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TOP TEN PARTY COMMANDMENTS - by Playboy Magazine
September 20, 2013 8:55 AM   Subscribe

"Every year Playboy releases the ultimate guide to campus life: our infamous party school list. Over the years, it has been brought to our attention that some of our long-standing party picks have a not-so-toast-worthy, rape-ridden side to their campus life. Somewhere in the countless hours we spent tallying up co-eds and scoring beer pong, we lost track of the most essential element of the Playboy lifestyle: sexual pleasure. Rape is kryptonite to sexual pleasure. The two cannot co-exist. For our revised party guide to live up to our founder’s vision, we had to put a new criterion on top. Namely, consent. In other words… A good college party is all about everyone having a good time. Consent is all about everyone having a good time. Rape is only a good time if you’re a rapist. And fuck those people. In our new found light, we proudly present to you Playboy’s 2013 Top Ten Party Commandments, the ultimate guide for a consensual good time." Or did they,
College students across the country conspired to promote consent: the story behind yesterday’s Playboy hoax.
The Inside Story Of The Feminists Who Fooled Us Into Thinking Playboy Cared About Consent

This work was a collaboration between a variety of college activists and FORCE: upsetting rape culture, which was previously featured on metafilter for its similar PINK ♥s Consent project
posted by Blasdelb (133 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite

 
That was kind of awesome.
posted by rtha at 8:58 AM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Culture-jamming and subversion like this makes me very happy.
posted by jquinby at 9:00 AM on September 20, 2013 [22 favorites]


Rape is only a good time if you’re a rapist. And fuck those people.

NO! DON'T! THAT IS WHAT THEY WANT!
posted by Sys Rq at 9:01 AM on September 20, 2013 [35 favorites]


"Rape is only a good time if you’re a rapist. And fuck those people." That line made me first think Playboy was getting edgy, then made me question if this was really from Playboy.

And kudos to them for setting up not one but (at least) three spoof sites. Subversion works best if it's a multi-pronged attack.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:03 AM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


NO! DON'T! THAT IS WHAT THEY WANT!

But only when they're in control.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:04 AM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Don't have time to dig through the links this morning, but this made me smile. Thanks.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:08 AM on September 20, 2013


Yes. More of this, please.
posted by Mooski at 9:08 AM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


My question: did this get covered by (m)any college papers?
posted by filthy light thief at 9:09 AM on September 20, 2013


Referencing "our founder's vision" instead of using his name, as if he's been dead for decades or something, was a bit of a give-away. But the idea is solid - and probably more effective than just complaining or doing a petition against the magazine or something.
posted by The World Famous at 9:10 AM on September 20, 2013


And boy this puts Playboy in a bind... Sure they can say it was a prank, but they can't exactly back away from it with something like, "This prank is not representative of Playboy's values..." It almost forces them to talk about consent, which is utterly brilliant.
posted by frecklefaerie at 9:13 AM on September 20, 2013 [79 favorites]


Reminds me of the Yes Men disguising themselves as Dow Chemical representatives and announcing plans to compensate the victims of the Union Carbide disaster.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:13 AM on September 20, 2013 [15 favorites]


So good.
posted by likeatoaster at 9:13 AM on September 20, 2013


Site looked pretty convincing. I was wondering if they'd hacked Playboy's site.

The actual commandments didn't seem to be a 100% on message. They were mostly about the importance of consent, but then there were some random ones like #2 and #7 where I didn't get the connection to consent.
posted by justkevin at 9:14 AM on September 20, 2013


"NO! DON'T! THAT IS WHAT THEY WANT!"

Not to get all humorlessly feministy on you, particularly since that is kinda cleverly funny, but it really isn't what they want. Fucking isn't the thing being desired in rape, its power and control, its the removal of someone else's most basic of rights to self determination . Rape doesn't happen because rapists get horny, rape happens because rapists get entitled, enabled, and ugly.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:16 AM on September 20, 2013 [12 favorites]


"And boy this puts Playboy in a bind... Sure they can say it was a prank, but they can't exactly back away from it with something like, "This prank is not representative of Playboy's values..." It almost forces them to talk about consent, which is utterly brilliant."

