Woman Suggests Men Should Be Taught Not To Rape – Internet Explodes

44b9914e48d75f45e71aeb5d85a01cfbZerlina Maxwell – political analyst, aspiring attorney and rape survivor – suggested this week that we should stop talking about all the ways in which women can protect themselves against rape and instead focus on teaching men not to rape women. The Internet exploded.

She was making an appearance on Sean Hannity‘s Fox News show to discuss college students, guns and rape. Hannity was referencing a pretty insensitive comment made to a rape survivor who thought her chances of not being raped would have been better had she been allowed to carry a concealed weapon on her campus. Democratic Colorado state Sen. Evie Hudak told the survivor, “Statistics are not on your side even if you had a gun. And, chances are that if you would have had a gun, then he would have been able to get that from you and possibly use it against you.”

Of course, the general public and Conservatives especially are always so concerned with offending rape victims – so they jumped all over the Democrat’s statement. (I so wish there existed a sarcasm font). Zerina Maxwell addressed her statement on Hannity’s show.  From Salon.com:

“I don’t think we need to be telling a rape survivor that statistics are not on your side. That’s insensitive.” But where she drew outrage was in her suggestion to Hannity that “I don’t think that we should be telling women anything. I think we should be telling men not to rape women and start the conversation there.” She told Hannity, “You’re talking about this as if it’s some faceless, nameless criminal, when a lot of times it’s someone you know and trust,” adding, “If you train men not to grow up to become rapists, you prevent rape.”

Well, that’s a novel idea. Actually act like rape is not the victim’s fault? The nerve of Maxwell to imply that perpetrators – the overwhelming percentage of them being men – should be educated about what is appropriate and inappropriate. It totally makes more sense to tell women to stop wearing high heels and walking alone at night than it does to teach young men that rape isn’t something they should be remotely considering.

The Blaze called her remarks “shocking” and “questionable.” Chicks on the Right said, “Zerlina is the one that owes an apology to rape victims, for implying that their rapes could have been prevented if only our society taught men that they shouldn’t rape.”

Um, what? What is so offensive about putting the onus of crimes predominantly committed by men in the hands of men?

The whole world has gone crazy when a very educated woman and a victim of rape herself can’t make a comment about rape without being attacked. Implying that men can’t be educated about reforming or preventing violent behavior assumes that they are mindless monsters. I think Zerlina’s argument gives more credit to men while supporting a woman’s right to not feel like a constant victim.

Of course, because the Internet is filled with horrible trolls, she is being attacked left and right for her statements. Well, I support you Zerlina. Thanks for being brave enough to stand up for women in a very hostile environment.

(photo: Twitter)

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  • meghan

    I thought it was common knowledge that the way we raise our sons impacts the kind of men they will become. Are we so unaccustomed to common sense in this country, we can’t grasp the concept of cause and effect?

    • http://www.facebook.com/jilllarbi.douba Jill Larbi Douba


    • alice


      the bullshit reaction to Zerlina’s comments comes from the bullshit perpetuated myth that “rapists” are all identical, and are cut from the same cloth as deranged sociopaths and child murderers and serial killers.

      but what about those boys in stuebenville (case pending)? and that guy you go out with a few times? and that guy you met a bar?

      i guess the solution is for us to just be prepared to gun them down. wat

  • faifai

    We’re such a society of victims that no one is allowed to be the blame for anything, because then it’s *shaming* and *triggering*. ugh. Poor woman.

  • Kathryn Eaton

    Yes, God forbid we put the onus of responsibility on the persons who actually commit the crime. SMH.

