Jul 24 2008

Spinster aunt wipes tear from eye

Over this morning’s coffee I had the pleasure of reading about the arrest of a Nova Scotia groper. And by “pleasure” I mean “blechy feeling.”

Oh, this groper isn’t any different from all the other gropers I’ve read about during my long career of groper-blaming: young Doug Schrader flits about the countryside feeling up women and jerking off in public. Gross, yeah, but what really curled the Twisty lip was this comment by prosecutor Christine Driscoll, who is apparently crippled with ambivalence on the subject of what to do with the little perv:

“We really want to see what’s going on with him, what’s leading to this behaviour.”

I’ll help you out, lady. Here’s what’s leading to his behavior: Schrader merely acts on the patriarchal mandate to view all public women as receptacles for his dudeliness. He is the logical result of rape culture.

Taking his cue from the slew of public Spitzeresque figures who’ve been busted for antisocial pervitude and are surprised to discover that they don’t live in a personal rape-is-OK bubble, Schrader has “apologized,” claiming, despite some rather damning evidence to the contrary, that he’s “not that type of person.”

Apologies have nothing to do with actual remorse anymore. Nowadays, when criminals apologize, what they mean is, “Fine. I got caught. Please don’t put me in prison.”

It’s the systemic misogyny exemplified by douchebags like Schrader that makes me weep brokenly for the tragic earnestness of women such as these, who are desperate to convince themselves that “all women’s bodies are beautiful and richly fantastic no matter what shape, size, age, race, or background.”

The 100 Idaho women to whom I allude have organized an exhibit of women’s self-esteem “art.” The project consists of plaster casts of their torsos, which they have decorated and put on public display “in celebration of all who choose to express their own unique selves through art.”

The heart bleeds for these women. Their task — like that of all who struggle against monolithic oppression — is of Sisyphean proportions. They may yearn to demonstrate that, with their painted boob-casts, they are “the subject, rather than the object of art,” but in our porn-based society — where the behavior of a common groper mystifies authorities — they haven’t got a spinster aunt’s chance at a Suicide Girls convention.


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  1. mir

    The upside to Schrader’s capture being, of course, that years from now when he progresses from ‘groping’ (whatever the hell that may be. Were he rubbing unsuspecting strangers with a cheese grater or whacking them with a sockful of quarters it would simply be called ‘assault’ and I presume he’d be treated as a garden-variety sociopath with frighteningly violent tendencies but because the victims are women and he was using his man-hands and man-body to touch them the adorable term ‘grope’ is used, as though they were all at the movies together and he got a little affectionately handsy during the fucking credits) to breaking and entering plus full-blown rape and bludgeoning, strangling, murdering women, his community can shake their heads at what a monster they hath wrought and if-only-something-had-been-done-sooner.

    The naked, headless art torso ladies I have mixed feelings about. It’s be way cooler if instead of plaster busts for display on pedestals they got together to forge and decorate actual breastplates for daily wear, maybe from iron or steel, which would be impervious to bullets, arrows, catcalls and ‘groping’. I’d totally wear one.

  2. Dr. Steph

    “they haven’t got a spinster aunt’s chance at a Suicide Girls convention.”

    Just chiming in to say, once again, how awesome you are Twisty.

  3. phio gistic

    I was just reading an interview in Newsweek with Heidi “Always-a-Madam-Never-a-Pimp” Fleiss in which she was asked about Spitzer. She said that his pay-to-rape bust proved that prostitution was not really a bad thing, and that the poor man just wanted to get laid, just like all men do. (Nothing about the never-specified ‘dangerous’ activities he subjected the prostitutes to.)

    She said, “He’s made prostitution out to be a horrible crime. Obviously it’s not if he was doing it. It’s just a business that needs to be regulated so the women don’t have to always suffer.”

    That’s a nice thought, that the women might not have to -always- suffer. Then she concludes, “Dude, these are men. You’re never going to stop prostitution.” Because that’s just what men do. Assault women.

  4. E

    mir raises an important issue: the progression.

    I’m in Sweden, and in the last few days there has been a trial of a man who, it turns out, raped and murdered a woman 8 years ago, attempted to rape another after that, and finally, in April this year raped and murdered a 10 year old girl. And that’s just the stuff we know and he admitted in court.

    He had a history of indecent exposure and being lewd to waitresses and women he knew. He groped women whenever he got the chance.A porn addict from early adolescense and his home was filled with piles and piles of porn and stolen knickers. His porn addiction had only recently gotten to the point where he started downloading child porn.

    The family and friends all said “Yeah, we kinda knew he was a little too interested in the ladies, if you know what I mean. But that is just who he is, really.It was just him being himself, you know? We never knew he was, like, violent or anything.”

