape young women. Men rape young women because the woman has something which the man wants & that is sex-which he takes by force or by threatening force.

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  11. Worldwide it has been found including in wars that rapists almost always go after women in fertile years. It’s truth that rapes are sex motivated crimes just as robbery is $ motivated crime. Any1 who says otherwise is either delusional, denies what they know is true, or both. Rape is sex motivated crime which men & sometimes women (it’s biologically possible for woman to rape man) do for sexual pleasure.

    Most rape/sex abuse cases aren’t covered in the press as they’re usually he says, she says cases where the prosecution argues the woman was forced to have sex & or that the man used criminal threats to get the woman to have sex with him while defense will say that the woman did the sex acts agreed to while they didn’t do what both said no to. Here’s something to add-what do you or any1 here think of a woman defense lawyer who would defend a man accused of rape-yes every1 innocent or guilty has a right to a defense lawyer but what about a woman defense lawyer who represents rape suspects including those she knows are guilty

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  12. Proposing (straight or gay) in your house, singles bar or @ a private party is in most cases legal. The right thing to do is say no and leave. If a man is a guest in a gay man’s house and the gay man proposes, the right thing to do is say no and leave because it is the gay man’s house and the gay man did not commit a crime when he did the proposal so the right thing to do is leave the house.

    However, repeatedly proposing after some1 has said no is criminal harassment. If gay man repeatedly proposes such as follow the man around after no has been said, then the homosexual is committing criminal stalking and the man has a right to end this abuse. If a homosexual is going to commit indecent exposure, then it’s a crime and there is no need for a man to say no to a crime the homosexual had no right to do. & there is no need for a man to say no to a homosexual who is proposing to him in a public restroom because public restroom is not a house or a bar and it’s illegal to ask others for sex in public restroom. Public restroom is the place to use toilet and wash up not a place for sex.

    Assault and battery or murder cases including gay bashing cases, unless there is a plea bargain (which happens in most criminal cases) juries decide after hearing both prosecutor and defense lawyer. Juries decide what is reasonable & excess because each case is different and must be judged individually. As known with murder cases, there is Murder 1, Murder 2 and Manslaughter which is a jury topic. If a defense lawyer in a gay bashing case wants to raise a crime the gay did such as harassment, indecent exposure, etc. before man reacted violently, then that must be regarded in deciding verdict. Prosecutors can argue why they think it was excess force and defense lawyer can argue why it was justified force. Jury decides if it’s justified or excess force. A jury can acquit or if they convict, they can convict a person on lesser charge.

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  13. You’ve been duped into hating yourself and your gender, and into misconstruing about every part of life into being misogynistic. You completely believe in female superiority, and I believe that many people would refer to your type as a “cuck”. You seem to be enjoying it all though, congrats.

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  14. Your post is very well written and I think you hit on all the major points. Rape culture is definitely alive and well. Thank you for the good read and for all the effort and thought you would have had to put into this. I’m raising a daughter who I would very much like to never have to worry about rape with; however I know that I’ll teach her how to take care of it because it’s the truth that there are men (and women honestly) who rape others and it’s very scary; especially when you know someone was never taught how wrong it really is.

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