  • Blueathena623

    I don’t even understand the Chicks on the Right quote. There is no real implying there. Unless women are raped by other women, if society taught men not to rape and therefore men did not rape, there would be no rapes. Thats kinda a fact.
    Edit: went to the chicks page. Read the whole thing. Still not buying their “duh, everyone already teaches boys not to rape.” stance. Maybe, maybe the (I hope) majority of boys are being told about not putting something in a woman’s drink and don’t, I dunno, forcibly grab some strange woman and rape her but I sincerely doubt all of them are being taught that, and I doubt that even a majority are being taught that its not ok to use emotional pleas and guilt to get sex (if you loved me. . .) or how to deal with a woman who is impaired, that being silent is not consent, etc. And the argument of “we are teaching it, but telling boys not to do it won’t stop them” is stupid, because that means you/we/society isn’t teaching them well enough. My parents were-are huge proponents of not drinking and driving. I got that lesson until the cows come home. I do not drink and drive, ever, period, not once, nada, never.

    • Kathryn Eaton

      It may be the case that boys are taught not to rape, but that avoids the real issue of what rape is usually about. Rape isn’t about sex most times, it’s about control. If we pushed for *respect* above all else, that might be a more effective message than just, “Don’t rape.”

    • Blueathena623

      Well said!

    • Once upon a time

      I think there needs to be more conversation about what rape is. It’s easy for parents and their sons to say, “I/my son would never hold down a girl and force himself inside her,” but what about, say, having sex with someone too intoxicated to give consent? It’s not that our sons are being taught that this is okay, I just don’t believe they’re being told enough that its not okay.

      Just my opinion.

    • Blueathena623

      And it needs to happen more than once, at a variety of ages.

    • Gangle

      Yes. This. And Kathryns post as well.

    • alice

      I just read the full article as well, and wanted to put my fist through the monitor. And THEN I got to comments sections. holy hell. it sounds like it’s written by a bunch of catty cliquey 13 year old mean girls. the editor seriously just reposted a back-n-forth email exchange just to ridicule this person? wow. classy!

      re: the topic, i’m not clear if they were STRICTLY discussing “rape by a stranger,” but that’s the only way i’m seeing a connection between handguns and rape prevention (but that’s not even rape prevention specifically, it’s just “attack” prevention.)

      unless they’re suggesting that women should just be packing heat all the time. going on a date tonight? don’t forget your gun! going to a party? bring the gun!

    • Blueathena623

      There may very well be suggesting/assuming women have guns with them at all times. I just think it puts too much pressure on the woman. You have to have access to it, which probably means a concealed weapons permit since tou may not be able to reach your purse. You have to make sure that you can stay level headed enough to use it. You have to make sure its not taken away and used against you. And you have to have the guts (not the right word, can’t think of the right word) to actually be willing to shoot someone, quite potentially someone you know, if threatening them with the gun isn’t working. That is a lot of pressure, and a hell of a lot more guilt if any one of those things don’t/can’t happen because you know stupid people will say/think “she had a gun, why didn’t she use it?”

    • Ashley

      On top of all of all those great points, you have to /want/ to carry a gun. I don’t want one! I don’t want the responsibility of carrying a gun. I don’t want to shoot anyone, whether they’re threatening me or not. I have no interest in carrying a gun. Why is that such a weird concept for some people?

    • Gangle

      Your comment on the ‘guts’ bit is spot on. A friend of mine who has had a lot of experience in fighting says that there is a sort of ‘boundary’ on violence that people don’t automatically just overcome because the situation arises. My brother, who has served in active duty overseas, has said the same thing. I know myself, when I am sparring in self-defence classes that I find it really confronting to deliver kicks/punches, even though the other person is attacking me back, and I am supposed to respond.

  • Lastango

    Why is there pushback? Perhaps there’s a sense that liberals are riding the word “rape”, throwing it around at every opportunity for political gain in an effort to polarize the public. The suggestion that every man is a potential rapist unless educated otherwise strikes some people as deeply offensive, a convenient excuse for justifying indoctrination, and a false-flag vehicle intended from the outset to carry a load of ideological baggage.



    • alytron

      Ok, but she went on a conservative show where the conservative host brought up the topic, invited her, and was attacking a “liberal”. So that argument fails. And it’s kind of a silly argument, because you’re basically saying that rape is a “polarizing” topic (sigh) but it gets brought up too much, somehow for political n? I’m not even sure what this gain would be, but when we’re facing the amount of sexual violence that exists, bringing it up it’s what we must do. And pushback shouldn’t be in the form of threatening violence shouldn’t ever happen. I don’t understand tpushbackhe pushback without the threats, either.

