Posted by: joshjasper | February 6, 2011

The Pack

My hope is that everyone had a great time today with family and friends watching the Packers beat the Steelers, and paid close attention to what was going on in the commercials. As for me, I was taking my own beating online. Riverview Center ran a Super Bowl campaign that asked viewers of the big game to pay attention to some of the negative messages that take place in the advertisements. This campaign took off like wildfire and caught the attention of many throughout the country. People were checking out our website, my blog, and our YouTube channel throughout the day.

One particular individual took it upon himself to write an article on his website about me at: http://www.the-spearhead.com/2011/02/06/abuse-charlatan-gears-up-for-super-bowl-with-abuse-bingo-rapist-babies-ad

It didn’t take long for the comments to POUR in. Here’s just a few:

1. “One good beating and this mangina would never open his mouth again.”

2. “Mangina creeps like Josh Jasper should suffer the same fate as Nazi sympathizers after WWII-taken out and shot after a five-minute trial.”

3. “I teach my son whenever I can: NEVER protect a woman.”

4. “Typical feminism BULLSHIT first they demonize men (you see that everwhere) then they demonize boys (“one day I will beat my wife” under the picture of a 12 year old boy) and now they are on to demonizing male babies what the fuk is next. I speak from the heart when I say this and wish it happend to every fuking feminist in the world. GO jump in a fire and burn slowly you fuking disgusting harpies. And shove that womens studies degree right up your oversized ass.”

The attention on this particular website than led to a frenzy of comments on our YouTube channel at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bY4uoDV_pU (it gets ugly real fast in there)

Then just yesterday I was called naive, delusional, and myopic in the online comments of an article written in the Telegraph Herald (www.thonline.com/article.cfm?id=310926)

A nerve has been struck that is for sure. The hatred of women that exists in our society makes my stomach turn. I know why you are so angry and I refuse to get sucked in. I will not follow lockstep with your misogyny. You want to convince me that women are to blame for being abused and that they perpetrate as much, if not more violence than men. NONSENSE.

If only for one day you could acknowledge the privilege that you have and walk a mile in the shoes of someone who has been oppressed, abused, degraded, and looked down upon. I would like to believe your anger and defensiveness would then dissipate.

Until then though, I remain steadfast and refuse to follow the pack.

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Responses

  1. Not everyone feels that way. If they don’t believe that any male can become an abuser, then I suggest proving it. That would eliminate the problem. Simplistic, yes. True, also yes.

  2. @Josh…

    I’m a long term member, and sitting board member, of a very similar, larger, organisation in Victoria, Australia.

    I’ve put several questions to you in the video discussion. Among those questions are a few you should be asking yourself right at this moment. Questions which go to the goals, beliefs and actual behaviour of your organisation and yourself.

    Instead of pointing your finger at a couple of extreme examples of misogyny why don’t you address the victims you’ve alienated? Seems there’s a few of them, myself included. We don’t appreciate being rendered invisible. Nor do we appreciate being told we must take responsibility for things we have never done, will never do, but that were done to us.

    Remember them? The victims? The ones you’re supposed to help.

    Speak to them. Not just in the video thread but in your broader outreach. Prove you are not like all those other organisations who mock those victims and call them liars. Because that’s the face you are currently presenting to the world. One that seems oblivious to them and their pain and, through it’s actions, hurts them even more.

    Note that in the expectation of your censoring this comment I have left a copy on Toy Soldier’s blog.

  3. I think your ad is doing its job — it’s stirring up emotions and getting people talking. Maybe not the stuff you want to hear, but they’re talking.

    I just hope they listen, too.

    I know I’ve been thinking about the ad and its backlash ever since I saw it and read the responses. Keep up the good work, and don’t let the negativity get to you.

    Also, I left a comment at the YouTube site as well. Seemed like there needed to be a bit of a balance.

  4. gwallan-

    Thank you for the comment. Your feedback is important. Please know that we work very hard to make sure that we are not alienating anyone. The assumption is this conversation has been that Riverview Center does not serve boys and men nor do we provide outreach to them. This is simply incorrect. Not only are men and boys served by our counseling advocacy services but they also serve as volunteers and board members within our organization.

    Many people have jumped on the commercial on our YouTube channel and missed the point that was intended. The commercial by no means states that all men are rapists. The point is simply to empower MORE men to be positive role models. The reality gwallan, like it or not, is that many men (and women) are acting violently toward others. With that said though, people can change their behavior. For example, every 3 months I am asked to participate in a victim impact panel to speak to 50 men (and sometimes a few women) that have been convicted of sexual and domestic abuse. I share with them that even they can change their behaviors and that we as a community need them to make that effort.

  5. Mike-

    Thanks for the feedback and advice. I knew going in that that particular commercial would start a conversation. I will share that it is disappointing though that so many people can’t just share their differing opinion without personally attacking someone.

    We’ve got a lot of work to do.

  6. Joy-

    Thank you for the comment Joy. Your support is GREATLY appreciated.

  7. Josh, the responses you received have little to do with misogyny. Your videos essentially render male victims invisible and ignores female abusers. One video in particular somewhat implies that baby boys are potential rapists. That is the source of the outrage.

    Over the past nine years I have advocated for male victims of sexual violence, and no organization I know of that provides services to abused boys and men would create a video depicting baby boys as potential rapists. If you provide services to boys and men who are victims of sexual and domestic violence, I am curious as to what those services actually entail. What seems more likely is that you provide “prevention” services to boys and men, i.e. services that warn boys and men about not abusing women. That is not the same thing as the services an organization like 1 in 6 provides.

    That you fail understand why people would take offense at your video only strengthens my belief that your organization does not help male victims. That you would then state in response to the criticism, “If only for one day you could acknowledge the privilege that you have and walk a mile in the shoes of someone who has been oppressed, abused, degraded, and looked down upon. I would like to believe your anger and defensiveness would then dissipate.” suggests that you probably do not have much, if any, contact with male victims. One in six men were sexually abused as children. Many more men face violence due to their ethnicity, race, gender, and religion. So plenty of men know what it is like to be oppressed, abused, degraded, or looked down upon.

    That kind of insensitive remark suggests that you do not think boys and men can be victims of abuse or that women can be abusers, something further supported by this statement: “You want to convince me that women are to blame for being abused and that they perpetrate as much, if not more violence than men. NONSENSE.”

    No one claimed that women were to blame for being abused, and there are several studies showing that women commit an equal amount of domestic violence as men and about half the sexual violence committed against males. You may think it is nonsense, but as an advocate and a male survivor of sexual violence I think it is rather serious. I am all for using hyperbole, but there are instances where it goes too far and your video featuring the baby boy is one them.

    You have spawned a discussion, but it is not the one you wanted. Despite ignoring male victims, your video actually helps bring sexual violence against male victims and the discrimination they face from support organizations like Riverview to light. I suppose that is a fair trade, although a better fair trade would be pulling that video and replacing it with one that specifically acknowledges male victims and female abusers.

  8. What is the disconnect with people completely misunderstanding Josh’s message? Yes, gwallan, women are perpetrators of violent crime, sexual crime, and boys and men are victims. This is also being addressed every day by amazing caring men and women at the riverview center, and there is absolutely no denial about men and boys being victims too. Frankly, we are all victims of this violent society. It permeates everything.

    99% of violent crime is perpetrated by men. Why do people always hear this and get it backwards? It’s as if they heard “99% of men are perpetrators”. If 99% of all violent crime was perpetrated by women, I think we would all recognize the public health issue and be thinking “what’s going on with women?” But when we try to send a message that we need to raise our baby boys to become respectful non violent adults, people hear a different message!

    I’m so disgusted by those violent comments. Yeah there’s no violence problem in this country! (note the sarcasm) Our superbowl commercials, showing a woman getting pummeled in the head by a flying diet pepsi is really not that far off from the barbaric treatment and ideas of women elsewhere. We think we’re so advanced in our progressive western thinking! It’s almost worse because this big trick has been played on the public where we think it’s good fun and not at all degrading. In the middle east, it’s just a little more directly degrading, not trying to disguise it as anything. I mean, what’s the difference really between stoning a raped woman to death for adultery, and one of the other comments to Josh how “feminists need to burn slowly in a fire, and take their women’s study degrees and shove them up their oversized a%$.”

    I don’t think it’s all that different.