    Really. REAAALLLY. No one made this connection? Nobody? That’s not only sad, it’s apalling. Because he didn’t get called on his rampant and escalating misogony before it was too late, a little girl is now dead. The sexual assualt details were deemed too awful to be made public so god knows what he did to her BEEFORE he chrushed her chest with his knees, strangeled her, put her in the trunk of his car, went for pizza, filled the car up with gas and dumped the body on a deserted road after setting it on fire.

    She was missing for 8 days before her family had to be told what happened.

  5. lawbitch

    I’m perplexed at the tendency for some people to describe people which major problems in such benign terms. Major personality disorders become “personal problems.” When a man hits his wife, we don’t know because we weren’t there, despite the obvious bruise and swelling right there on her face. Groping becomes an annoying personal habit.

    Maybe someone else has some insight because I don’t understand.

  6. EmilyH

    From the article: “The point of the project is to help women embrace the often difficult task of loving, respecting and owning their bodies.” Owning their bodies. I think this may be the most grimly absurd statement in the whole article. Gee, why in the world don’t women already feel that they own their bodies?

    I (like so many women) have participated in an art project involving my naked body and plaster, with the idea that the exhibit would show the world (dudes) the beautiful diversity and scope of the female form, and they would appreciate every variation, dammit. Not so. These pieces of art are just a handful of the multitudes of deconstructed female bodies that pepper the landscape of our dominant culture. Yet another offering on the T&A buffet for dudes to consume, critique, and sometimes approve of, since we all know that male approval translates into permission to own one’s own body. As if.

    I appreciate their goal here (owning their bodies) but I also see how replicating the tiresome Boobies R Art cliché actually diminishes their bodily sovereignty. A visit to any museum or a glance at any art history book tells us that the female body (often with the nonessential crap like the face, brain, and limbs removed) is equal to art and exists solely to be appreciated by the masses. It’s easy to accept this as normal since it is so prevalent, but it’s gruesome when you think about it. The appreciated woman cannot see, speak, walk away, or use her opposable thumbs. Her purpose is to be a completely passive object. Her purpose is to decorate.

    The edgy burlesque dancers and the women participating in this art exhibit have a lot in common. To combat the toxic message that they are worthless and sexless because they do not exactly resemble Victoria’s Secret models, they put their bodies on display. One of the many problems with this resolution is that they are appealing to and depending on public approval in order to establish their value. A woman’s value and bodily sovereignty should be a given.

  7. ::wendy::

    Mir and Lawbitch’s comments on the dumbing-down of the language to describe the crimes struck a chord with me. The use dumbing-down of the descriptive terms to describe abuses against women that is contrasts with the overly-dramatic language used when women do something out of the patriarchal party-line.

  8. TP

    You want feminist art? How about something that will make dude dicks shrivel, rather than hoping to make them swell?

    Not a lot of grants available for that.

  9. truffula

    Following on EmilyH’s quote from the article: “The point of the project is to help women embrace the often difficult task of loving, respecting and owning their bodies.”

    The unexplored qualifier “often difficult” pretty well eliminates this excersise as having anything to with women. It’s only difficult because dude nation says it should be.

    Also, displaying the “art” at a place called the Henhouse doesn’t seem terribly, um, emancipated.

  10. Windstorm

    I appreciate what the artist women are trying to do, but if it were me, creating a faceless torso of myself (no matter how decorated and colorful) would feel degrading. I don’t think I could even do it, it would feel so bad. Give me a head shot anytime (and a Photoshop program to fix the under-eye bags – only kidding).

  11. Jen

    You ever see that movie Teeth? I think that’s about as close to “feminist art” as the mainstream has ever gotten. Like TP said, feminist art would be something that violently scares men out of their pornifying ways. Something that says, “look at me like an object, touch me like an object, and I’ll snap your cock off.”

    The aversion to strong verbs in the news is horrifying. It’s not “sexual assault”, it’s just a bit of friendly groping. It’s not “rape”, it’s alleged unconsensual sex. I read a news story the other day about a man who had “alleged sexual contact with a minor”. I thought it was basic legal knowledge: sexual contact with a minor of any kind is rape. Groping someone in public is sexual assault.

    But the news media just waves their hands and exclaims “boys will be boys!” and then runs the next story about a man that killed/raped/beat/abused a woman.

  12. Cycles

    And, not to rain on anybody’s “feel better about themselves” parade, but you just know that if you put the torso sculptures on display in any public place, 99 percent of Dude Nation would look at them and see the ways they do not resemble supermodels, and judge them as unfuckable anyway. So, in a way, yes, dick-shriveling. But not in the way we’d want.

  13. speedbudget

    It always sickens me when people don’t take this kind of “groping” stuff seriously. These men escalate. You don’t just wake up one morning and randomly decide to rape and/or murder a stranger. You start out with small steps, getting used to the idea. Maybe you do a little “peeping.” Maybe you steal a couple pair of knickers. Maybe later you start taking underskirt pictures with your cell phone. When these things are no longer a thrill, you move on to the physical.

