Of Course

[Trigger warning for rape apologia, threats, harassment.]

The title of this post, were it not in need of its own trigger and an entire page of space, would have been: Rape Apologists React to Anti-Rape Message with Threats of Rape and Death, Thus Proving Yet Again the Point of Anti-Rape Advocacy. Privileged Dudes Who Think Anti-Rape Activism Is Hilarious Deliberately Misrepresent Message to Make Lots of Fun Rape Jokes. About Babies.

It's a familiar story to anyone who's been around here for more than five seconds—I write something critical of the rape culture; aggressive rape apologists threaten me; passive rape apologists willfully misrepresent my point to mock anti-rape advocacy and the broken hysterics who engage in it. Rinse. Repeat.

This happens to all anti-rape advocates.

Josh Jasper, director of the Riverview Center, which serves survivors of sexual and domestic violence in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois, made an anti-rape advert challenging people to consider what values we're communicating to male children. [Note: Jasper does not take the position that only men commit sexual and domestic violence; this one 30-second ad was designed, however, to address the reality that the vast majority of intimate assaults are perpetrated by men, in large part because of their socialization.]

Male Narrator: [over onscreen text of same] He's tough. He's strong. He's aggressive. He's powerful. And he raped his girlfriend. [over black screen] But he wasn't always this way. [over video of white baby in a diaper, looking generally cute] What are you teaching your son? Redefine what it means to be a man, because ending sexual violence begins with him. [onscreen text: Riverview Center. Creating a Community Free of Sexual Violence. www.riverviewcenter.org]
A different ad aired during the Superbowl turned "Jasper's regional spot [into] a YouTube sensation." You don't need to guess what happened after that, because you already know.
"One of the 800 comments I've received in the last 24 hours is that I'm a Nazi sympathizer and I should be taken out and shot," Jasper said.

The posts are coming from all over the world, and some are so hostile, Jasper said he's called the Dubuque police chief and removed personal information from Facebook.

"I've been accused of hating all men, that all men are rapists, that I think babies are rapists. The message that we're trying to send is that we need to start a conversation about violence against women, children, and men is an epidemic and we need to start talking about this," Jasper said.

Why the anger?

"I think there are a lot of men who have a deep-seated hatred toward women. I bet I've received 150 messages in the last 24 hours that say it's okay to rape women. If we're going to end the violence, we have to start with them."
Despite that absurd ugliness, despite the jack-booted enforcers of the rape culture doing their totally typical thing, there is also the usual good news. Jasper reports that the center has seen an increase in calls for help from survivors: "There are a lot of survivors out there who weren't abused last night, but 10, 20 years ago, who are now feeling empowered because people are talking about the issue. That's exactly why I created the commercial and that's exactly why the commercial will stay."

*fist-bumps Josh Jasper*

You know, one of the most common arguments I hear from dudes who don't understand why I can't just STFU and let dudes enjoy their rape jokes and stop being such a fat hysterical cunt all the time, is that anti-rape advocacy is pointless since all decent people—which, according to them, is basically like everyone ever, whoooooops (pdf)—already agree that rape is terrible.

But, see, then someone goes and says, "Rape is terrible," and he gets death threats in response. Like, a lot of them. Even though everyone is supposed to consider that observation so self-evident that to say it aloud should hardly be controversial.

That makes the whole "pointless" argument pretty unconvincing, really.

[H/T to Shaker Susan.]

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