Stopping Rape Starts At Home: How Not to Raise a Rapist

by Danielle C. Belton

mother son

There are two uncomfortable realities about sexual assault in America.

  1. No matter who it happens to (male, female, teen, adult, elderly or a child) it’s far more likely to go unreported. And …
  2. The onus is almost always put on the victim to “not get raped.”

No one wants to be a victim. That’s why it’s human nature to try to look for fault in the victim. We want to believe we have control, that we can make ourselves save. This means we also want to believe that the difference between us and those who are assaulted is that they made some wrong decision and that if we simply go to the right places, wear the right clothes and conduct ourselves in the right manner somehow we will be rape-proof.

But the statistics don’t bear that out with one-in-six women being a victim of sexual assault at some point in her life time.

I don’t think any man is born a rapist. Unless he’s a sociopath without conscious (and sociopaths know no particular gender), that’s not possible. Rapists are made.

From Jennifer Kesler:

Rape is a learned behavior. It’s about enjoying or being profoundly indifferent to someone else’s suffering. It’s about remarkable levels of entitlement and the failure to recognize another human being as another human being. It’s about a gaping hole inside the rapist that nothing will ever fill. It’s way beyond a lack of love and respect. It’s beyond ignorance.

So what can we do to make sure the boys we love don’t grow up to be predators or apologists for them?

Don’t be abusive towards your kids

This seems like a no-brainer. No one likes child abuse whether it’s physical, verbal or psychological. But a child who is used to being treated cruelly, having his feelings mocked and disregarded, being neglected or unloved is going to have some issues.

While many abused kids grow up to become adults who don’t abuse, many also grow up to take out their anger on the world. Children feel powerless in the grips of an abusive parent, but do you know where many of these abused first get that taste of “power?” In finally subjugating and abusing someone else. Some of these kids will be bullies. Some will be users. And some, sadly, will become rapists.

Talk to your kids about sex

Parents are still the biggest influencers in how a child will view sex. If your attitude with your son is to either A) ignore the issue altogether assuming he’ll “figure it out” or B) encourage “early” and “often” sexual activity –whether your son is interested in it or not – you may have some problems.

Kids aren’t born fully understanding things like empathy or the feelings of others. They’re often selfish and singularly-minded as that is the nature of youth. Parents have to make a kid write “thank you” notes. Parents have to make a kid wash his hands. Sex and women are no different. Respect of women (or men, or property, or institutions, or nature) is not innate – it has to be taught.

Talk to your son about consent

Girls get told “no means no,” and sometimes boys also learn that too, but more times than not, there isn’t a lot of chatter about what “consent” means. Make clear with your kids being drunk does not equal consent. Going on a date does not equal consent. Making out does not equal consent. Her being your girlfriend doesn’t equal consent. Even past sexual counters don’t cut it at times. Don’t “assume” your way into sex.
A little confusion is understandable. But a rapist thrives in this “confusion,” seeking these situations “over and over again” and never learning “a non-predatory response to them.

Check your own issues on sex and gender

Both men and women will often engage in speak and behavior that reinforces people should be dismissive of women’s feelings. If you hold judgmental views. If you have little empathy for victims. If you think abused women are “asking for it” or that “she must have said something.” If you are an apologist for abusive people doesn’t be surprised if you find yourself raising someone who shares this view.

And not only might they share these thoughts, they could believe it to a damaging degree lacking in the wisdom and nuance of your own. We all say something judgmental and sexist sometimes, but your kids don’t have a lifetime of experience to know when you’re just rambling and when you truly mean it.

There will always be some who will act as if addressing these concepts isn’t necessary. It’s because we have been conditioned to accept the violations and violence that are perpetrated on others as simply “part of life,” or worse … “men being men.” But that’s not fair, nor is it right. A majority of men don’t rape or assault or molest or violate women – but a lot of men and women supply shade and protection to those who do.

But you can teach someone not to commit sexual assault in the same way most people know that if you find a credit card on the ground, you should probably try to return it rather than buy things. You know that you probably shouldn’t punch someone in the face when you’re mad. We don’t act like uncontrollable beasts in other aspects of our lives. And it’s not “eye-for-an-eye” in America. It’s “call the police and hope our justice system does its job.”

Why is it when it comes to sexual assault we decide we have to take it?

We don’t. And it starts at home. It starts when we’re young.

  • Chelle

    Oh my…I can’t wait to read the comments that are about to come on this one.

  • Yvette

    This is a great article. As the parent of a teenage boy, I’ve never thought to talk about consent when it comes to sex. We’ve talked about sex in general terms, but I will definitely talk to him about consent in the near future.

  • Smilez_920

    Agreed with these three points

    1) No means no needs to be taught from day one. Once a lady says no just leave the situation.

    2) ” no one owes you sex”. Sex is given not deserved.

    3) respect all women. I think a lot of boys an men live by the motto, I respect you if your respect yourself. And while I believe it to a certain extent , I don’t believe you should be nasty or disrespectful to someone just because thy haven’t learned their value.

    Also I’ve heard way to many 13-14 yr old boys talking about running ” trains” on ( clearly ) misguided girls. We have to talk and talk to our boys about sex, and letting them know that sex doesn’t make them into men

  • Tallulah Belle

    Rape is a part and a continuum of a cultural norm. It is a biological message sent from man to woman — demonstrating dominance and human weakness from one gender over another. It is an outgrowth of a given society’s underlying hatred of women. This hatred can be internalized by women themselves (see genital mutilations, the cutting of a girl’s clitoris by an adult woman). There are entire societies where rape is used as a weapon of war (see the Congo and Rwanda and Serbia Croatia) of oppression (see India), as a sharp tool of capitalism (see the American slave trade) and an unspoken exercise in faux masculinity (see US fraternities). Rape is also tied to the heightened consumption by men, globally, of hideous Internet pornography. It is tied to violence.

