The Collateral Damage of the Rape Culture Theory

Posted by Eric Francis Coppolino

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First, I want to invite men in my listening audience into a call-in program this Thursday night at 9 pm EDT. The topic will be relationships between the sexes, how men are treated, how we perceive women and what it’s like to live in the middle of the “rape culture” theory. This will be a get-real moment where men will have an opportunity to speak their hearts and minds and be heard.

Rosanne Cash and her husband, friend and producer, John Leventhal performing at the Bardavon Opera House, Poughkeepsie, NY, in late 2014. Photo by Eric Francis.

Use this link if you’re listening on an iOS or mobile device. Download MP3.


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Dear Friend and Reader:

First, I want to invite men in my listening audience into a call-in program this Thursday night at 9 pm EDT. The topic will be relationships between the sexes, how men are treated, how we perceive women and what it’s like to live in the middle of the “rape culture” theory. This will be a get-real moment where men will have an opportunity to speak their hearts and minds and be heard.

Rosanne’s 2014 album The River & the Thread won three Grammy awards. You can order your copy here.

I want to hear from men who are lonely, who feel like they’re accused of not having feelings, and who feel presumed guilty before there is even a real question.

And I want to hear from parents about how they feel raising your kids in this environment — what do you tell them and how do you educate them?

Call-in details of this program are below. In addition, watch your email, and the front pages of Planet Waves and Planet Waves FM if you need those call-in details prior to the program.

If you’re curious the format, listen to this recent program featuring women of Asheville and elsewhere.

Now for tonight’s program. I look at these very issues; I read a lot of reader mail that I’ve received over the past week in the aftermath of the Asheville incident. I discuss why a parent wrote this to me: “My son, a millennial, has voiced his fears about dating young women his age, and his feelings of loneliness and alienation. He doesn’t want to date or even approach a young woman his age for fear that he would be accused of rape, viewed as a potential rapist, seen as the enemy.”

I cover the current astrology, developing the theme of the transition between the Uranus-Pluto era and the Saturn-Neptune era. I do a Mercury retrograde tuneup, and consider Mars in Virgo conjunct Jupiter in Virgo.

My musical guest is the magnificent Rosanne Cash. I play three of her older songs, which fit the themes of our recent discussions. I don’t read her astrology, but I’ll tell you that she gleams with the clear light and inner-mirror of Gemini.

Thursday’s Call In Details

Time: Thursday, October 1st at 9:00 pm EDT
Listening methods: Phone, Webcall, Skype, Web Simulcast
Phone number: (425) 440-5100
Event Code: 472091#

Or to listen live on the Internet, please use this link. The recording will be published to Planet Waves FM. EVERYONE IS INVITED.

Lovingly,

Planet WavesBurn your way through life’s peskier obstacles with your 2015 Libra Birthday Reading
After the Eclipse: Lighting the Way at Planet Waves

Dear Friend and Reader:

I hope you were lucky enough to have clear skies to view the huge, honey-colored Moon as it rose on Sunday, and then to watch the total lunar eclipse a few hours later. Even if you did not, the energy of the event was still at work in your life.

The perigee Aries Full Moon rising above Scarborough Marsh in Maine on Sept. 27. Photo by Amanda Painter.

In a pre-eclipse post (and mailing) on Sunday, Eric explained that, although ‘predictive’ astrological interpretations are not much help with such an event, there are ways to read the themes. And then it’s up to you to see where those themes intersect with your life, and how much they resonate. For Sunday’s Aries Full Moon and eclipse, the themes included the invitation to tend the flame of your creativity, and also to make decisions in your relationships.

Keeping with the theme of decisions and discernment, Amanda Moreno wrote this week about her thoughts on Pope Francis. Yes, his global warming stance is solid, but he heads a problematic and powerful institution; we are so eager to give someone else our power to change the world, when in reality the power to change always lies within.

Guest-author Freya Watson considers how much we can communicate through touch — and what is not being expressed or heard when we lack touch; perfect for Mercury retrograde in Libra and the Full Moon week (Libra is, after all, ruled by Venus).

Madame Zolonga this week sidesteps confusion to get to the heart of the matter when a reader who’s into Western astrology receives a gift from her Vedic astrologer beau, intended to ‘assist’ what he sees as her concerning 12th-house Mars. Is there really cause for concern?

Judith Gayle notes that amidst the landscape of bizarre philosophical/religious/political/social events of this week, it is still up to us to see the big picture and the individual human faces at the heart of it all, and to lean in.

Staying with the political realm, Fe Bongolan has covered Speaker of the House John Boehner’s resignation announcement, and also anticipates the fallout this autumn in the Republican Party, in the wake of Sunday’s eclipse.

