Not all men rape. Though all men know a rapist.
He’s your friend, relative, neighbor, colleague, co-worker, fellow student, your boss or commanding officer, your priest or vicar or rabbi or imam. And he’s using you as camouflage, blending in so he’ll feel protected.
He depends on you, the jolly crew of fellows, to hide him. He’s the jackal in human clothing, pretending he’s just one of the guys.
What do rape survivors want? For one thing, they want decent men to be proactive, to find out who in their group of acquaintance is a rapist and cull him out.
You could ask him, that’s direct. With enough beer, he’ll start to boast of technique and victims. Or you could listen to what he jokes about. Rape? He thinks shoving an erect penis in someone who doesn’t want it is funny? He’s likely never been the recipient.
Does he call rape a “he said, she said” crime, diminishing it to “half the time, the alleged victim’s making it up”? Research shows that 6% of all crimes – ALL crimes: assaults, extortions, robberies, etc. – are false reports. That means that 94% of the time, rape survivors are telling the truth, just like people who’ve survived armed robbery.
Does your mate wink at girls who are too young, does he scoff at legal age limits and statutory rape?
Chances are, you’ve just identified a rapist.
What do you do? Do you live and let live? Do you invite him round to your next party?
If you’re a decent man, first, have nothing to do with him. If you can avoid working with him, make that clear. Ignore him. Keep him off guest lists. If you see him chatting up someone who is too young or drunk to give informed consent, get them away from him. Show him you won’t stand for it.
If you’re responsible for finding new hires for a sports team, armed force, corporation, anyone with job openings, do some research on the men you intend to hire. If they’re brilliant, but their ethics stink, they will do your organization more harm – and potentially cost you more money – than they’re worth, because they’ll use you to find more victims. Don’t take on human jackals. Shun them.
If they’re trolling on social media and celebrating rape, challenge them as the hyenas they are. (As golfer Lee Westwood found, furious response burns cowards who find it easy to be asses behind a keyboard.) Speak up – because your silence allows rapists to believe they’re voicing what all men think.
When you hear about a committed rape, tell law enforcement. Rapists are perpetrators of pain, domination, fear, humiliation. That’s why they do it. It has little to do with sex. To them, their penis is just another weapon. Out them.
As a decent man, you’re being avoided and feared, tarred with the same brush, simply because other people cannot tell you apart… because rapists don’t have their identity tattooed on their faces.
“But I’m not like that!” you protest.
Sorry, Charlie. It’s not enough to bleat.
Rapists count on the protection of the male herd, most of whom think rape is repulsive – so if all you do is affirm that you would no more rape than you’d cut off your arm, you’re still letting rapists use you as concealment.
You have to do more. You have to identify and shun these guys. You have to out them.
You wouldn’t let jackals use you as a base from which to attack people in your community. You would call for help, capture them, prevent them from doing harm. So don’t let these human jackals continue their actions, whether violent or not.
They rely on your silence, they rely on your concerns about their privacy, your ideals of brotherhood, of being a good friend, a good mate. A good man.
They’re using you.
This is not about men vs. women/children/male victims. It’s about men who inflict pain vs. men who do not. If you’re one of the latter, it’s time for you to identify and shun and out rapists – no matter who they are.
Don’t be their pawn. Rip off their masks. Out these guys.