      You’re making the mistake that many have made before, in creating arguments that don’t exist. No one has said that all men are rapists unless we teach them not to rape. What’s being said is that men are by a huge number the perpetrators of sexual violence, so we need to target men with education on this issue. There is nothing offensive about that. And if you take issue with learning healthy enthusiastic consent and the message “silence isn’t consent” because hey not everyone thinks it is! Then you have issues. Not everyone in my sex Ed class needed to hear “stds are best protected against with condom use”, but they still got the information, and it wasn’t insulting them by implying they didn’t know already.

    • Lastango
    • Ordinaryperson

      It is an offensive thought, but it’s pretty accurate. I mean, seriously everyone is a potential rapist, not just men, unless they’re taught empathy and respect of others. There’s plenty of examples out there of fucked up women who’ve done fucked up things (Karla Homolka, teachers that sleep with students…), so would it be less offensive to you if this suggested anti-rape education was aimed to both sexes? I pretty sure it couldn’t hurt.

    • Makabit

      “A sense” that liberals (or conservatives) are doing something is usually just an excuse for freaking out. And she didn’t bring it up, she was responding to an argument about rape (and gun ownership) brought up by Hannity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.white.3532507 Paul White

    Why is it either or? We cover (or should) basic self preservation tips but we also try, in general to teach our kids to not hit, not steal, etc. Why do we have to forgo one whole side of that equation when it comes to rape?

    • Gangle

      I understand what you are saying, Paul, but it has been one-sided for so long… the emphasis has always been on the woman or victim preventing the attack… I remember educational at highschool and university teaching women how to avoid attacks, what was safe, what wasn’t, self-defence techniques, etc etc. Not ONCE was there ever a seminar teaching guys what was and wasn’t acceptable, not a single pamphlet about rape-prevention directed at men.
      I don’t think anyone is saying that women should stop educating themselves on minimising risk, but it is not ok that the victims hold sole responsiblity for preventing a rape.

    • http://www.facebook.com/paul.white.3532507 Paul White

      The fact something is incorrectly one sided doesn’t mean the right way to correct it is to be one sided in the opposite direction though. I don’t know if seminars are the right answer (for much of anything–I’m suspicious of the thought that a 30-60 minute presentation can alter attitudes or behaviors on pretty much any topic).

      And as an aside, seminars that cover self defense techniques are stupid. Even if the techniques are good, you have to *practice* them to get good at them…being shown them once or twice in a seminar, then practicing for maybe a few minutes? Not particularly effective.

    • Tinyfaeri

      You’re focusing on the wrong parts. No one is saying that we shouldn’t teach women to take care of themselves, or be aware of their surroundings, or not to drink that drink that’s sat out while she went to the bathroom. That’s already happening, has been happening for a long time, and will happen for as long as women are raped. We don’t need to talk about it right now.
      What we do need to talk about is making sure that boys and men know that it is not OK to have sex with anyone without their consent under any circumstances. Ever. Not if she’s passed out drunk, not even if she’s passed out drunk and you’re dating. Not if she’s wearing provocative clothing. Not if she’s asleep. Not even if she’s making out with you and decides to stop. Not if you’re angry. Not if you’re sad.
      I get the feeling YOU know all that, but ovbiously a very large percentage of men do not (or don’t care), or there wouldn’t be the continuing need for the education of women on how to avoid being raped. No, a seminar won’t fix it (or anything), but including it in education, and getting parents of small children tools to address the issue with their children is a good start.

    • http://www.facebook.com/paul.white.3532507 Paul White

      Also: I know you weren’t proposing one sided education, but that’s how I took Maxwell’s statement (and I admit I could be interpreting it incorrectly, but that’s how it came across to me).