Playboy was edgy, subversive, relevant and awesome once upon a time long ago, maybe they would be doing a lot better if they started doing that again. From the linked article,
"Charles Beaumont’s “Black Country” was selected as the first short story ever to be featured in Playboy, but it was his “The Crooked Man” that drew the most attention. The story inverted the era’s rampant homophobia by chronicling the unjust plight of a straight man trying to escape detection and persecution in a society where being gay was the standard. Although the story was originally rejected by Esquire, Playboy agreed to publish it in 1955′s August issue despite an angry outcry from readers, to which Hugh Hefner later responded: “If it was wrong to persecute heterosexuals in a homosexual society then the reverse was wrong, too.”
posted by Blasdelb at 9:20 AM on September 20, 2013 [24 favorites]


"The Inside Story Of The Feminists Who Fooled Us Into Thinking Playboy Cared About Consent"

Oh, Playboy doesn't care about consent? In other words, Playboy is okay with rape?

Sorry; that's just flamebait, and it cheapens the issue.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:29 AM on September 20, 2013 [15 favorites]


Fucking isn't the thing being desired in rape, its power and control, its the removal of someone else's most basic of rights to self determination

I'm no expert, but I see this sentiment a lot and I don't think that it's quite accurate. Rape seems to me more like a robbery than some sort of power thing, although intent is certainly varied among rapists. But just to say that it's all about power has become a sort of received wisdom that paints with too broad a brush.
posted by planetesimal at 9:32 AM on September 20, 2013 [26 favorites]


As soon as I saw this and learned it was a hoax (I hoped it wasn't!) I wondered if it was a project by the Pink ♥s Consent people.

Good for them--this is super well done. And obviously very badly needed. The university I went to was just all over the news because of a (first year student orientation) chant promoting rape during the Commerce students' frosh week orientation activities.

I was absolutely appalled by the Commerce Undergrad Students' Society's excuses:
The use of the chant at UBC came to light after a first-year business student posted the lyrics on Twitter, condemning the chant, along with a report in the student newspaper, The Ubyssey.

Students say the chant has been used for 20 years, and this year frosh week organizers didn't prevent it, allowing students to chant it "in the bus," but not in public.

The CUS has issued a statement, saying there was little they could do to stop the chants.

"While we do our best to provide a safe and controlled environment during formal Sauder FROSH sessions, there is admittedly little we can do to completely control what some leaders may expose their students to," it said.
Oh please. What a load of shit. It's your JOB to make sure they're not singing pro-rape chants and deal with it if they are, not throw your hands up and say there's nothing you can do. Of course, the university, in full-on damage control mode, has come out as saying this is totally unacceptable and they are investigating.

And this is right after another university in the Maritimes was busted for the same thing during their frosh week activities. Ugh.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:37 AM on September 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'm no expert, but I see this sentiment a lot and I don't think that it's quite accurate.

I think it is, though. "Fucking" in this context is something that requires enthusiastic consent, it's a collaborative act, it the mutual exploration and dehydration of two wriggly and excited people. Remove that aspect, and you don't have two people fucking, you have one person assaulting another.
posted by KathrynT at 9:38 AM on September 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


I actually think there are differing motivations involved. I think some people are twisted and DO just want sex, and even love... I have met some characters that remind me of the Ice King--- in terms of literally are so deslusional that when they force someone into their reality where they get sex/intamacy they don't see they are creeping out/terrifying/abusing someone else, it doesn't fit the narative they are telling themselves.

I've also known abusers who literally just wanted to create a fight/power/struggle. Having seen some of both, I think different things can happen. Sometimes a person just literally doesn't understand that "I really am not feeling like doing this right now" doesn't mean to press on until submission ensues.

I think the idea the rapist is intentional is false and part of a lot of confusion about what rape is. There ARE intentional rapists, and there are people who rape without meaning to or thinking that is what they are doing.

Of course I've never been in their heads, so I don't really know.
posted by xarnop at 9:38 AM on September 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


"Remove that aspect, and you don't have two people fucking, you have one person assaulting another."