  9. Although I understand both arguments of this blog and feedback, I feel that the initial thought behind the marketing piece was missed. Yes, men and women are deeply abused in a multitude of ways. Yes, women don’t come forward. Men don’t come forward either. Our society has been so desensitized the abuse that many individuals grin and bare it. I find that men have a harder time coming forward due to the desire to not be seen as “weak” or “less manly”.

    Role models and parenting styles are what seems to be questioned to me. Role Models such as those of professional athletes. ONLY professional athletes can get away with heinous crimes against humanity, keep their job, and still be adored. These professional athletes are the role models for our youth and our society. What happened media coverage of a professional athlete who gives of his time and resources to better humanity? The Walter Payton award is something to highlight! I am a huge sports fan myself – but come on, how can one easily forgive a quarterback who sexually assaulted 2 females and is still known as one of the greatest men in football?

    On a sidenote, I think both organizations (Australia and Iowa) are doing great things for society.

  10. ToySoldier-

    Thank you for your comment.

    You are mistaken in that I have started a discussion and it is exactly what I wanted. How could “we” possibly ever eliminate violence if we don’t truly understand where it comes from? I have received a great deal of feedback over the past 12 hours regarding some of our media education efforts and it has been a mixed bag. Many people agree with the messages while others do not. I certainly do not think our message is going to reach everyone and that everyone will agree with what we are saying.

    I have stated numerous times that Riverview does in fact serve boys and men, but yet this point has been disregarded. I’m not sure what else to say about that.

  11. Bill-

    Thank you for your comment and feedback;it is greatly appreciated. You are absolutely right in that both men and women commit violence and that our prevention efforts is absolutely directed toward the ENTIRE community, not just one gender.

    Thank you for your advocacy.

  12. Rachel-

    Thanks for the comment. I couldn’t agree with you more about the fact that men struggle to come forward to disclose abuse because of the ways society defines manhood. We need to empower boys and men to share their emotions and let them know that they are so much more than some tough, macho dude.

  13. “Our superbowl commercials, showing a woman getting pummeled in the head by a flying diet pepsi is really not that far off from the barbaric treatment and ideas of women elsewhere.”

    Did you watch the same ad?

    How could you not notice the domestic violence perpetuated by the woman against her partner in the ad.

    In fact the only reason why the woman got hit was because the man ducked out of the way. The violence was intended for him!

  14. “The hatred of women that exists in our society makes my stomach turn.”

    Josh. What you have done is unspeakable.

    You are stripping the most vulnerable of us of the protections they need to survive.

    You are turning baby boys into THE ENEMY.

    What do you think will happen when people watch that ad? You are making them think ‘rapist’ whenever they see their little boy. Instead of seeing infant boys as innocent children that need protecting, you’ve cast them as an evil pustule just waiting to erupt. Who knows what trigger will set the vile little monster off!

    Now, not even as infants or children are men safe from being seen as demons.

    What you’ve done *is* hate. And the response you’re getting is justified anger.

  15. I posted, repeatedly, statistics to back up my assertion that female perpetuated sexual abuse is not insignificant on youtube.

    You ignore them. Here they are again(simply do a search on the name to get the source document):

    * 2.1% of men reported forced vaginal sex compared to 1.6% of women in a relationship in the previous year. From: Predictors of Sexual Coercion
    * 94% of sexually abused youth in correctional facilities reported being abused by female staff. From: Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities, 2008-09
    * Among inmates reporting staff sexual misconduct, ~ 65% reported a female aggressor. From: Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails Reported by Inmates, 2008-09* 50% of homeless youth reported being sexually abused by a female. From: It’s Not What You Think: Sexually Exploited Youth in British Columbia

    In your own statements you say that males as abusers is the more important problem because it is the majority of abuse. But, as you can tell from the statistics I’ve posted, that’s far from a verifiable truth.

    You are invested in minimizing and dismissing any type of abuse that does not fit your dominant narrative. Your own videos attest to that: not one mention of the abuse perpetuated by women. And a video that implicitly states that only males can abuse because either abusiveness is innate to maleness or male socialization. Either your innocent little infant boy is a rapist in waiting or a rapist in training; either way he’s a rapist because he’s male.

    You are silencing victims. The victims of sexual assault by females.

    The seething hatred is all your own. The real war is against people like you who would silence us, the unheard, unwanted, uncared for victims of female abusers.

    We don’t fit your worldview so we should just shut up, huh? Or, to use your military metaphor, you’d like to just blow us all away.

  16. rantgrrl-

    Please note that I have deleted one of your posts due to your use of profanity. I respect your viewpoint but please refrain from personal attacks as they are counterproductive.
    It is obvious you missed the point of the commercial you have so vehemently scrutinized. I have made clear in previous posts that Riverview Center is not blaming all men. The point of the commercial is to begin a conversation about how violence is a learned behavior that impacts both men and women’s behavior.
    You make accusations that are untrue and unfounded.
    I would like to know from your perspective how we end violence. What is your plan and what are you doing to improve your community? I would be very interested to learn from anything that you have found to be successful in curbing violent behavior.

  17. I have stated numerous times that Riverview does in fact serve boys and men, but yet this point has been disregarded. I’m not sure what else to say about that.

    Yet you have not stated what services Riverview provides to boys and men. The only inference you gave was, “[E]very 3 months I am asked to participate in a victim impact panel to speak to 50 men (and sometimes a few women) that have been convicted of sexual and domestic abuse. I share with them that even they can change their behaviors and that we as a community need them to make that effort.” That is not an abuse support service, so I am curious as to what exactly Riverview does for male victims of abuse. Again, I think it is only the Violence Prevention Education listed on the website. If my presumption is wrong, I would appreciate correction.

    I have made clear in previous posts that Riverview Center is not blaming all men. The point of the commercial is to begin a conversation about how violence is a learned behavior that impacts both men and women’s behavior.

    The intent of the commercial and how it comes across are two different things. What you intended to do instead comes across as implying that baby boys are potential rapists until taught otherwise. There is no other implication that can be drawn from the ad because the position of the ad is that the baby boy will become a rapist. If what you meant was that a handful of males commit sexual violence against women and society should address this, that is not clear from the ad. It is one thing if people deliberately ignore your message and draw whatever inferences they wish. It is another thing if people respond negatively as a result of a poorly delivered, tasteless message. The latter is what happened.

    Granted, there will be people who support your ad in the same way that their are people who support Glen Beck’s comments. That does not make them right. In this instance, the ad is completely deplorable.

  18. Toysoldier-
    Men and boys receive the identical services that women and girls receive at Riverview Center. These services include counseling, legal and medical advocacy, our 24 hour hotline, and prevention education. For example, here is an article that ran in March of 2009 in our local newspaper that specifically talks about providing services to men.

    http://www.thonline.com/article.cfm?id=234939

    You will find that not only do we provide services to men but we are acutely aware of the fact that male survivors have been forgotten by some other like minded organizations. For example, I often criticize the sexual assault organizations that are called things like “The Women’s Shelter” or “The Women’s Center.” It is clear that places like that make it very difficult for boys and men to receive services. This type of marginalization does exist but do not assume that everyone is participating in that behavior.

    You have made it clear that you do not like the commercial. Message received.

  19. Here is the transcript:

    He’s Tough
    He’s Strong
    He’s Aggressive
    He’s Powerful
    And he raped his girlfriend
    But he wasn’t always this way
    What are you teaching your son? Redefine what it is to be a man because ending sexual violence begins with him.

    What does this imply?

    That sexual violence is caused by male socialization. Or that sexual violence is innate to men and something that young boys have to be ‘trained’ away from.

    What about sexual violence perpetuated by women? If sexual violence is caused by male socialization or is innate to biological maleness then, logically, it doesn’t exist.

    “I would like to know from your perspective how we end violence.”

    By allowing male victims of sexual violence a place to be heard. The more support they get the less likely they are to act out their abuse, either on themselves(overwhelming majority) or others(tiny minority). By not promoting a ‘woman:victim/man:aggressor’ dichotomy that alienates the very people who need help.

    Again, please wake up to what you’re doing!

  20. rantgrrl-

    You missed my last question to you. What are you specifically doing to end violence in your community? It is apparent that you care deeply about this issue and I would assume this passion has found its way into some form of positive action.

    It is very clear that you don’t agree with the commercial. Point made.

  21. “This type of marginalization does exist but do not assume that everyone is participating in that behavior.”

    Men, more then women, need to know that they can be victims of sexual violence.

    Your video only ads to a culture that denies this by implicating masculinity or biological maleness as the root cause of male-on-female sexual assault.

