Nice Guys, Rape, and Simplicity

Disclaimer: Trigger Warning

In the last two weeks,  the Good Men Project has decided that Rape is more complex an issue than originally thought. It would appear, nice guys, do, in fact, commit rapes.

Now, before going any further, lets make one thing perfectly clear. If ANYONE commits rape, they lose the ability to call themselves a “nice guy”, or even a decent guy. The best they can hope for is a “I have some redeeming qualities, but am still a rapist” guy. And that last guy is still a complete git.

The first such story was “Nice Guys Commit Rape Too” by Alyssa Royse. Published on November 30th, it tells the story of her friend, a “Nice Guy”, who wasn’t sure if what he did was rape.

Lets be clear. What he did, was have sex with someone while they were asleep. There was no mixed signals, no confusion, there could not be… to send mixed signals, someone has to be CONSCIOUS.

Going one farther, lets put out the radical idea that someone who is willing to penetrate a sleeping person (barring pre-negotiated Kink) *ISN’T*, in fact, a “nice guy.”

But, moving on, the second article, published 1 week later by Joanna Schroeder, is entitled “Why It’s Dangerous to Say ‘Only Bad Guys Commit Rape‘” and brings up at the very least a bit of a decent spiel on how movies promote rape culture. which, they do. Although anyone who thinks James Bond qualifies for the title of “nice guy” might want to watch more of the movies, read the books, or rethink their definition of nice.

Movies and TV Shows often show this kind of tension leading to sex. As if the only way you know a person is interested is if they show signs they are, while saying their not.

The big problem here is that it teaches us to watch for signs, and try to guess motives as opposed to simply ask questions, and accept answers. It teaches women to be coy, and that they cannot say yes, or no.

But instead of focusing on these things, the piece moves in a different direction, once again trying to point out that society creates a situation where “Nice Guys” like Alyssas’ friend, commit rape.

Her story involves a woman, raping a man. It doesn’t happen often (at least, not compared to the inverse), but it does happen. And Yes, it makes her friend a bad person.

Good Men Project however did not stop there.

They decided to double down on December 10th, publishing both “I’d Rather Risk Rape Than Quit Partying” by an anonymous party. The title alone should tell you everything you need to know. In fairness, their Editor did make a note on the piece showing that they don’t support this guys ideas, and then they posted a piece clarifying Why they Published a Rapists Story.

The first story however, was disturbing, and is far more damaging to their “Good Guys Do Bad Things” argument than anything. It tells a tale of a man who is so remorseless that the very title of his piece could be summed up with “Fuck you, and you’re rights”

The guy is an admitted rapist, and despite claiming not to be an apologist, has no remorse for his actions, and simply tries to shift blame onto his drug/booze filled lifestyle.

The only thing that could possibly make this worse would be if somehow, they found someone to write a piece justifying this mans ideas….

Oh, that’s right, that was the second piece published that day. Which includes such lovely tidbits as:

“However, we cannot continue to ignore the context in which many so-called “date rapes” and “acquaintance rapes” happen. (For the record, all rape is rape. Calling it “date rape” doesn’t make the crime any less horrific.) “

No… but calling it “so-called” does.

“The anonymous man who told the story we published today never set out to be a rapist, but because of his partying, he became one. As did Alyssa’s friend in “Nice Guys Commit Rape, Too” and Maria in “Why It’s Dangerous to Say Only Bad Guys Commit Rape”. Three people, who up until that one moment, had considered themselves good people, harmed others because of a mix of their own boundary issues, society’s messed-up messages about consent, and alcohol or drugs.”

No, wrong, bad. Alyssa’s Friend raped someone. Period. There can be no boundary issues, or messed up messages from an unconscious person. Stop trying to justify that.

Maria actually was TOLD NO, and didn’t stop. Again, not a mixed message, or a boundary issue, or drugs… just someone ignoring anothers consent/lack of consent.

The Rapist Guy, while on drugs, still forced someone into a wall, and recognized it as a “harsh 3rd base” (fuck, just typing that is sickening)

So, Good Men Project, there appears to be a common theme.

You, as a group, have issues accepting that people you consider friends, are assholes.