    There is no doubt that we women raise rapists everyday of our lives and turn them out into the street to rape other women — and our men contribute, for sure. Women have been the victims of and maternal creators of rape from the dawn of time. We give birth to rapists. The triggers of human rape are so hideous and plentiful that a mother, alone, can do little to combat its place in the human evolutionary mosaic. Some might say, that given the right (or wrong) circumstances, all men are rapists. Not sure about that statement, but it has been said many many times.

  • http://www.urbanexpressive.com J. Nicole

    This is a good post, but I’m not convinced you can teach someone ‘not’ to be a rapist, any more that you can teach someone not to be a murderer or stalker or thief. Maybe its my years of watching Law & Order: SVU, but not all rapists come from abusive backgrounds where their mother didn’t hug them enough-or hugged them too much. I think having an open & honest discussion with kids about sex should be the norm; not just a deterrent for rape.

    There are just some people who do not and will not comply with society norms. I think its time to start looking at people who commit sexual assaults as possibly being at the least, “wired” incorrectly or at the most, suffering from some mental issues.

  • Anthony

    This is a great essay. Boys need to be taught that no one owes them sex for sure. I also say that boys have to learn that they will live if they don’t get sex. Often teenagers or even twenty somethings act as if getting sex is the end all and be all.
    If the worst thing that ever happens is that you don’t sleep with a particular woman, you have led a great life.

  • Anthony

    I have to agree that all men have the potential to be rapists because rapists are not monsters, they are men who have committed a monstrous act. All of us are capable of doing evil things. I think the best thing we can do is to deny any social cover for rape. Men against rape have to call rape what it is when we see it, wherever we see it.

  • ASK_ME

    ” but I’m not convinced you can teach someone ‘not’ to be a rapist, any more that you can teach someone not to be a murderer or stalker or thief.”

    I’m with you. People need to stop thinking solely of the date rapist or the rapist hiding in brushes. There are far too many men who don’t see RAPE as a crime. Some of these men come from “good” homes and you would never suspect them of being rapist.

  • Anthony

    Once again, men have to call it what it is when they see or hear of rape. Similarly women cannot make excuses for their sons and bothers.

  • Yb

    One of the best articles I’ve read on Clutch.

    *applause*

  • http://gravatar.com/apurplefist DanaT

    “Men against rape have to call rape what it is when we see it, wherever we see it.” Very important point Anthony.

    There is also the element outside of the home that is uncontrollable and scary. From media (including music) representation of masculinity, sex and power to overall gender disparities involving pay and abuse. All of these factors contribute to “rape culture.” When you raise a son, you really have to engage discussions about the outside factors and his relationship with those factors.

    Lastly, something I think people often forget to teach their sons, is the importance of communication and outcry. These boys and men are getting hurt out there too but like women of color, their reporting rates are pretty slim. Some of these offenders were victims once and they are (disgustingly and without sympathy) repeating cycles.

  • http://theblackparacosmistmind.wordpress.com theblackparacosmistmind

    I’m capable of lying…but I’m not capable of raping another person, if we want to categorize this as an “evil thing.” The problem is that we live in a rape culture society, and of course it starts at home with the talks about consent and positive sexuality. And I beg to differ, anyone who can rape another person be it woman, child, or man- is a monster.

    We’re not talking about someone stealing. I’ll say that thieves aren’t monsters because we live in a class stratified society, and you have to do what you have to do to survive, for example. But rape is veerrryyy different thing. We’re talking about power and violation here. And the truth is most women will experience sexual harassment and assault in there lifetime across all races and ages. Because women are vulnerable in this rape culture.

    “No means no”. End of story. If a woman is drunk and stumbling around, she’s not saying “hey come rape me, all bets off!”. We’re talking about basic human empathy and self-awareness and control. Not just “oh well I made a mistake! I’m human OOPS!” Just basic HUMAN DECENCY. It takes a sick, very sick individual, to prey upon vulnerable people-a monster. The men in New Delhi, who gang-raped that student and caused her to commit suicide. You bet your bottom dollar that they are monsters! And I’ll say it over and over again, that those who rape and prey upon vulnerable persons are monsters. Done.

  • http://theblackparacosmistmind.wordpress.com theblackparacosmistmind

    It’s always a good idea to talk about sex in a positive and healthy manner at home. And this includes gender identity and sexual orientation. Now to bring it back to the black community-most of us don’t talk about sex in a sex positive way. I know coming from a conservative, religious, Southern household-I got thrown some books and that was it. It really is about education and awareness. And most likely if these young black boys aren’t receiving that in the household, then that’ll lead to 14 yr old Jonathan having a kid or raping a young girl. We don’t have these conversations because we aren’t educated in a way to have this in a healthy discussion, especially since most black folk are religious.

  • dee

    My bro and I both got the talk at the same time even though we’re five years apart.

    She taught both of us that no means no. But even though we’ve both had multiple talks with our mother, if we wanted to go out and rape the talk probably wouldn’t stop either of us.

    I wish the world worked that way. Even with that said I do hope more parents talk with their child about consent. Maybe that will stop some possible future rapists.

  • au napptural

    Those words sound good but have an apologist tone. “Rapists are not monsters” according to whom? When we look at the hurt, the trauma, the suffering inflicted by these men, most times knowingly and PURPOSEFULLY, I think they can only be diefined as monsters. Using rape as a tool of war, oppression, silencing (so women witnesses or victims won’t report other crimes) isn’t happenstance or bad judgment. It is a deliberate attempt to humiliate and shatter another human being. We’ll never be able to fight rape effectively until we stop trying to mask how ugly it is. It’s real. I would say worldwide 9.99 times out of 10 the rapist either didn’t give a damn about the victim or was trying to inflict pain on purpose.

  • AM

    Women rape too, by the way. So these lessons should be taught to BOTH genders.

  • au napptural

    I agree to a certain extent, but I don’t think rapists are “mentally ill.” Lots of times the only disease they have is selfishness and lack of conscience. Society does have a hierarchy and that’s why certain women are targeted. The mentally ill, women in care facilities, prisoners, illegal/non-citizens, poor women are often raped and otheriwse exploited b/c they have no recourse. I can’t emphasize enough rape is not accidental! It is planned. People are mapping out who the best victim is, how won’t be believed, who is vunerable. Like the whole situation with men coming onto Native American reservations to rape women because there they aren’t subject to US laws. According to this article 1 in 3 NA women will be raped in her life. http://dartcenter.org/content/sexual-abuse-native-american-women
    Who is out there thinking up this craziness!

  • au napptural

    How did I know. Yes some women rape, But since it’s about 97 to 3 for the men, perhaps we should aim these lessons at men.

  • Treece

    There is no sure fire way to “make sure” you don’t raise a rapist….I mean you can teach your child the values stated in the article, but there is not way to ensure that your child wont grow up and commit heinous crimes against other people. I think that teaching children empathy (by modeling it mostly) and respect is the beginning of raising a respectful and considerate person. Also teaching children that they aren’t entitled to ANYTHING in this world. the sense of entitlement children have nowadays kills me….And of course raising your children in a home free of abuse and neglect and abusive speech. But the catch is that you never know what outside influences will come in and destroy what you’ve taught. Just like the author implies that there is no sure way to prevent rape and that we shouldn’t blame the victim for being raped, maybe we should not jump to blaming parents for “raising a rapist”. Maybe we shouldn’t talk about ways to prevent a child from becoming a rapist….we should just raise kids to be good citizens and hope (and pray) they don’t rape anyone.

    I mean lets take a psychopath for instance. Psychopaths aren’t only cannibals lurking around the woods, waiting to dismember children. As a matter of fact, most psychopaths are normal looking people like you and I who just lack the ability to show or feel empathy and are only concerned with fulfilling thier own desires and needs. No conscience whatsoever. They are born this way and it is a mental disorder. And some of them are rapist. There is no way to prevent that if it’s what satisfies them.

  • gmarie

    Thank you for this article, and I agree. We often teach our children how to avoid being a victim, but that doesn’t stop the existence of predators. We talk to them about consent but we don’t talk to them about “healthy” sexual behavior or how to handle being on the opposite side of consent. I know we think we’ve all raised our childreen “right” and that they aren’t capible of harm but I feel that we need to explicitely express how wrong predatory behavior is as well. If you’re gonna have that talk have it all the way around. I plan to teach mine that people touching you inappropriately is wrong, and so is touching other people. Especially in this day in age where typically both parents are out of the house working and children have more than a little bit of free time on their hands.

  • geekmommarants

    A question: How can a woman rape a man? Our sex organs are internal. So, how can this happen?

  • http://www.urbanexpressive.com J. Nicole

    Right, but rape isn’t only about sex; which is why it may be easy for some people to think not to rape can be taught, or supressing a desire to rape can be stifled by knowing you will not “die” from not having sex. Tif that were the case, prostitutes would not get raped. There are rapists out there who cannot eveb climax because it isn’t about sex, but control & violence. I see what you mean about young boys full of hormones more likely to think with their penis, but if someone is not right in the head and has this “uncontrollable” desire to rape, I don’t think there is a cure for them, let alone prevention

  • Anthony

    Geekmomrants, sexual assault can done with fingers or tongues, or foreign objects if one us talking about penetration. Also a woman can sexually assault a boy with her vagina as in all of the cases of teachers with schoolboys.

    Remember the terrible rape that happened in India was done with iron rods.

  • ASK_ME

    According to many states a man cannot be raped. He can be sodomized, but not raped (and yes, most states agree there is a difference). So, legally women cannot rape men (we’re talking specifically about ADULTS…not children).

  • Tallulah Belle

    @AM Not really. Women rarely rape. Rape is not sex. Rape is an act of violence and dominance. When the seven men on the bus in India recently raped a woman to death, they did not use their penises. They used tire irons and ruptured her internal organs so badly that she eventually died from her injuries. The reality is that male-dominated society always suggests that if a man is using his penis or is penetrating a woman’s vagina or mouth, that it is sex. Well, it is not. As we used to say, “If I beat you with my frying pan, I ain’t cooking…”

  • wfm

    Women being rapist is not rare! Just under reported and not talked about. Women rape and violate boys and girls. Come to Philadelphia. Many girls in highshool rape other girls. One year it was so bad on made the newspaper. Please stop thinking only men do evil things.

