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Men & Rape Culture

In this week’s blog, I’d like to share with you some of the comments I received from a few men ranging from the age of 20-40 years of age. On this last day of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I wanted to share men's perspective. Prevention is possible but it takes a change in mindset and belief of both men and women. To help start our conversation, I asked them a few questions and below you will find a few of their responses.

Q: How do you view women? Their abilities? Their role in society, the home, the workplace? Their worth in comparison to their male counterparts?

  1. Valued partners in society, same as males

  2. I view women’s abilities as essential part to our society. Their role in society is to achieve success just like any other man. They are equal worth

  3. Women hold pivotal roles in men’s life and even in other women’s life. They provide men with their first impression as mothers and set the tone on how they view them from then on in a way. They aren’t valued the same even though they should because they aren’t seen as being able to handle the same things as men.

  4. I view women as very capable just as capable and sometimes more capable than men in some aspects. I do not believe women have "set" roles in society. Some common characteristics women share though are nurturers & caregivers. If anything I would view women as the balance in society to contrast the men overall, providing different perspectives to ideas and issues. Women are just as valuable as their male counterparts.

Q: How much do you know about sexual violence in your community? What do you know? What have you been told? Who is affected by it?

  1. There are constant threats of sexual violence in this area, whether it being physical or mental. I only find out about the events through the campus alerts and the occasional accounts that my peers have told me about. Male and females are both affected by this.

  2. I know that it happens on campus more often than is told to us. That type of knowledge leads the students to not feel safe in an environment they’re supposed to “live” in.

  3. Not much. you can look up offenders online

  4. I have heard reports of sexual assault cases and rape over the years but that would be the extent of my knowledge. Of all the cases I have been told about women were directly affected. I presume their friends and family were indirectly affected as well. Other women in the area may be indirectly affected too because they may feel this community is unsafe when sexual assault happens.

Q: When you hear the word rape, what comes to mind?

  1. When I hear rape I think about someone forcefully being a part of a sexual act.

  2. No means no

  3. Unwanted sexual contact, male or female

  4. I think of someone sexual forcing themselves on to someone else.

Q: Are there certain behaviors, i.e. flirting, what she has on, time of day, drinking, etc., that you think causes women to be attacked? Does she deserve to be raped?

  1. A women being a women period causes her to be attacked. She can either be intoxicated or sober, some men just seek sexual encounters however they can get them. No a woman does not deserve to be raped.

  2. No, a rapist is going to rape regardless of

  3. At times yes, men are visual creatures and operate on visual cues

  4. I do believe that women who tease men with touching and sexual words are more likely to get raped but under no circumstances is rape ever deserved.

  5. There are many factors that could lead to women being raped. All of the mentioned above certainly are included in the factors to be considered. If either party is really intoxicated or if it is late at night. Some people have the mentality that they can get away with certain acts late at night because not many people are around and it is dark out so not many people can see. Some men believe that based on what a woman wears that they are “asking” for sexual advances. Another factor to take into consideration is the personality and psyche of the attacker. If men truly believe that they can take whatever they want from women or that women should just give them sexual acts, this is a problem. This could stem from problems with how some men were raised or other factors in their environment that makes them think that rape is ok. Lastly, no woman deserves to be raped.

Q: Do you think that that only certain types of women are raped?

  1. No there is not a specific look or type of woman that experiences rape.

  2. All women are open to rape

  3. No, anyone can be a victim of race independent or race, age religion etc.

Q: If you were dating or married to someone who has been sexually violated, do you feel differently towards them? Do you treat them differently? What if you found out after you were dating or married?

  1. Yes

  2. I believe I would feel differently towards them because that person would be cautious. I would not treat them differently but I would try to be aware with some of the words I used and some of my actions. If I found out after we were together I would be upset because I believe that goes in the trust factor.

  3. The only difference that might occur would be more understanding and patient with what they’ve been through no matter when you find out, though finding out sooner would be better so that they didn’t have to go through it alone.

  4. No, you don't pick your past

  5. My feelings for that person would not change however how I treated them probably would change. I would have to be more sensitive to things and aware of how they react to certain scenarios. I would not want to make them feel uncomfortable if they were suffering from PTSD because of what happened. I would try to make them feel more safe and comfortable around me. They may not feel as open with me or other men because of what happened so I would have to be understanding of that and see how we could work on our communication. If I found out once we were already dating or married I would assume that this is an old event and the person may have already come to terms with the rape and healed mentality as much as possible. So I do not think much would change between myself and my significant other. If there were still emotion scars from the rape then I would have to be more sensitive to things as I mentioned above.

Q: Do you think she’s damages good? Why or why not?

  1. No, just emotionally and physically harmed

  2. If she is still traumatized by the event then yes she is damaged goods.

  3. No, it’s not something that she could have helped

  4. No, everyone has a past

  5. No I do not think a woman who has been raped is damaged goods. I think with a good support system, a positive mindset and time a woman can heal and cope with it better.

Q: How do we bring about awareness and help stop this from happening?

  1. Education

  2. I do not believe we can completely end sexual violence. A way to bring awareness to it is by having those who are victims speak out. I believe that when someone who has been hurt in the situation comes out then that brings out the most awareness.

  3. Women who have been through it should tell their story and make other women aware

  4. Nothing, people make their own choices. women need more tools to protect themselves

  5. Having more open discussions about it as well as talking about what to do after the fact would probably help people. To address some of the basic factors that could lead to a rape: I would say to make sure that women do not walk home alone and to always be aware of their surroundings. (Pepper spray is a good thing to carry)

So ladies, survivors, what do you think?

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