    And it pisses me off to no end how police and district attorneys look at these “petty” crimes and dismiss them out of hand. These guys are getting comfortable with their criminal selves, and getting slaps on the wrists is not a way to stop them.

    Plus, you know, it’s just the wimmens they’re bothering. We should just get over it.

  14. Aunti Disestablishmentarian

    The Idaho art project is the perfect literal embodiment of self objectification.

    The process of making the art itself is not problematic: Obviously self objectification / examination through the process of sculpting yourself (in whatever media) can be useful in fostering one’s own personal growth. However the making of such work and the display of such work are very different animals, as the default viewer is male.

  15. thebewilderness

    I suppose they’re right, in that presenting yourself to the male gaze will have an effect on your self esteem. One would think they already knew that.

  16. slythwolf

    I’m trying to think if there could every be a way, in the patriarchy, for women to make any kind of self-portrait that would not be co-opted into oppression and objectification. I think maybe if one were to create an abstract self-portrait of her mind, that might work, but only if nobody viewing the piece found out the artist was female.

  17. Rebecca

    Haha. I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia and have sort of been following this case, I also read the article you linked to and the exact same sentence also jumped out at me.
    I think everyone – every human being – is capable of doing what this prick did. Obviously. But we all CHOOSE what “type of person” we are – we choose to be genuinely respectful of others – or, we choose to randomly grope people we perceive as being vulnerable. People’s “nature” is self-created. He’s acting like this kind of behavior just came over him suddenly, like a flu. We can certainly blame patriarchy but I think this dick deserves half the blame all his own widdle self. Choices are choices.

  18. Chai Latte


    I hate that art exhibit…I’ve always held the opinion that getting nekkid isn’t empowering at all. How can it be empowering to do what you’re expected to do in the first place? UGH.

    I’m an artist myself, and I no longer draw nudes–not since my last Life Drawing class. At this point, it’s just plain dull to me. Show me something I’ve never seen before, ladies–then we’ll talk. As it stands now, the exhibit makes me sigh and say, “Oh God, not AGAIN.”

  19. Lar

    Not that *any* apology or excuse from that guy would be sufficient… but “not that kind of person” ???

    I’m with Rebecca on that one… you choose to rape someone then you are automatically “that kind of person.” That’s not an apology, it’s not even an excuse… it’s just an enormous insult on top of everything else.


  20. E.

    Twisty, if you haven’t seen it, you must go to the “styles” section of today’s New York Times and read the following steaming piece of shit article detailing a truly heinous new trend in the wedding-preparation-slash-torture industry. I’m still recovering. I blogged it on my humble little blog, the whole time thinking “I wonder what Twisty would say about this nauseating bullshit.” Inquiring blamers want to know.


  21. Lara

    “Taking his cue from the slew of public Spitzeresque figures who’ve been busted for antisocial pervitude and are surprised to discover that they don’t live in a personal rape-is-OK bubble, Schrader has “apologized,” claiming, despite some rather damning evidence to the contrary, that he’s “not that type of person.””

    What is it with the idea that there are discernible “types” of men only who will or have raped women? Why can’t people see the connections between “harmless” acts of misogyny like catcalling, to exposing dicks, to freaking assaulting women? Men rape. There isn’t a “type of person” that assaults like this. It’s MEN that do this. You don’t see craploads of women running around assaulting, catcalling, and “groping” men. This idea that only a few psychopaths could ever do something like this to women is part of what I think is the “not my nigel” syndrome. I elaborated on the “not my nigel” syndrome here:


  22. Octogalore

    I find that exhibit and some of the words used to describe it troubling, as well.

    The goal to “bring awareness to women’s body image issues,” for example. We see a variety of women’s bodies already. Why do we need to preserve torsos to be aware of this variety? The media has proclaimed what portions of this variety is acceptable, and simply insisting that there is indeed a variety seems to me to be a fruitless way to alter this.

    One of the participants says:
    “Before, I focused entirely – and angrily – about how women’s bodies were objectified and consumed by mass media and unrealistic fashion culture. Since then, I have come to farming as a livelihood and have discovered what a capable and useful tool my body is, what good work it does to feed me and my neighbors, to care for the Earth.”

    How are these two things different? Can’t one identify and critique the objectification while also enjoying ones own body and its appearance and functionality?

    And finally the conclusion: “it is vital that men understand the complex issues women have about their bodies, and get exposed to women as the subject, rather than the object, of art, so they can be better allies for the women in their lives.”

    As you say, this project is a continuation of woman as object. Woman as subject is the living, breathing woman, not the exhibit. If men need to view the decorated bare torso of a woman to be her ally — well, there are places they already do that, and at least there they pay for the privilege. This exhibit will not turn around that phenomenon, and ultimately it’s hard to see how it will turn around self esteem.

  23. Flores

    I have a feeling Schrader’s only getting in trouble because he groped in the wrong context. What if he had instead assaulted women at a drunken street party? That sort of thing happens all too often, yet rarely makes the news. In my experience, folks write off party groping as entertaining and basically harmless.

