For many feminists, questioning claims of rampant sexual violence in our society amounts to misogynist “rape denial.” However, if the CDC figures are to be taken at face value, then we must also conclude that, far from being a product of patriarchal violence against women, “rape culture” is a two-way street, with plenty of female perpetrators and male victims.I was a victim of a female rapist. Where was the candlelight vigil on my behalf? Why was she never prosecuted? There is clearly a female rape culture and a conspiracy of silence protecting the women rapists in our midst.
How could that be? After all, very few men in the CDC study were classified as victims of rape: 1.7 percent in their lifetime, and too few for a reliable estimate in the past year. But these numbers refer only to men who have been forced into anal sex or made to perform oral sex on another male. Nearly 7 percent of men, however, reported that at some point in their lives, they were “made to penetrate” another person—usually in reference to vaginal intercourse, receiving oral sex, or performing oral sex on a woman. This was not classified as rape, but as “other sexual violence.”
And now the real surprise: when asked about experiences in the last 12 months, men reported being “made to penetrate”—either by physical force or due to intoxication—at virtually the same rates as women reported rape (both 1.1 percent in 2010, and 1.7 and 1.6 respectively in 2011).
In other words, if being made to penetrate someone was counted as rape—and why shouldn’t it be?—then the headlines could have focused on a truly sensational CDC finding: that women rape men as often as men rape women.
Friday, September 19, 2014
Teach women not to rape
TIME observes that women rape men as often as men rape women: