Luckily, this is not difficult

(* — links to articles with disturbing discussions of rape, abuse, misogyny)

“Caroline was not available for comment Thursday night. She was attending a banquet for her basketball team.”

“In a formal complaint made against the 18-year Dietrich School veteran by at least four parents, McDaniel is chided for using the word ‘vagina’ during a tenth-grade biology class on the human reproductive system.”

“I hope he makes sure the conclave for his successor is not womanless.”

“If Christians were going to build a modern-day golden calf, it would be 10-story chastity belt.”

“As a woman, I find this profoundly dehumanizing. No, as a human being, I find this profoundly dehumanizing.”

“At sentencing, prosecutor Captain Ben Beliles said that Wilkerson had shown striking hubris and recklessness by assaulting the woman with his wife and nine-year-old son sleeping under the same roof. He noted that Wilkerson expressed no remorse and urged the jury to imprison him for five years.”*

She could have been any of us.”*

“It is time to stop making excuses about the way we dress or what we drink or where we run and assert, wholeheartedly and without caveat, that violence against women and the rape culture that sustains it are abhorrent to God and to God’s people.”*

Holy Misogyny is a disturbing book. It should be.”*

“I’m positive that the churches I grew up in did not want their teachings to be used by abusers to support abuse. Too bad.”*

I have come to expect this large scale corruption from such entities as banks and large corporations.”*

“They need to unlearn some lessons that no one will admit to teaching them.”*

Old lies die hard, and new truths take time and experience to be rooted.”*

What are we doing to our daughters if we are raising them to believe this normal?”*


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  • alfgifu

    Er… I’m not usually the one who notices something like this but, Fred, that picture you posted? Needs a trigger warning itself, badly.
    Actually, looking back at the page, I just noticed the trigger warning at the top – but since it was so easy to miss first time round I think this comment still stands. Would it be possible to put something next to the image itself, perhaps in bold?

  • I must ask if they would prefer another word be used in place of vagina….

  • The_L1985

    I vote for “woo-woo.” After all, if we’re going to be ridiculous enough to ban scientific terms from a scientific discussion, then we should make the substitutes as ridiculous as possible.

  • Cathy W

    If “vajayjay” is good enough for Oprah…

  • JustoneK

    Squeedily spooch. Because then I’ll have a reason to use it.

  • Man…

    They are leaving their children with little choice but to learn from pornography.

  • OMGAWD! That last one is so heart breaking! Especially the author(of the original article)’s assertion that she didn’t see the harm in assuaging the egos of older men. Ugh! Well, first of all, not everyone is like you! And secondly, most women aren’t “fortunate” enough to fondled and groped by stars of stage and screen and men who walk the halls of power, which you know, could help some people rationalize their assault.

  • Lori

    The monotheistic traditions from the beginning have had trouble with
    women’s bodies. Men can’t control their urges and blame the victim.
    That is over-simplifying, I know, but the basic gist is about right.

    This is incorrect in a way that I think we need to push back against. The issue is not that men can’t control their urges. That is, as some wise soul on the internet called it, the Myth of the Boner Werewolf. That myth is a major part of the foundation of rape culture and we need to stop playing along with it. The Myth is so embedded in rape culture that I doubt that writer was even aware of the implication of using “can’t” in that sentence. I don’t think it was done with any conscious intent to perpetuate this aspect of rape culture, and yet it does.

    Men can control themselves. Some of them chose not to. That’s how the discussion needs to be framed, every single time.

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

    “First the man’s penis enters the woman’s squeedily spooch…”

    Now I can’t stop giggling.

  • Lori

    Holy crap. Petronella Wyatt’s parents were both incredibly skeevy and inappropriate. That whole article made my skin crawl.

  • histrogeek

    I was more curious if they would have the same reaction to the proper name for the male anatomy, since they are clearly penis-heads.

  • Yeah. I hadn’t considered that. That’s not a bad point.