  24. polly styrene

    You mean making a plaster cast of my breasts won’t destroy patriarchy??????

  25. schmutzie

    You are being featured on Five Star Friday:

  26. O.C.

    Walking across the article in the Idaho Statesman, arguing that all women are beautiful and worthy of respect, is an animated pop up of a diet ad. Because, you know, we’re all worthy of respect, as long as we’re actively working to make ourselves disappear through martyred non-eating. Because, whoever you are, whatever size you are, you can never be small enough. No cognitive dissonance there at all, no sirree bob.

  27. Spiders

    “Twisty, if you haven’t seen it, you must go to the “styles” section of today’s New York Times and read the following steaming piece of shit article detailing a truly heinous new trend in the wedding-preparation-slash-torture industry.”

    I followed that link against my better judgement. That is some sick shit, but I guess it’s the natural progression of wedding culture.

    “An aesthetician assessed each woman’s face and devised a treatment plan”

    How does on “assess” a face?

  28. FatWhiteMaleEngineerHumanist

    Schrader is vermin, sure. No one reading this forum doubts the existance of uncountable Schraders. It is not a shock. And piss on his pro-forma whiny apology: seppuku would be an appropriate self-criticising apologetic gesture. The crown prosecutor’s social agenda might better serve the community if it was redirected towards something more useful than hoping to understand pervs, but maybe she’s up for re-election this year, or doesn’t want to come across as yearning for the perv’s head on a platter. Heh.

    OK, so that’s pretty much it for the outrage on how this was handled. Not a lot, as these things go. The cops nailed the little shit. He wisely plead guilty. I don’t know how Canada feels about indecency convictions, but with 4 sexual assault convictions Schrader will almost certainly face long time. No mention of media stories suggesting that the assaulted women should share the blame with the criminal. Pretty much good stuff; although it all goes to hell if they don’t put him away for a healthy stretch.

    Which brings me to this: given the 5% conviction rate of rapists, why shouldn’t we all be delighted that Perv Schrader is being successfully (so far) dealt with by the justice system? Sure, it sucks that he EXISTS, but as I mentioned above: no one here is surprised at the existance of males that criminally abuse, dominate, bully, torture, and rape women; it’s barely newsworthy.

    I think he’s gonna do long time. I’m happy. Let’s ALL be happy! I’m going to sign off here and pop down to the ‘fridge for a Molson in honor of those friendly fine Canadians who are working overtime on putting Perv Schrader away.

    Before I go, a quick question if I may: why is it NOT cruel and unusual punishment to strap someone to a gurney and push a lethal cocktail into their bloodstream, but it IS cruel and unusual punishment to castrate convicted sexual offenders? Using a scalpel and a local anesthetic, not a machete and burning coals. It just seems crazy to me. Remove the desire to control, the aggressive essence, the excess testosterone and you’ve got a total win. I’d prefer to prevent the criminal from reproducing, but as a nod to the possibility of erroneous conviction the severed organ could be frozen for future fertilizations should the conviction be overturned. I’m lookin’ for the down-side and I can’t find it.

    The torso casts: look, sorry, I don’t get it at all. I realize the women were making a statement, not adding to the world’s existing load of porn. Maybe: “I don’t look like Twiggy, but I’m a wonderful human!”, or “My torso is NOT my most important part!”, or “Without my head, you can’t understand me!”, or what? It’s easy to criticize, especially when not understanding their statement, but we could side-step all that and just consider this: How angry and marginalized and enraged and tortured and TOTALLY pissed off must those women be to have felt the need to go to such lengths?

    Thank you for reading. I’m gonna go get that Molson. Y’all take care.

  29. Greenconsciousness

    Twisty I want to alert you and other feminists to this note from the feminist who wrote Death of Feminism about the west’s refusal to organize against the slave status of women under Islam.

    This weekend, on both Saturday and Sunday evenings at 8pm, EST, Fox-TV will be airing a one hour documentary about honor murders in America. They interviewed me (Phyllis Chesler) at length and you may see my face and my words on camera.

    FOX was the only national media outlet that really covered the honor murder of Sarah and Amina Said in Dallas Texas early this year. Kudos to them for their interest in this subject. The crew told me that I was the only domestic violence expert willing to say that honor murders have something to do with….Islam and with Muslims.

    The Fox team was utterly amazing: Friendly, professional, exceedingly well prepared. About six or seven serious men arrived with lights, cameras, and computers and they turned my home into a studio-quality locale. I was interviewed by the very beautiful and brainy Lauren Greene but as I now understand it, the program will also be hosted by Megan Kelly. Let me thank Justin Laffer and Byron Garoufalis for providing excellent backup.

    I would welcome your views of the program and the subject right here at my blog.


