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Normalizing sexual assault - June 18th 2017, 08:45 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of rape or abuse, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

I was having...a heated discussion on a social network platform about sexual assault...this person was normalizing it.


1) She was saying that 8 out of 10 teenage boys do things like touch girls without their consent because they are curious.
2) The person we were talking about was raised in a extremely conservative household and was never allowed to express their sexuality and so he abused his siblings (that was what this person was saying to excuse it)
3) The person only touched the girls through their clothes and so it really wasn't a huge issue and he shouldn't be held accountable for something that he did.
4) It happened years ago and he never did it again (Supposedly but how are we supposed to determine one way or another) so he shouldn't have it held over their head.

I have actually been seeing the normalization of sexual assault all over the internet due to the Bill Cosby case as well. (Don't want to get into a discussion about if he did it. I suppose someone could create a different thread for that).

But people on facebook have been saying:

1) The woman knew what was going to happen when they went with him and so, essentially, they shouldn't be complaining. They knew sex was going to take place.
2) (This might be more victim blaming) But the women shouldn't have gone with him alone.

There have been a lot of comments victim blaming as well but that's not the topic here.

I am just curious if anyone has any ideas or thoughts regarding the normalization of sexual assault. Is it just because we as a society have this mindset that boys will be boys and that boys can't control their urges so it's normal for them to 'get out of hand' occasionally or is it something else.

I grew up in a house full of boys. I grew up in a family full of boys and, as far as I know, none of them sexually assaulted anyone. If they wanted to have sex they'd just go behind their parents back and find a girl who consented to sex. Some of the guys I grew up with were extremely sexual as well.

I just...I don't really understand the normalization of sexual assault...or how people classify it ... like .... if the person touched you without your consent through your close it really isn't a big deal and they shouldn't be held accountable.

I have personal experience with someone touching me without consent through my clothes and it did impact my life negatively. I still think about it quite a bit. I have trouble letting people stand behind me and a big portion of that (not all cause of other abuse in my past) is due to the incident where someone touched me through my clothes.

Idk...there probably isn't a right or wrong answer to this but I was just curious to see what other people thought about it.

I also notice that some victims normalize what they went through....do you think they normalize it as a way to cope with it...like...if it's normal for boys to not be able to control their urges than what happened to them wasn't that bad and they shouldn't let it bother them...or do some victims tend to normalize it because of the way society normalizes it?


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Re: Normalizing sexual assault - June 19th 2017, 08:18 AM

I think it's safe to say that very few people understand what "normalization of sexual assault" is in today's climate. The politics around these issues has become too irrational. Personally, I've kept a distance from this debate, so I can only comment on individual arguments I've heard here and there, rather than comment on the bigger picture.

It helps though to stick with one definition of sexual assault:

Quote:
Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.

There has been this trend of people calling "rape" or "sexual assault" because they had sex with another person while themselves drunk. Usually it is females who do this. I understand the legality, that a person is "less able" to give consent while drunk.

But I also know that many guys tend to be just as drunk in those circumstances, so I'm not sure really why this argument carries any weight whatsoever, unless there was genuine physical force and intimidation.

Forcing intercourse with someone whose passed out drunk is a different league though, and obviously wrong. But why can't people also take more responsibility for their drinking habits? If they were drugged, I understand that none of it is their fault. But if someone passed out because they downed a bottle of Vodka in a minute, then they are an idiot. No they don't deserve to get raped. But equating a situation like this, with someone getting raped at gunpoint, or being drugged by someone else, is ridiculous. They are not the same. People need to be taught to take a bit more personal responsibility.

But even intercourse with someone who is passed out, is an odd thing to call "rape", if both people are drunk and neither really know what they're doing. I compare this to people being cleared of "rape" because they were apparently sleepwalking at the time and didn't know what they were doing: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...king-rape.html

Awkward to think about. I guess my point is, it's not black & white. I don't know if sexual assault is being normalized. I don't think it is. I generally see people more willing to call it out than before. The exceptional circumstances are when people are drunk... and like I said above, I think at least slightly different rules apply there.

.


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Re: Normalizing sexual assault - June 20th 2017, 01:01 AM

I don't see "normalization" of sexual assault as a problem facing society. I feel the bigger concern is the rise in false claims of sexual assault, and how that can ruin the life and careers of innocent people.