Len Wallick has covered retrograde Mercury conjunct the Sun in his column today. Posting Thursday at midnight EDT, I’ll be back on the Planet Waves website with some thoughts on your end-of-week astrology.

Yours & truly,

Amanda Painter

5 thoughts on “The Collateral Damage of the Rape Culture Theory

  1. Amy Elliott

    I am sorry to hear of young men feeling so alienated and being caused real pain by what is essentially a misreading of a very real problem. We definitely need greater humanity and maturity in healing a societal wound that blights just about everyone’s lives.

    Patriarchy is real, but it’s a function of fundamentalist monotheistic faiths (especially Christianity) and of capitalism. On a societal level, and much more in some parts of the world than others, women are still seen as property. This is related to sex-negativity. Rape culture theory would seem (as it is described here) to be more narrow, archaic and simplistic than I had believed it, which is a shame, because public awareness of that concept has helped to expose the prevalence of victim-blaming, among other things.

  2. Erin

    I just finished listening to this week’s Planet Waves FM. Normally I refrain from diving into what can be a cesspool of internet comments, but this time I could not just stand by. Your definition of “rape culture feminist theory” is way off base.

    “Rape culture feminist theory” as you state it is not ‘…society is based on rape, every influence is teaching people to rape women, and all women are oppressed by all men’. Rape culture as I understand it is a prevailing set of cultural norms that makes women alone responsible for their sexual safety, and places the blame on women when that safety is violated. Rape culture sets the expectation in men that they are entitled to women’s bodies.

    For example, if a woman says she was raped, and instead of being believed she is instead asked (1) Well, what were you wearing? (2) Why were you alone with him at that late hour? (3) How many men have you had sex with in the past? – that is rape culture in action. Many people think these are perfectly appropriate questions to ask a woman who is accusing someone of rape. The problem is these questions don’t take into account the actions of the person doing the actual raping.

    Rape culture is not just a theory, it is real and it is doing great harm to men and women alike. It infantilizes men by reinforcing archaic notions that men are at the mercy of their biology, the old “boys will be boys” trope. It places women in a state of constant vigilance, because every flirtation, short skirt or display of sexual desire can potentially be perceived as an invitation to sexual violence. Rape culture does alienate men and women because it is a breeding ground of mutual distrust.

    In addition to scientifically accurate sex education in our schools, we should also be teaching consent – what it is, what it isn’t, and how to achieve it. The problem is that teaching consent will be even more controversial than teaching sexual biology, because consent requires having an honest conversation about one’s sexual desire. We all know that nothing scares Puritans more than talking honestly about what they really want in the sack.

    Gosh there is so much more that I could say but this comment is long enough and I’ve typed the word rape more than I ever wanted to.

    There I did it again.

    1. Amy Elliott

      Hi Erin

      Thanks for your comment. This is a very astute analysis. In attempting to bring healing about, we must not forget how recently women have won some of their rights. We must also, I think, understand the connection between the questioning you mention of anyone alleging rape, slut shaming, Rebecca Watson, the rape culture in India (for example), and the horrific situation in Saudi Arabia. There’s a reason women feel intimidated. There’s also a reason young men are scared. I hope we can help both.

      With best wishes
      Amy

    2. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter

      “In addition to scientifically accurate sex education in our schools, we should also be teaching consent – what it is, what it isn’t, and how to achieve it. The problem is that teaching consent will be even more controversial than teaching sexual biology, because consent requires having an honest conversation about one’s sexual desire. We all know that nothing scares Puritans more than talking honestly about what they really want in the sack”

      And really, this comment gets down to the heart of the matter. I’m starting to think that rather than tearing down the “rape culture” idea or hammering away at “the patriarchy,” this is where the discussion needs to happen. Rather than making excuses for how hurt men feel, or how afraid women feel, wouldn’t be amazing if we could all, from a young age and all through adulthood, be talking about our desire and how to ask for what we want, and our boundaries and how to respect when someone else does not want what we want.

      I’d like to live in that world, and know that it extends beyond my own little personal microcosm.

  3. Len WallickLen Wallick

    Eric: No better time than a year of three Venus-Mars conjunctions to explore the state of gender issues and sexual relations. While things may seem to be a rather confusing mess right now, i have faith that your contributions to the conversation are leading the way towards furthering what can ultimately turn out to be an evolutionary leap for all of humanity. Sorting out thousands of years of imbalance, however, will require acknowledgement that people of good faith like yourself can and should prevail over those with abusive and selfish agendas.

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