    When the root cause is closer to _having themselves been assaulted/abused_.

    How about an ad that said this instead:

    He was raped
    He was told to ‘man up’
    He was told to ‘stop crying’
    He was told ‘whining is for sissies’
    He was told ‘boys can’t be raped’

    He’s dead now.

    But it wasn’t always that way. What are you teaching your son? Redefine what it means to be a man. Because healing sexual violence begins with him.

  22. “You missed my last question to you. What are you specifically doing to end violence in your community?”

    I’m just an abuse victim, I’m not an advocate. I didn’t realize only advocates get to speak to the issue of abuse.

    I, personally, wouldn’t feel safe approaching most sexual violence advocacy programs. I don’t want to be told how rare I am or how much of a minority I am; I don’t even want to be indirectly exposed to literature that frames the issue in that manner.

    I can handle it in the more abstract world of the internet but… I want to pretend in my head that it doesn’t really exist in the real world.

  23. “Your video only ads to a culture that denies this by implicating masculinity or biological maleness as the root cause of male-on-female sexual assault.”

    Sorry this was unclear. It should read ‘root cause of sexual assault.’

  24. rantgrrl-

    Fair enough. From my experience, people find it very easy to criticize any and all efforts of prevention. You are not the first, and you certainly won’t be the last. For example, you saw a commercial that we made and didn’t agree with and decided to attack both me and our organization. Never have I once said that that particular commercial is perfect. Like anything, it could have been better. None of the HUNDREDS of critical comments posted about that one commercial asked me what I thought of it. Of course other commercials need to be made. No question they need to focus on women’s violence. I would like nothing more than to have the capacity to create such a comprehensive marketing plan, but in my world, that isn’t even close to reality. You wouldn’t know because you haven’t asked, but we currently are working with teenage girls in a program that focuses on relational aggression. Again, you presume to know of all our prevention efforts by watching one 30 second commercial.

    If interested, I would be more than happy to share with you all of our other prevention efforts and I think you would find that they are quite impressive and include the entire community.

  25. Rough couple days, eh Josh. Tricky business you’re in though. Emotions, rightly so, run high. However, as evidenced by the comments of more than a few, sometimes people have a difficult time filtering through their emotions and arriving at a constructive thought. And I meant to say “sometimes people” and not “some people” because it happens to ALL of us, not just some of us.

    I’ve had lots of thoughts while sifting through all these comments, but the one I keep coming back to is that your job is to draw attention to an ugly part of society that we don’t want to admit exists and teach us how to change it. If I can try to make some sense of some of the emotionally charged comments (and that’s probably being too nice), it seems that some folks need to hear some encouragement about what is right in the world and what is right about the way they are living.

    You can find anything you’re looking for in this wired world. If you look for violence, and despair, and heartache, and inequality you’ll find them. I’d submit that you don’t even have to actively look for them; they’ll find you. “If it bleeds it leads.” God knows we’ve had a rough few years lately and all the stories (from the news to our neighbors) that go along. This takes it’s toll on us. But, if you look for them, you’ll also find hope, and progress, and gentleness, and strength of character, and innocence, and people doing the right thing, and people changing their lives for the better. These stories might get a token 15 second spot as the news closes out. Maybe you do another TH spot and bingo page for the NCAA final-four and encourage people to look for men treating women with respect, or dads shooting hoops with their sons, or a family playing a video game together, or a kid shoveling the neighbors driveway…for free! –oh, and they can’t all be Church of Latter Day Saints commercials! (sorry, getting a little too heavy, had to throw a little humor in.)

    Now, as I’m writing this, I know that I am quite ignorant about the Riverview Center’s operational plan and \ PR/marketing efforts, so it’s very possible that you’ve “been there, done that.” If so, props! But, for some reason, it was a thought that continued to come back to me mind as I read your blog and some of the comments that folks left. And, as I think more about it, maybe it’s not something that you or Riverview needs. Maybe it’s something that the rest of us need. Maybe our attention needs to be directed toward some of the victories in society. Maybe we need to be told to look beyond the alarmist headlines of the paper to the positive stories buried back on page 7F. Maybe we need to have some of our efforts held up as examples of what to strive for. Maybe we need to be acknowledged for getting some things right. Maybe we need to be encouraged to find what’s right and to pursue that. (Of course the pessimists will then saying you’re avoiding the real issues)

    I don’t mean any of this to be criticism of what you’ve done so far. I just know that tough times and tough stories wear on people and it’s hard to find the good news and the good stories unless you go look for them. So, maybe you need to tell your audience to go look for them. There’s your campaign slogan, “Go. Look for them.” A baseball coach never leaves a conference at the pitcher’s mound by telling his pitcher to “get up there and don’t throw balls.” He doesn’t want the last thing that his pitcher hears to be a warning of how he could fail. Instead, he’s going to say “get up there and throw some strikes.” He wants to leave the pitcher with an image of success and a vote of confidence. If he’s a good coach, he may even remind the pitcher that “you’ve got a team behind you, let them help you out.”

    Anyway, just a few thoughts. I hope that you haven’t been too jaded by the venom that’s been directed your way. Remember that there is likely pain behind those words too; although, it does anger me that you’ve been so threatened that you felt you needed to make some changes on FB regarding your family. There’s no excuse for that…ever! Best wishes Josh! You’re in our prayers. Keep fighting the good fight.

    Toby

  26. @joy…

    “Not everyone feels that way. If they don’t believe that any male can become an abuser, then I suggest proving it. That would eliminate the problem. Simplistic, yes. True, also yes.”

    Any human being can be an abuser and the most innocent and defenceless victims are those abused predominantly by women. Recognise your own sexism.

    @Bill…

    “This is also being addressed every day by amazing caring men and women at the riverview center, and there is absolutely no denial about men and boys being victims too.”

    If this is the case why can’t they actually acknowledge it? The nearest they come in any of their public material – in this case the eight minute “Development” video – is to say that men are hurt by sexual violence because their female relatives and loved ones are hurt. In essence it says males can’t be victims at all. Totally erased. Victims only by proxy.

    “99% of violent crime is perpetrated by men.”

    This is complete rubbish and you know damned well that is the case.

    “Our superbowl commercials, showing a woman getting pummeled in the head by a flying diet pepsi is really not that far off from the barbaric treatment and ideas of women elsewhere.”

    This tells us all we need to know about you. You saw this ad and completely ignored four acts of abuse against a man by a woman. Did you notice who threw the can that hit the woman at the end? Maybe the man is an abuser because he ducked. That ad, more than anything else, demonstrates that the only time male victims are to be seen is so we can laugh at them.

    You were completely and utterly oblivious to violence that was right in front of you. You turn your back on violence in progress because it doesn’t fit your gendered pre-conceptions. Shame on you.

    And shame on the women that ad clearly targets. You are right that it’s “not that far off from the barbaric treatment and ideas of women”. The same women who, in their millions, jumped for joy when Lorena Bobbit committed a brutal sexual mutilation. The same women who regularly, and in their thousands, give standing ovations to female kiddie fiddlers on Oprah. The same women who, in my country, sponsored a US woman who chatted up a thirteen year old Perth boy and who then read all about it in our womens magazines as a cutesy romance. Hundreds of thousands, millions, of them. Overt, shameless and very, very sadistic. They’ll celebrate any woman who gets one over on the man, or even boy, no matter how vile or brutal. Shame on all of them.

    You, sir, are a sexist, hypocritical, lying pig. I shudder to think you may be involved in a service that ostensibly helps victims. Clean your act up.

    @Josh…

    “Men and boys receive the identical services that women and girls receive at Riverview Center.”

    Finally. Why was it so difficult for you to say so previously? Much of the anger directed at you may have been avoided. Or is that anger exactly what you were hoping for? Poke the injured bear and then point the finger of blame at it’s rage. I seriously hope that wasn’t your aim because you’ve hurt a few folk along the way.

    “For example, here is an article that ran in March of 2009 in our local newspaper that specifically talks about providing services to men.”

    Excellent. That said it would help if you understand that I’m coming from an environment that has nearly a decade head start on you. Consider what we may have learned in that time.

    “You will find that not only do we provide services to men but we are acutely aware of the fact that male survivors have been forgotten by some other like minded organizations. For example, I often criticize the sexual assault organizations that are called things like “The Women’s Shelter” or “The Women’s Center.” It is clear that places like that make it very difficult for boys and men to receive services. This type of marginalization does exist but do not assume that everyone is participating in that behavior.”