Rape is obviously assault, but that doesn't mean the rapist's motivation is "gee, I want to assault someone". At least some of the time, I think the motivation is "gee, I want to have sex", and they're just sociopathic enough to not care whether the other person wants to have sex with them or not.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:43 AM on September 20, 2013 [28 favorites]


Is there any reaction from Playboy?
posted by shothotbot at 9:47 AM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Oh, Playboy doesn't care about consent? In other words, Playboy is okay with rape?"

Playboy is plainly ok with doing nothing about the culture of rape that it is perfectly happy to traffic in. In whitewashing the deep and fundamental issues with consent on college campuses from its annual celebration of college sex, it presents an inherently warped and twisted picture of it from its vantage point within the male gaze. Playboy doesn't care about consent, and the absence is incredibly fucking notable.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:48 AM on September 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


I love this and I want to be her when I grow up.
posted by Fuka at 9:49 AM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


For a second there, I thought Playboy had actually done something awesome.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 9:50 AM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think the motivation is "gee, I want to have sex", and they're just sociopathic enough to not care whether the other person wants to have sex with them or not.

But like we tell my kids when they're playing -- "it's only fun if everyone's having fun." It's a framing issue, really, and I hear what you're saying, but if someone's willing to participate in this activity even though not everyone is having fun, then something is wrong, and I would not call that activity "fucking."
posted by KathrynT at 9:52 AM on September 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wait. I thought rape wasn't about sex. I thought it was all about power.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 9:53 AM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rape is obviously assault, but that doesn't mean the rapist's motivation is "gee, I want to assault someone".

Strange thing to want to split hairs over.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 9:54 AM on September 20, 2013 [12 favorites]


The best thing about this and the fake Victoria's Secret campaign is the positivity. "Somebody you wouldn't expect did something cool!" can get as many hits as "Somebody you hate did something hateful!" and when you find out it's not real, you still feel good about the world. "Oh well" you can think, "Someday maybe this will happen!"
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:57 AM on September 20, 2013 [9 favorites]


The best part of this — and by best I mean most wistfully utopian — is the fake Hefner interview:
When I first started publishing the magazine, the biggest threat to sexual pleasure was puritanism. Playboy was the antidote to puritanism. And I think if you look at the past 50 years, history is on my side.

Today, the biggest threat to sexual pleasure is violence. We worship sexual violence in this culture more than we worship sexual pleasure. There is nothing pleasurable about rape. In fact, rape robs people of their pleasure, during the act itself and, for many, for years to come.

I also worry that people aren’t enjoying sex as much as we used to. I’ve noticed in our culture today that people, especially young people, treat sex like a transaction or a conquest.
posted by RogerB at 9:57 AM on September 20, 2013 [40 favorites]


"Oh well" you can think, "Someday maybe this will happen!"

I honestly don't understand why Playboy, upon learning this hoax had been pulled, would want to deny rather than embrace and extend it. Like, someone out there is trying to do your brand a huge favor — why fight it?
posted by RogerB at 9:59 AM on September 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well yeah but there is a whole kind of sex in which the point is for the man to get the sex from the woman and as long as he manages to get a submissive responds or keeps verbally "negotiating" whether the sex will happen until she caves, it's considered consent.

I think this is sick and should stop, but it's currently not viewed as rape by a lot of people. And there is a lot of pressure for women to be MORE ASSERTIVE if they REALLY don't want to have sex because merely saying, "Let's do something else" once is not indicidative of REALLY not wanting to have sex, and surely she wants to be negotiated into sex or she would be ruder and more firm--- but then of course, the whole relationship is sabatoauged so women have to decide whether to put out when the pressure is on and keep the relationship or risk losing the whole thing.

There are a lot of reasons unwanted sex is fairly common and it's not always rape, there can be negotiated bargained consent, but the result is, to me, not really sex either.