  • ASK_ME

    ***Clarification of my statement above…

    According to many states a man cannot be raped BY A WOMAN. He can be sodomized, but not raped (and yes, most states agree there is a difference…ex. the state of GA doesn’t believe a man can be raped by a woman. However, he can be sodomized by a woman). So, legally women cannot rape men in some states (we’re talking specifically about ADULTS…not children).

    ***Additional note: The FBI and the attorney general just expanded the definition of rape.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    This! I don’t know why when people think of seedy criminals they think the stereotypical background and upbringing when that IS not always the case especially in circumstances of rape. You can NOT teach someone how not to rape but inconsequently you CAN teach someone to rape and enforce it without even knowing it. A lot of people will be surprised how deviant behavior is taught and quickly learned by subtle means, that is why I always shake my head when people say things like “I can’t believe so and so did that or he didn’t look the type or my favorite… not my kid I didn’t raise him that way…”

    However, “There are just some people who do not and will not comply with society norms”

    True, but to play devil’s advocate it seems like society norms when it comes to rape and other sexual inappropriate behaviors is becoming TOO prevalent and acceptable in current society and the red flags for it is starting to become part of the cultural norm that nobody reads them as a warning. I know a handful of women who had been sexual assaulted BUT wasn’t aware that they were sexual assaulted at the time. Because the red flags that was drilled into our heads are slowly becoming blurred, for example a woman I worked with was living with her then boyfriend at the time and somehow the subject of sex came up and she said “well, he can’t take no for an answer…” and me and the other lady was said “that’s rape!” and she said “no he was just being a typical alpha male…” and me and the other lady just looked at her dumbfounded. There are A lot of things in our society that promote rape culture so teaching someone not to be a rapist is only one dimension of the problem.

  • wfm

    * it made the newspaper.
    Sorry for the phone typos.

  • ASK_ME

    There is a LEGAL difference between rape, sexual abuse, sexual assault, statutory rape, child molestation and sodomy. I think this is where the confusion lies on this blog. People don’t know the difference.

  • T

    This is a thought-provoking article. I think while people do speak to their children in regards to sex, the subject of rape is often overlooked. Naturally so, it is the assumption that your child will not think about raping a woman. It falls within the category of having morals and values, the same as not to physically or verbally abuse women. We tend to teach our children about our experiences and/or thru the experiences of other people mishaps. Drugs, avoiding police brutality, hanging out with the wrong crowd, joining gangs and how to avoid rape are quite often discussed. In the South, the conversation appears quicker to be mindful around white women because some may still scream rape. Even within those conversations, we will teach if any woman says “no”, that means” no” and keep your hands to yourself. So I think these conversations are guarded around how to avoid rape accusations. But when it comes to sexual assault, I think all parents can have a more in depth conversation. Can our sons truly recognize when a no is a NO? Do they understand that because a woman is drunk it isn’t an automatic green light for sex? Also, she has a right to change her mind at any time. If he crosses that barrier, then yes it is rape.

    While we have had conversations with our son about NOT participating in running trains (or gang rape) on women once he attend college because the fraternity is participating, it is still best to walk away. It’s not certain what type of mainframe the young lady is in and it is a situation that it is best that your name is not associated with. We know parents are purposely raising a rapist, but hopefully this article will encourage parents to ask themselves and their friends, “are they doing enough to prevent a situation from resulting in rape or is enough education about rape present to know the difference between consensual sex and rape?” Not only that our sons need to be aware of each the age of sexual consent for each state.

    This was one of my favorite Clutch’s articles. Imo..it is a great –much needed- conversation to have with our kids. It’s not intentional. Some parents may not think to take the conversation to the next level.

    As a side note, I also enjoyed the article about should your spouse know how much money you have. I’ll try to comment on that article later. If women don’t talk about anything, that is one subject we should always discuss.

  • Natalie B.

    I think that in speaking with both boys and girls about sex we’ve forgotten to include respect in the conversation. The act of rape is the ultimate act of disrespect no matter the gender of the victim or the perpetrator. In mentoring young women, I am amazed with the amount of disrespect that they are subject to, and the amount of disrespect that many young men are pressured into participating in by their peers. Until we are willing to discuss how respect of one’s body, of the right of another’s boundaries, and that everybody is deserving of respect, no matter how they dress, how they act or even if they themselves are unaware that they deserve respect, and then we need to model what respect looks like. We don’t need be phony or Puritanical, but we need to be aware that children model their behavior after us, and that if we don’t want our sons or our daughters displaying misogynistic behavior or victim blaming, then we probably shouldn’t either.

  • Shepherd

    I thought the article was brilliant and necessary. Parents have a responsibility in how their kids (male and female) turn out. On a down note however, the comment sections on numerous articles are really discouraging and at times, alarming.

  • Tallulah Belle

    @SMH: I am not 40, I am actually 45. And, you have misused the word “trope” in your abbreviated diatribe. Nice try, however. You also seem incredibly angry. Poor you.

  • http://ki kiki

    I’m gonna say something unpopular but its true. Society views on women and porn contribute to rape. Some women don’t want to hear this but there are men that only want women for sexual needs or have a build up of sperm and need a release. They may not rape a woman but their actions show that’s what they want women for and where is brutal violent porn some men think that,s normal. I know people say rape is about control but sometimes its about men who think women are only put here to satisfy men

  • Anthony

    J. Nicole, I know rape is not about lust. Pretty early into adolesence, boys figure out how to calm down desire when no one wants to accomodate them.

