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Calling Rapists Men

“I was listening to the radio and a man called in. He was commenting on the horrific (I don’t have words anymore to describe these things) incidence of a young woman gang-raped by 38 men. He was objecting to calling these rapists ‘men’. He said it made him, as a man, embarrassed and we should find another word for them.

Embarrassed is a start, I suppose. A kind of ‘Dudes you’re bringing the side down’. But actually his suggestion is problematic. His attention is on his own credibility as a man versus on the loud rampant prevalence of sexual violence and misogyny the world over, and how to eradicate it. He calls in to a radio show to charge the station with a different way of referring to men who rape versus charging himself with the task of hunting down these men (he might be surprised he doesn’t have to go very far to find them) and dealing with his “side”. Underneath his comment, he seemed to be saying ‘As long as I’m not associated with this we can proceed’.

Perhaps I’m being unfair, I was driving and had not the time, in that moment, to call in and begin the debate. I didn’t have the chance to engage with him and completely understand where he was coming from. And the nature of radio is that he spoke for a few short minutes and then was gone. But he raised something that I found hard to ignore.”

(Read the full post here)

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