This rant is on a phenomenon I have experienced both in real life and online in the past three years. I don’t remember it ever happening before that time, so I’m wondering if it is some kind of new trend. At first I thought it was just men bringing up the subject of rape to women they don’t know out of the blue. But, after more consideration, I realize this is something they do when they are angry about something – it may not be anything related to you, but they are feeling frustrated so they automatically think of grabbing their dicks and doing some violent thing to a woman – otherwise, why are they talking about it?
It seems to me that more and more men are obsessed with rape and they feel free to bring the subject up with women they just met or have never met (as is the case online). Why do some men automatically think of their crotches and rape when they get angry about something? And, why do they direct their aggression at whatever woman is handy at the moment? I don’t have answers, just questions and some incidents to share with you as I try to sort out the reasons for this bizarre behavior for myself.
In a previous rant, I’ve talked about huge and tall men I’ve never met before instantaneously becoming angry with me, such as the case when I was in Germany and several men had to hold another man back who wanted to attack me while I was quietly sitting in a chair. After becoming increasingly agitated and telling me, in English, that I should be gang raped by black men, he had to be held down to prevent him from attacking me. A strong element in these face-to-face instances is that the men are very large compared to me. It may not be a factor, but it goes with my big and tall men hating short, small women (and men) theory, which is discussed in the Rant on Height Discrimination Against Women and Men.
What I just described was a very direct threat of assault and possibly rape, but other instances are less direct, but still seem like threats to me.
People talk about the things that revolve in their minds. This is a fact. If you’re not thinking about it first, you’re not going to say it. The thought must precede the words. So, it’s clear to me that a lot of men walk around thinking about rape quite a lot.
I no longer deal with the public much and I like it that way because of the disturbing encounters I have with people when I do talk to them – not the little old ladies at the grocery store, but men – usually huge men.
The last time I had to deal with the public was when I was helping out a friend with his store by taking his place one night a week while he was recovering from surgery. A lot of my customers were geriatric and I can’t tell you how disgusted I am at the behavior of these men, old enough to be my father or grandfather, right in front of their wives. Apparently, when they see you as a clerk standing behind a desk, they feel you are some sort of captive or you are of some lower status than them and, therefore, have to put up with their perverted behavior. I coped with that – barely – one night a week for a few weeks.
Then, the very last evening I worked in this place, a man came in and I don’t know how he got on this topic, but he began a long racist tirade, which went on and on and to which I was held a polite captive. At one point, he began repeating over and over again about how I would be raped by black men if I tried to walk across town. He didn’t just say it once, but repeatedly. Finally closing time came. There was, also, another man there who was doing some shopping, for which I was grateful and the rape fanatic finally left. But, I was pretty shaken up by the long racist tirade in which the man repeatedly talked about me being raped.
I don’t understand the racist component that some people want to throw into the problem of rape. (Race is irrelevant to a rape survivor – all rapists are inhuman monsters to us.) I’ve been told more than once that I should be gang raped by black men or Mexicans. Why do men I don’t know express to me these fantasies of me being gang raped by anyone? Clearly, it’s because they have rape on their minds.
Furthermore, I realized that they think of rape when they’re angry and much like actual rapists, they will target any woman who is handy.
I’ve had similar experiences online. I had it once with someone from YouTube, which is overrun with MRAs (Men’s Rights Advocates). There I was told by a stranger that I should be gang raped by Mexicans because I expressed an opinion that differed from someone else’s.
But, I had the subject of rape brought up to me in anger, at least, four times by strange men in the short time I participated at the Kindleboards (now Kboards) Writer’s Cafe forum. And, when I objected to the last two people who brought it up, the moderators protected the perpetrators and enabled (if not encouraged) them to continue with their bullying behavior – which I was told (by one of the male moderators there) to just forget, since I was the real problem. In my experience and observation, this particular discussion board has a culture of misogyny. By contrast, I’ve been a life-time, member of another popular forum for over three years and I’ve never had a problem with anyone doing something like this.