  30. jezebella

    Hm. The male “desire to control” resides not in his peepee, but in his brain, engineer guy. Hence, only a brain-ectomy would fix a rapist. While it makes a satisfying revenge scenario, castration solves nothing.

  31. mir

    Remove the desire to control, the aggressive essence, the excess testosterone and you’ve got a total win.

    Jezebella‘s got it right. Removing wangs (or testicles, or testosterone, etc), while hypothetically satisfying in an grim Old Testament kind of way, won’t remove the urge to hurt, damage, humiliate, own and control. For that you’ve got to use the De-Patriarchalization Brain Melon-Baller 3000™, which scoops the entire contents of a person’s brainpan out where it’s then free to be washed in feminist thought, rinsed and fluffed dry. From there it can be tucked back into the offender’s head or summarily dropped into the nearest waste receptacle, whichever is easiest.

  32. AngryJules


    While I revel at the thought of cutting off rapist sex organs, I’m going to agree with jezebella and say that sexual offenders rape and assault because they want power, not because they want sex.

    I also disagree that removing offender testicles will have any effect on aggressive male behavior. Although many biologists and psychologists have long blamed hormones for men’s violent activities, the evidence for that, scientifically speaking, is shoddy at best. Studies establishing a link between testosterone and aggressive behavior typically lack control groups, do not rule out the possibility that social factors are the true source of aggressive behavior, employ poor measurement, cannot replicated by later researchers, and examine only male subjects. Such serious flaws in research design render findings meaningless.

    For more detailed information on this matter, you might be interested in Anne Fausto-Sterling’s book “Myths of Gender: Biological Theories about Women and Men”. Fausto-Sterling, a geneticist, undertook the project of assessing biological accounts of sex differences after droves of men denied responsibility for women’s oppression with shoddy bio-bullshit excuses.

    Like many before me, IBTP.

  33. WendyAnn

    I like to look to my dogs when deciding the “to castrate or not to castrate” question.

    I can unequivocally state, after 15 years of raising, training and breeding dogs, castration reduces aggression. In every single case, castration reduced – and in some cases ended aggression. It also stops marking in the house and leg humping.

    Castration works. Just depends on what your goals are.

  34. luxdancer


    I hesitate to attribute the same results in dogs to humans. Castration has been something that has been done historically. It may remove bio-chemical incentives to violence and aggression but it does not resolve societal pressures and environments that encourage sexual violence.

    I love animals and think that we are not superior to them, however, I recognize that even the castrated man can choose to enact sexual violence on someone if he is given the social, cultural, and psychological impetus to do so. He may not be able to rape with his penis, but he can still rape. I don’t think dogs have the same cognitive choices.

  35. Lara

    Let’s take a look at Greenconsciousness’s racist BS posted at Heart’s blog (Womensspace):

    “The Muslim theocracies are the belly of the beast for women and this post is PC BS. Muslims in the US veil and home school girls and tolerate honor killings when they occur. Somalis Muslims send girls out of the country to be genitally mutilated. Arranged marriages are common and unwanted wives are sent out of the country. All are taught to hate Jews. Muslims are not “vulnerable”. In this country the entire male left and its’ non profits protect them and their oppression of women from the ACLU to CAID.

    Women/feminists should be haters of Muslim culture and work to destroy it wherever we can. It is correct to hate that which will slave and/or kill women who resist slavery.”

    ALL Muslims? Really? All of them hate women and hate Jews? And, gee, where else have I heard people complain about “political correctness” when some try to speak out against racism? From hardcore conservative white racists, perhaps? I am so sick and tired of the ways white feminists have used some of the sexism in Islam to bash a whole entire religious group of people, in addition to bashing whole ethnic and racial groups.
    Get your racist bullshit out of the “feminist movement”, will ya?
    My sandnigger ass is tired of it, I don’t need some racist white “feminist” lecturing me on how “evil” my “Muslim culture” is and I sure as hell don’t need more people perpetuating stereotypes and making awful blanket statements about North Africans or Egyptians like me.
    Because every time you make Islamophobic or racist comments and accusations you are really just attacking Muslim women just as much as you are the Muslim men, k?
    I am absolutely disgusted with the way this right-wing racist BS is tolerated, especially over here and some other parts of the blogosphere.

    “FOX was the only national media outlet that really covered the honor murder of Sarah and Amina Said in Dallas Texas early this year. Kudos to them for their interest in this subject. The crew told me that I was the only domestic violence expert willing to say that honor murders have something to do with….Islam and with Muslims.”

    Yeah, Greenconsciousness, that’s because racist screwballs on FOX news like you because all of you are of like mind. You’re proud of FOX news??? Do any of you hear the racist, misogynist, Islamophobic, disgusting vitriol that spews from the mouths of “commentators” on FOX news? I can’t fuckin believe this….

  36. Matilde

    Well, a reduction of the male human’s keenness on leg humping would certainly ameliorate my opinion of public transportation.