    Forgotten by some? Try nearly all. The experience of male victims all over the western world is of being laughed at and called liars by services their own taxes often pay for. Their abusers are treated as though they are the victims by media and judiciary. I’d be jumping for joy if even one female rapist of a boy was actually punished in my state. The names of services are the least of our worries. In fact if they are funded only to help female victims or are not qualified to help males those names are entirely proper.

    In the meantime I have now found one solitary, affirmative acknowledgement of male victims through your entire website and suite of videos. One only and that preceded by an incorrect minimalisation. Note that I needed to hunt for hours. Why on earth do you view that differently to a service named “womens” anything? As I said earlier if I were a victim seeking help I would quickly bypass you because your service is NOT speaking to me, not acknowledging me, as a victim in any of that material. If I were searching for help I wouldn’t be able to find you.

    “Many people have jumped on the commercial on our YouTube channel and missed the point that was intended. The commercial by no means states that all men are rapists.”

    Partially correct. It merely says that all rapists are male thus rendering invisible at least a quarter of the victims of child sexual abuse and an unknown number of adult victims. Victims of both genders.

    “The point is simply to empower MORE men to be positive role models.”

    “empower”? What a rediculous claim. You do not empower folk by shaming them. For somebody who works with victims I’d expect a much better understanding of the impact of shaming. I find your ignorance of this quite troubling.

    “You have made it clear that you do not like the commercial. Message received.”

    I don’t believe you have received the message. You work with victims. You should understand the difficulties shame presents. Shaming and blaming is not going to prevent anything and may actually make it worse. Young boys constantly bombarded with these shaming, blaming messages will be traumatised. They will likely experience the same symptoms as actual victims with no apparent source. Victims subjected to it will be triggered as you are seeing first hand.

    Very careless. Very shortsighted. Blind obedience to erroneous cultural beliefs. You are not being progressive. Quite the contrary. It’s a message that locks us in the past and perpetuates the ignorance that hurts all victims far too much.

    The road to prevention requires honesty, open minds and acknowledgement and acceptance of all victims. It does not involve blaming and shaming half of the population particularly when that half contains the significant majority of all the victims of violence.

    @Toby…

    I should show you some of the stuff I’ve received from feminists merely for admitting to being the victim of a woman. I’ve had to move house after receiving hand written, hand delivered mail telling me “we know where you live so you’d better shut up”. The emails are worse. Josh is at a Sunday afternoon picnic by comparison.

    @rantgrrl…

    “He was raped
    He was told to ‘man up’
    He was told to ‘stop crying’
    He was told ‘whining is for sissies’
    He was told ‘boys can’t be raped’
    He’s dead now.”

    I’ll add from my own warchest…
    He was told he “must have wanted it”
    He was told he was “lucky/privileged”
    He was told it “couldn’t possibly hurt him”
    He was told he is “gay”
    He was told he “forced her into it”
    The classic was that I’m a paedophile pretending to be a victim.

    And, by the way, these things came from women.

    I was seven when abused. Wanted it? I didn’t even know what “it” was.

    Nine out of ten youth suicides are boys. I’d bet my life on the majority of those suicides being victims. This is what Riverview risks with their style of advertising. They could so easily be the final straw.

  27. Toby-

    Great points. Thanks for the comments. Emotions are running high right now and for some, that is rightfully so. I work in a field in which we serve people that have been harmed and interact with people that have also been assaulted. Sadly, there is a lot of pain out there.
    I couldn’t agree with you more about spotlighting the positive. We actually run a column in the Dubuque 365 (local newspaper) that does just that. It’s titled “Do the Right Thing.” The column spotlights individuals that go out of their way to good deeds. Additionally, we teach a program called “Coaching Boys Into Men” and “Coaching Girls Into Women” which focuses on empowering coaches to be role models for their young athletes.

    We do need to give attention to the positive things that are going on because without that, we would have no hope. This stuff (violence) can change. We don’t have to live in a world full of hate and discontent. We are better than this.

    My hope is that the individuals that have been triggered by any of our work can provide constructive input without lashing out at me or others. That type of behavior only leads to chasing our tails.

  28. Josh,

    You were up early today! I’m glad to hear of the “Do the right thing” post and the coaching programs, but I can’t say I’m surprised. From your FB and blog posts it’s been evident to me for a long time that you care about both men and women, young and old, and victims and offenders.
    After about 7 or 8 years working in group homes (beginning in Dbq at Hillcrest) with adolescent boys, I began to see the verbal attacks as symptoms of the pain, hurt, anger, you name it, that the boys were dealing with. I suspect the same is happening here, and I know you know that, but sometimes when you’re the target it’s a difficult thing to remember.
    Trudge on, Josh! You’ve got a great team behind you at Riverview and in the communities around the country. Let them help you out.

    Toby

  29. Thank you for focusing on Super Bowl and other advertising violence. This study also aims to bring awareness to the harmful impact of these ads.
    http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2011/jan/adviolence

    Thanks for the work that you are doing!

  30. I’m always amazed at your strength, gwallen and toysoldier.

    I’ve spent the last two days crying over this and yet you can keep coming back to this blog, logically and rationally, to fight the good fight.

    Sometimes I wonder why bother living? Ah well… one less invisible victim in the world right? One less contrary data point against ‘man!aggessor/woman!victim’.

    If I killed myself would that be considered feminist advocacy?

  31. I missed the original campaign and the bingo card. My husband heard about it on Wisconsin Public Radio. Where can I see the original article or bingo card that started this discussion? I cannot find it on this blog.

  32. @rantgrrl…

    “If I killed myself would that be considered feminist advocacy?”

    No. They wouldn’t notice or care.

    What it would achieve is devastation for folk like me and many others who care about you.

    Never underestimate your worth, your brilliance and, most of all, the love others have for you.

    You are an absolute star, TB, and always have been.

  33. Hi Josh.

    I think the ad was great. It was jarring, and that’s important. It draws attention to the fact that as a culture, we place so much responsibility on women to avoid/prevent sexual assault, when in reality, the vast majority of rapists are men. Instead of telling ladies to buddy up, wear conservative clothing, avoid alleys, watch your drink, take a self-defense class, etc etc – lest they be blamed for being attacked – maybe we should focus more on teaching our boys to not rape.

  34. Gee thanks Sarah.

    There was no man in the vicinity when I was being raped and suffocated as a seven year old.

    By the way, where kids are concerned a third of their rapists are female. Thankyou for rendering me and so many others completely invisible. Thankyou for blaming us, holding us responsible, for what we went through. Thankyou for contributing further to our pain and despair.

    What a lovely person you are.

  35. Very Telling that Josh omitted to reply to gwallan’s post on February 8, 2011
    at 2:21 am, maybe too much truth there, eh.

  36. Gwallan, you’ve got to take a step back and breathe a sec. Not every campaign needs to reach every target audience on every release. I’d even go so far as to say not every agency needs to serve every audience either. Your arguments presume any type of outreach ought to be a one-size-fits-all service. That hardly ever works. I would be curious though, after pointing out what you see as flaws, could you list 3 positive things that Riverview does? Surely you have to see some benefit to their outreach…

  37. Josh, you skip right over gwallan’s post, totally ignoring it’s heartfelt and vulnerable revelations. Toby Gibbs follows up with some good ole patronization. If this is the type of support your center gives to men victims, no wonder they’re angry. Jesus.

  38. The thing that you seem to miss, over and over again, about your ad, is not that it had a few tiny little mistakes, or that it accidentally left out male victims. It’s central message is completely wrong. It says that by defining men as “strong, aggressive, tough, powerful” that we are turning them into rapists. This is 180 degrees wrong. It’s ok to be a man. It’s ok to be strong. It’s ok to be aggressive. It’s ok to be powerful. We’ve had decades of redefining what it means to be a man (as a wuss). I think it’s time we acknowledge that it’s ok to be a man in the traditional sense. None of this has anything to do with rape, like you so cavalierly imply. Further, if you don’t think more than half of men are oppressed by men, you are just dead wrong. Our children are stolen from us, as is our hard-earned money and self-respect, all because women can’t behave. We, as men, are still required by law to behave, and are asked to protect women, but where is the other side of that contract? This is not about hating women, this is about holding bad women accountable, which is only barely done in this society, and your message isn’t helping. Not all women are bad, but virtually all bad women are let to slide.