    • Gangle

      Again, I do understand what you are saying, and you aren’t entirely wrong… my anecdote was simply an example of how one-sided things have always been… I was never suggesting that seminars were the answer to this problem, it was simply one example of the whole. Just that I was brought up instilled with education at every turn on how to avoid rape and attacks… and there was always an undertone that if I WAS stupid enough to drink (as one small example) that unattended drink and something happened, I would somehow be the one at fault, and deserved the attack… No education existed for my male counterparts. As Tinyfaeri stated, there does need to be more information/ education out there for men to understand what is and isn’t ok. Of COURSE I think women should continue to educate themselves on what to do to stay safe – I take self defence classes on a regular basis (although, now that I have been taking regular classes, and a man overpowers me and rapes me, will it my my fault for not practicing enough, or just not being strong enough?). I just agree that now it is time to also hold men equally accountable for the prevention of rape. I don’t think Maxwell for a second would advocate that women just start ignoring their own safety, just that its about time men got in on it too.

    • Kim Lewis

      speaking of trolls….

    • AP

      I 100% agree! Kids need to learn how to follow society’s rules, and they also need to learn how to protect themselves from the individuals who choose not to follow society’s rules.

      I don’t steal. I never allowed children in my care to steal. However, I also lock my front door and never leave my belongings unattended, because I do not expect everyone else to feel as strongly about not stealing as I do.

    • the_ether

      Super. Please let me know where I can buy a Vagina Lock. I would also appreciate a travel sized Vagina Safe, so I can leave my vagina in my hotel room or other secure location while in unfamiliar places.

    • zeisel

      yeah, i thought that was a wretched analogy. your response was perfect.

    • J.M. Becker

      @the_ether: No it was a great analogy, you just perverted its equivalence to disregard any legitimacy. The problem isn’t that people shouldn’t be told about rape, they most definitely should! The problem is that the victims should take some very reasonable precautions. For example, the dangers of drinking to complete comatose. Speaking about the locked door analogy, It’s not like it’s my fault if my stuff gets stolen. I just do my best, to reasonably protect myself from potentials perps. If someone asked me what actions I could take personally, to avoid being the victim of theft, one of the actions I would suggest is locking your front door. I certainly would pray any women I loved would take reasonable precautions, because I actually care around them not becoming potential victims!

    • the_ether

      You’re missing the point so hard I wouldn’t trust you to assemble shish kebabs. Being drunk is not what gets someone raped. Being near a rapist is what does that. Being comatose drunk is a bad idea for a whole bunch of reasons, but has absolutely no affect on who is responsible or at fault for the rape. It’s always and only the rapist.

      Not drinking, or not drinking to excess, is not a reasonable precaution against rape. There really aren’t any, besides surrounding yourself with good people who you trust. However, since most rape victims know their attackers, even that’s not proof against it.

      Also, a woman’s bodily autonomy is not a physical posession, and the violation of it can’t be reasonably compared to theft.

      To live as a woman is to live as a potential rape victim. Every day. The way to minimise risk is to educate people on what rape is, and why it is never OK to blame the victim.

    • Bookworm51485

      Actually I’d say you’re the one completely and totally missing the point. You’re focusing on this idea of blame when that’s not what he’s saying at all. When you say to a person leaving their house, ‘drive safely and make sure to buckle up’, does that warning carry the assumption that you automatically assume they will be doing something to deserve to get into an accident and so therefore they will be at fault? Telling women to minimize the risk to themselves is not saying that they’re at fault or acting like they will be doing something to deserve to get assaulted, it’s acknowledging the world we live in and that you must behave accordingly. To act like there’s no way to minimize risk (beyond being with friends) is just absurd.

      Saying that a person shouldn’t get fall down drunk because it makes them more of a target is just intelligent thinking. What is the purpose of getting fall down drunk? Why is it fun? Do you even remember it? Are hangovers fun? What is wrong with our society that we think it’s A-okay to get stupid drunk.

      And can I just add, just because the majority of rape victims (that we know of) are women, doesn’t mean that we need to make melodramatic statements like ‘to live as a woman’ is to live as a potential rape victim.’ Men are rape victims as well as women being rapists. These warnings go to men as well. It’s idiotic to go out in public and get fall down, pass out drunk.

