An Important Note About Rape Culture

[Content Note: Sexual violence; rape apologia.]

There's a lot of stuff being written about the latest rape apologist bullshit going on at the cesspool known as the Good Men Project (and inexplicably reprinted by xoJane). I'm not going to give either of them traffic; you can find it via Google if you're so inclined.

I don't feel inspired or obliged to invest much energy responding to the GMP's insistent assertion (also given space by xoJane) that "good guys" can commit rape accidentally, aw gee shucks, without realizing what they're doing because our culture has failed to explain to them what consent is. Because fuck them and their gross rape apologia.

I do encourage you to go read Grace's excellent piece, "Who Needs a Good Rapist Project?", which explores the many problems with this whole "we need to humanize rapists (at the expense of humanizing victims but shhh)" approach.

And I just want to underscore this point: It is eminently possible to talk about rapists as complex human beings without talking about them (inaccurately) as "good people who just happened to do a bad thing." Rape is not an act that happens accidentally. Rapists, all rapists, are predators who are hostile to consent and spend plenty of time feeling out, as an explicit or unconscious strategy, how far they can push boundaries (sexual and otherwise) without consequence before they commit rape.

This absurd construct of a "good guy who just happened to rape someone because he hasn't been taught any better" is comprehensive bullshit. Rapists are predators. And that is true whether it's a serial rapist who carefully stalks specific victims, or whether it's a "good guy" who exploits an opportunity to rape an unconscious woman.

Either way, a rapist is looking for an opportunity to rape.

I have previously noted that there are two kinds of rapists, and the distinction is not, as the GMP and other rape apologists would have us believe, rapists who intend to rape and rapists who rape accidentally whoooooooops, but is in fact sadistic rapists, for whom the lack of a victim's pleasure isn't a bug but a feature, and opportunistic rapists, who are primarily sex-seeking rapists who coerce victims and/or exploit lack of consent by virtue of their victims having borderline or overtly impaired states of consciousness.

One type of rapist is not less worse than the other.

And all of this "good guy who didn't know what he was doing" dogshit is trying to create some sort of rapist hierarchy where sadistic rapists are bad people, but opportunistic rapists are good people who did a bad thing.

Which is exactly the sort of good will opportunistic rapists know they will have. After all, they spend their lives cultivating it among people who they are certain will defend them.

This is the worst part of the GMP's and xoJane's publication of pieces purporting to "help us better understand rapists"—they are instead abetting rapists.

They believe they are "moving beyond the usual conversations," but really all they're doing is letting themselves be used by cunning, manipulative predators who are exploiting intellectually and ethically void know-it-all dipshits the same way they exploit their victims.

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