And while I would never condone or defend rape, there are some good points stated by your mysterious social media opponent. First of all, I do agree that many women intentionally put themselves in situation where rape or sexual assault are likely to happen, and then engage in certain activities which encourage sexual assaults. Not to blame the victim for the rape, but many of them are essentially just asking for it. Metaphorically, many are acting like a millionaire in an expensive suit flashing hundred dollar bills everywhere they go, and then are totally surprised when they get mugged. They are not at fault, but they sure were acting like idiots.




Quote:
4) It happened years ago and he never did it again (Supposedly but how are we supposed to determine one way or another) so he shouldn't have it held over their head.
I'm sorry, but I don't see that "normalization" of sexual assault here. If someone did something wrong, paid the price for it, and is truly repentful, then I see no reason to hold that over their head for the rest of their life. I call that forgiveness, not normalization.


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Re: Normalizing sexual assault - June 20th 2017, 06:28 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasmaHam View Post
Not to blame the victim for the rape, but many of them are essentially just asking for it. Metaphorically, many are acting like a millionaire in an expensive suit flashing hundred dollar bills everywhere they go, and then are totally surprised when they get mugged. They are not at fault, but they sure were acting like idiots.
You just compared women to money. Did you think about the hundreds of rape victims on this site? I almost hope you're just trolling.
Small note: It is completely impossible to ask someone to rape you. If you asked someone to rape you, then its consensual, i.e. not a rape. That aside, the problem is 100% with the rapist when THEY rape someone. You say you're not blaming the victim for the rape, but yeah, you actually are whether you realize it or not by saying that they, the rape victims, are idiots. Because guess what? A lot of the time, cops use that logic to avoid going after rapists, and judges often use that excuse to avoid harshly prosecuting rapists. They're shifting the blame and punishment away from the rapist to...? The victim. There's nobody else to blame it on after you rationalize the crime. It is absolutely an implication that yes, it's the victim's fault.
Anytime anyone says, "I'm not (fill in the blank- racist, sexist, blaming someone, etc.), BUT..." you're almost certainly what you claim not to be. Now I'm not a condescending liberal douchebag or anything like that, but I would totally expect any normal person to be able to figure this out. <--See how that works?
Nothing encourages sexual assault except for the screwed up mind of the rapist. It's not normal for a guy to see a girl and say, "She's so hot in those clothes, I'm gonna have sex with her no matter what." No, of course not. And nobody should expect that because its demented behavior. If somebody thinks that way, they should see a therapist. And even if a situation includes a typically normal guy who feels too horny to stop trying to have sex with a girl who doesnt want to have sex, then guess what? That's tough shit for the guy. It takes two to tango and if the girl doesnt want to do it, then the guy can go tango with himself.
I don't know if I'm still necessarily on topic, but here's an enjoyable three minute clip comparing having sex with somebody without their consent to pouring tea down someone's throat without their consent. I typically don't use analogies when the topic is something horrible, but I think this is actually a pretty good way to think about consent. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQbei5JGiT8
Actually, I didn't touch the main topic at all.


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Re: Normalizing sexual assault - June 20th 2017, 11:49 AM

I have seen normalizing and justifying within my own life. I typically avoid the news or anything like it because it's too depressing. The normalization I do see though from what I have noticed occurred frequently when abuse is in the family, especially if the family is religious or has pushed the abuse under the rug for years or if it's not within the family and people just can't accept it.


I told someone about my abuse (CSA, repeated rape and other things by different family members) and one of the people, who later disowned me, said that what my abuser did was essentially a stage of puberty that he never grew out of. Right, because everyone does that through puberty.

Another person who knows about my abuse used to justify it and sit on the idea that we knew the people who abused me were abused themselves, almost like that was a free pass to continue the abuse when it certainly is not.

I started making child pornography among other things at three years old. The people who did this to me will always walk free and I am okay with that. I've made my peace with it. Even if they did pay, they wouldn't truly be sorry. People who have that sickness, people who abuse others like that are not sorry. If the people who did this to me ever get into trouble they should have it held over their heads for the rest of their lives. There is absolutely no way I could even begin to describe a day in the life with complex post traumatic stress disorder and how devastating it truly is.