  • Bah. Inferior human organs.

  • Quite so. Interviews with rapists have shown that the most common factor in the decision to rape isn’t what the victim was wearing, or how attracted the rapist was to them, or anything like that. It was whether or not the rapist felt he could get away with it. Which a) suggests that rapists are, in fact, capable of making a premeditated decision to rape, as opposed to following some uncontrollable urge, and b) suggests that one of the best ways to prevent rape would be to punish it consistently and harshly, and not discourage victims from reporting their attacker. In other words, getting rid of rape culture.

  • Thanks for the link

  • Conservative shits like Wyatt confound me to no end. Take this sentence: “I learned to accept men as they are — fallible, vain and driven by their sexual organs.”

    First of all, shrugging off that kind of behavior by saying “eh, boys will be boys” just enables and allows it. Second, if you have such a low opinion of men, why do you think they should also be entrusted to run the world?

    Why are feminists decried as “man-haters” when they actually hold men accountable for their actions, and thus imply that men are capable of acting like decent human beings, while non-feminists blithely make statements like the above? Confounds me, I tell you.

  • Lori

    It’s my understand that the approved term is “down there”.

  • Lunch Meat

    One of the comments on the article said “sin funnel.”

  • Carstonio

    I regret that I have only one like to give to your post.

  • Carstonio

    As a father of daughters, I share Aeryl’s heartbreak over Wyatt internalizing her father’s rape culture attitudes I kept hoping that it was a parody, or that Wyatt had intended to condemn rape culture but someone had rewritten the original article as a cruel prank.

  • Carstonio

    Second, if you have such a low opinion of men, why do you think they should also be entrusted to run the world?

    Egg-fucking-zactly. One would think that someone who believes that about male urges would recommend the sensible precaution of keeping men in bondage, like cattle farmers controlling their bulls. But no, people like Wyatt insist that it’s the responsibility of females to keep men in check.

  • Carstonio

    Also, I love the Boner Werewolf term. Reversed, it would suggest that the creatures become aroused only during the full moon.

    When I read “Benighted” by our friend Kit Whitfield, I wondered if the story was intended as an allegory for rape culture.

  • That is something that was drilled into us in sex ed: rape is not a function of one party being uncontrollably lustful and the other party being irresistibly attractive. Rather, it was an expression and assertion of power, and that the person who wanted to force that power upon another would select an unwilling subject of based on how likely they thought they could get away with it.

    Thus, someone who was less conventionally attractive looking, had low self-esteem, could be easily cowed with threats of social embarrassment, or was a member of a traditionally less powerful minority were more likely to be targeted. Hell, the fallacious “she was asking for it all dressed like that” argument is not predicated on how attractive the victimized party was, but how the perpetrator can cast uncertainty and doubt on the accusation that the contact was non-consensual.

  • hidden_urchin

    That Wyatt article was just freaky. I can’t quite articulate what feels wrong about it but I would almost suspect that her father was using her for his own ends.

    To put it in a possibly triggery way (so heads up):

    He wanted to hobnob with powerful people and recognized that his daughter, who was attractive to these men, was a commodity that he could trade with. He was fine with their behavior towards her and did nothing to protect her from it because the exchanges could give him increased access to them. He probably also didn’t see the behavior as a problem but I suspect a primary reason was that they were people who could improve his social standing. Does anyone here think he would have been as amused if it were some blue-collar guy grabbing her?

  • Carstonio

    Paul Broun’s sole argument against insurance coverage for sex reassignment surgery: “I like being a boy.” Uh, okay. I didn’t hear anyone say that he shouldn’t like it. He sounds like Peter Brady fearing for the honor of the Brady men after being outdone by the Brady women.