There's more to consent than just hounding someone into saying, "Uh I guess you can have sex with me" and that is the part of the lesson I think women are more likely to talk about and men are less likely to get because they think they already understand consent because they donate to charity and support women's rights and stuff. Or they're really nice, and don't plan to hurt anyone on purpose so they already know how to do consent right. Some women don't know how to do consent right either, but as they are more often the ones being shoved into putting out on the spot or facing the rejection/irritation/or potentially forceful rape from the person pressuring them, it's a big problem the people more likely to be doing the pressuring are not as interested in learning more about the details of how to ask for sex without making someone feel violated or forced.
posted by xarnop at 9:59 AM on September 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Of course, the university, in full-on damage control mode, has come out as saying this is totally unacceptable and they are investigating.

The University has brought the hammer down, though: they've ended the Frosh week, the CUS student leadership has resigned, there's an official apology, and various other kinds of shit has hit the fan. I'm not defending Sauder-- because among other things the students ride around in golf carts during the first week of classes shrieking about capitalism-- but this was taken very, very seriously by the administration.
posted by jokeefe at 10:02 AM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sometimes a person just literally doesn't understand that "I really am not feeling like doing this right now" doesn't mean to press on until submission ensues.

Yes, and part of the reason some men don't see themselves as rapists is because in their minds, they're not pressuring women into sex, they're showing how powerful and virile they are, which is supposedly arousing to women. They prefer if the woman initially resists, because once she succumbs to the pressure, it is understood to mean they have aroused a powerful desire in her which overcomes her puritanical desire to not have sex.
posted by AlsoMike at 10:04 AM on September 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Fucking isn't the thing being desired in rape, its power and control, its the removal of someone else's most basic of rights to self determination

This framing seems harmful in that there are a lot of guys doing stuff that should be considered rape who think they're just trying to get sex. If you tell them "rape is about power and control and not sex" aren't they going to think, "Cool, so what I did wasn't rape then"?
posted by straight at 10:05 AM on September 20, 2013 [20 favorites]


AlsoMike, I've actually had conversations with men where they are saying stuff like this. Like "You just need me to press you into it, what's wrong with you that you won't open up to your sexuality right now, maybe you have issues and I need to overcome your obstacles to having sex right now" like a person needs to have issues to not want to have sex at a specific moment in getting to know someone?
posted by xarnop at 10:06 AM on September 20, 2013


"Strange thing to want to split hairs over."

Not sure what hair you think I'm splitting. Is it not important to understand what motivates rapists to rape?
posted by escape from the potato planet at 10:06 AM on September 20, 2013 [8 favorites]


"...it's absurd to suggest that the publication is somehow pro-rape."

...You could always instead close the tab and make us wonder if you ever ended up reading the link instead of commenting and removing all doubt.
posted by Blasdelb at 10:08 AM on September 20, 2013


frecklefaerie: "It almost forces them to talk about consent, which is utterly brilliant."

Indeed. Much like the Victoria's Secret thing, I can't really understand why Playboy doesn't take this opportunity to rally behind consent and gain a ton of goodwill.
posted by Apropos of Something at 10:09 AM on September 20, 2013


[Folks, totally okay to just read a different thread if you mostly feel like complaining about metafilter or being sarcastic. Rape and consent are pretty loaded issues, please try and keep things cool in here and maybe focus more on the what-this-post-is-about stuff than generalized repeats of previous arguments.]
posted by cortex at 10:10 AM on September 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Not sure what hair you think I'm splitting.

Whether or not the guy is primarily motivated by wanting to commit assault or primarily motivated by wanting to have an orgasm, he is definitely willing to commit assault in order to have an orgasm.
posted by KathrynT at 10:11 AM on September 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


I was just wondering about how I would phrase a statement about this if I were a PR rep for Playboy, and I started thinking, "While we strongly support consensual sex as promoted on these sites, we do object among other things to the use of the Playboy name and trademarks without consent-" and then I had to stop myself because, oops, accidentally equating trademark law with rape, maybe not a great idea.
posted by naju at 10:12 AM on September 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


Peeping toms can access pornography for free. They have no reason to peer into windows or place cameras in people's bedrooms when they could be watching pornographic videos online, or going to strip clubs or peep shows, or patronizing webcam exhibitionists for next to nothing. Yet they do, because the point isn't seeing naked flesh - it's violating someone else's rights and boundaries for their own sexual satisfaction.