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Re: Normalizing sexual assault - June 20th 2017, 03:10 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasmaHam View Post
I don't see "normalization" of sexual assault as a problem facing society. I feel the bigger concern is the rise in false claims of sexual assault, and how that can ruin the life and careers of innocent people.

And while I would never condone or defend rape, there are some good points stated by your mysterious social media opponent. First of all, I do agree that many women intentionally put themselves in situation where rape or sexual assault are likely to happen, and then engage in certain activities which encourage sexual assaults. Not to blame the victim for the rape, but many of them are essentially just asking for it. Metaphorically, many are acting like a millionaire in an expensive suit flashing hundred dollar bills everywhere they go, and then are totally surprised when they get mugged. They are not at fault, but they sure were acting like idiots.





I'm sorry, but I don't see that "normalization" of sexual assault here. If someone did something wrong, paid the price for it, and is truly repentful, then I see no reason to hold that over their head for the rest of their life. I call that forgiveness, not normalization.
Firstly, as stated, you are victim blaming when you say that woman intentionally put themselves in situations where sexual assault occur. I know a ton of woman who are actually afraid to go to bars alone or are afraid to be around men because there is a chance that something will happen. No one should have to live their life with that fear. The truth is, that no matter how much you try to prevent sexual assault it is still possible to happen. I've been sexually assaulted (Not rape but inappropriate touching without my consent) three times in my life. I wasn't wearing provocative clothing any of those times, I wasn't flirting with the guys and it still happened. So, a person can live their lives blocked off from the world, I essentially did this, and experience sexual assault. A person can live their life wildly and experience sexual assault. If I could do it over again I would change the way I hid from society and didn't let myself have fun due to the fear of being abused because in a sense it happened anyway. Yes, people need to take precautions but if someone wants to rape another human being no amount of precautions is going to stop the sexual assault from taking place.

As for your other statement, anyone who commits a crime is allowed to repent, the issue with people that sexually assault is there is absolutely no sure fire way to know if they are actually genuine. So, if someone wants to repent for their sins, that is great but I am still going to hold it over their head. I am also going to make sure, at the very least that the people I am close to such as friends and family members, know what the person has done. No matter how repentful someone is, I am not going to be alone around someone I know is a rapist and I am not going to let my (Future) children around someone that is a child molester. When someone makes the choice to rape/abuse another human being I do believe it should be held over them for a very long time. You don't get to pretty much ruin someones life and mental stability and get to walk away scot-free. In today's society there are people that actually care more about how the perpetrator will be impacted than they care about how the victim's life will change. Look at the Brock Turner case, the judge essentially let him off scot-free because he didn't want Brock's life to be ruined.


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Re: Normalizing sexual assault - June 21st 2017, 03:42 PM

I've been meaning to reply to this for a while but got caught up between trying to distinguish the difference between victim blaming and normalisation. Now I know the difference, I can say that I have normalised a lot of what I went through.

During high school, I had a few people (mostly guys but one girl) touch me through my clothes. Every single event it was done 'for a laugh' and every time I 'laughed it off'. It made me feel really uncomfortable but I didn't know how else to react. Until a friend had witnessed it happening and said that I shouldn't laugh at it, and that she and a few others were reporting the guy that did it because he was often like that with girls and it was unacceptable. I never told anyone or even thought about telling anyone and wouldn't because I clearly didn't see how harmful it was.

I do believe that society tends to normalise sexual assault and rape by suggesting that men can't control their urges etc. As for women that assault others, I guess society minimises it and makes out like you should be lucky/grateful for the attention.

I wonder if I also normalised the childhood sexual abuse I experienced. I minimise it, wonder how I didn't know better or realise what was going on. At the time, I never felt bad about it. It happened, I accepted it, and life went on. I guess it was my way of coping (though I wouldn't normalise anyone else's experiences).

I think it does go hand in hand with victim blaming as well. I can't stand victim blaming, especially since I have many family members that do this as well. I think I read somewhere that people may victim blame to avoid the reality. It can seem easier to blame the victim for getting drunk/wearing certain clothes/being alone/going somewhere with someone as it can mean that they had control and if they did things differently, they would've have been assaulted. But the reality is that these things can happen to anyone at anytime, which makes life scary and uncertain and some people may not want to accept that.


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