  39. Meant to say more than half of men are oppressed by women. This refers to western women and unfair divorce laws, custody laws, etc.

  40. @ all male survivors:
    Please know that not every issue can be covered in one commercial or article. I can assure you that the RVC does assist men and male children. I’m very, very sorry that these things happened to you, because no abuse is the victim/survivor’s fault and nobody deserves to be hurt. The effects of abuse last a lifetime, and it isn’t fair that it happened to you. The more you let others know (however you feel safe) that abuse of boys/men by ANYONE is happening, the more you are advocating for others and yourselves.

    @ Rantgrrl, it would be a tragedy if you killed yourself. You say that you are amazed at the strength of others on this site, but I see you as being very strong as well. You are trying to find support, and that is important!! I understand that the internet feels like a safe place to do that. If you don’t feel safe seeking help at a crisis center, please continue to “get it out” anyway you can, wherever you feel safe, as long as you aren’t hurting others in the process. And by the way, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with crying over what has happened to you. It doesn’t mean you aren’t strong. Strength manifests differently for different people, so don’t compare yourself or your experience to someone elses. Recovery from abuse is a process, not an event. Everyone’s process is different, and there’s no time limit on healing. It’s a marathon, not the 100 yard dash, so be patient with yourself. Remember you aren’t alone, and your experience isn’t rare.
    I know you said you don’t want any literature, BUT…the Illinois Coaltition Against Sexual Assault has some literature for male survivors at http://www.icasa.org/docs/Male_Survivors_Brochure.pdf
    So you’re not surprised, it does talk some about most assault against men being by men, but it also says that it is estimated that between 90-95% of men who are assaulted do not report, so as you have been saying, it is completely possible that more crimes are being perpetrated by women than are reported. There is a lot of good information on this site and you might find some of it helpful.

    There are so many things to work on in this movement, including violence against boys and men. At the RVC, staff work EVERY DAY with “the system.” Staff work on challenging myths and stereotypes that society has about sexual assault. Staff work with the police, attornies, judges, emergency room workers, detectives, students in schools (K-College), local businesses, etc. to end ALL myths surrounding sexual assault, including that it can’t happen to men or that women aren’t capable of abuse.

    If something has just happened, know that if you have the right to go to the hospital and have an advocate who is only there for you. We make sure that people are treated respectfully during the process. It is really important to know that if the assault is perpetrated by a woman, the hospital can still attempt to gather forensic evidence. Also know that if you CHOOSE to talk to the police (you have the right to refuse) an advocate can help make sure that you are treated respectfully.

    Advocates can also continue with the child/person/family throughout the process if something ends up going to court. We aren’t lawyers. We can go to court with you or for you and keep you posted on what’s going on. Everything is confidential unless for some reason you decide to sign a release of information.

    Anyone who has been assaulted at any point in their life can talk to a therapist. We have men come in who were abused decades ago who decide to seek help. There is no time limit.

    Services are free, which some people have been expressing disagreement with, but we don’t want anything to stand in the way of someone getting help, because as you all know, suffering from the effects of abuse can be unbearable, and nobody deserves to live in that kind of pain.

    What I’m seeing here is that we are trying to obtain the same goals. We all want people to live without abuse. We want people to be safe. We want people to know that no one is immune to sexual assault and that everyone has the ability to abuse others. Also, we want others to acknowledge our experiences and know that they have affected us. It’s alright and completely understandable to be angry and it’s alright to vent, but let’s have a conversation, not a fight. It’s alright to disagree, but let’s meet in the middle and take everyone’s experiences into consideration. It’s horrible that we even have to have this conversation, but let’s work together on coming up with ways to stop violence in our society.

    Remember it’s not your fault and you are believed.

  41. testing link capability. please ignore

  42. Please know that not every issue can be covered in one commercial or article.

    Well, Jasper did not make one commercial. He made three, and male victims and female abusers were not mentioned in any of them. When this issue was brought to his attention, Jasper’s response was not to address or correct that. Instead, he responded with snarky comments, followed by making unsubstantiated claims about the rate violence against men and women. Even in his two blog posts, instead of actually addressing male victims or female abusers, Jasper painted himself as a victim and insinuated that no boy or man knows what it is like to be abused or oppressed. I do not care what his political views are, however, when those views prompt the kind of dismissive, insensitive behavior from a person involved in victim advocacy, I think something ought to be said.

    I can assure you that the RVC does assist men and male children.

    Yes, although I still suspect that its primary assistance is in violence prevention rather than assisting male victims of abuse. Nevertheless, that Riverview provides whatever services it does for males is not apparent in any of the three commercials. No male victim seeing the baby commercial will think Riverview provides services for them. An easy way to check how male victims would respond would have been to run the commercial by some male victims. It does not appear that Jasper did so, and his unwillingness to understand why a male victim might find the ad insensitive, accusatory, and triggering suggests he does not particularly care how male victims respond. In other words, it appears that Jasper either does not want or care if male victims use Riverview’s services.

    That is a pretty bad message to send, yet that is the message the commercials, Jasper’s posts, and his recent interview in the Des Moines Register send. The plus to Jasper’s responses is that they highlight the biases, antipathy, and marginalization male victims and victims of female abusers must go through, and show those engaging in such behavior will attempt to justify those actions. That helps advocates like me prove that we are not making it up when we talk about the hostility many support organizations harbor towards male victims.

  43. So “j” are you Josh or somebody else?

    Please know that not every issue can be covered in one commercial or article.

    So tell us WHERE on your website and in your videos do you actually acknowledge us? Gender neutral language is not sufficient. Where is the explicit acknowledgement? I watched your eight minute Development video(and all the others). The nearest you could get in an eight minute piece was to say men are harmed by sexual violence because they may be related to a female victim. This is not good enough.

    Here’s a trailer for a soon to be released video from my neck of the woods. Notice the difference.

    Josh linked to a news paper article about a program for male victims. The problem with most media is that it is fleeting. If you don’t see it at the time it’s published it’s gone. Your permanent face in the form of the website and video material studiously ignores us. None of that material speaks to us. If you don’t speak to them they can’t answer.

    In my state’s network we have sixteen regional outlets. Each of them has it’s own website. Most of them now have a section specifically devoted to male victims. We recognised that there needed to be a form of affirmative action in this regard because the male victims all come to us thinking they are the only one. They come to us with the same belief as the vast majority of the population – that those services are really only for women and that they, as males, are mere anomalies.

    Regarding rantgrrl…

    Had you noticed she’s a woman? You seem to be presuming her to be male?

    Note that it has taken more than thirty hours for anybody other than myself to speak to her. Josh totally turned his back. For somebody in his position that should be considered a metaphorical hanging offence.

    I’ve been trying to find her in her usual haunts without success and have now put out a call to others. I couldn’t claim to know her extremely well but certainly well enough to know she’s not in good shape at the moment. I am seriously worried.

  44. @ gwallan–
    I just spend 1/2 hour writing a response to you, but realized I forgot to watch the commercial you posted a link to, clicked the link thinking it would come up in a new window (which it didn’t) and lost everything I said. duh.

    No I’m not Josh. I’m Jen.

    That commercial was AWESOME!! Maybe this is already on your CASA site, which I haven’t looked at yet, but I would be interested in knowing the number of men who report sexual assault in Australia, either to the police or to centers, or both.

    Yes I did assume she was male, because I haven’t been looking at all of the responses, but will explain that later. At least I didn’t automatically assume she was female based on her name, though!

    Her last post was disturbing, which is why I said what I said. I’m glad you are looking for her. Keep looking for her and if you find her, would you please remind her of her strengths and that recovery is a journey? If you know the area she lives in maybe we (we collectively) could find her a hotline or something that she could use if she wants to or hasn’t already. She deserves to by happy. Thanks!

  45. Wow, I hear a lot of pain in these posts. This seems to be a ping-pong match of who is abused more, whose abuse hurts the worst and whose abuse is not being recognized. The truth is, abuse hurts – everyone. Women have been blatantly physically and sexual abused since the beginning of time (i.e., laws written about legal use of force to keep your wife in line…). We can’t deny that. To say that these beliefs no longer exist is to deny the reality that women are dealing with… today. That said, it must be recognized that both men and women have had a part in the abuse. Mothers to children and Fathers to children…little girls and little boys growing up in homes that are not safe.