See also: rapists.
posted by northernish at 10:14 AM on September 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Whether or not the guy is primarily motivated by wanting to commit assault or primarily motivated by wanting to have an orgasm, he is definitely willing to commit assault in order to have an orgasm.

Exactly. And why, in discussions about rape and consent, we have to continue to center the rapist's intentions as the Number One Most Important Thing is an eternal mystery to me. Oh wait, no it's not a mystery all, it's a symptom of rape culture where people think that intent is magic and that people with more (physical, social, institutional) power get to define the experiences of the people they assault.
posted by Ouisch at 10:14 AM on September 20, 2013 [12 favorites]


Blasdelb, I did read the articles, and I see nothing to support the idea that Playboy "traffics in a culture of rape". If you know otherwise, I would be interested in learning, but please don't just shout people out of the thread. It's not a good look.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 10:15 AM on September 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Rape is about power" is a poorly-worded way to express something important about the nature of rape. Blasdelb is correct that the crime of rape is not entirely about sex, but I dislike the ambiguity of his wording (with all respect to him, because he's fundamentally right here).

Rape involves sex, yes. It also involves a "taking" so it makes sense that some people here gave already likened it to robbery—but even that act of taking is not what defines rape. There's a reason why rape includes acts of coercion/lack of free will that aren't purely force-related. But saying that rape is about power fails to explain what the power in question really is.

The power a rapist wants is the power to treat their victim as subhuman. To deny them the right to control their own body, to make their own choices, to determine for themselves who to have sex with and when to have it. It's at once a physical and an emotional and an intellectual crime: the rapist has power over his victim the way a child has power over a toy. The fundamental here is treating a person like they're not a person.

"I was horny so I raped her" isn't an explanation of the crime, because horniness can be alleviated using an number of simple techniques that are far easier than forcing somebody to have sex with you. You rape somebody because you feel that they owe you sex, and because they're not giving it to you otherwise. So you take it. Rape is declaring that somebody else's sexual capacity is yours to use as you see fit.

So yes, rape is about power, not sex. But it's important to clarify that the power in question is the power to take something fundamental about another person away from them: their control, their choice, their right to have individual wants or needs or self-ness. It's a grotesque crime and it's as far away from healthy sex as you can get, seeing as sex is all about the intimacy between two+ people. Necrophilia would be less awful. But because we have a culture that routinely strips women of their agency or their right to exist as anything other than a body to be consumed by men, rape is disgustingly common, even casual. That's why we named it rape culture—because it's a culture that revolves around this denial of identity or humanity, down to the stories it tells and the products it sells us.
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:15 AM on September 20, 2013 [48 favorites]


"we have to continue to center the rapist's intentions as the Number One Most Important Thing"

That has not happened.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 10:16 AM on September 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Good piece: Jezebel writer defends (and critiques) Playboy - doubts hackers' understanding of Playboy
posted by Bwithh at 10:17 AM on September 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Whether or not the guy is primarily motivated by wanting to commit assault or primarily motivated by wanting to have an orgasm, he is definitely willing to commit assault in order to have an orgasm."

Isn't that exactly what I said?
posted by escape from the potato planet at 10:17 AM on September 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


No.
posted by elizardbits at 10:18 AM on September 20, 2013 [9 favorites]


Yes, it is. If you choose to believe otherwise, let's just agree to disagree on that point, because nothing good is going to come of it.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 10:20 AM on September 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


You don't get to dictate the responses and reactions you get to the comments that you make here, sorry.
posted by elizardbits at 10:22 AM on September 20, 2013 [22 favorites]


This is one of the saddest things I've read all day:

"Some news outlets, however, were immediately skeptical that Victoria’s Secret would ever make such a bold statement in favor of sexual assault prevention."

The fact that it is validly questionable whether or not any organization would be willing to make a bold statement in favor of sexual assault prevention is some messed up shit.
posted by Kimberly at 10:23 AM on September 20, 2013 [10 favorites]


xarnop, it's a very common attitude among men. Hearing this kind of thing growing up, I became convinced that taking any kind of conscious action to make someone like you or desire you was a form of rape because it meant that you were trying to subvert their logical, rational mind via their body. Beyond doing something they don't want, you are taking control of their desires and directing it towards what you want, which is an even worse violation of their right to self-determination.

