One of the most frightening aspects of the Luring RapeBait email that hit the news on October 9th is the entrenched positions it has exposed.
The instructions for getting sex by alcohol and aggressive dancing offended all sensitive, caring people and anyone with a college age daughter. It also caused an equal and opposite reaction from some men totally bewildered as to what all the fuss was about.
“Besides the fratty language this is just ordinary instructions for being a good host: find a lonely girl, get her a drink and show her a good time” wrote one, possibly disingenuous, defender of the dick.
It is fairly easy to get a reading on this furore with whatever slant you want. Liberal humanist press like ivillage expresses straightforward outrage http://www.ivillage.com/fraternity-boy-sends-creepy-luring-rapebait-email-bros/4-a-549083, a more thoughtful treatment is available at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/08/georgia-tech-frat-email-rapebait_n_4063101.html
And you can get a bit closer to the action at http://totalfratmove.com/%CE%A6kt-member-from-georgia-tech-sends-rapiest-email-ever/
Keep looking and you can find sites where the vast majority of the comments back the boys and their “dismay” at “feminazi dominance”.
Watching my local boy bush turkey hound his target female into sexual submission over days of high-speed chasing up and down trees, rubbish piles and tangled undergrowth I cannot help but observe that there is some truth to the frat brat claims that it is quite “natural” for young animals to push the boundaries of “decency” or “civilised behaviour” in the search for sexual satisfaction.
The point that they miss is that we came out of the trees well over ten million years ago and began building cities about ten thousand years ago. While we still have a ‘lizard brain’ and animal instincts, we have also evolved a range of civilized behaviours and emotional responses, such as romance, that are an important part of our social fabric.
That being said, there is nothing wrong with mutual exploration of the darker side of our sexuality, or engaging in a little ‘rough trade’ if that’s what we feel we need. Even dolphins and elephants with their complex neural cortex and social structures are not always the most romantic of lovers.
The point missed by the misguided lads defending their date-rape mentality is that while this behaviour is not ‘evil’ it is not ‘normal’. For the advancement of humanity, the freedom of women and the well-being of society, young people need to develop the social skills around romance, consensual sex and the ability to separate the thrill of seduction from the blood lust of conquest.
Even from a completely hedonistic, self-centred point of view, those occasions where sex is the most bestial and the least refined rarely make it into the best-bonks-I-ever-had list. More importantly, unless you deny the equality of women, sexual conquest is not a victimless crime.
The logic of the lop-sided view of sexual behaviour as represented by the frat brats defending the rapebait email this month is studied in detail in the 2009 article “Rapists who don’t think they’re rapists”. http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/sexist/2009/11/12/rapists-who-dont-think-theyre-rapists/
Given the central role of the television show Game of Thrones in our culture’s view of power and sexuality it is worth requoting the character Daario, “The gods gave men two gifts to entertain ourselves before we die—the thrill of fucking a woman who wants to be fucked; the thrill of killing a man who wants to kill you.”
It still puts women in the passive role but at least it gets the mutual nature of the desire the right way round.
The accidental rapists in our midst have completely missed out on this fundamental piece of evolution and need re-education quickly.
I have a suggestion for harnessing the power of the Internet to facilitate this re-education and reverse its role in promoting rape-culture but that will have to wait for another day.