March 14 Rape, Rape Jokes,Aidan breaks down tough topic

Small change today, as I have been answering submitted questions to endthestigmaofficial@gmail.com , many of which will be archived and find a home in my book I am writing. Back very soon and very regular.

I am back to my own blogging today,
Previously I blogged on Ending the Stigma on rape and we had a very brave lady tell her story a year ago and then I opened up and told my story in two parts last September.. It was very difficult to do this, but the site exploded and I had people get in touch with me and I steered these to the DRCC- Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.

INTRODUCTION

I am a Mental Health Advocate and now speaker and writer, but also an individual that is involved in rape movements and anti-sexual assault movement. I am writing today as I have overheard some jokes in society and seen some jokes in the 9/10 weeks of 2017. Some of the comments were without intended harm and some were to be sensationalist.

Rape or any sexual assault is not a crime where the effects stop a fortnight after it was committed. It is a violent crime of sexual aggression that can traumatize people for decades or for life. It can break and ruin lives.

I am not able to get the absolute latest stats on rape / sexual assault and if I were, we would have to try to determine what percentage that is of the total percentage, given so many unreported assaults and rapes.

If you found out your friend has been raped or sexually assaulted the number one thing you can do is to believe them.

I remember when I eventually told my dad in a police station, he did not believe me. It was heartbreaking, the police were very helpful and said “Mr. O’Connell, your son is very credible, has a lot of precise information and walking in here off the street today and going through this required unimaginable strength” I don’t want to appear arrogant.. I am not arrogant, but to get the strength to walk across the courtyard, open the doors, approach the police and say “I think we need to go into a private room please” was the most difficult thing I had to do in my life and I was entirely alone.

The reason I say if you find out your friend was sexually assaulted, the number one thing you can do is believe them because they say less than 5% of reported rapes are false.

A Couple of bullets!.

It’s important to realise its not always man on woman rape

Its important not to forget –“woman on man rape” and “man on man rape” exist

I have 50K contacts on Social Media. I went to a diverse dozen or so for opinions on rape, culture, jokes, and society. Below is a sample of we got back. I took 7! I am shocked by some, hence I had to add have my two cents after. I am not naïve either! I drew up a half page on why we need to end joking on rape and be mindful of stigma too.
Let me ask a question first!!

An important question to readers –

Have you had sexual intercourse when you didn’t want to because a man gave you alcohol or drugs?” This opens the door on the rape victim being someone who regretted her liaison of the previous night. If your date mixes a pitcher of margaritas and encourages you to drink with him and you accept a drink, have you been “administered” an intoxicant, and has your judgment been impaired?
Certainly, if you pass out and are molested, one would call it rape. However, if you drink and, while intoxicated, engage in sex that you later come to regret, have you been raped? This is the million-dollar question.

Here are the 7 selected random replies:

1

“I did some research into the statistics a few years ago, and the chances of a woman being raped in the sense that everyone is terrified of (i.e being accosted by and violently sexually assaulted by a stranger) is unimaginably low. I forget the actual numbers, but just unbelievably low. Nowhere near 1/4, and I believe nowhere even near 1/1000.
The problem is that sexual assaults are factored in with rape, and sexual assault questions are something like “Have you ever been sexually assaulted or felt sexually harassed?”

Therefore, what you see is anyone that responds yes to the sexual harassment part could be as simple as being yelled at while walking down the street. This counts as “rape” in the final statistics.

You cannot talk about this though, or people will ostracize you for diminishing the struggle of women who have been raped, or whatever, when obviously no one is in favor of rape.

I carried out this research because a girl I did not know accused me of rape. In addition a friend had previously been accused of rape by a girl when he was entirely innocent, I have also walked in on a female friend who was having sex with a man she later claimed raped her, and a neighbor of mine brought a guy back to her house, blacked out, woke up the next morning, and filed rape charges against him because she didn’t remember what had happened..

Aside from this, I literally had no experience with a woman who has legitimately been raped, so I doubt the statistics pretty deeply”.

Aidan’s thoughts

I think your comments are crass. I think you have a very poor perception of women.
I wouldn’t like to be a female friend of yours.

2

“I’d like to propose that irreverent humor is one of a society’s first visible symptoms of dealing with a problem like Rape. In the 80s there were many, many irreverent jokes about HIV and homosexuals while society was “processing” their fears about same, specifically, male on male sexuality and the so called “gay cancer”.
The same sorts of jokes occurred when the pedophile priests first began to appear.