      In the end, we need to acknowledge that it is not an either or. Men (and women) need to be taught that rape is bad and what consent is exactly and women (AND MEN) need to be taught to avoid risky behavior, and there IS risky behavior that can easily be avoided.

  • BlueBelle

    This stuff makes me want to quit the internet.

  • Anastasiasmith

    Its very good suggestion by the woman to the man that Man and Boy should be Understand for woman that Our woman may become a sister ,mother and Grandmother and so on .therefore we can always respect the woman .


  • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

    I’ve written about this extensively and no one ever suggested I should be raped, so this means Fox news watchers are just awful people and Mommyish readers are not:



    • http://www.whatwouldshethink.com/ Rachelle

      Thank you for finally bringing up the REAL problem here: it was FOX NEWS.

      Can we move on? lol (That’s a chide, of course this is a really important topic.)

      And I underline that the argument was that rape is more often perpetrated by family members against who you wouldn’t use a gun, so you need to get to the underlying issue. The real question is, HOW do you educate that rape is unacceptable, at how age, and HOW?

    • the_ether

      I’d argue (as a totally unqualified not-quite parent) that if you’re talking to them about sex, you should be talking to them about consent, and discussing assault is part of that.

  • Harriet Meadow

    I have no problem with her comments. I don’t think they’re insulting, and I think that yes, in an ideal world, the burden of stopping rape should be placed on the rapist. But there’s a good reason for putting that burden on the victims instead: people do bad things. We are raised hearing that violence is bad, lying is bad, stealing is bad…these things are taught to most of us from an early age, whether by our parents, our religion, or our schools. Yet people still do these things. Yes, perhaps we could do better on the teaching front, but there have always been people who just refuse to follow laws/strictures/common sense. In other words, saying “We should just teach people to stop doing bad things” is not going to work in the face of human nature. So the potential victims of rape *should* be prepared. It’s a sad fact, but a fact nonetheless.

    • Blueathena623

      Here’s the thing though — the lying, stealing, violence thing is, I’m assuming, being taught to both sexes. Yes, sometimes people still do bad things. But society also does not condone lying, stealing, or violence (violence in general). However, society does still have a boys will be boys, what was she wearing, sometimes no can mean yes, attitude. Why? If society were really, really, teaching men what rape is and that rape is wrong, always wrong, then society would reflect this.

  • JCal

    Yes, because criminals always do the right thing. Telling them not to will work perfectly. If it was a simple matter of “teaching men (as if it’s all men..really?) not to be rapists” then rape would be WAY lower. This is not a matter of “teaching men not to rape”, it’s just teaching respect for other people and empathy to EVERYONE.

    Honestly, both sides have to take some responsibility here. Fathers should be setting examples and women should be watchful of the situations they are in and be prepared to defend themselves. This new way of making women victims is bullshit. It’s not too much stress to pay attention to your surroundings and to know how to defend yourself and run. Hell, we should teach EVERY child that. That does not make the rape her fault or turn into victim blaming. It just makes her less likely to get raped and more likely to escape.

    Some people are just bad and knowing how to defend yourself is not a “rape” issue, it’s a defense issue.

    • alice

      I think there’s a huge difference between assigning poor judgment and assigning blame. a woman who goes home with a man she just met, and is raped, showed poor judgement. but she does not “share blame” for her rape.

      we do not say “i think both sides need to take responsibility for that one”

  • Elogam

    Y’know, I read this article, read the comments, then logged off and slept on it. I woke up this morning and I have the same conclusion I had after my original reading. I cannot agree with the consensus here about Ms. Maxwell’s comments. They are at best off-the-cuff without the benefit of forethought, or at worst thought through and incredibly naive and simple.