I may have been a little paranoid.
posted by AlsoMike at 10:24 AM on September 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Just wanted to say that they people that do this are from Baltimore. LOCAL PRIDE
posted by josher71 at 10:25 AM on September 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


Isn't that exactly what I said?

No. Having an orgasm and having sex are not the same thing.
posted by KathrynT at 10:26 AM on September 20, 2013


The Rape Culture, D Herman, 1988
posted by Ouisch at 10:27 AM on September 20, 2013


Rape Culture 101
posted by Ouisch at 10:31 AM on September 20, 2013


How effective is a hoax that only gets covered by Think Progress? Especially when the few mainstream news sites that said anything almost all immediately suspected a hoax?
posted by Ardiril at 10:31 AM on September 20, 2013


Yes but they said something? I m seeing family members and people who never would have started talking about consent, rape culture, body image, post these things on facebook-- it's starts to create a narrative where you can see who your allies are, you can see people change minds who didn't understand it before. I think changes are happening, and movements like these area huge part of it.

How else to you want an aware and educated public if you don't want efforts to reach the general public to be taken unless there is proof they are outrageously effective? That just shuts everything down, and will get us nowhere. The conversations have to reach people somehow and every human being should know the details of what is and isn't rape, what is coercive and damaging sex, and that it's common to THINK you know what consent means and be wrong, so thinking you understand is an obstacle to getting a better understanding.
posted by xarnop at 10:41 AM on September 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


elizardbits: You don't get to dictate the responses and reactions you get to the comments that you make here, sorry.

I never said that I do. Perhaps I should put it differently: feel free to believe and post whatever you like, but be aware that I will ignore any comments which are made in bad faith, and especially those that seek to paint me as some kind of rape apologist. Because that's both incorrect and, to put it politely, very offensive. Hopefully that clears up any confusion.

No. Having an orgasm and having sex are not the same thing.

You seem to be arguing over how we should use the terms "fucking" and "having sex". You can, of course, use those terms however you like, but that question of semantics is not the issue I'm addressing. I'm addressing the discussion that began with this comment:

Fucking isn't the thing being desired in rape, its power and control, its the removal of someone else's most basic of rights to self determination

...and continued with this one:

I'm no expert, but I see this sentiment a lot and I don't think that it's quite accurate. Rape seems to me more like a robbery than some sort of power thing, although intent is certainly varied among rapists. But just to say that it's all about power has become a sort of received wisdom that paints with too broad a brush.

I am merely agreeing with planetesimal's comment—that "the thing being desired in rape" isn't necessarily always or only power and control.

Nowhere have I said that the rapist's motivation is the Most Important Thing to talk about. Nowhere have I said that the rapist's motivation, whatever it might be, diminishes or excuses the fact that they're committing assault (in fact, I specifically said the opposite—"rape is obviously assault"—in the first four words of my first comment on the subject).

If you don't want to use the terms "fucking" or "having sex" to refer to non-consensual sex, then feel free to replace them whatever term you are comfortable with:

At least some of the time, I think the [rapist's] motivation is "gee, I want to [put my penis in a vagina], and they're just sociopathic enough to not care whether the other person wants to [have that penis inserted in their vagina at this time] or not.

That is all I mean. If you're reading anything I've posted to mean that rape is anything less than a terrible crime, then you're reading sentiments that aren't there. I am not a rape sympathizer. Please do me the courtesy of not condemning me as such.

What started as a brief aside has become a big derail. Far be it from me to tell anyone else what to do, but I will drop it here.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 10:48 AM on September 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


I think it is, though. "Fucking" in this context is something that requires enthusiastic consent, it's a collaborative act, it the mutual exploration and dehydration of two wriggly and excited people.
Just two?