    I was not very clear, but the I emphasized the idea that no one owes a boy or man sex because the notion of entitlement is what can easily lead to the disrespect of women, and the willingness to commit violence in order to have one’s way.

  • AM

    @Tallulah Belle,

    Smh @your ignorance. Women are capable of raping, and actually have. Cases are RARELY documented. Which man is willing to admit /report that they were raped by a WOMAN, no less? The patriachal society we live in will mock and chide him ruthlessly!

    Here is one such case:
    http://www.wsmv.com/story/19077849/woman-accused-of-raping-exposing-boys-to-hiv

    Rape IS SEXual assault, and yes you are right it is an act, of violence and dominance, but it still doesn’t change the fact that there is sexual intercouse taking place, albeit not consensual.

  • Anthony

    I am not about to defend rapists. If any of you want to say a rapist is a monster, end of story, you are certainly entitled to your opinion!

    My point is that rapists, like other violent criminals, are usually pretty normal except for the act of violence that they have committed. People get acculturated into all sorts of horrible behavior. An obvious example is the lynching culture that dominated the South. Those white men who mutilated black bodies, often before the entire town, were normal people with functional moral compasses. It’s just that racism allowed them to dehumanize African Americans, and the greater society supported their atrocities. Rape culture functions the same way.

    It takes a real effort for men to look outside of that culture once they fall into it. The one exception is that many men who gloss over the rape and abuse of women in general are ready to kill someone if their daughter is touched. A good example of this I witnessed was back when Mike Tyson was oing through his rape trial. I was at a barbershop with a girlfriend of mine at the time, and the Tyson trial came up. The barber jokingly said that once a man gets aroused he can’t help himself, and he needs a release. My girlfriend responded with “your daughter is at Florida A&M, I guess you are alright with it if some boy can’t help himself and has to release.”

    The barber shut his mouth and finished cutting hair.

  • Tallulah Belle

    @AM Nice try. Yes, I guess if you Google anything, some article will come up. Try this one: “40 Women Raped in the Congo Every Hour.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/12/48-women-raped-hour-congo

    smh at that sad reality, sweetheart.

  • Degree

    Women can rape men. It’s not about putting something into something, it’s about making someone do something they don’t want to do. I heard a story about these women in Zimbabwe that raped men, by gun point. Stories of older women having sex with boys that don’t want to have sex with them, but using their authority to do it.

  • Tallulah Belle

    @AM As well, many women are killed during a rape, particularly during current genocides. This happens from Brooklyn to Bangalore. So, yes, you are correct, rape is a sexual assault. However, this includes violent sodomization in the mouth and in the vagina and anus, oftentimes with an object that is not a penis. So, yes, there is non-consensual sex in a rape. There is always violence. And, many times, there is death.

  • Jules

    The sad thing is that, some women going home tonight to their dear husbands, fiancees and boyfriends are going home to men who have raped in the past.

    Great article!

  • AM

    @ Tallulah,

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think your larger point in this debate, is that rape occurs at a disproportionately higher rate for women as opposed to men, no?

  • Tallulah Belle

    @SMH Sorry to disappoint you, but I am actually happliy married, gorgeous, and intelligent, with three graduate degrees (two from Harvard). I volunteer with the UN’s coalition on Congolese child rape with a focus on mobile health. I am also a feminist/Womanist who researches and blogs on violence against women here in the US. My voice in this conversation about rape is probably what’s got your itsy-bitsy, tight, little man panites all in an uncomfortable bunch. You poor lil’ thang…

  • Christine

    I think this is absolutely correct. Boys need to be taught from the start that women are not here solely for their sexual satisfaction. Similarly, girls need to be taught that they are not here solely for men’s sexual satisfaction.

  • AM

    @ Tallulah,

    I’m absolutely IRKED by your dismissive tone to women RAPING men. That was not a case I just googled. It was a story I came across, sometime last year and was beyond shocked and appalled by her actions! A man is also HUMAN. I don’t care that it is an isolated case, fact remains, we are capable of harming men, SEXUALLY.

    As far as the Congolese stats, I’m well AWARE. You can continue posting links to all the stats available in the world of women being raped by men, BUT, it does NOT take away the fact that there are women that RAPE men, and it is NOT okay! Abeg, commot for road with your feminist /womanist madness. Urrrgh!

  • AM

    LOL! You are a MESS!

  • http://Clutch SL

    @Treece – I agree with you to a point, but I think this subject matter is very complex and can’t be distilled into a few bullet points of does and don’ts. I think how a person is raised can be a definite factor, but there are some people (irregardless of their upbringing) who will choose to do wrong. Each human being is born with free-will. I don’t think anyone is born a rapists: some are made and some “choose” to be.

  • http://Clutch SL

    @wfm – most women who rape tend to rape children or teens and other women. Most women who rape do not rape fully grown men.

  • lola

    So true. Its all planned. The reason stranger kidnapping rapes in the US are so rare is because rapists know its the one type of rape they can do and definitely not get away with.

    They specifically target so called “loose” girls at parties because they know if they rape those type of girls everyone in society will say oh those girls deserved it and the rapist will be off the hook free to rape again.

    The only thing that makes a drunk/slutty girl vulnerable to rape is the societal belief that drunk/slutty girls deserve to be raped, makes them perfect targets for rapists.

  • http://Clutch SL

    Thank you for the article. I’ve talked to my daughter about inappropriate touching, but rape goes far beyond that and I need to have a discussion with her on this subject along with things she can do if she fears she is in a situation that could lead to violence like rape.
    Thanks again!