  37. Lara

    One more thing, women such as myself (I am Egyptian-American) suffer directly from stereotypes perpetuated by people like Greenconsciousness, and like all the other people at FOX news and conservative outlets that hate anyone with brown skin. Do you know how many times people have made bombing jokes about me, undermined my ability and passion to be a feminist (let alone a radical feminist), were threatened by me simply because of my last name?? And I have it easy, I am Christian, so I do not wear a veil, and I have lighter skin. If I wore a veil and/or had darker skin I probably would have been the victim of more serious hate crimes by now.
    There’s a difference between calling out the misogyny in any religion (regardless of whether white people or brown people practice said religion), and intentionally picking out a religion practiced predominantly by brown people because it’s so easy to villify in our White Supremacist culture. The only thing Muslim-bashing has done is to help garner public support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and guess which half of the population in those countries is suffering the most now as a result?)

    Here is the link to Greenconsciousness’s comment at Women’s Space.

    That racist/Islamophobic shit that a few folks are talking here ain’t feminist, to put it lightly :/

  38. yankeetransferred

    Excellent blaming here, in the post and in the comments. Classic Twisty.

  39. lawbitch

    Engineer dude, of course you’re happy. You are basking in your white male privilege. You don’t have to worry about becoming a rape victim. Those of us who are very likely to be raped, i.e., women have to exercise constant vigilence lest we be deemed approprtiate prey because of our lack of propriety. Of course, whatever we do won’t be enough.

    Don’t bother trying to educate this dude, sisters.

  40. Spiders

    I’d love for rapists to have their peenies removed but I don’t think it would stop them raping us. They’d still be part of the dominant class. They’d still hate us and want to show us how worthless and inferior they think us, every chance they get.
    Remove their dicks and they’d just stick other objects into us, probably worse things.

  41. thebewilderness

    There’s worse things?

  42. speedbudget

    @ mir:

    De-Patriarchalizaion Brain Melon-Baller 3000! That’s precious! I want one…

  43. keshmeshi

    I’d love for rapists to have their peenies removed but I don’t think it would stop them raping us.

    You’re very much correct. State governments have punished rapists with chemical castration in the past. Those rapists simply continued on their merry raping way and merely switched to using other phallic objects. There was also that rapist in Arkansas who castrated himself. Huckabee advocated for the guy’s release and the rapist, surprise, surprise, continued on raping and escalated to murder.

    only a brain-ectomy would fix a rapist.

    Actually, would a lobotomy work? Because that sounds pretty good to me.

  44. Spiders

    “There’s worse things?”


    Well you know, I’ve heard…

  45. FatWhiteMaleEngineerHumanist

    I’m extremely surprised! I assumed that castration (in the veterinarian sense of surgical removal of the testes) removed the male body’s source of testosterone, and automatically reduced the male’s aggressiveness and desire for dominance. It sure sounds good: rape is about aggressive dominance, not sexual attraction, so removing criminal rapists’ testicles would severely limit their drive to rape.

    It would be nice if they’d just control themselves, but thousands of years of recorded history shows how improbable that is.

    I digress, sorry. Several people have posted comments questioning the efficacy of castration as a further-rape deterrent. I do not have a good response. I’ve thought about why I had believed the castration-as-deterrent idea and am embarrassed to say that my sources were largely anecdotal. They are not valid studies, but for the record here they are:
    1. The passivity of eunuchs in the courts and churches of China, Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, etc.
    2. A conversation with my therapist who related the pharmaceutical properties of testosterone as used by transgendering females.
    3. Experience with horses: geldings are less aggressive than stallions.

    As I think you’ll agree, these are not comprehensive, convincing sources.

    Thank you, AngryJules, for the reference to Fausto-Sterling’s “Myths of Gender: Biological Theories about Women and Men”. I’ve ordered a copy of the 1992 2nd edition from Amazon and am looking forward to reading about her work.

    I want to distance myself from the MRA pseudo science crap: I am totally uninterested in any sort of legal defense or social excuse for criminal rape invoking testosterone as the culprit and redefining the criminal as the victim. Such a defense or excuse is, in my opinion, complete bullshit. What I suggest is removing the testicles of convicted rapists, thereby reducing their testosterone levels to zero, with the result of lowering their aggressiveness and thus reducing or eliminating the risk of them repeating their crime. If testicular castration doesn’t accomplish these goals, then pursuing it further does seem pointless.

    Thank you for reading, take good care.

  46. SoJo

    Testosterone affects brain chemistry from 6 weeks old so cutting off a man’s balls at ‘rapist age’ isn’t going to be totally affective….though I’m still for it.

  47. AngryJules

    My final thoughts regarding hormones and aggression:

    -Animal anecdotes/research cannot be used to draw conclusions about human behavior. Why? Because we have that whole pre-frontal cortex thingy, allowing us to reason and carefully consider different courses of action, weighing complex systems of social expectations and morality against our personal desires and biological drives.