    I agree with those who are saying we as a society don’t recognize the pain of the boys who have been on the receiving end of this abuse. It’s shameful to admit to abuse, it’s even more shameful to admit to abuse as a man. I think that is what I hear from the posts…please acknowledge that men are abused as little boys and that that is what drives their behaviors as adults. It’s true…decades of therapy and research tell us that is very true. And the best way to avoid boys becoming adult abusers is to help them heal their pain before they reach adulthood. And better yet, help them to live in homes without abuse…just like little girls. I absolutely understand why you would feel that this commercial is missing the point of what happens to boys. Maybe a better commercial would be a picture of a little girl and boy baby. Because lets face it, violence begets violence for both sexes.

    That said, I need to speak about abuse as a woman who experienced abuse. In reading these posts, I realized that there are times in my recovery from sexual abuse I have blamed all men and been mistrustful of all men. Which isn’t fair and thank goodness I’m not there anymore. However, I have to be honest and say, I still have some defensiveness when it comes to societal beliefs about men and abuse. Although all children, male and female, have experienced abuse, the legality of abuse for men still exists in this world. In some counties there are laws protecting the right of men to use force to keep their women in line, including sexual abuse. In this country, although we have laws against abuse, quite frankly research continually shows that men are much more likely to get off or received lighter sentences for abuse than women. And lethal force for men is much more likely to be an act of agression, for women it is more likely to be an act of defense. Although both acts are propelled by pain, the truth is the percentage of women who die at the hands of an abuser ranks toward the top of the list of reasons women die before old age.

    This doesn’t mean the abuse of men as little boys or as grown men should be ignored or discounted. What I’m trying to point out is just like it’s more acceptable for women to seek treatment for abuse then men in our society, it’s also more acceptable for men to abuse women. Both views are wrong in my book and both views are doing damage to those affected by the abuse. Until we can reach a point that abuse is NEVER okay for ANYONE, will we be able to ensure that every child lives in a home that is safe, and thus we will have adults who will provide safe homes for their children

  46. @gwallan

    Oh sweetheart, I did see that it was a WOMAN throwing the can at the other woman. That is precisely the point, and thank you for making it for me. Women perpetrate violence too, and violence is the problem. Men do it, women do it, humans do it. Get it yet? No? Ok, WOMEN can be violent, MEN can be violent. Women AND men, men AND women. We’re not leaving them out in any way.

    You are right, abuse is NEVER ok. We agree more than you think.

    And yes sweetie, 99% of all violent crime is perpetrated by men. It IS true, and I do know it. Are you seriously in denial about this? This stat does not mean women do not do horrendous things. It’s a wake up call to EVERYONE. Stop the tunnel vision, and learn how to critically think before trying like hell to hurt a great agency like the riverview center. You are posting slander about Josh on a mens voices website? (fortunately your rantings are only helping), so thanks for the awareness!

  47. @Bill…

    I did see that it was a WOMAN throwing the can at the other woman.

    No you didn’t. That is not what happened. Watch it again.

    Allow me to remind you of your description…
    Our superbowl commercials, showing a woman getting pummeled in the head by a flying diet pepsi is really not that far off from the barbaric treatment and ideas of women elsewhere.

    It’s up to you to prove how that ad conforms to your hyperbolic description. As I said you can watch acts of violence against a male and not even see them.

    You ARE the problem. You ARE the reason victims of abuse are mocked and ridiculed.

    I’d love to know where you acquired your blinkers. I know a few horse trainers who would really like to get some.

  48. Only a faggot would bitch and moan about ‘abuse’. If you’re abused, get out of the relationship and get the fuck over it and move on you dumb cunts.

    Faggots, fucking mangina fags. Limp wristed faggot scum.

    Go suck a dick you perverts.

  49. Joy: “If they don’t believe that any male can become an abuser, then I suggest proving it”

    First of all, you are asking them to prove a negative. That is a logical fallacy.

    I once saw a comment that “every male is a potential rapist”. Sorry, but that is wrong. Not every male is a potential rapist and not every male can become an abuser. Men who have been raised right by their parents will not be abusive to women.

    And that is one of the reasons I like the video that is being criticized. I do not see it as misandry. I see it as targeting parents of males to make sure that they raise their kids right. Nothing is wrong with suggesting that kids get raised right.

  50. @FUCKJOSHMANGINAFAGGOT

    You write really well for a tantrumming toddler. Does your mommy know you’re online?

  51. Bill: The woman threw the can at the man, who ducked, and it then hit the woman.

  52. @FUCKJOSHMANGINAFAGGOT

    You write really well for a tantrumming toddler. Does your mommy know you’re online sweetie?

  53. I know that Daniel. But the woman got pummeled. I don’t think Pepsi made a mistake.

  54. I know that Daniel. But the it hit the woman. Do you think Pepsi made a mistake?

  55. Well, the intent was slapstick humor. Person A means to throw can at Person B. Person B ducks and Person C gets it.

    Stick Larry, Moe and Curly in those positions and people would chuckle.

    Make person A and C women, some people chuckle and others complain about the hypocrisy that would take place if A and C were men and B was a woman.

  56. I know the intent! And sheesh, the commercial wasn’t that upsetting at all. Just used it as another example of a woman getting hit/hurt on TV.

  57. Josh, please keep up the good work. Making these PSAs forces people to stop and think for a minute, and sheds some much-needed light on a dark corner of society.

  58. Bill: Ok.

  59. @ToySoldier, et al – There are far far FAR more men who rape men than women who rape men, but every time I see you around the net, you’re entirely focused on the tiny number of women who’ve raped men. You regularly disappear way more male victims than this ad does.

  60. snobographer: I am not a strong believer in using percentages to determine if something is a problem or not. To me, if something is wrong if it happens to 100,000 people it is wrong if it happens to 1 and it is wrong if it happens to 10,000,000.

    There are many important scenarios to deal with in our society when it comes down to rape.

    There is man on woman rape.
    There is man on man rape.
    There is woman on man rape.
    There is woman on woman rape.
    There is adult on child rape.

    All of these scenarios are deserving of time. All of the victims of these rapes are deserving of justice and should be protected in our system equally.

    Now, this is not to say that I agree with Toy Soldier and his criticisms, as I do not. I reject the argument that just because a video deals with one rape scenario (rape of a woman by her boyfriend) that it somehow seeks to de-legitimize all other rape scenarios.

    And as such I disagree with you in the statement that his advocacy for male victims of rape by women in any way “disappears” any other victims of rape, male or female.

  61. snobographer:

    Word.

    Josh,

    I’m sorry that some of those who feel your commercial is saying all men are perpetrators of abuse are trying to get their point across by perpetrating verbal abuse on you and your family.

    I notice your critics here have little or nothing to say about that harassment. One dismissed it as a “couple extreme examples of misogyny” contained in the death threats and harassment you have received. Toysoldier has even said that the threats have “nothing” to do with misogyny. Rantgrrl has said “the response you’re getting is justified anger.”

    I probably don’t have to tell you this, Josh, so this observation is mostly for others, but I contend that the harassment you are experiencing and your critics’ minimization of it are intricately tied to rape culture. Your video acknowledges the sad truth that we live in a society that entitles men to aggresion and violence, and a lot of men have reacted to that observation with… aggression and threats of violence, with the ultimate goal of shutting you up about it.

    Only in a rape culture is it appropriate to tell someone who is receiving death threats and harassment that that receipt is “justified” if people feel men are portrayed in a bad light. Anger might be justified, but responses that threaten violence and death never are.

    Only in a rape culture, do we pretend slurs like “mangina” and “fuking [sic]disgusting harpies” aren’t misogynistic and have nothing to do with it being the worst possible insult to be seen as woman-like.

    Only in a rape culture, is a man who has explicitly said that his organization serves male victims of violence is that considered still not enough because of that one commercial that encouraged parents/society to stop entitling men to aggression and violence.

  62. “And as such I disagree with you in the statement that his advocacy for male victims of rape by women in any way ‘disappears’ any other victims of rape, male or female.”

    But it’s funny how they all say advocacy for female victims of rape “disappears” male victims, huh Daniel?

  63. DanielZ – “To me, if something is wrong if it happens to 100,000 people it is wrong if it happens to 1 and it is wrong if it happens to 10,000,000.”

    But it’s ESPECIALLY wrong if a woman does it.

  64. “And as such I disagree with you in the statement that his advocacy for male victims of rape by women in any way ‘disappears’ any other victims of rape, male or female.”

    I thought men were supposed to be good at math. Focusing on female perps every time the issue of rape is discussed, as you types invariably do, disappears the hundreds of times greater number of male victims of male perps.