  • Humanista

    1) I don’t think that too much Law and Order SVU counts as research…although it may offer a space for thinking about sexual assault–the why, the how. (I watch it often myself)

    2) The fact that so many individuals who rape DO come from “regular” backgrounds w/o violence or sexual abuse, to me, further illustrates that this kind of wrongdoing is more acceptable than it should be. It is probably true that most rapists are not sociopaths, but they ARE people who feel entitled to another’s body, and that IS something that can be addressed either in the home and in society. “Some” people not complying w/ society’s norm is one thing. The pervasiveness of these crimes is another–these aren’t isolated incidents.

    I think it would be dangerous move to start assigning rapists some sort of chemical or genetic issue, therefore absolving them of their responsibility to make a better choice. That means that they must be taught nuance and what is acceptable. Right now, what is often acceptable is sex w/o consent (think, for example, about the pervasiveness of the idea that sex w/ a drunk person is a-ok).

  • Humanista

    I think this is one of the most thoughtful responses to this article. I agree w/ your perspective.

    I would add that it’s not just men who get caught up in a negative culture–it’s women too. Consider all the women who are rape-apologists or stand by men who have committed these acts; the victims who believe that they are to blame for the crimes against them, or who feel like they have no right to report because of where they were or who it was; the women who go to parties and dance to songs about getting women drunk/high to take them home and have sex with them. Everyone has bought into the culture, and that is problem number 1.

  • The Other Jess

    Even the “easiest” woman can be raped! Don’t make excuses for rapists who take women and children against their will!

  • EST. 1986

    How does one respond to nearly every comment on this site with vitriolic speech and ad hominem attacks and then deems it proper to label others as being obsessed with him and stalking him when their comments weren’t directed to him in the first place?

    Clutch, I ask you again, why do you all allow him to comment here? Other women’s sites I have been to will delete the comments and ban the person from commenting ever again.

  • Anthony

    Comments like that are why I have a hard time thinking Shawty is really a woman.

    I think men who actually commit rape is a much bigger problem than women lying about rape. I will say in cases of false accusations, it is easy to blame the victim, just like it is easy to blame the victim of an actual rape.

  • I got sense!

    The overall tone of your post seemed very narrow in the definition of who (men) you think are committing these rapes and why. Women rape too. There were so many arrests in 2012 about female teachers and male students I lost count.

  • http://Clutch SL

    I am glad that many here are aware of and talking about the fact that women rape too. I’d posted this fact last week in response to a comment about women facing the threat of being raped by men since women will now be allowed to Serve on the frontlines. I got all thumbs down. Glad to know others are aware that women/girls do rape. We have several HS in my area where girls are raping other girls in the bathrooms and locker rooms and it is not to derive sexual pleasure but rather to torture a girl who has been singled out as not fitting in, not caving in to someone’s demands or just someone that is intensely dislked. It is an act of bullying.

    In our push to be equal across the board with boys and men, I think we are going to continue to see these things that use to be identified a predominately agrressive male acts seep into the female population.

  • Perspective

    GOTDAMN – black women’s capacity to THINK is just not there. You all co-sign this garbage?

    I give up I’m out

    “Rape is a learned behavior. It’s about enjoying or being profoundly indifferent to someone else’s suffering. It’s about remarkable levels of entitlement and the failure to recognize another human being as another human being. It’s about a gaping hole inside the rapist that nothing will ever fill. It’s way beyond a lack of love and respect. It’s beyond ignorance”

    WRONG!

    Again – most black women are raising their sons ALONE – 0 influence of the father and yet they can’t even create this PERFECT matriarchy they want when they have 100% oversight and control over the raising of these boys, yet they still can’t do it. SMDH

    Most RAPIST – have seething resentment towards their mothers that they, unfortunately, take out on other women.

    It comes from the boy being UNPREPARED for the world that the mother thought would be the ideal world that she wanted her son to contribute too with is SOFT ASS WAYS. Only for him to discover that everything is mother taught him was BS.

    Girls don’t like it. Women don’t respect it, and the SOFT ASS MAN BOY gets eaten up by other men. He gets taken advantage of everybody because he has this FEMALE hearts and care bears outlook on the world that HIS MOTHER taught him to observe the world through.

    Over time resentment builds up when he realizes that everything his mother taught him was a lie – and those LIES – COST HIM.

    HE BACKLASHES AGAINST WOMEN.

    If you’ve done your research – RAPE isn’t even really about the SEX – its about DOMINATION, CONTROL, AND PAYBACK.

    There men FEAR rejection – but not based on “OH HE’S JUST CORNY” but because most REALLY can’t deal with being rejected based on what they were taught and indoctrinated with to believe was the proper approach.

    A lot of times the MOMs are so fearful of raising and AGGRESSIVE or STRONG CONTROLLING MALE – that they soften the boy to the point that he is INCAPABLE of having interactions with people who don’t take advantage of him the MOMENT that they realize that HE’S SOFT – and really doesn’t know what’s going on.

    That happens one too many times; his mother typically blames him for why a girl broke up with him or doesn’t want to deal with him. He gets shat on again, and again – BAM!!!!!!

    YOU JUST CREATED A RAPIST.

    Women go out here and protect the hell out of their daughters telling them that boys need to be thoroughly vetted – but tell the boys that all girls are ANGELS! (Which is so far from the truth its insane!)

    You protect your daughters from heartache – but NOT YOUR SONS!

