So you may have seen the story yesterday about the University of Vermont fraternity that was suspended for sending out a charming little survey that allegedly asked, among other things, “If you could rape someone, who would it be?” (FWIW, the frat now says it was the work of an individual frat member, not the chapter.)
Reading about this incident, I’m guessing that you probably didn’t ask yourself: “I wonder how the guys at the False Rape Society will use this news to push their own agenda?” Heck, I didn’t even think to ask myself that question. But while doing the rounds of the MRA blogs I’ve discovered the answer to that question, and here it is: FRS head honcho Pierce Harlan described the survey as “perhaps a poke at feminism’s fascination with rape,” then denounced it as “indefensible,” then ranted about the evils of false rape accusations. I guess that isn’t really shocking at all.
First, Harlan offered this take on the “who would you rape” question:
I assume the survey was sick humor, a crude satire of the fratboy culture, and perhaps a poke at feminism’s fascination with rape.
Yes, because any time men make rape jokes it’s probably because, you know, feminism, and its wacky obsession with rape.
Then Harlan went on to suggest that rape was no laughing matter – especially when it comes to rape that doesn’t happen:
Whatever it was intended to be, ultimately it is indefensible, because trivializing the word “rape” is no laughing matter, whether it’s a joke about the rape of male prisoners, or the fantasy “rape” of women, or a false rape claim intended to get a guy in, or a woman out of, trouble.
Well, that was quick. Let’s not talk about the trivialization of real rape. Let’s talk about the epidemic of “false rape accusations” that Harlan has convinced himself is the real problem here.
With nary a pause, Harlan moved on to complain about hypothetical feminists making a big deal out of this survey instead of joining him on his crusade:
There most certainly will be an outcry in the feminist blogosphere over this isolated incident
This what incident?
and it will be cited as proof positive to support the myth that ours is a “rape culture.”
Yeah, I wonder why casual jokes about rape would possibly be considered as part of “rape culture.”
A “rape culture,” of course, not only would tolerate but would condone such a puerile survey. Our society does neither. The only “rape” jokes our society condones concerns prison rape — and that’s because society actually encourages prison rape as a sort of “added bonus” punishment for any hapless male who lands in prison. It is ironic that actual prison rape does not garner the outrage that this this sick fratboy humor is generating. Go figure.
This from a guy who doesn’t seem to have ever even bothered to mention the leading anti-prison rape organization, Just Detention, on his web site. (See here for more on the issue on Man Boobz.) Though he does offer three links on his main page to information about the statute of limitation for rape charges, in case anyone reading is worried about
getting caught being falsely accused for something they did didn’t do a long time ago.
Meanwhile,rape jokes — and not just prison rape jokes — are everywhere. Harlan, I assume you are at least somewhat familiar with a little site called Reddit, where people not only laugh at rape jokes – they laugh at actual rape!
Meanwhile, in the comments on Harlan’s article, some False Rape Society readers don’t even bother to pretend that the “rape survey” bothers them. According to the commenter called “bad,”
We should be celebrating young men who stand up against misandry. We should be celebrating the frat that said “no means yes” and we should be celebrating the frat that created this survey, if it’s a real story.
An anonymous commenter takes it a step further:
I do not condemn this action,
in fact, I wish I’d thought of it.
It is a brilliant and very appropriate response to the way young men are being treated by college campuses.
When the answer to “who would you like to treat like a rapist” is “all college men”, I think that asking them who they’d like to rape is more than fair.
But it is Harlan’s response to these comments that is the most revealing:
By the way, I read the reaction of Bad and others as a natural backlash … against the unconscionable PC culture of misandry on campus. I happen to disagree with those who suggest this was acceptable, but their remarks should not be construed as evidence that we live in a “rape culture.” Like Steve, I read their comments more as an affirmation that we live in a false rape culture–a culture that more and more men are finding intolerable.
I, on the other hand, doubt that these young men have the first clue about misandry, feminism, or how colleges run roughshod over the rights of young men. I am always amazed when we hear from falsely accused people who “had not idea this goes on.” My guess is they were just being being “funny.” I would, frankly, love to find out I am wrong, and that not only would they never call for a woman to be actually raped, but that this was a protest against the pendulum swinging too far. In that case, I am still not sure I could find it acceptable but it would initiate an entirely different dialogue.
So the survey is “indefensible,” yet a totally understandable reaction to, and protest against, an “unconscionable PC culture of misandry.”
EDITED TO ADD: Harlan has written a response, of sorts, to this post. It is a bit — what’s the word I’m looking for here? — zany.