Friday, May 09, 2003

Important Quiz

This is a quiz you should take and read carefully. It's not a happy go lucky quick with a funny result. It's serious and should be taken as such.

As a matter of fact, you should print it out and share it with your family and friends. Email it. Link to it. Learn and understand. This is extreamly important.

Oh and btw, if you think its nothing but a bunch of BS... FUCK YOU!

1. Jane Goodall spent 30 years in the wilds of Africa observing chimpanzee behavior. In those 30 years, how many rapes did Goodall see among the chimpanzees?

(a) More than a hundred rapes,

(b) An occasional rape,

(c) No rapes.

In 30 years observations, Jane Goodall never saw one rape among the chimpanzees, our closest primate cousins. Though it's not possible to draw firm conclusions about human behavior from animals, Goodall's findings, and many other recent studies, get us questioning the old myths we have about rape. One of the most persistent myths about rape is that male biology and primitive male sex urges drive men to rape. But current information indicates that rape is more a learned act of sexual violence that comes out of social beliefs that men have a right to dominate and control women. The fact that rape is learned means that we can work to change the underlying beliefs and eliminate rape from our communities.

2. When was the first national study done on rape in the United States?

(a) 1939,

(b) 1955,

(c) 1992.

The first national study on rape, called "Rape in America", was done in 1992 by the U.S. Department of Justice. The fact that as a nation we went to the moon and explored deep into the structure of molecules before we ever seriously asked questions about rape shows how strong is our society's urge to ignore the subject of rape, to ignore the victims, and to ignore the search for solutions to stop rape. One reason there is such a strong tendency to avoid looking at the realities of rape is because these realities clearly expose the very violent means by which many men dominate and terrorize women. Although more people are now willing to talk about rape, we all still have to keep pushing our communities to stay focused on the important work of analyzing and stopping rape.

3. What percent of rapists are male?

98% of rapists are male. Though boys and men are sometimes victims of rape, even in these cases the rapists are almost always male. Some people believe that the reason most all rapists are male is because woman aren't physically capable of rape. But if you think about it, women are equally capable as men of using a weapon to order another person to have sex against their will. Yet it's extremely rare for women to do so. One reason most all rapists are male is because in male dominated societies males are taught in many ways that they are entitled to dominate women. Females aren't taught they are entitled to dominate men.

4. True or False. Constantly bringing up the male versus female aspect of rape is not a good way to talk about rape because it just angers all the men who don't rape.

False. The male versus female aspect of rape needs to be at the center of discussions about rape because it is sexism and the inequalities between males and females that drive rape. In the same way, it would have been impossible to stop the lynching of black people without talking about racism and white people's domination of blacks. Men and boys who don't rape have a very heroic role to play in eradicating rape in our society. They need to join with women in the fight for women's equality. But first they must get over their anger about discussing the facts of male domination of females. There are many men and boys who have done that, and they are making an important difference.

5. What is meant when it's said that all women and girls are victims of rape even though some women and girls have never been raped.

The rape of one woman is a degradation, terror, and limitation to all women. It's similar to the group fear and oppression that terrorized all black people as a result of some black people being lynched. Most women and girls limit their behavior because of the existence of rape. Most women and girls live in fear of rape. Men, in general, do not. That's how rape functions as a powerful means by which the whole female population is held in a subordinate position to the whole male population, even though many men don't rape, and many women are never victims of rape.

6. Name three things that can be done to prevent rape.

The interesting thing about the answers people give to this question is that most responses will be an admonition to females about how females should alter their behavior to prevent rape. People will answer things like, "Never go out alone at night." "Stay alert." "Don't linger on the streets." "Don't tease guys sexually." "Always lock your windows and doors." "Always park where there is good lighting." "Always communicate clearly and assertively that you don't want sex." "Carry a whistle."

Very few of the answers will pertain to how male behavior should be changed despite some very obvious facts: Rape won't stop until male behavior changes. Restricting girls' freedom is unfair. Restricting girls' freedom never has and never will stop rape. Almost every one of the suggestions above are based on false assumptions about rape, and, in reality, do very little to protect girls from rape. Finally, constantly telling girls what they should do to prevent rape sends the harmful message that females, and not males, are responsible if they get raped.

7. So try that question again. Name three things that can be done to prevent rape.

There are many, many things that can be done to prevent rape. Here are three:

A. Protest all degrading and discriminatory treatment of women and girls.

B. Make sure there is equality between boys and girls in the home and school. If, for example, girls have to do more housework than boys, it sends a message that girls are supposed to serve boys, and as the boys get older they think girls should serve them sexually too. Girls and boys must be treated equally.

C. Integrate male dominated institutions at the top. When women hold half the power, rape and rapists will no longer be condoned.

8. In the United States, families set a teenage girl's curfew on an average of two hours earlier than a teenage boy's curfew. Why is this so?

The reason most often given for setting a teenage girl's curfew on the average of two hours earlier than a teenage boy's curfew is to protect girls from sexual assault. In fact, just a generation ago, if a rapist was known to be loose, it was common for cities to put out a citywide order for all females to be in their homes after sunset.

These city wide curfews of a generation ago and the earlier average curfews for girls today are just one of many examples of how restrictions are imposed on females' freedom because of rape, instead of imposing restrictions on males' freedom. Restricting girls' freedom more than boys' freedom is unfair and harmful to girls. It sends the message to both boys and girls that boys can do what they want and girls have to pay the price. This message doesn't prevent rape. In fact, it's one of the attitudes which perpetuates rape. Besides, it doesn't even make sense that girls should be at home earlier than boys. When you think about it, there are a number of late night dangers that affect boys much more frequently than girls, like deadly car crashes.

9. Can you think of a word that is used to describe males that has the equivalent meaning of the words "whore" or "slut" as used to describe females?

The words "whore" and "slut" are very degrading terms used for females who don't keep a tight control on their sexuality. There are no equivalent degrading terms for identical sexual behavior by males. The constant trashing of women's and girls' sexuality with words like "whore", "slut", and "bitch", is not only immediately degrading to the individual, it also contributes to a climate which fosters rape. When free expression of female sexuality is defined as trash, and free expression of male sexuality is defined as good, then it's much easier for men and boys to rationalize doing whatever they want sexually to women and girls.

10. If a fourteen year old is being very sexy and flirtatious with an adult, and feels love for the adult, why is it a crime for the adult to have sex with the teenager?

An adult cannot have sex with a youngster for much the same reason that its against the law for an adult to make a contract with a youngster. There is no way a youngster can set limits on an adult, can foresee the consequences, or protect themselves in the relationship. As such, any adult that has sex with a fourteen year old is automatically in a criminal and abusive relationship with the child.

11. Which is more damaging to the victim, a rape committed by a stranger or a rape committed by someone known to the victim? And why?

Five out of six forcible rapes in the U.S. are committed by someone known to the victim, like a husband, father, brother, neighbor, teacher, uncle, or boyfriend. Even today, many people don't think that rapes committed by someone you know are as serious as those committed by a stranger. Though it's impossible to say which rape is more damaging, being raped by someone you know can be a more intense betrayal of the victim, and can cause the victim to lose fundamental trust in those around her, and to lose trust in herself. One of the reasons rape by someone known to the victim is often not taken as seriously as rape by a stranger is because of the lingering view of women as the property of the men in her life. In fact, when a woman is raped by a stranger, some husbands and fathers still react like they are the victim, because some other man took their property.

12. True or False. Police and other authorities take rape very seriously.

True and False. Some police and authorities take rape very seriously, but way too many continue to protect rapists and ignore the victims and the crime. Just last year 2000: In New York City, TV news video showed police ignoring women's pleas for help when the sexual assaults were occurring right in front of the officers' eyes. In Philadelphia, journalists discovered, and Philadelphia Police finally admitted, that the department had recently dumped upwards of four thousand rape cases. In northern California, the press revealed that Catholic bishops for decades have covered up priests' sexual assaults of children and parishioners in their care. Though there have been some improvements in the last ten years, officials of male dominated institutions, like police, district attorneys, school principals, church leaders, and company managers, continue to have a strong tendency to protect the rapist and sacrifice the victim. This is one of the main reasons rape continues to exist.

13. True or False. Rape is a very easy accusation to make, and a very difficult crime to prove.

False. This is a very old and very frequently repeated myth about rape. According to the FBI, less than 2% of rape reports are false, about the same low percentage as with most other crimes. The myth that rape is an easy accusation to make serves to wrongly undermine women's credibility and the need for women to talk about their experience with rape.

Rape is also not a difficult crime to prove. In the first place, there's usually no who-done-it since the victim usually always knows the perpetrator. In the second place, because the victim and perpetrator usually know each other well, there a number of investigative techniques available to detectives which take advantage of that relationship.Too many police and district attorneys continue to tell the public that rape is a difficult crime to prove in order to make excuses for not prosecuting rape.

14. What percent of rape victims do not report to police?

In the U.S., 84% of forcible rape victims do not report the crime to police. Rape is the most under-reported serious crime in the nation. And even when rape is reported, it has a lower conviction rate than robbery. Most rape victims don't report the rape because they fear that they will be blamed for the rape, that the rape won't be taken seriously, or that she will be stigmatized by the rape. Unfortunately, unless a rape victim gets good support from friends and proper response from authorities, it's still true that many rape victims will be ostracized, blamed, and treated with disregard.

15. If a friend comes to you and says she or he has been raped, what should you do to help?

If you are a youngster, rape is too serious and complex for you or your friend to handle on your own. So the best thing you can do is tell your friend that rape is very serious, and and then encourage your friend that she or he needs to tell an adult who can help. If your friend won't tell an adult, you should tell. At the same time, try not to tell all the other kids.

If you are an adult, believe your friend. Help her find help. And if she wants, always accompany your friend, or find other helpful people who can accompany your friend, whenever she goes to authorities, employers, school officials, union officials, family members etc. to deal with the rape. Just your physical presence will greatly reduce the risk that your friend will be treated badly. It will also give her the comfort and support she needs.

Copyright © Marie De Santis,
Women's Justice Center,

Thanks for reading. I hope this opened your eyes a bit. It's not an easy thing to look at but we must. Rape is something that ALL men should feel ashamed about.

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