The jokes about Rape are distasteful and often abominable, but it is a sure sign that we as a society are facing our fear and discomfort”.

3

“Yesterday on Social Media, there was a post about a fraternity that had a Facebook page-advocating rape–acceptance of rape in the culture seems to be what is becoming more common. and there are frequently posts and responses that seem to suggest sexual violence is okay or even “sexy.” It is not. In addition, all those posts may help you guys feel more comfortable, but they are just plain difficult for women like me.”.

Aidans thoughts

I am very sorry you have come cross a FB page like this. Please report or tell me by DM and I will report it. These posts are disgusting and these guys shame the rest of us.. I apologize on behalf of these creepy men.

4

“Nothing should prevent people from being as open as thy can be with respect to freedom of speech.
Jokes are not hurting or attacking people. They trigger the memory of a traumatic event. Just like clothing, scents, looks, facial/body/verbal expressions, random words or sentences, etc., that remind the victim of similarities between the events of everyday-life and events of the time in question.

5

“Women’s Studies has been beating the same drum (all men are dangerous) for over a decade now. The drumbeat is that 1 in 4 women gets raped on campus and consequently, if we assume each victim had a different attacker, then 1 in 4 of the men on the campus is a rapist. It’s hard being a man in 2017”.

Aidan’s thoughts I don’t believe women who study Gender or Women Studies think men are all potential dangerous or rapists. Make friends with females. Make friends who are activists. You will see the vast majority are entirely normal. I am not a fan of your response.

6

“I was falsely accused of rape in school; I got involved in an educational movement subsequently,. Every year, I speak to hundreds of incoming freshmen at my university and often encounter complex issues surrounding humor and sarcasm, alcohol and stigma. I have drawn up a paper on this It’s a huge issue, but the main problem is alcohol. There are too many women who get smashed drunk in Copper Faced Jacks nightclub (for example) bringing a guy home and then the often black out and its down to the moral character of the guy brought home”.

Aidans thoughts
I am very sorry you went through that, but I am very glad you have been able to turn this on its head and I will talk to you offline, as I want to increasingly become an anti sex abuse campaigner. I’ll add there are plenty of men plying women with alcohol with a plan for when Copper Face Jacks closes.

7

“Let’s not forget we make equally distasteful jokes about murder and race. I hate when people get in a tizzy over rape jokes but ignore domestic abuse, murder, racism. It’s all bad, but as long as you understand that a joke in poor taste is largely funny because it is in poor taste, you shouldn’t get upset.
If you’ve had your best friend murdered does that mean no one should ever make an off-color murder joke? We’ve all had someone die. Many people have a friend or relative killed by a drunk driver. Should jokes about drunk driving be banned, considered too awful to consider? I think not.

I know we need to be sensitive to one another, but come on, there’s a difference with a joke.

Aidan’s thoughts
I don’t believe we should make jokes about drink driving, There was a crass joke made about this on the Irish TV show First Dates and it appalled me and it seem to annoy all of Twitter. I understand the difference you make above, but without being too PC, they are all inappropriate examples, in my opinion.

So there’s 7 opinions!

I will conclude with

if you ever get an opportunity to hear women speak candidly about their experiences with sexual assault, I encourage you to do so. I am against censorship, I do feel much more awareness needs to be raised on the issue itself.

Final thoughts
1. Most victims are assaulted by someone they know and trust: Most people are sexually assaulted by relatives, trusted friends or even spouse.

2. Rape is one of the most under-reported crimes: Most women who are raped tell no one about the assault for fear of being criticized and labeled.

3. Rape is an act of power and control and does not happen out of sexual desire: A lot of people out there have sexual desires but they don’t go around raping people

4. Mere penetration is sufficient to constitute the offence of rape: Once you fail to prove penetration, the offence either becomes attempt to commit rape or indecent assault.

5. It’s not your fault: The line of thought which blames the victim for what happened instead of holding the rapist accountable for his crime is wrong. Rape victims often times, blame themselves, believing it was because of something they did or did not do. Having carnal knowledge or sexual intercourse with a girl of less than 14-years even with her consent is rape.

Take care folks snd let’s leave sex to an intimate act between loving partners and drop the jokes, the laugh is on you for immaturity (in my opinion)

AOC