    Ms. Maxwell was on national TV. That changes things. People who do public speaking for a living inevitably say something they wish they could take back because it wasn’t said very well or doesn’t come across conveying what they intended. People like Biden and Palin have more than their share of such comments. Ms Maxwell was trying to convince Hannity that women did not need firearms for protection. I suggest the pressure to counter the argument that a woman with a gun is a tougher target than an unarmed woman made her say what she did. Of COURSE a woman who is alert, armed and trained is a tougher target, but she couldn’t acknowledge that on TV without weakening her argument. Taken at face value Ms. Maxwell seems to be implying that all these men are ignorant of the fact that rape is wrong. Really? Maybe in some third world countries, but here in America I think men know rape is wrong. That is why rapists slip drugs into a woman’s drink when she isn’t looking, not when she’s paying attention. That’s why rapists pick secluded areas to assault women, not Times Square at noon. That’s why rapists often tie down or restrain their victims to prevent them from struggling. That’s also why some kill their victims afterward, so they cannot testify against their assailants. No,the VAST majority of men are generally well informed that rape is wrong.

    So why does rape still occur? Because a small minority of men DON’T CARE. They know what they are doing is wrong and assault women (and some men, btw) as a means of domination and humiliation. The same way people know that murder is wrong and theft is wrong, they do it because they are sociopaths or they just do not care that what they are doing is wrong. As far as men being taught not to rape? I’d say that’s pretty much covered in our society. For the small handful that insist on ignoring that lesson, that is why women should be alert, armed and trained

    • alice

      You see, you’re looking at cases of strangers raping people. In which case, yeah, saying “teach men not to rape” is the same as saying “teach killers not to murder people.”

      But the discussion of rape extends far beyond (and far more frequently) than those cases you’ve described.

      In cases of non-stranger rape, where a rapist either believed that his victim ultimately wanted it, or that the rapist ultimately was owed it, or that just “taking it” wouldn’t be a huge deal….what do you do in those cases? Because that *IS* a culture issue, not a self-defense issue.

  • TheLily

    After reading about the out rage about her comments on Friday, I tried to start a discussion with the person I talk to the most: my husband. He didn’t argue against me for the sake of debate. He honestly did not get the point of teaching men not to rape. He said “it’s illegal, so they should know.” I tried to point out that driving drunk is illegal, but wouldn’t you know it, people do it anyway. People beat their children, that’s illegal too! I had to end the discussion before I strangled him. I think he was defensive because he would never think to force a woman into it, but I wasn’t telling him that /he/ needed to be taught not to rape. Long story short, I was surprised to read that people were offended by her statement in the first place and then baffled to the point of beating my head when I realized the man I love doesn’t quite get it. I need to sit down with him and have a long discussion about it, but I’m afraid he’ll react the same way as before.

    • Tinyfaeri

      I think you hit the nail on the head. People’s problem with it, and why more conversations are not had with sons/boys/men, is that they take it as an implication that we think all men are rapists. They take it as an accusation, when it’s really just saying that it’s a conversation that needs to be had before something like the Steubenville gang rape and resulting videos happen. Most men and boys know it’s wrong to rape women, hurt people, lie, cheat, steal, etc., but there are some for whom it is not immediately apparent. Those people need to be told what is right and what is wrong, and what the consequences are (both legal and emotional/for the victim). Problem is, we can’t tell who’s who before something bad happens, so the conversation needs to happen with everyone, and (age-appropriately) from an early age. An offended boy/man is better than a raped woman.

    • alice

      I think the issue is that your husband (and most people) are looking at rape as a very black and white issue. One-size-fits-all “rape” means yes, it’s illegal, and ppl know it’s illegal, so that’s that.

      For me, when we say “we need to teach men NOT TO RAPE” what i’m really saying is: we need to re-impress upon everyone – men and women – that all forms of sex require consent. AND (this is the most important for me) that sexual consent is not something one partner should obtain via coercion, manipulation, repeated attempts, or altered consciousness.

      That is the greatest talking point for me. Because we do happily live in a culture where we enjoy many sexual freedoms. Sex is something I can happily and shameless enjoy with anyone I want. My husband. My boyfriend. A first date. A guy i met at a bar.

      The problem is that “the guy i met at the bar” or whoever, he may believe that sex is a foregone conclusion with me, BEFORE EVEN DISCUSSING CONSENT. Or that guy who i went on three dates with and gave a blowjob to last week, may think “tonight, we’re gonna fuck” WITHOUT EVEN DISCUSSING CONSENT.