:(
posted by Critical_Beatdown at 10:49 AM on September 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Playboy has been facilitating rape culture and glorifying misogyny for decades. Maybe citation needed, but there is no way in hell I am going to comb through the Playboy archives to link to any of the massive numbers of cartoons where a man is shown getting a woman drunk to take advantage of her - liquor is quicker, HAW HAW, or the numerous articles that slyly suggest the same. They were all about the Sexual Revolution and Freeing People Up From Their Sexual Inhibitions, as long as that meant guys getting 3-ways with two women, or Wife Swapping (never Spouse Swapping - the Wives are the Mens' property to swap). They fetishize borderline pedophilia by featuring centerfolds with shaved pubes, and showing pictures of the Playmates as kids. They are racist as well as sexist - in their already sexist pictorials, if a woman is non-white they will be sure to have her in animal skins if she is African-American, or in a Kimono or Geisha get-up if she is Asian. They feature women in an incredibly narrow range of body types, and pose them in ways that would make a comic-book artist blush.

But the worst part is, they couch all this in terms of being the magazine for The Sophisticated Man. Hey, here's an ad for a $2000 stereo. An interview with Deepak Chopra! Advice about what kind of tuxedo should I wear to a Spring Roofie Party!

Christ, at least Hustler recognizes and openly acknowledges that their audience is a a bunch of Neanderthal dimwitted assholes.
posted by Cookiebastard at 10:51 AM on September 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


Exactly. And why, in discussions about rape and consent, we have to continue to center the rapist's intentions as the Number One Most Important Thing is an eternal mystery to me.

Probably because when we consider the crime of rape, we must consider intent. But the discussion in this thread is weird: it doesn't matter whether a person wants to force someone to have sex because it's all about the power or he wants to force someone to have sex because it's all about the sex. He still wants to force it. It's rape. But, yes, since the crime of rape requires volition on the part of the rapist, I can understand why the issue comes up a lot. Just not the weird hair-splitting that's going on in this thread.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:51 AM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


What started as a brief aside has become a big derail. Far be it from me to tell anyone else what to do, but I will drop it here.

For what it's worth, if you're writing this it's probably a decent sign that you could've and should've dropped it earlier. I didn't leave a note because I was hoping you had, but, yes, drop it.
posted by cortex at 10:52 AM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


escape from the potato planet, I think we're talking past each other -- I am specifically seeking to create a narrative in which the only activities we'd call "sex" (or any one of a set of cruder / more playful synonyms) are the ones that have enthusiastic and collaborative consent from all participating parties. I'm not painting you as a rape apologist, nor do I see you that way. So yeah, I'm trying to change the language here, not cast aspersions.
posted by KathrynT at 10:53 AM on September 20, 2013


dangit, shoulda previewed.
posted by KathrynT at 10:54 AM on September 20, 2013


And why, in discussions about rape and consent, we have to continue to center the rapist's intentions as the Number One Most Important Thing is an eternal mystery to me.

Well isn't this whole project aimed at changing the intentions of potential rapists? Isn't it aimed at redefining our cultural standards of what kind of sexual behavior is acceptable?

I totally agree with the analysis that, objectively, what is going on in rape is violence and an assertion of power, not sex.

But subjectively, I think some people commit rape thinking they're just having sex. This campaign seems directed at potential rapists: "You want sex? Real sex is consensual sex!"

The slogan, "rape is about power, not sex" seems at odds with that strategy. I worry that some of the target audience for these messages will think the converse is true: "Since I really did it for sex, then it's not rape."
posted by straight at 10:58 AM on September 20, 2013


The trope of "rape isn't about sex, it's about power" is instructive to a point but far from inclusive of everything I'd hope we would classify as rape or part of rape culture.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:58 AM on September 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


When someone says rape isn't about sex but about power and control, that statement appears to be about the rapist's motivations. I can see it more as a thematic statement, like a prescription for how to talk about the matter, but that's not the most obvious reading. "When $PERSON commits $ACTION, it's about $TOPIC" is a pattern commonly used to discuss motivations.
posted by LogicalDash at 11:00 AM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Probably because when we consider the crime of rape, we must consider intent.

Some would argue that the absence or presence of consent is more important than intent.

