Rapists, lad mags, and the Men’s Rights subreddit
What’s the difference between a lad mag and a rapist? Aside from one being a magazine and the other a person, albeit an reprehensible one, apparently not very much.
In a study soon to be published in the British Journal of Psychology, researchers at Middlesex University and the University of Surrey showed people quotes about women from British lad mags (FHM, Loaded, Nuts and Zoo) and from convicted rapists. Most survey respondents – men and women both – could not tell the difference between the quotes from the magazines and the quotes from the rapists. And most of the male respondents identified more with the quotes from the rapists than from the lad mags.
Here are some of the quotes the survey respondents were asked to react to. (You can find more at Jezebel.) Can you tell which of these are from rapists or lad mags?
Mascara running down the cheeks means they’ve just been crying, and it was probably your fault . . . but you can cheer up the miserable beauty with a bit of the old in and out.
You’ll find most girls will be reluctant about going to bed with somebody or crawling in the back seat of a car . . . But you can usually seduce them, and they’ll do it willingly.
Some girls walk around in short-shorts . . . showing their body off . . . It just starts a man thinking that if he gets something like that, what can he do with it?
I think girls are like plasticine, if you warm them up you can do anything you want with them.
In case you’re wondering, the correct answers are: Lad mag, Rapist, Rapist, Lad Mag.
Lead researcher Miranda Horvath of Middlesex University explains why she feels this is so troubling:
Rapists try to justify their actions, suggesting that women lead men on, or want sex even when they say no, and there is clearly something wrong when people feel the sort of language used in a lads’ mag could have come from a convicted rapist.
I would say so.
And so, you might wonder, how did the regulars on the Men’s Rights subreddit react this this research? Take a look.
The comment with the most upvotes offered some nice juicy denial:
The comment with the second-highest number of upvotes completely missed the point:
And then there was this hot mess:
In case anyone is wondering, that quote from French is actually a quote from a character in one of her novels. And it’s pretty easy to distinguish it from things posted on Jezebel, because none of the writers on Jezebel ever say anything even remotely like that.
The Men’s Rights subreddit, responding to evidence of rape culture by going “la la la I can’t hear you” since March 2008.