    -Keep in mind that a lot of the research completed establishing hormonal differences between men and women is done by and for men. Science is far from fair and objective. Researchers are emotionally and socially invested in the topics they study, hoping for some outcomes over others. The findings that get publicized are also biased. Men and many women don’t care to read studies finding no sex differences between men and women– that totally just goes against everything we just know (i.e., men and women are essentially different). Take it from a scientist– I watch people mold, shape, and manipulate social research findings day in and day out. Regard all research with skepticism, and learn to critically examine the research process before you believe what our noble scientists profess.

    Otherwise, you might find yourself actually believing that men aren’t really so responsible for violence and rape after all– they just can’t control that testosterone! And women could never serve as effective presidents because lady-hormones render responsible decision-making impossible!

  48. Lara

    I’m stuck in moderation Twisty? I guess because I had posted comments from my work computer?

  49. Maggie Hays

    Men who think that groping women anytime they want is such a ‘fun way’ of pushing their so-called “male entitlement” really make me sick. Most of them don’t get arrested though, as this type of behavior has become normalized in a pornified rape culture. :(

    The heart bleeds for these women.

    Yep, Twisty.

    And so many women are deluded into believing that objectifying themselves is “empowering” in this culture. It’s sad…

  50. Spiders

    “I’m extremely surprised! I assumed that castration (in the veterinarian sense of surgical removal of the testes) removed the male body’s source of testosterone, and automatically reduced the male’s aggressiveness and desire for dominance.”

    Fatwhitedude, don’t fucking annoy me, ok? What you’re saying is that men can’t help raping us, it’s part of their biological make-up, it’s in their hormones.
    This is bullshit. Men don’t rape us because their testosterone compels them to. To argue that is to let them off the hook and absolve them of any responsibility for their participation in rape culture.
    They rape us because they’re socialised to be constantly pwning the oppressed class.
    Castrating them is nothing but a surface solution which won’t work because the problem is structural.
    Get it now?

  51. Ciccina

    Wow, people…reading your comments do make me feel better, knowing people like y’all are out there. I love this blog.

    I’d like to suggest an excellent book that, for me, answered the big question of why some men, and far fewer women, become violent criminals. No, I am not going to say “Dianetics” though I’m sorely tempted just for the laugh. Really I’m talking about a book by Richard Rhodes called “Why They Kill,” which examines one criminologist’s very persuasive theory of why and how some people develop into rapists / murderers / brawlers and so on.

    Basically, the criminologist interviewed hundreds of criminals and asked them to describe in their own words how they developed into their current state and what they were thinking before, during and after their crime(s). From all those narratives he distilled a four part “process” – elements all the narratives had in common. To boil it way down, its a completely behaviorist approach – you start with a repeatedly brutalized child or a child traumatized by witnessing the brutalization of others; a determination by the child to never be a victim again by adopting the perspective and behaviors of the victimizer, namely victim blaming; some form of coaching / role modeling; the successful completion of a violent act.

    I’m really not doing the research and the theory justice, but I want to tease out one element of this – the uneven number of male vs. female violent actors. Girls can of course go through the first stage (being brutalized); some go through the second stage and adopt the victimizer’s perspective / learn to blame the victim as a psychological defense; but relatively few receive the violent coaching, role-modeling and positive reinforcement for violent behavior that certain boys do. A young man who successfully presents himself as a dangerous “thug” enjoys the fear / deference he provokes in others; a young woman who acts like a dangerous thug… well, I think generally she gets called a dyke or a deviant and some determined freak eventually goes out of his way to “teach her a lesson.”

    The theory goes a long way towards explaining why in one family – one set of parents, one socio-economic situation, one religion, one pattern of abuse – you can have one boy grow up to be a violent offender, another boy grow up to be a non-violent person, and a girl who grows up to be a non-violent person. Its not the genes. Its not the genitalia. Its not being poor, or being abused, or suffering from raging hormones. Its a matter of going through all the stages and having a person – or a subculture – coach you along is indispensable.

    Okay, I’ve let this comment get way out of control. Sorry. But it really is a compelling theory, and its refreshing as well in that it doesn’t blame evolution, or mental illness, or the femocracy, or the victim, or Satan, or Hillary, or Mars and Venus, or the loss of patriotic vigor, etc.

  52. Janet

    Your “groper” reminds me of this little gem. http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/upskirt-filmer-walks-free/2008/07/28/1217097118059.html

    An ex-teacher who filmed up a girl’s skirt is let off with a suspended sentence. Apparently he’s ok because he’s a “low to medium” risk of reoffending (How the fuck is that calculated??), he’s SORRY (gee I’m sure the victim is pleased) and he didn’t sell it to anyone it was for his own private pervefest. Makes me fucking livid.

    Of course the judge is a woman but I bet the boy judges are really pleased that she’s not some weirdy beardy feminist who thinks the production of child pornography is like, gee, um maybe a criminal offence worthy of gaol time?