    Broun probably believes there’s a historical imperative to do away with
    gender distinctions, and that masculinity must be defended at all costs. Because obviously our society began to crumble when women began wearing pants and men began growing their hair long. Then it was open homosexuality, cross-dressing, sex changes, David Bowie, Boy George… the dreaded Gender Ambiguity Apocalypse. One day Broun will wake up, be unable to tell whether anyone is a woman or man, and run screaming into the streets in terror.

  • Lori

    The Boner Werewolf is one of those things I wish I thought up because it’s both clever and true, but alas it is not mine. It’s from The Pervocracy. (Note: A little NSFW)

    There’s a pernicious myth out there that the male sex drive is unstoppable and irresistible–that once a man is aroused, he literally
    cannot control his actions. We tell jokes about “thinking with the
    other head” and “all the blood went out of his brain” that aren’t
    entirely jokes. We have a cultural narrative in which sexual arousal
    makes a man into a goddamn werewolf.

    And we expect women to tiptoe around this uncontrollable male sexuality. We tell them to watch how they dress, lest they wake the beast. We tell them “some guys can’t control themselves”–not won’t, but can’t. We tell them to be careful what they start, because they’ll be expectedto finish it. Hell, way too often we outright tell them that they have no right to withdraw consent once sex has started.

    My response to myths like this, more and more, is “shit, if I believed that,
    I’d never have sex with a man again.” I wonder if the story would
    change if more guys realized that saying “if a woman gets me turned on,
    she’d better be ready to go all the way” is the same as saying “getting
    me turned on is dangerous, better not take the risk.”

    Then again, I wonder why more men aren’t just insulted by the whole
    concept. If someone started telling stories about how my gender was
    controlled by our genitalia and sexual arousal turns us into rapist
    automatons, I would be outraged. I would explain in very small,
    very loud words that I am a person and I can goddamn control myself. I
    wish more men would speak up to say “actually, even when I can’t turn my erection off, I can sure as hell use the rest of my body to put it
    somewhere it won’t bother anyone.”

    I wish our culture prized self-control as much as it does virility, and
    even more, I wish our culture didn’t act like they were opposites.
    Even I can’t 100% shake the worry that the story at the top makes Rowdysound desexualized or submissive, (or super nice and extra feminist, rather than “bare minimum of human decency”) even though all it describes is him not raping me.

    Men aren’t rollercoasters. They aren’t werewolves. They aren’t walking
    penises. They’re people. They make decisions. Let’s stop talking
    about “he couldn’t stop himself” and start talking about “he decided not
    to stop.” Men deserve that dignity, and the responsibility that comes
    with it.

  • Does anyone here think he would have been as amused if it were some blue-collar guy grabbing her?

    That’s a very good point. As is your overall point, this phenomenon of powerful men treating their daughters like commodities and assets rather than like human beings. My first girlfriend was sold (or rented, to be more precise) for actual money by her biological father, but whether it’s money or social standing or power or connections, it’s all equally disgusting.

  • general_apathy

    Every one of those anecdotes was squirm-worthy. Her justifications for such behaviour are pretty horrifying:

    “The Duke of Wellington did it, as did the great Prime Ministers, Lords
    Melbourne and Palmerston. Lloyd George was known as ‘the old goat’.
    Today, their peccadilloes would render these men ineligible for office.
    Furthermore, some of our greatest intellects would have been hounded and

    That doesn’t tell me that sexual abuse is in respected company. That tells me that these men are not deserving of respect.

  • Carstonio

    “She’s not looking at me, and directing me…as woman. There is this interposition of this phenomenon called ‘book’ that puts her out of my sight and, in a sense, takes away the dimension of her female personhood, whereas if she were standing right in front of me and teaching me as my shepherd…I couldn’t make that separation”

    To paraphrase Smallville’s Lois Lane – what, is he 12? Astounding that Piper expected this to be taken seriously. Some of this could indeed be what Evans described as “the pitch of my voice and the presence of my breasts.” But my theory is far more righteously demeaning of Piper – I think he views all women as stand-ins for his mother and still resents being told to clean his room.