In every case in the online forum when this happened, it was a man who was angry with me for my opinion or something innocent thing I said. Whenever they’re angry they automatically think of their crotches and rape.
I think about these instances every so often, but what made me think of them, again, today was running across this article at Salon.com about an Indie author who is very active over at the Kboard Writer’s Cafe. He has a bizarre sycophantic following at this misogynistic forum, so it really was no surprise to me that he wrote an article called “The Bitch from WorldCon,” which he later deleted. See part or all of the original article here and here. This is another case of indie authors behaving badly (see my Rant on Indie Authors Behaving Badly) and an example of another type of behavior some of the Writer’s Cafe at Kboards members are known for, which is trying to bully authors and publishers associated with traditional publishing houses.
According to the original blogpost, the author in question (His name is Hugh Howey) disagreed with something a woman, who was a publishing agent, said and he wrote that in his anger he thought of grabbing his crotch and ends his online tirade by telling her to “Suck it, bitch!” There’s a lot more to his misogynistic ranting, but this seemed to me to be the highlight. And, again, it begs the question: Why do men immediately think of their crotches and the commission of acts of sexual violence against women when they become angry?
This author is supposedly known for writing strong, fictional, female characters (although a couple of his books are on a “Misogyny Books” list at Goodreads.com), so his misogynistic tirade was a disappointment, especially to some women. And, this is why authors – at least, some authors – really need professional help (for example, an agent or a traditional publisher). Ironically, as it turns out the woman, whom he referred to repeatedly as a “bitch,” a “she-devil” and a “demon” and whose appearance he hatefully ridiculed while he talks about slapping her and fantasizes about grabbing his crotch while calling her a bad name and to whom he finally makes the demand that she perform fellatio on him – all because she expressed a differing opinion about something – was correct, after all. Lest you think any of this is hyperbole, see this article with screen captures of the original post before it was deleted at this link right here. And, there’s more, including the original comments before those were deleted here: http://cuddlebuggery.com/blog/2013/04/15/buzz-worthy-news-15th-april-2013/
Note the commentary on page 2 of the comments at the Salon.com article, wherein one of the author’s legion of sycophantic defenders says that he wants a woman, who is bothered by Hugh Howey’s misogynistic rant, to be raped because it might do her “a world of good” – in other words, to teach her a lesson for expressing a differing opinion about something:
I thought long and hard about how best to respond to your posts, and I realized that what I’d really like—and what would be best for you under the circumstances—is for you to be raped.
Now, please understand that I don’t say this because of any sexual feeling or desire to exercise power on my part. Nor do I want to see you silenced, disempowered or devalued as a person or a woman. It’s just clear to me that you struggle with parsing and interpreting the words of others, and rather than standing by and watching you writhe in anguished futility, hamstrung by your own linguistic handicaps and tortured by internet trolls, I submit to you that a hands on demonstration of the difference between deed and word might do you a world of good.
Besides, it’ll give you a good story to tell at the survivors meetings, and provide you with a little more authenticity and street cred when you share your experiences and opinions with others. Really and truly, I have nothing but your best interests at heart.
Here’s hoping you have a truly wonderful day, lady!
What’s the deal with this?
I don’t have any answers for why this is happening now – or why it is happening, at all, for that matter. It seems like something that didn’t happen before a few years ago (apart from direct threats of rape). To me these instances, in which strange men bring up the subject of rape to a woman, seem like a subtle (indirect) threat of rape when they feel that a more direct one cannot be made. It’s, also, disturbing that so many men are running around fantasizing about me or other women being gang raped or engaging in rape fantasies whenever they become angry with us (sometimes because we express an opinion about something that differs from theirs) or just angry, in general.
It seems to me that something in the culture has changed for the worse that this is now acceptable. Unfortunately, I have no solution. I try to avoid places online where there is a culture of misogyny, although, sometimes you can get a nasty surprise in what, at first, looks like a safe place. For the sake of my health, sense of well-being and physical safety, I have just stopped talking to all but a couple of men who – so far – haven’t done this kind of thing to me.