  65. @Fannie and Bill:

    I agree with you both. There are clearly men who are raped as well, but the majority of rapists (note: NOT the majority of men, there’s a difference) are men. Although women are rapists, they are not socialized to be violent towards men and their actions have not and have never been sanctioned by society and by law. The violence men perpetrate IS and has been in the past, by every single country and almost every religion.

    The commercial is NOT saying “only men rape” – it’s saying that we live in a rape culture where men are socialized to be violent to women. Again, it’s not saying only men rape or that all rapists are men. It is saying only men are socialized to rape and to stop that, and the majority of rapes, we need to educate the men from when they are young. I’m not even going to bother responding to comments like “accusing babies of rape” or nonsense like that. They are strawpeople arguments detracting from the issue at hand.

    Thank you, Josh, for your work. Sometimes, I get pessimistic and doubt that there are any men out there who are willing to stand up for women. I am glad someone like you is out there being an ally.

  66. But it’s funny how they all say advocacy for female victims of rape “disappears” male victims, huh Daniel?

    There is a difference. When I talk about sexual violence against males or female-perpetrated sexual violence, at no point do I use any statistics to try to render female victims invisible. When I state that a study found that 40% of male victims of child rape reported having female abusers or that 60% of the boys from one ChildLine center in the UK reported being raped by a woman, at no point do I add that the current research also suggests that women who rape prey almost exclusively on males. I certainly would never say that in response to someone asking me why I did not mention female victims of clergy abuse or something similar.

    The reason is not because any of that would be untrue, but because I do not have to marginalize other victims in order to help male victims, nor I do not have any political views that require to pretend that only one group of people can be victims. Likewise, when I am asked to include female victims in my discussions, I have no problem doing that because it does not matter how frequent or infrequent an act is. I oppose sexual violence. Period. I may focus on a particular issue, but at no point would I or do I support ignoring any group of people just because not enough of them come forward to satisfy someone’s abuse quota.

  67. It is saying only men are socialized to rape and to stop that, and the majority of rapes, we need to educate the men from when they are young.

    Except no Western culture socializes men to rape. Not one. There does exist a certain rationalization of violence that many cultures perpetuate, but this is not limited to men. Women are socialized not to view themselves as capable of being violent, so when women commit violence it often gets ignored, excused, or chalked up to mental illness. As result, victims of female violence, particularly male victims, do not come forward because people will not believe them, and in male victims’ case because their status as men will be challenged. That is real cultural problem, not a political talking point.

  68. Snobographer,

    The current research shows that at least 40% of those who rape males are female. The two reports about adult and juvenile prison rape released last year revealed that female staff was more likely to sexually assault male inmates than other male inmates. So in all probability, women are responsible for half the sexual violence against males.

    If you read my blog, you would see that I regularly discuss male victims of male and female abusers, along with linking to organizations that provide services to them. Offline I participate in conferences and share my experiences as a male survivor. Being such, I am unsure how you can conclude that I disappear more male victims than an ad does not even mention them at all, unless the comment was meant as insult.

  69. “@ToySoldier, et al – There are far far FAR more men who rape men than women who rape men, but every time I see you around the net, you’re entirely focused on the tiny number of women who’ve raped men”.

    Maybe this is because they themselves were victims of female abusers and therefore that side of the issue is the one they tend to focus on (as they can understand the pain that comes from that). Much in the same way that you are more focused on abuse towards women, because that is the one you can understnad better. It all stems from the person’s own experiences.

    Nobody on here has suggested that male on female abuse isn’t a problem – it clearly is and a big one. However to completely ignore the possibility of any other variations* of abuse, in an advert meant to reach out to victims/advocates, seems slightly odd for an organisation claiming to help ALL victims. If you help them all, why not make them all feel included in your adverts and literature rather than erasing them?

    *Male-male, female-female, female-male, adult-child

  70. snob: I am good at math, are you good at English?

    “But it’s ESPECIALLY wrong if a woman does it.”

    Did I say that? No. I never said it nor do I believe it.

    “Focusing on female perps every time the issue of rape is discussed, as you types invariably do, disappears the hundreds of times greater number of male victims of male perps.”

    Where did I say that we should focus on female perps every time. Did you even bother to read the entirety of what I have written on this thread? I agree with the use of the video in question! And I clearly said in my response to you that I disagree with toysoldier and others like him who suggest that you have to discuss all circumstances of rape when discussing rape. Again, I have no objections to the video and feel that it can be useful to help curb certain rape scenarios.

    I think you need to go reread what I have written because it is obvious it didn’t sink in the first time.

  71. Fannie: “But it’s funny how they all say advocacy for female victims of rape “disappears” male victims, huh Daniel?”

    It is not funny at all. In fact, it is absurd and hurts whatever case they seek to be making.

  72. @toysoldier: “There does exist a certain rationalization of violence that many cultures perpetuate, but this is not limited to men. Women are socialized not to view themselves as capable of being violent”

    That is RAPE CULTURE. Culture which influences socialization of men and of women. WHY do you think women are not trained to view themselves as violent? Why do you think there is rationalization for men when they are violent? And even if you want to believe it doesn’t happen here, in the great Western countries, we ARE trained that way. This commercial is saying for us to re-train men to be less violent.

    If, you can manage to overcome your defensiveness, you should read: http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html before we start discussing stuff that has already been hashed. If you read that thoroughly and still have some questions, logical ones, then I think we can engage.

  73. Josh –

    I just wanted to leave you a supportive comment amidst the … er… vigorous discussion going on here. I’m sorry you’re getting so much flak over this. I hope you have plenty of people giving you hugs, making you cookies, buying you drinks, or whatever method of support works for you. Thanks for the great, hard work you do.

  74. That is RAPE CULTURE.

    There is no such thing as ‘rape culture’ anymore than there is a ‘war on Christmas’. Feminists take isolated situations and conclude that there is a cultural intent to prompt men to rape women. No such thing exists. The reality is that sexual violence has a myriad of causes stemming from a host of different sources, very few of which have anything to do with sexual violence.

    I am familiar with McEwan’s convoluted ‘explanation’. It excuses and absolves female rapists of any responsibility by faulting all men for the existence of ‘rape culture’, which in turn victim-blames male victims by implying that they cause and perpetuate their own abuse and that they do not count as legitimate victims. It is a rather silly concept born out of abject misandry, and has no place in a rational discussion about sexual violence.

  75. @Toysoldier: how does saying men are socialized to be violent = men cannot be victims? Please explain how these two are mutually exclusive. They are not – men can be socialized to be violent. Men can be raped as well. But that doesn’t mean they deserve it – it’s not their fault any more than it is a woman’s fault when she’s raped. That still does not erase the fact that men are socialized to be violent. The two can exist together; the two often DO exist together.

    If you don’t think there’s a rape culture and refuse to even contemplate such a notion, then that’s your burden to bear. I feel sympathy for the people in your life and for you as well – that you can deny something that has hurt so many millions of people – men AND women both.

  76. @Toysoldier: and about your theory that rape culture is misandry:

    Rape culture is not: “men are rapists!” Rape culture is saying ALL men are socialized to be violent by our society, our culture and by many other societies and cultures. This does not mean all men rape. Some men are able to fight off the insidious effects of this culture – they do are not violent, do not objectify women, try to better themselves. Unfortunately, a lot of men do not and end up contributing to the culture, in a myriad of ways. They are a product of their environment, one that both men AND women contribute to.

    Women can be violent. But they are not taught to be. Not praised when they are.

    Women and men are both victims. But only men are TRAINED to be perpetrators. Do you understand the difference here? Men and women can both be perpetrators. But men are TRAINED to be violent. Let me say it for the last time, since I feel like I’m saying the same thing again and again and you don’t seem to understand, men and women can BOTH rape. Men and women are both raped. But only MEN are TRAINED to be rapists. Ergo, our society (both men AND women) as a whole needs to teach our young men better.

  77. ATL: “Women and men are both victims. But only men are TRAINED to be perpetrators. Do you understand the difference here? Men and women can both be perpetrators. But men are TRAINED to be violent. Let me say it for the last time, since I feel like I’m saying the same thing again and again and you don’t seem to understand, men and women can BOTH rape. Men and women are both raped. But only MEN are TRAINED to be rapists. Ergo, our society (both men AND women) as a whole needs to teach our young men better.”