    Thank fuck some of us have thought it through, Twisty, I love your blog. :-)

    massively fucking angry Australian radical feminist

  53. Pop Feminist

    I disagree with your condescending remarks on the Idaho exhibit. Do you feel that women’s bodies can ever be exhibited without submitting to their subjugation? The body is a crucial location of social control for all people, women especially. But it is also an insecure site of social control, which is why it must be policed so aggressively by patriarchal agents. In sharing “imperfect”, anti-bourgeois female bodies with the public and with each other, these women are exposing the false boundaries between “classical” and “deviant” bodies.

    I doubt any of these women want to deal patriarchy a death-blow with this self-esteem exercise. They are simply sharing their corporeal selves with each other and the world defiantly, which is part of a centuries old tradition of the disempowered, men and women alike. The “body principle” is a cornerstone of carnivalesque rebellion. Modern feminism is founded upon the revelation of shared oppression, and these women– while not fighting the very structure of our society as a whole– are refusing to maintain the charade of isolated deviance that is imposed on women through a mass mediated program of body-shame.

    Cheers to the Embodiment Project! I hope to see more women seek empowerment through solidarity.

  54. lawbitch

    In short: Men rape (beat/abuse/mistreat) women because they can.

    Our society allows it.

  55. AMM

    A few minor points:

    1. Castration of pets is done before puberty (or whatever you call it with animals); once they’ve started doing the unwanted behaviors, castrating them won’t stop the behaviors. Or so veterenarians (sp?) have told me. So, presumably, even rapist dogs wouldn’t be stopped from raping by being castrated.

    2. I’ve read a few books by criminologists. While they do have to be taken with many grains of salt, I notice that they all talk about how sociopathic behavior always starts with “milder” antisocial behavior which is noticed but laughed off as being not serious. While not every groper turns into a rape-murderer, they say it should be taken as a warning of possible sociopathic behavior.

    I’m also reminded of how here in New York, when they start cracking down on fare-beating in the subway, they catch a lot of people who are wanted for more serious crimes. Not every fare-beater is a serious criminal, but it’s much more likely than in the population at large.

    As for apologizing after the fact: as I would say to my ex (if I thought she’d listen) — don’t apologize for it, just stop doing it!

  56. TP

    Once again, people with male parts are the first to suggest that removing these parts as a punishment for rape is a compelling idea. I’ve often said so in the past, mostly because I don’t think it’s such a big deal to anyone but the most masculine-loving men out there.

    I’ve come around to the idea that it probably won’t cure the most violent and deranged men out there. I still think it would put a kind of damper on sex criminals who are less violent to start with.

    Once you started doing it as a matter of policy, no man would ever be convicted of rape again. In sum, a bad idea, the kind of idea a man comes up with, one that preserves maleness for those of us who rape women politely enough to escape prosecution.

    It would do nothing to diminish male supremacy.

  57. Citizen Jane

    FatWhiteMaleEngineerHumanist, I see where you are confused. It is indeed true that excess testosterone or estrogen can cause irritability, mood swings, and aggression. However, removing whichever one is in excess tends to result in the body compensating by producing a great deal of the other. Castration would just set them back at square one. In fact, it would probably be even worse as the hormonal imbalance is likely to be greater than it was before. Not to mention that there are health consequences.

    Besides, as others have suggested, removing the aggression isn’t really what we’re aiming for. What we want is to remove the attitude that they are entitled to act on their feelings of aggression, which has nothing to do with hormones.

  58. weeza

    O.C.: ‘Because, whoever you are, whatever size you are, you can never be small enough.’

    As long as you’re still a D-cup. I am short and skinny with no boobs. I am ‘too small’, in the words of a man I was merely trying to purchase carrots from.

    I have just read ‘Backlash’ for the first time and I am ANGRY. Next, Dale Spender!

  59. Lar

    Thank you, Weeza, I know exactly how you feel.

    Why the hell do random men think we want to know whether they “approve” or not anyway? And it’s not just a shape/size issue. Some random asshole approached me in a store and asked me why I’m so pale. When he asked me why I don’t tan I told him the truth – (loudly enough for everyone nearby to hear) “because I have skin cancer.” Everybody glared at him like he was the biggest jerk and he ran away with his tail between his legs. Yeah, let me mutilate myself and get cancer so the dudes can approve of my body.

    I think if I ever made a plaster cast of a body part to show men how I feel about their approval I’d make one of my upraised middle finger.

  60. thebewilderness

    Lar: “I think if I ever made a plaster cast of a body part to show men how I feel about their approval I’d make one of my upraised middle finger.”


  1. In my perambulations « scribblingwoman2

    […] Specifically, they made plaster casts of their torsos, a technique about which Twisty Faster has her doubts. I don’t know, though: I mean, it’s like breast-feeding in public. Sure there will be […]

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