    I’m really FED UP with black women and their MATRIARCHAL CONCLUSIONS they draw on EVERYTHING!

  • ASK_ME

    And you wonder why men like you aren’t wanted on this site and why you’re labeled trolls?!?

  • Perspective

    I feel like many of you women SPEW – VITRIOLIC things about men BEFORE YOU ACTUALLY consider – and critically THINK about what’s going on.

    Richard Cole describes Men’s mother complex.

    “A boy learns about relationship with women primarily through his relationship with his mother and through observing his parent’s relationship. If there was much conflict or emotional distance in his parents relationship his emotional bond with his father can be distant and his bond with his mother overwhelming.
    If the mother is emotionally unsupported by the father she may unwittingly use her son to meet her emotional needs as a substitute for her partner. The disappointment she feels in the father is felt by the son. In response the son aspires to be perfect “little man” that won’t let her down like his father did. The son’s heart is open and it’s natural for him to want to be the apple of his mother’s eye and fill her up with his love. He learns how to please his mother. He suffers from not being emotionally close to his father.He enjoys his special relationship with his mother but it comes at a cost.
    The boy is unaware that he has been setup for an impossible job that he will fail at. It is too much for a little boy to fulfill the emotional needs of his mother. She needs an adult man. The boy is in an emotional bind. He can’t be himself and be what (he imagines) his mother wants him to be. He unconsciously chooses to fit in with her needs at the cost of his own. The father is remiss in not providing a healthy parental relationship alongside the mother to allow the son to develop a healthy male identity. Often the boy cuts off from his male power to fit in. A distant or closed-hearted father, an emotionally needy mother combined with the cultural images of masculinity encourages the boy to close his heart and disconnect him from his feelings.” E.g. Hypermasculinity.

    [I’m going to have to throw a flag on the play. Rapist in the making: RAPE ALERT. Perhaps I’m reaching but I do think some of this is connected. Not in all cases, but in quite a few that go unnoticed.]

    “He resents her needs. The man has an unconscious rage and resentment towards meeting his mother’s needs and he sees all women as his mother on some level.. He believes he is working hard in the relationship to do the right thing, yet he finds no matter what he does, he slips up. He forgets to tell his partner important things, or finds a way to rubbish his partner or the relationship in someway. If he is asked why he ignored her he probably isn’t in touch with his resentment.”

  • Kay

    There is no excuse for taking something from someone without consent. It is no different than robbery, stealing or any other crime. Regardless of how one may be so-called raised, we are all responsible for our own actions. Rape has little to do with men who are “soft,” and more to do with someone who wants to commit a crime. Point blank, period. If we can prevent individuals from engaging in a life of crime (drugs, gangs, etc.) is it such a stretch to teach both men and (some women too) not to rape, which is also a crime?

  • Kay

    The last time I checked this is not 1802, and women can vote, work and *gasp* have sex with anyone they want, and have control (or should have) over their reproductive choices!! Being raped is not about being “easy,” but about someone ELSE who decides “Hey, I’m going to have sex with this person whether they want to or not.”

  • ASK_ME

    @alldawg

    You and your other names just don’t get it. You don’t come on a site catered to BLACK women and start a comment with this B.S.:

    “GOTDAMN – black women’s capacity to THINK is just not there.”

    When you do, you get labeled a troll and you get dismissed.

    It doesn’t matter how much this kneegrow laments about black women he more often than not gets dismissed because he is clearly JADED as hell.

    So, most of us here REFUSE to argue with such a man.

    NO thanks.

    This man is mentally DAMAGED.

    Anyone that says “I’m done” on and over again but KEEPS COMING BACK is DAMAGED in the head.

  • Kay

    Does your upbringing often determine you life chances? Yes. And I do agree that parents need to raise emotionally stable individuals. But this article is not about male bashing, but is instead about positively connecting with a male child so they WON’T become a rapist. It is about serving as great role models and mentors so that said male child will have a positive outlook on life and on women. So essentially you are SUPPORTING the main crux of the article.

  • Tallulah Belle

    @SMH You are a riot! The Congo is not in the Middle East, it is former Zaire and it is in Central Africa. Think of yourself as a low I.Q. form of cheap entertainment for writers who check- in between page breaks and phone calls.

  • Mimi

    Damn Perspective Im sorry you hate your mom and women in general so much. Being that your only 19 I will excuse you as being just another angry teenager. I find it weird that if you are so mad at black women why are you on site for black women lol You sound like a rapist trying make excuses for his own horrible actions. God I hope you never have children your ignorance does not need to be passed down ! Please go find Jesus

  • Perspective

    ” should have) over their reproductive choices!!”

    Should have?! They do have – they just choose not to exercise it when they feel like it – and then falsely claim that they didn’t have the right to begin with.

    That decision starts with WHO YOU LAY DOWN WITH and WHO YOU DECIDE TO have unprotected sex with.

  • http://cianapullen.blogspot.com KittyWrangler

    In addition to what other commenters said, men can also be given GHB (date rape drug), stumbling drunk or otherwise incapacitated or unable to consent. Men with severe mental disabilities can be raped by caretakers and men in nursing homes with dementia can also be taken advantage of in this way.

    Men can also be susceptible to threats. For instance an isolated man with disabilities who is completely reliant on his caretaker can be coerced into sex rather than freely consenting (this is actually shockingly common). A woman could also threaten a man in any manner, such as with a weapon (though I have no idea how common that is).

  • EST. 1986

    Nigga, you are about as crazy as can be. What the fuck are you talking about? Go get hit by a car.