      That guy, he is everywhere. He is a guy. He is a girl. He is all of us. He is the idea that sex is something a person should EXPECT based on a collection of circumstances, instead of a conversation between two consenting adults.

  • alice

    “Rape: if it didn’t involve a knife to your throat or a roofie in your drink, IT DIDN’T HAPPEN”

    ^^ apparently the sentiments of many rational seeming individuals.

    • http://www.facebook.com/RetiredSceneQueen Emmali Lucia

      Eh, even the roofie in the drink rape can and will be questioned.

      “So you were drinking?”
      “I only had one drink.”
      “So… You just got drunk and blah blah victim blaming blah blah”

  • Bookworm51485

    I’ve seen that a few times and always thought it was idiotic. While I do think we should be teaching men/boys (or women) not to rape, to take all responsibility for her own personal safety (or his) off of the woman (or man) is silly. There needs to come a time where people accept and acknowledge that rape will never go away. It’s a horrible thought, but it’s going to happen. There are people who are just plain twisted and no amount of, “Rape is bad” and “No means no” will make a difference. So you must also be responsible for your own personal safety and know the things that you can do to protect yourself. This is not about victim-shaming and putting the responsibility on the victim rather than the criminal, but just acknowledging that life is risk and you need to do what you can to minimize it.

  • Byron

    This is offensive simply because of how commonsensical it is.

    Rape is rude, improper, bad, a million such things. People, people! Not men specifically, are ought to be taught to not do these things. People in general are supposed to be raised in a way where things much LESS than rape are completely out of question.

    To claim that men need to be told specifically not to rape is to claim that men in general lack any sort of moral fiber. That it is not those who already lack most OTHER forms of civility that do the rapes but ALL of men. That’s highly offensive and unfair.

    It’d be like saying “women need to be taught to not become prostitutes” because there’s way more prostitutes than there’s gigolos. Any woman who would fall to such a position is quite likely to lack a whole other plethora of qualities which most typical women don’t that contribute her to becoming a prostitute.

    Likewise, a guy who would rape is already so morally bankrupt he’s just outside of what people speak of when they say “men” and fits what the world “criminals” describes. This is why that was offensive. It equates men to criminals or potential criminals. Loose rape-bombs that need to be disarmed.

    • alice


      It doesn’t equate men to criminals. It equates our culture to one where “sexual consent” is sometimes held as an ambiguous idea – if not flexible. and that’s something we need to change. and unfortunately, yes, it starts with changing the way men look at sex.

      how many times should she say she doesn’t want to, before he finally gives up asking her?

      how long were we in a culture where, generally, it was a given that a “good girl” would say no at first, and her boyfriend just had to repeatedly coax her? do you not believe that there are vestiges of that culture everywhere still? that – to an extent – “all guys are gonna press you for it” is still a common and accepted theme? that saying “No, please, I don’t want to” is not considered the final word, but something flexible, and that if she says “No, Please, I Don’t Want To” SIX TIMES and then finally relents, that everything she said before means nothing. That the lesson is: she doesn’t know what she really wants.

      Good grief. if you dont believe boys are still growing up operating like that ^^ then I don’t think we live in the same place.

    • Byron

      Are you claiming that sexual consent procured through what you describe is invalid? I don’t seem to understand how that is.

      When you sign a legal document, you can claim duress to invalidate it but that usually is something much more severe than “come on baby, I really love you!” and other such pleads.

      I think it is fun to make men feel like they’re “chasing” something by saying no. It is a game of sorts. It’s not something which makes the real “NOs” of people matter less but rather makes for some courting fun.

      I dunno about you but if someone asked me to have sex with them and I didn’t want to, I would NEVER give in. No matter how much I am asked. It’s the same with being asked anything I don’t want to do. You should not be able to go back on giving your consent with anything.

