Let’s talk about rape culture and intersectional feminism

Several years back I saw a post on Tumblr by a strong womanist, decrying the mainstream feminist use of “rape culture” to describe how men see women. Her reason was simple – rape culture was a phrase coined by men in prison to describe the ordeals they go through in regards to being raped, and feminists had appropriated it.

Wait, what?

Yup, you read that right. I wish I could find the post so I could link to it. Unfortunately, it seems to not exist anymore.

The fact remains, however, that American prisons are hotbeds for rape. Not only rape, rape justified by society as the victims “asking for it“.

Wouldn’t it behoove feminists to talk about this?

Absolutely! We have a situation where heterosexual men are raping other men simply because they can. The guards, who are supposed to be there to not only protect society from prison breaks but also to protect prisoners from each other, are no longer fulfilling their obligations. In fact, significant numbers of prison guards even rape prisoners themselves.

More than 200,000 inmates are raped annually in America, the majority being men. There’s obviously not some sort of “sexual attraction” going on in most of these cases. This is almost always a way of exerting power over someone else.

Is every man in prison a rapist?

No absolutely not. Every inmate in prison is a potential rape victim, but nowhere near all inmates become perpetrators of rape themselves. Most learn very quickly to remain silent because of how the system silently condones rape.

So why don’t feminists talk about this more often?

Some do. Unfortunately, like most battles of the sexes, we have men waiting for women to change and women waiting for men to change. This leads to a stalemate and a society with two in-tandem rape cultures, and for moderate voices calling for real societal change to be drowned out.

On the one hand, we have women demanding that all rape claims be taken seriously, some even without evidence. Many of these women ignore the rape culture inside of prisons, and they completely downplay false rape accusations as much as possible.

On the other hand, we have ignorant men who believe rape is based purely on sexual attraction when it’s between a man and a woman. These same men also know quite well the risks of going to prison. And if all it takes is for a woman’s accusation to put you in the position of being raped… then demand more proof.

Are all men potential rapists?

Look, for the person on the street, or the inmate inside a prison, the truth is that every man you see is a potential rapist in your mind. You have to treat them as such in order to survive. I don’t mean talking down to them or yelling at them. You treat them with caution. You avoid being alone with others. Every action is on the defensive.

But this modern notion that all men are rapists intrinsically is proven false by the prison system. Significant numbers of incarcerated men never rape anyone. (Yes I know that’s an example with very few men but unfortunately I couldn’t find any data on prisoners and their status as not being rapists. That’s how obsessed we are with this deserved rape culture of prisons – all male inmates are rapists as far as we’re concerned.)

So where does this notion that all men are rapists come from?

I can’t be 100% certain, but I suspect strongly it is from white supremacism, which is unfortunately interleaved into mainstream feminism.

You see, white people have this tendency to view Other men as aggressive and evil, and Other women as submissive, voiceless, and oppressed. This doesn’t just happen with Muslims. Latino men are all drunks, wife beaters, and they even have rape trees where they abuse their helpless women. All black men are angry and potential rapists.

Give me an ethnic minority in America and a simple google search will reveal exactly how the men are seen as bullies and the women as meek and subservient. Except for white people.

So my hypothesis is that white feminists have kind of seen through the lie that their men are all protectors of their honor, and they have just lumped all men into this stereotype of being aggressive and violent. Instead of denouncing white supremacy as harmful, rape becomes a male issue. Masculinity? Oh, it’s toxic. No it’ s just sociopaths raping women. It’s all men.

Feminism is flawed

I think one of the worst things feminism has foisted onto society is this concept of intersectionalism. It lets white feminists cry about being white and all their privilege without actually addressing it. Like blaming all men instead of questioning whether or not their assumption (minority men are all violent and aggressive) is correct.

And I’m seeing fewer and fewer womanists, mujeristas, and other minority driven women’s rights groups standing on their own. Many have just fallen in line beneath white feminists’ resurgence via intersectional feminism.

I mean, between the non-stop white supremacist hegemony being pushed on media (movies, music, television etc) and white feminism being reborn as intersectional feminism, it seems like post-colonialists really are going to succeed at continuing to exploit people of colour around the globe.

The thought keeps me up at night. Naudhubillah…..