See, just because someone is nice to YOU, doesn’t make them a good person. You can try to say you aren’t excusing their actions, but what you’re doing is just as bad. You are trying to convince people that being a rapist isn’t that bad. As if the act of committing rape, and the person committing it should be separated in the minds of society.

These four articles teach us many things about how society perceives rape, and rape culture. The urge you all show to defend your friends, even when you know they did something horrible is the greatest indicator of that.

You are living examples of our rape culture. A culture that does everything it can to try and lesson the impact of the crime. You simply try to lesson its impact on the rapist instead of on the victim.

And is that really any better?

8 thoughts on “Nice Guys, Rape, and Simplicity

  1. You missed one, technically; it was a comment of the day on the original “Nice Guys” piece. Which I thought did what the “Rapist’s Story” did way more effectively, and with the author at least having some sense of morals. The comments were pretty disheartening though.

    One thing that bugs me about the whole “nice/not nice” thing is… yeah, I agree someone who commits rape is not a nice guy. But can they BECOME one afterwards? Is there such a thing as redemption if they try to earn it, or is that it?

    • I would say that “nice” is not a character trait, but a behaviour.

      I’m not saying that no one can ever be redeemed or change their behaviour, but I wish we would stop talking about nice as if it was some kind of inherent part of a person’s makeup.

  2. There was another powerful – and disturbing – piece written & posted at the same time.

    It dealt with another dimension of things that can go really, really wrong when people want & feel entitled to sex, don’t pay attention to “details” like using words to check if their partner is still consenting, don’t notice that their partner is traumatized, frightened, bleeding, injured, in shock, unconscious or in danger – all indications that one person is being harmed.

    It can be found here: http://www.rolereboot.org/sex-and-relationships/details/2012-12-why-consent-isnt-everything TW – Trigger Warning.

  3. ‘“However, we cannot continue to ignore the context in which many so-called “date rapes” and “acquaintance rapes” happen. (For the record, all rape is rape. Calling it “date rape” doesn’t make the crime any less horrific.) “

    No… but calling it “so-called” does.’

    The way you framed this leads me to believe that you think they meant this as, “so-called date rapes, which we believe aren’t actually rapes.” as if the “so-called” refers to the “rape” part, not the “date” part. I believe (and I could be wrong) that it actually means, “so-called date rapes, which we believe are simply rape, and there’s no reason to call them date rape, or anything but rape.” in this case, the “so-called” refers to the “date” part, not the “rape” part. I think it’s an important distinction to make if you’re going to critique the handling of the issue, because I think you’re misrepresenting their position.

  4. You’re right; basically good people never do bad things, and human relations are always 100% clear-cut, black-or-white, good vs. evil. Because “rape culture,” or something.

    • This point has been brought up a few times, both publicly, and privately.

      Let me clarify. Not everything in life is Black/White, and clear cut. For example, telling a offensive joke about sodomy might offend many people, for a variety of reasons, none of which negate the joke tellers right to free speech. In such a situation, intent can be as important as anything else in determining whether the guy was 1) trying to be funny, but failed, 2) trying to be funny, succeeded, but was tactless, or 3) an asshole trying to offend people.

      Hell, it could even be combinations of all of them.

      Rape however, is NOT a grey issue. There is not “degrees” of how “good” a rapist is.

      Honestly, If you think Rape is anything but wrong, and anyone who commits a rape is anything but a RAPIST, you aren’t any better.

      Does this suck? Yup. But you know whats worse than admitting you know/knew a rapist? BEING FUCKING RAPED… and then compounding it with a bunch of assclowns on the internet spouting off about what a “nice guy” your RAPIST is.

    • Here you are again, deep in the past… I am on to you, Copyleft. Why are you so persistent in trolling rape-related articles? ഹി വ്ഹൊ പ്രോറെസ്റ്സ് ടൂ ലൗദ്ല്യ്…

  5. Movies and TV Shows often show this kind of tension leading to sex. As if the only way you know a person is interested is if they show signs they are, while saying their not.

    The big problem here is that it teaches us to watch for signs, and try to guess motives as opposed to simply ask questions, and accept answers. It teaches women to be coy, and that they cannot say yes, or no.

    Has it ever occurred to you that this “mating dance” existed long before Hollywood, and in fact has always existed?

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