    This is, without a doubt, in my opinion, one of the most disgusting comments I have ever read.

    You are making excuses for female perpretrators with your insulting insinuation that men are TRAINED to be rapists.

    I say this as a man who has never harmed a woman in his life, yet has been bullied and abused by both genders (men AND WOMEN, you hear me?), that you do a great disservice to people like me who have faced incredible indignation from others just for speaking out and saying “Women bully and abuse too.”

    So society trains me to rape even though I’ve been abused myself?

    ATL, with all due respect, take a look at your bigotry and watch what you say. Open your eyes and ears. There are more of us men out there, speaking for ourselves. And we’re not going to let people like you discourage us from our fight for acknowledgement and support.

  78. ATL, stating that all men are trained to be rapists implies that all men are potential rapists. According to feminist theories, “rape culture” comes from “patriarchy” which results from men using their power to oppress women. Those same theories state that the oppressors cannot be oppressed, so should they be victimized, they technically are not legitimate victims, just incidental ones. More so, since all males perpetuate said oppression, male victims essentially cause their own abuse, hence the expression “Patriarchy Hurts Men Too.”

    Of course, men are not trained to be violent or rapists. Our society abhors such violence, and the overwhelming majority of men do not hurt anyone. The argument that males are “trained” to be perpetrators simply provides feminists a strawman to attack in order to support their fallacious theories. The reality is that both males and females are taught that certain behaviors are acceptable when committed by their groups, but it is never a direct call to violence. In other words, people rationalize certain behavior in order to fit their specific cultural views. That does not mean people endorse, let alone train people to engage in, those behaviors. As for my “burden”, refusing to contemplate “rape culture” does not give me any “burden” to bear anymore than my refusal to contemplate the concept of “Original Sin” does. There is no obligation to agree with a any theory, particularly not a political one derived from abject bigotry.

  79. @eagle23 and toysoldier: The flaw in both of your arguments is this line: “Our society abhors such violence”

    Our society doesn’t abhor violence – it is enthralled, is fascinated by violence. What I find fascinating is that you both take offense at the fact that men are taught to be violent. Why? I’m not saying YOU are violent. I’m saying the environment you both grew up in, whether you realize it or not, embraces violence in the male gender. And if this is the crux of your argument, that our society is not a violent one then I think you need to watch TV, read the newspapers, and listen to the news more.

  80. ATL: “What I find fascinating is that you both take offense at the fact that men are taught to be violent. Why? I’m not saying YOU are violent.”

    Yes you are.

    Quote: “Do you understand the difference here? Men and women can both be perpetrators. But men are TRAINED to be violent.”

    This means you’re saying “ALL men” are trained to be violent. Not “SOME” men. That includes me and Toysoldier.

    Quote: “Why? I’m not saying YOU are violent.”

    Only because I stepped up and defended myself when you went off on your “All men are trained to be this and that” rant. I have a right to defend myself because I’m a man. If I never said anything, you wouldn’t have suddenly quantified your assumptions. Why is it that you only quantify your statements when someone is defending themselves from said statements?

    Quote: “. I’m saying the environment you both grew up in, whether you realize it or not, embraces violence in the male gender.”

    Tell that to the girls who bullied me in high school with the boys and all those female caregivers who yelled at me and forced me to do things “Normal”.

    Society embraces violence and bullying from everyone, regardless of sex, color, or creed.

    ATL: “And if this is the crux of your argument, that our society is not a violent one then I think you need to watch TV, read the newspapers, and listen to the news more.”

    Where in my response to you did I ever deny the violence society embraces? Yes, society is a violent one. But it embraces violence from all walks of life.

    You should also watch TV too and see how men get a raw deal on sitcoms and movies where they’re nothing but “Bumbling buffoons” and dumbed down even further so as not to overshadow the female characters.

  81. @ Eagle33: Actually…if you’ll notice, I did say BEFORE you started commenting:

    “This does not mean all men rape. Some men are able to fight off the insidious effects of this culture – they do are not violent, do not objectify women, try to better themselves. Unfortunately, a lot of men do not.”

    Perhaps you missed that bit…?

    The girls who bullied you were not trained to be violent by society as a whole. Sorry, unless you can show me that the media, news, etc. supports and views female violence as a positive, your claims have nothing to back them up.

    Are we really playing the oppression olympics here? “Men are shown as idiots! My god, we have it so bad! Just as bad as you women!” I don’t even know how to respond to a sentence reeking of such privilege. Oh, wait! yes I do 🙂 Link below!

    It’s obvious that while I’ve considered and read arguments like yours before, you haven’t even bothered to research the views of mine. Here’s something to read, if you are really serious about learning and not just mindlessly defending, defending, defending your views (and btw, it’s by a dude):

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Kb2I2Obc3awJ:www.amptoons.com/blog/the-male-privilege-checklist/+privilege&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=www.google.com

    lemme know whatcha think – srsly, I’m not coming into this debate all afired and angry, and I’d like it if you or Toysoldier or both would read stuff like this with more of an open mind and think about it, since you two seem…just slightly more open to the ideas that I have discussed than the avg internet user – I mean, you’re here on this blog responding to me right? Engaging me in relatively civil debate, right?

    Anyways, let me know what you think – please try to not reflexively respond either and actually engage me on this – it’s just so annoying and boring when the only thing someone has to say is “OH MY GOD I SKIMMED THE ARTICLE HERE’S HOW YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING.”

    My tone might come across snarky and bitchy, but I’m not trying to be a jerk. If I were, I’d let you know straight up.

  82. ATL: “The girls who bullied you were not trained to be violent by society as a whole. Sorry, unless you can show me that the media, news, etc. supports and views female violence as a positive, your claims have nothing to back them up.”

    And here is where we part ways for good.

    Thanks for absolving these girls and women of responsibility for what they did. Why should they get a free pass?

    Good day, ATL.

  83. ATL, our society may be fascinated by violence, but it is not enthralled with it. However, being fascinated by something is not the same as liking it or wanting it to occur, nor does it mean that anyone teaches others to engage in it.

    As Eagle stated, you do insinuate that I am violent. You stated, “This does not mean all men rape. Some men are able to fight off the insidious effects of this culture – they do are not violent, do not objectify women, try to better themselves. Unfortunately, a lot of men do not.” How do I know that you do not include me in that small group? Even if you are not specifically stating I am violent, you are implying that I am potentially violent solely because of my sex. That is a sexist position, so it is reasonable for me to take offense.

    It is interesting that you equivocate, move the goalposts, and offer several red herrings. It demonstrates the flaw in your argument and in the theory itself. “Rape culture” is a great political tool because it allows feminists to frame males as oppressors while framing females as perpetual victims of men. However, there is nothing supporting the theory. When asked for evidence, the best feminists can come up with are lists compiled by other feminists, which is akin to a Christian trying to prove there is a God by telling someone to read the Bible.

    The major issue here is that feminists created a theoretical framework so overtly sexist and biased against males that acknowledging male victims would cause it to collapse. There is no room for compromise because any compromise would demonstrate that feminist theories are fundamentally flawed and wildly inaccurate. So instead they play the numbers game or equivocate or change the subject, which leads to dismissive comments like you gave to Eagle above.

    None of that engenders my support for feminism. Instead it tells me that feminists not only think my experiences are trivial, but also that should I talk about them I only deserve mockery and humiliation. This is the reason why so many people responded negatively to Jasper’s ad, and it is the reason why so many people think so little of feminists and feminism. Abject certainty that one’s views are correct is not a value; it is a flaw.

  84. @Toysoldier and Eagle33: uhhh okay. You guys sure don’t know how to fight back with logic.

    We can all stop debating about it cause it’s obvious you just want to be pitied and do the Oppression olympics, not to actually engage. I’m gunna stop responding to the post and I prolly won’t check this post soooo you can totally post a rebuttal, make it a nice one too if you want and you can have the last word, etc., but I won’t be reading it.

    Make sure your privilege doesn’t hit you on the way out!!!! 😀

  85. ATL,

    What you have done with your “oppression olympics” statement is quite minimizing and lacking in compassion for several male survivors who posted here on this thread.

    1 rapist of any gender is one 1 rapist too many – regardless of their rationale or how they arrived at their abusive personality. Your lack of compassion toward those you minimized and mocked with your childish retort is quite telling.

    Please, do better when discussing sexual violence with real, actual sexual violence survivors (like me). You clearly take some kind of sick pleasure out of it.

    Thanks bunches.


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