America (and Salon) still doesn’t know how to talk about rape

The title isn’t mine, I’ve shamelessly stolen it from this article on Salon written by Mary Elizabeth Williams.

It’s quite astounding that an article titled in such a way by Williams is so full of fail.

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When rape is not rape is not rape

The NISVS 2010 Report states the following in it’s executive summary:

Nearly 1 in 5 women (18.3%) and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) in the United States have been raped at sometime in their lives, including completed forced penetration, attempted forced penetration, or alcohol/drug facilitated completed penetration.

aside from the definitional issue (see When rape is not rape) where CDC decided that some rapes weren’t really rapes (rape is not rape) there were in addition some who “cited”the NISVS 2010 who decided that even CDC’s subset of rape for male victims wasn’t really rape (rape is not rape is not rape).

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But globally…like South Africa or India…

This was a comment I made on FeministCritics in January this year.


I sometimes have experience that sometimes when the number of male victims in the US can’t be dismissed the scope/goalpost is shifted to a global level: “But women are the vast majority of rape victims gobally” or alternatively in third world countries. Afghanistan, South Africa and recently India are examples used. Other examples are conflict-rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo (which by Eve Ensler is described as a gendercide) and Sierra Leone.

It apparently doesn’t occur to them that the same mechanism that erases male victims in the US is at play elsewhere in the world and in how information and news from elsewhere is filtered and presented.


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Man fined 1.000 USD for being raped

UPDATE3: Feminist Pia Bitcsch has written a pretty good article on this case in Aftenposten (in Norwegian). She has been in contact with the man’s lawyer and has confirmed that four witnesses testified that the man indeed was asleep when the womens started to have oral sex with him.

UPDATE: The man have now been convicted and have to pay the fine and probably court fees as well as his attorney’s fees (he wasn’t eligible for a public defender). The court didn’t believe that he was asleep and found it proven that he was aware of and accepted it when the two women performed  oral sex on him. The extent he didn’t consider the surroundings and where this took place (in public) were due to his self-inflicted intoxicated state the court wrote. The court acknowledges that the man was very intoxicated when this happened. The first police officer on the site reported that the man was lying on his back with his penis exposed and that one of the woman was on top of him, with her clothes on. He states that when the police addressed the three the defendant was difficult to get a response from. Eventually he rose up and pulled his pants up. The defendant appeared a bit aggressive and didn’t want to talk to the police. The police officer opinionated that the defendant had clearly been under the influences of narcotics and not just alcohol.

Again I’ll iterate the wording in Norwegian rape law: “sexual activity with somebody who is unconscious or for any other reason incapable of resisting the act” is rape. If the man was very intoxicated and unresponsive it doesn’t sound to me like he was capable of resisting the act.


I have sent an email to the court requesting access to the verdict in full.

UPDATE 2: I have now received the verdict in full. I was surprised to learn that they didn’t even redact the names of the people involved. In short it doesn’t seem to state much more than the newspaper article about the verdict. There was four witnesses. Two people eating at the restaurant watching the event unfold, one of the women performing oral sex on the defendant and the policeman who first came to the scene.

Neither of the two witnesses from the restaurant were quoted in the verdict on any statements about the  man’s level of intoxication and whether he was unconscious or not when the women performed oral sex on him. The verdict stated that these witnesses saw the man and the two women, all who appeared intoxicated, settle on the grass outside the restaurant window.  Then all three rolled around and the women started to put grass in the man’s pants. The man had no pants and suddenly his pants on boxershorts were on his knees and the women started to play with his penis. After a while they switched performing fellatio on him.  After 15 minutes or so the restaurant guests’ food arrived and they didn’t want to watch this while they ate so they called the police. The verdict does not state whether the witnesses think the man is incapacitated when the oral sex commences.

The police arrived shortly after. The police officer arriving at the scene testified that the defendant was lying on the ground with his penis exposed and that one of the women was lying on top of him with her clothes on. The officer approached all three. It was hard to establish contact with the defendant and the police officer considered the man to be very intoxicated. After a while the man stood up and pulled up his pants. He was not interested in talking to the police and appeared to have an somewhat aggressive demeanor. An “sign- and symptom test” (a test to look for signs and symptoms of intoxication from alcohol and or drugs) was not possibe to administer (the reason why is not stated in the verdict). Later at the police station the a breathalizer test showed a 0.44 BAC by mass. The police were convinced that the man was under the influence of drugs in addition to alcohol.

The women admitted to having performed oral sex on the man in public. The verdict does not state whether the women considered the man to be incapacitated when they started to perform oral sex on him.

The verdict finds it proven that the man particpated in the oral sex the women performed on him, it states that the defendant participated and accepted the act. To the extent that the defendant didn’t consider the surroundings and where he was is attributed to his self-inflicted intoxication. The court therefore stipulates that the defendant wasn’t asleep when the act occured as the defendant claimed.

I wonder how the court court did find this proved and what they based their stipulation on since the verdict didn’t cite any witnesses directly supporting the court’s ruling.

The court clerk who provided that verdict stated that the defendant have appealed the verdict. I do not know when the appeal is scheduled.

This is a post about a news story in one of the larger online newspapers in Norway. They report about a case where a man and two women have been fined appr. 1.000 USD each for indecent behaviour in public and public exposure. The two women performed oral sex on the man in the afternoon (4:45pm) on a public place outside a restaurant only a few meters from the police station. Some members of the public contacted the police who promptly arrived on the scene, made the involved stop the sex act and issued the fines. The two women have since accepted the fine while the man hasn’t and he is now appearing for the court trying to defend himself against the fine.

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New study: Prevalence Rates of Male and Female Sexual Violence Perpetrators

UPDATE: I’ve become aware that the complete article I linked to isn’t available for free for everyone. Apparently a publicly funded organization in Norway called Helsebiblioteket (Health Library) have bought access to JAMA for everyone who has an IP adress that’s physically located in Norway. All the quoted text in the post below are from the actual paper and NOT from the National Geographic article I also linked to.

Michele L. Ybarra, MPH; Kimberly J. Mitchell, PhD Prevalence Rates of Male and Female Sexual Violence Perpetrators in a National Sample of Adolescents JAMA Pediatr. Published online October 07, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.2629 available here:

This study found that females and males have carried out sexual violence at nearly equal levels by the age of 18 — 48 percent on the female side, 52 percent on the male side. 4% (10 females and 39 males) reported attempted or completed rape.

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Questions asked, answers implied

Sometimes the question of the existence of, or rather the lack of reports of male rape and even male gang rape in media is raised. Often it’s implied by the one asking the question that the dearth of any such reports is because male rape is non-existing or rare. Like this “question” from one contributor/commenter at The Good Men Project:

If women were also gang raping young boys in enough measure to get this attention it would be visible and it would tell us something about how violence is taught and expressed.

Or this more blunt question asked on Reddit:

Haven’t really heard many stories about men being forced to fuck a woman, personally. Link me to say.. more than ten and I may start to believe this bullshit.

Here is my reply to the first one:

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