Helping Mychal Denzel Smith

This is an abridget version of a post I made at Feminist Critics. It includes the parts pertaining men as victims of domestic and sexual violence and women as perpetrators per the stated focus of this blog. The unabridget version where I also address the other points made by Mychal Denzel Smith may be read by following this link to Feminist Critics.

 

Mychal Denzel Smith recently published an article on Feministing titled “The one where I need help understanding why MRAs don’t become feminists.”

I don’t identify as an MRA, but reading through his article I think I can help him get an understanding of why feminists like him don’t entice MRAs and others who are concerned with male issues to become feminists.

 

Legitimate Issues

Apparently someone has informed Mychal that there are issues that MRAs care about and he lists them:

  • “They say fathers have to navigate a family court system that unfairly privileges mothers in divorce”
  • “[B]oys are falling behind in education”
  • “They worry about high unemployment among men”
  • “[M]en are more likely to commit suicide”
  • “They argue that domestic and sexual violence against men is underplayed by the media”
  • “[M]en are unfairly stereotyped as violent sexual predators”

Seemingly begrudgingly Mychal acknowledges these issues:

So … some of those aren’t completely unreasonable grievances. In fact, some of them are really serious issues that need to be addressed (I do wonder which men they’re talking about with regards to high unemployment, because something tells me it isn’t about black men).

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Call For RAINN Follow-up Campaign

Tumblr collective Permutationofninjas organized an e-mail campaign directed at RAINN on the 15th of March asking them to update their statistics on male rape and to use a more inclusive language. I participated and wrote about the e-mail I sent to RAINN and the response I got from them in this blogpost.

RAINN’s response included this:

We are currently working on an overhaul of our entire website, and will pay special attention to the statistics, definitions and language that we use. We are also finishing up a large project that will provide much more detailed, state-by-state definitions of rape and sexual assault. We expect to add this feature to our website later this spring.

It is now the 5th of July and there hasn’t been any changes on RAINN’s websites yet.

Permutationofninjas are therefore calling for a follow-up campaign on the 15th of July. Details and mail-template can be seen on their site.

Please join us in mailing RAINN to remind them of our concerns on the 15th of July.

 

ONS will look into adding questions to the CSEW to capture more male victims

On the 22nd of April I wrote a post titled UK: CSEW doesn’t count all sexual offences on my blog detailing how this UK survey doesn’t capture victims of “being made to penetrate” as defined in the Sexual Offences Act of 2003 Section 4.4 (c)(d). The post was based on an analysis I did last year for comments on FeministCritics, Genderratic and Heteronormative Patriarchy for men.

I also wrote an e-mail to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) asking whether my conclusion that these victims aren’t captured by the survey is correct and if so; will they make changes to future CSEW to capture those victims?

Here is the letter I sent on the 24th of April:

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UK: CSEW doesn’t count all sexual offences

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), formerly known as the British Crime Survey (BCS), is a face-to-face victimization survey first conducted in 1982. Here is a bulletin describing what the Ministry of Justice, Home Office and the Office for National Statistics says about what sexual offences the CSEW captures:

These experiences span the full spectrum of sexual offences, ranging from the most serious offences of rape and sexual assault, to other sexual offences like indecent exposure and unwanted touching.

Unfortunately that is a lie and this blog post will explain in some detail why this is a lie and what sexual offence is left out.

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FBI Clarifies Definition Of Rape

In 2011, the FBI approved a new definition of rape which was effective beginning in January 2013. Here it is:

Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.

There was a bit of discussion when it was published as to whether it covered rape by envelopment. It’s written pretty ambiguously and the use of the word ‘penetration’ made many think that it didn’t include rape by envelopment. I have earlier argued for assuming in discussions that it includes rape by envelopment, but I quickly became disillusioned when it became clear that other governmental agencies like the CDC and the National Research Council excluded rape by envelopment from their definitions of rape.

I am happy to tell that Ms. Mary P. Reese, from the FBI’s CJIS Division’s Crime Statistics Management Unit confirms in an email that they consider rape by envelopment to be rape under the current FBI definition of rape, and that they’ll consider my suggestion in modifying documentation for the reporting agencies to reflect that more clearly.

Here’s the story on how this came about as well as screenshots of the email communication with Ms. Reese at the FBI.

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Response from RAINN on the 15th of March e-mail

Permutationofninjas on Tumblr set a campaign in motion to e-mail RAINN on the 15th of March 2014 asking them about their use of statistics which excludes male victimization like being made to penetrate. I wrote a blog post encouraging everyone to join that campaign in sending an e-mail to RAINN.

I did so myself using Permutationofninjas template as a basis and added some information about me and how I was raped. Here is the mail I sent:

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CDC caught in a lie

Alison Tieman (typhonblue) of AVfM has made a video using puzzle pieces to illustrate how CDC categorize made to penetrate as not rape.

About halfway through the video there is an interview where Hannah Wallen (also of AVfM I believe) is talking on the phone with a person from the CDC on their decision to categorize made to penetrate as something else than rape in their NISVS 2010 Report.

The person from CDC state that the definitions of rape and made to penetrate are in line with CDC’s uniform definitions for sexual violence. This can be heard from the 6:28 mark in the video.

That is a lie

They are not in line with CDC’s uniform definitions for sexual violence. The CDC uniform definitions of sexual violence defines rape as a completed nonconsensual sex act (i.e., rape) where sex act is defined as contact between the penis and the vulva or the penis and the anus involving penetration, however slight; contact between the mouth and penis, vulva, or anus; or penetration of the anal or genital opening of another person by a hand, finger, or other object.

Made to penetrate is not mentioned in their uniform definitions of sexual violence at all. Made to penetrate would however fall within the definition of rape used as made to penetrate would entail “contact between the penis and the vulva involving penetration”, “contact between the penis and the anus involving penetration” or “contact between the mouth and penis”.

I have already documented this back in October last year in a post titled “Did the NISVS 2010 Report really use CDC’s definition of rape?” where more details and links to CDC’s uniform definitions of sexual violence can be found.