Custador Makes a Pledge

Yesterday Custador, who writes at Unreasonable Faith, published a post called “Venturing off the Atheism Track” in which he tackled rape culture, discussed some of his own experiences, and finished by making a pledge:

To imply that women will stop rape, to my mind (however unintentionally), perpetuates the harmful myth that women are responsible for rape. That is, on the whole, untrue. I’m not saying that women don’t have a role to play, they clearly do: It’s a role that they share with men, though – Educating our children so that they don’t passively accept rape culture, voting with their wallets by not contributing financially towards media which denigrates women and promotes patriarchy and rape culture, and by pressuring our political representatives to at least have a clue what rape culture is and why it’s bad.

… The one and only person responsible for a rape, is the rapist. And rapists, in the overwhelming majority of cases, are men.

It’s not women who need to adopt a change in attitude, it’s men. I think as men we can probably all think of instances where we’ve laughed amongst ourselves at jokes that we would absolutely never tell in the presence of a woman. I can certainly think of instances from my own youth where my attitude to women was not so much questionable as downright disgusting. I’ve given unthinking support to male friends who were accused of rape, without even stopping to think that maybe they did it. I’ve certainly had sex with women whilst we were both very drunk, and not thought to ask myself if they would have wanted to do it sober. I’ve hung around in groups of male friends discussing women like they were trophies to collect. And to my fellow men I say this: I know damned well that my experiences are not uncommon. The vast majority of us have done (or still do) these things.

And that is what needs to change to end rape culture: The things that we men do and say and are, when only men are present; the ways we interact with each other, the things that we find acceptable; the standards that we relax when we are with “the boys”.

So to that end, I’d like to make a little pledge:

I will never condone rape or support rape culture in any way. I will object, loudly, when a rape joke is told. I will not tolerate objectification of women, amongst my male friends or amongst anybody else. I will do my best to be aware of my male (and white, and straight, and middle class) privilege, and to not take advantage of it. If and when I have children, I will try to educate them to critically appraise the media to which they are exposed and be aware of the gender messages within it. I will not spend money on any product, company or media which I am aware of having promoted rape culture or gender disparity, regardless of whether they have done so deliberately.

Good on you, Custador. This is exactly what we need, and I admire your decision to take a stand on this issue and to use your platform at Unreasonable Faith to do so. Congrats on composing such a well-thought-out statement, and it’s people like you and posts like yours that give me hope that we can forge a better future together.

And for everyone else? More of this, please. :-)

Why I Take My Kids to the UU Church
The Cold, Unforgiving World of Geoffrey Botkin
I Have Never Seen a Supernatural Entity Create a Universe
What Kind of Atheist Parent Are You?
About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Custador

    Thank you kindly.

  • Basketcase

    Wow. Awesome statement Custador.
    And that link? mind blowing. I always knew I was uncomfortable with some of that, but I would never be able to put it so eloquently. Must go read other posts by same blogger.

  • Rosie

    Thank you, Custador, for that pledge.

  • TheSeravy

    Inspiring. Thank you so much Custador. Renews my faith in human beings.

  • Second Thought

    What a fabulous statement and sentiment behind the statement. Truly someone trying to walk the walk.

  • Vixi Dragon

    This post (and all the other lighthearted fun women have had to put up with that’s made the news lately) inspired me to blog my own 2 cents on tape prevention.
    I think it really comes down to the general perception of rape being about impulse control. Otherwise victim blaming and slut shaming *wouldn’t make sense*.