  • http://cianapullen.blogspot.com KittyWrangler

    Ok, I’ll try this again and hope it doesn’t double post:

    In addition to rape with objects, statutory rape and child molestation, a man can be rendered unable to consent with GHB (date rape drug) or excessive alcohol just like a woman. He can also be unable to consent due to extreme mental disability and be raped by a caretaker. Similarly some men in nursing homes with dementia are taken advantage of.

    A man can also be coerced rather than freely consenting. For example an isolated man with disabilities who relies completely on a caretaker could easily be coerced rather than consenting, and that scenario happens shockingly often. A man in any number of situations can be coerced.

    And finally he can be threatened, either with extreme consequences or with the threat of violence. I have no idea how often this actually happens but any woman with a gun could threaten a man. And men can get erections involuntarily or under duress.

  • http://cianapullen.blogspot.com KittyWrangler

    This article is great!

    Though I do find it frustrating that so many commenters dismiss the article because they don’t believe having that talk with a rapist-to-be could make any difference.

    Okay, so what if it doesn’t? Let’s say, hypothetically, everyone in a given community is taught about consent and what rape is and why it’s wrong, and everyone learns the lesson except the rapist-to-be. He grows up, commits rape. Imagine the victim has friends and family who *get it.* Even if they victim is confused he or she has someone to talk to. The police are willing to investigate the crime. A prosecutor is willing to prosecute it. The rape kit is tested. Hospital staff is professional rather than judgey. A counselor it understanding. A judge and jury find the rapist guilty in a fair trial. The press doesn’t blame the victim. The rapist is prevented from committing more rape. The next young rapist-to-be sees that rape has consequences.

    But any single one of those people buying into rape myths could prevent this outcome (the prosecutor won’t prosecute when the victim was in a short skirt, a misunderstanding friend convinces the victim to keep quiet, and so on). Teaching children (including boys!) about consent and about rape is not JUST for the benefit of future rapists. It’s to prevent ordinary people from aiding and abetting a rapist.

    And we may think that if we neglect to teach kids not to rape or to participate in rape culture, that they are not receiving any messages at all. But that’s not true, they’re already being taught by media, advertising, games, other people, even the freaking US Government, that rape is ok, that rape is normal, that victims ask for it, that disrespecting boundaries is normal, that violence is normal, that some groups of people are worthless (who are also, inevitably, frequent targets of rape), that when women say “no” it really means “maybe, what do you think?,” that women lie and bitches be crazy, that men can’t be raped, and on and on.

  • AM

    LADIES,

    I’m absolutely DYING over here! Ya’ll are trading insults like they about to go in style…

    *grabs popcorn, and notebook*!! I’m about to make my own museum, a la Beyonce of insults. OYA! continue!! :)

  • Kay

    You’re right, women CAN rape, and men can rape other men too, not just women. Rape can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, age, socio-economic status etc. However, because we live in a society that perpetuates biases against women, we live in a culture that glorifies violence of women and such issues have never been fully discussed and explored until quite recently, so there has been a push to dismantle this culture. But I do agree that everyone should be taught to respect both genders, and to that end we have to teach young boys that women are human beings, not just bodies walking around, just as we should teach young boys that they are human beings with the right to love, and live without restrictions based on gender roles and stereotypes., We should also teach both men and women that their bodies are their own properties; no one has the right to defile, use or abuse them. And no one has a right to blame female or male victims in cases of rape.

  • Kay

    Nope. Rape can happen to anyone. I am as much an advocate for male rape victims as I am female rape victims because rape is often about power. In fact, a male acquaintance of mine once confessed to me that a babysitter raped him when he was nine years old. She held him down and stimulated him and made him have sex with her. When he told her he would tell, she threatened him. He told me that his body enjoyed it, but his mind didn’t, and he felt dirty afterwards.

    Power in itself doesn’t have to be physical in nature, as with my friend who was much smaller than the babysitter, but it can span the spectrum from mental to financial with all kinds in between. So in a word, yes, women can rape too.

  • black_feminist

    I’m pretty sure SVU is not the best source to understand the profile or behavior of men who rape. I think the show tends to portray rapists who have aberrant mental health issues because it is more sensational. It makes for better tv. Unfortunately, far too many men have engaged in sexual assault. No way do I believe that all these men have some biological issues that predispose them to rape. The sad, scary and hard-to-accept truth is that “normal” men rape women. Rapists are generally not crazy men hiding in bushes. They are our relatives, friends, co-workers, and neighbors.

  • http://clutchmagazine blcknnblvuu

    Wow! instead to want to subjugate every black women to black men,I think someone needs to have an honest and sensible conversation with mom or get some help before it’s to late.

  • http://cianapullen.blogspot.com KittyWrangler

    Actually, YOU assumed the kid on the path to becoming a rapist is a boy. Well done.

  • http://twitter.com/ShanaLisaSmile Shana Lisa (@ShanaLisaSmile)

    All I can say to this post is YES! It always starts in the home.

  • AM

    THIS!!!!

  • Playwitit

    Do you even read, bro?

  • Pema

    I want to know if the author has a son. This is a strange article. No one knowingly raises a rapist and I’m not sure if this is a behavior that a mother can correct. Where is the father in the picture?

  • Micole L.

    This article needed to be written. Thank you. I have always said that people are not born murderers, drug dealers or rapist. I do believe it starts in childhood with what children are being taught about sex, about other peoples feelings, about respect.

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