  • We need to form a new standard for Boner Werewolf culture.

  • Jessica_R

    Baby Locker

  • I believe the scientific term is “hoo-hoo-dilly”, but “ladygarden” or “sin cavern” are also acceptable.

  • My response to myths like this, more and more, is “shit, if I believed that, I’d never have sex with a man again.”

    And this would be a completely sensible, rational response. MRAs simultaneously portray heterosexuality as a very bleak affair for women and yet demand that women participate in it anyway. In doing so they reveal their true feelings: that no matter how much they may claim otherwise, they simply do not give a shit about a woman’s feelings, desires, opinions, autonomy, or plain ol’ personhood.

    It wouldn’t occur to them to cultivate a state of affairs in which all people – men, women, people who are both or neither – feel safe and free to explore their sexuality or lack thereof enthusiastically, because then women might choose wrong or something. So they’re happy to play the role of monsters so long as it frees them of accountability and robs women of choice.

  • Or, horror of horrors, what if acting like a misogynistic shit were so socially unacceptable that prestige-conscious men refrained from doing so? But it would be so cruel to Important White Men to deprive them of the ability to grope a 15-year-old girl!

  • Carstonio

    While I’m insulted by the concept, I also don’t take it seriously enough to be outraged by it. For the most part, it’s a tactic of rationalization and propaganda. Plenty of men espouse it, but probably very few actually believe it. Or else they believe this only of other men, or of men not like themselves.

  • If anything, it’s a conservative response to say “I wouldn’t want to have sex with someone who can’t control their sexual drive.” I’d go so far as to say that if it were true, I wouldn’t want to leave the house or live anywhere remotely near people. I’d be too afraid of what a man would do to me at the slightest, even imagined, provocation.

  • Lori

    Yeah, shorter MRAs: We hate women and our hatred radiates off of us like a stink and the only possible reason for our inability to get women to have sex with us is that they’re all bitches.

  • Mark Z.

    Second, if you have such a low opinion of men, why do you think they should also be entrusted to run the world?

    Because part of the “driven by their sexual organs” notion is that men don’t run the world. Men are controlled by their penises, and penises are controlled by women, and so it’s the job of women to really run the world by using their feminine wiles to reward or punish male behavior. And that’s why Wyatt laments that “their peccadilloes would render these men unfit for office”–in her mind, that’s exactly backward. Men who otherwise achieve great things* should have a free pass to grope women. That’s how we keep them achieving great things.

    And having written that, I think I need a shower.

    * it doesn’t help that her examples are British prime ministers who presided over their country’s transformation from world-spanning empire to the land of terrible food and bad dentistry

  • Oh no, lately I’ve been seeing an even better form of rhetoric from MRAs:

    “The reason I oppose abortion rights is because they all hinge upon how I don’t get a say in what my girlfriend does to my child.”

    Yes, because… it’s her body. You’re not allowed to force her to suffer for your desires.

    Usually they don’t seem capable of mustering a reply except to repeat their initial argument with minor variations and some vitriol.

  • Lori

    “Me, me, it’s all about me,” is so persuasive, especially when applied to something that is most definitely not all about you.

  • They also manage to create a bizarre false equivalence where shooting your penis in someone is at least as much claim to ownership as a nine-month period of pregnancy. Really at that point it’s getting into a lot of deep-rooted penis worship that I don’t think they could articulate even if they were smarter than a sponge.

  • The picture accompanying this post actually gives me cause to voice something that has been echoing in my head for a bit.

    It rejects the notion of being a “victim” because the righteous will always suffer and being righteous, they should be willing to suffer, yada-yada. However, I think that this interpretation misunderstands the idea of suffering for being righteous. They imply that the righteous should suffer quietly, that cruelty or injustice might continue as the status-quo, but I think that this is a drawkcab-ssa way of looking at it.