      If you let someone drive your car and then you sue them for stealing it, saying that you only gave them the keys cause they wouldn’t stop asking for them, they will not go to jail, you will be told you shouldn’t have given them the keys and you’d be laughed out of the court. Because this is about “sex” it is seen under a somehow “other” light and it shouldn’t be. Consent to sex is a variety of consent, it falls UNDER the general spectrum of all kinds of consent, it is not it’s own entity nor is it larger than other kinds of consent. If you consent to something after enough bargaining whereas others do not, when exposed to the same pleads, it means you DID want to do this more than they did.

      A normal guy wouldn’t want to be a rapist, he would think your consent was so belated so as to titilate him, knowing that this “culture” is as it is (it’s not really “culture” but rather evolutionary standards which had men basically fight so they can get to have sex, it’s a premordial way of thinking about it), woment should send CLEAR messages to avoid misunderstandings! If after six times no becomes yet, well, compared to killing a mountain lion and wearing it’s skin, that’s a small amount of effort, they guy will just feel rewarded that all his hard work finally payed off and be happy. He woudln’t be trying to rob you of power and dominate you and hurt you like rapists do, he’d likely try to SATISFY you. Very passionately too.

    • Noone

      As a male victim of childhood sexual abuse where my perpetrators were both male and female, I can assure you begging, crying, and apologising doesn’t work, I highly doubt this issue can be solved by simply telling a segment of the perpetrators “not to rape” is going to solve anything. Men like me are victims too. Telling me, a victim of this crime that I should be taught not to do the very thing which destroyed my childhood years, my career prospects, my family is nothing short of an insult. I have found that going to online forums, healing retreats and survivor communities its the women who are the worst when dealing with this situation and accepting that male victims like me exist. When I kindly asked zerlina maxwell to state her opinion on male victims she immediately blocked me on twitter. This is what she’s trying to do, divide and isolate a segment of the survivor group just so she can justify her cause to push anti-gun laws. People with realistic views do not push the blame on a population who are also vulnerable to such a crime.

  • kiki

    I read the articles from the provided links and the comments from most of them actually made me sick to my stomach. In context, Maxwell is clearly saying that we need to train boys not to grow up to become rapists. I’m dumfounded by the push back from some of the men who are so defensive (seeing her comments as a claim that all men are rapists at heart) and by women who are treating her like an idiot, saying “duh…Maxwell just solved a centuries old problem [sarcasm].”
    Why is this an either/or conversation? Teach boys that rape and sexual violence is wrong. Teach women to defend themselves against those boys who grow up to be men who don’t care. This is one topic I never thought would be used for partisan purposes.

    • the_ether

      The baffling thing is, everyone’s very quick to say Maxwell’s approach presumes that all men are rapists at heart, but no-one sees that the watch what you wear/drink/do approach presumes that all women are rape-victims-in-waiting. In no other crime (at least, none that I can think of) are the members of the victim demographic instructed on how to avoid the perpetrators.

    • kiki

      I agree that women are often treated as victims-in waiting. But I think there needs to be continuing education of women protecting themselves, as well as educating boys (and even some men) on what constitutes consent. Although I think there is plenty of advice out there on not getting mugged, robbed or car-jacked, which affects both sexes. If only everyone could stop being so defensive – men feeling like education paints them all as rapists and women feeling like common sense precautions are saying we’re all victims-in-waiting. The only difference with rape education specifically is that sexual crime is typically a male on female activity.

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  • keeps

    its unbelievable how we as men don’t own up to this type of thing….case and point the response to zerlina’s msg. Those aren’t men, they’re snakes….and i’m sry my daughter has to grow up in this time where that devilish and egotistical mentality exists. The reason anyone would respond like that is bcuz they themselves have, or have thought about, taking advantage of a woman….punk @sses!

  • Thomas

    “Implying that men can’t be educated about reforming or preventing violent behavior assumes that they are mindless monsters.”

    Not at all. It’s the other way round:

    Saying that men should be taught not to rape implies that they are mindless monsters. Since obviously noone has ever taught man to respect other human beings before Zerlina Maxwell came along, so let’s start and educate men now, right?