    At the risk of Godwining, I would use the Holocaust as an example. According to some case studies I have seen, there were a lot of people involved carrying out the genocide. While certainly a number of them were hardened anti-Semites and/or gleeful sociopaths, many more of the people involved recognized that some things meant going too far, particularly those battalions who were ordered to execute the elderly, the women, and the children after the (relatively) healthy males had been shipped out to labor/internment/death camps. From post war interviews and tribunals, a lot of the lower down commanders found the orders distasteful, and gave individuals under their command the option to opt out. A few did, but many more carried out their orders even as they felt sick carrying them out. The reason that they did this? Because they were afraid of losing face in front of their comrades, of seeming weak, cowardly, shirking their duty, or trying to slip out of the unpleasant stuff so someone else would have to do it instead. They knew that to take the righteous action then would be too painful to bare, and people died because they could not.

    The point I am going for is that the righteous suffer when they go against the flow, when they stand up, make themselves an obvious target, and call out injustice that requires people to just go along with it to exist. But some people are afraid of that suffering, afraid of being alienated for making waves and upsetting things. When the Bible talks about how the righteous should expect suffering and not fear it, enduring for the sake of love of justice, I believe that this is what it is referring to.

    The problem that I see with the way that “righteous suffering” is being used in that picture is that they are using it precisely as a way to shut the potentially righteous up, a way so that their suffering is not done out of love of justice but out of fear of upsetting the status-quo. I cannot think of how they could get this kind of thing more absolutely wrong. It is twisted into exactly the opposite of what it should be.

  • general_apathy

    We can’t just shame the Important White Men! That would be acting as though it’s not innate, as though they can just choose not to make inappropriate and predatory advances towards children—

    …Oh. Wait.

  • AnonaMiss

    While that is a terrible reason to oppose abortion rights, I do think that there is an argument to be made on these grounds for the right of a father-to-be to opt out of (opt in to?) fatherhood with some sort of notarized whatsit delivered to the pregnant person with ample time for her to get an abortion if that would impact her decision. Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy/consent to motherhood, but the way the law is structured now, once a man has had (vaginal) sex with a woman, he ceases to have any control over whether or not he becomes a father, with the legal/financial requirements that entails.

    (cis terminology used for pronoun convenience; due note is taken that penis people != men and vagina people != women)

  • I can’t think of any possible way to do this which doesn’t wind up potentially forcing women to do something horrible.

  • Carstonio

    Even reading about that theory makes me feel dirty.

  • They oppose abortion rights but don’t want to pay child support? Even if you’re a total asshole, you have to pick one or the other!

  • Suspect? It wasn’t explicitly said in the article? Because my reading left no doubt in my mind that that was EXACTLY what her father was doing.

  • Baby_Raptor

    When science develops to the point where the pregnancy can be moved to the man’s body and he can carry it, this can be solved. Until then, the woman’s bodily autonomy over-rides any fuzzy feelings a man might have about becoming a dad. No woman should be forced to completely upset her life, and potentially lose it, because a guy wants a child. That is way, way, WAY too open to abuse.

  • (TW for obvious reasons)

    I noticed that Wyatt even describes herself as having felt uncomfortable in some of those situations, and mentions having had to escape. Yet she insists that she was never “distressed”.

    I suspect that what’s really going on is that Wyatt spent a lot of time convincing herself that she was really the one in control the entire time, because admitting to herself that she’d been placed in danger by a father who was willing to sacrifice his daughter’s mental and physical health on the altar of his own social connections would be too upsetting.

    I’m certain that if Wyatt had been a little less lucky — if the houseguest hadn’t happened along at the right moment, if the celebrity she’d been “tussling” with had decided that “I need to get home” just meant “she needs more convincing” — her parents would have told her that no no, she wasn’t raped, she’d just driven the poor man mad with her feminine wiles, congratulations.

    The problem is that this isn’t just about Wyatt hanging on to her rose-coloured blinder-goggles for dear life; she’s doing real harm by spreading her delusions.