And now I think I'm taking my boobs and going home. This is a subject that affects me every single day as someone at risk and with a history of assault. I would have liked to have a conversation about the prank, what happened, etc., but instead I see we are retreading 101 topics again (does rape culture exist? are there actually power dynamics in sexual assault? do rapists rape because they are bad people or misguided horny people? does prioritizing the internal lives of rapists in conversations about consent help to end rape?) and it is frankly exhausting. I wish I could just let those things slide, but really I cannot. It affects my life too directly to have people walking around with those assumptions intact.

Those of you who, a while back, were asking about how to do gender threads better, this might be one of your chances.
posted by Ouisch at 11:02 AM on September 20, 2013 [13 favorites]


I actually agree with straight. If you're trying to reach people who might be capable of raping but not understand that's what they are doing, then telling them rape is not about sex will make it a lot harder to explain that you can rape someone that you are just trying to "have sex" with. Even if the rapists THINKS they are trying to "have sex" if they have not engaged mutual and unforced consent- they could be raping or at the least sexually abusing someone and that takes education to see amidst the sea of messages men are given about what they are supposed to be doing TO women in relationships/dating to get sex out of them.
posted by xarnop at 11:04 AM on September 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


"I was horny so I raped her" isn't an explanation of the crime, because horniness can be alleviated using an number of simple techniques that are far easier than forcing somebody to have sex with you.

I wish more people would say this. We have this worship of the Male Need to Put It In a Woman as if self-pleasure wasn't a thing anyone has access to, we treat blue balls like a fatal disease and therefore that makes rape less bad because he just couldn't help it, poor dear.

But maybe that is a derail, because I mostly came in to say that I saw this a few days ago and thought it was awesome, and I still do, and the more we get the concept of Consent Matters out there, the better off we all will be. Replacing the Pure Until You Pressure Her Enough model with the Really Wants to Do It With You model is a good thing to anyone who's actually into pleasure, not power.
posted by emjaybee at 11:04 AM on September 20, 2013 [26 favorites]


I wonder if the mods saw this FPP and thought, "Damn. Well, it's going to be a long afternoon."

Bless y'all.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:04 AM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Some would argue that the absence or presence of consent is more important than intent.

Hey, yes. My comment was only meant to explain why the issue of the rapist's intent comes up so frequently in discussions about rape.
posted by MoonOrb at 11:05 AM on September 20, 2013


the more we get the concept of Consent Matters out there, the better off we all will be. Replacing the Pure Until You Pressure Her Enough model with the Really Wants to Do It With You model is a good thing to anyone who's actually into pleasure, not power.

I wish I could favorite this 1000 times.
posted by KathrynT at 11:05 AM on September 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Are they in fact reaching the general public to any degree, xarnop? How many people here only know of this story by way of this very FPP and would not have encountered it otherwise? And Metafilter is just another choir, not at all 'the general public'.

Also, it strikes me as odd that a group trying to instill automatic belief in victims' stories would use hoaxes to make their points.
posted by Ardiril at 11:07 AM on September 20, 2013


a group trying to instill automatic belief in victims' stories

What the fuck?
posted by RogerB at 11:09 AM on September 20, 2013 [22 favorites]


My comment was only meant to explain why the issue of the rapists's intent comes up so frequently in discussions about rape.

But it shouldn't, really. If I buy stolen goods, unaware that they're stolen, I've still done something wrong. If I go 75 MPH in a 35 zone because I didn't see the sign, or even because I really had to poop, I can still get a speeding ticket. If someone has sexual activity with an unwilling partner, even if they managed to convince themselves that their partner wasn't unwilling, then they've committed assault.

This is why this prank is such genius, because it takes the emphasis off of "did she want it or didn't she" and puts it squarely on "it's not fun if everyone isn't having fun." Anything to defang the poisonous construct that sex is something that men charm, seduce, cajole, coerce, or force women into doing.
posted by KathrynT at 11:11 AM on September 20, 2013 [20 favorites]


"I was horny so I raped her" isn't an explanation of the crime, because horniness can be alleviated using an number of simple techniques that are far easier than forcing somebody to have sex with you.

I wish more people would say this. We have this worship of the Male Need to Put It In a Woman as if self-pleasure wasn't a thing anyone has access to, we treat blue balls like a fatal disease and therefore that makes rape less bad because he just couldn't help it, poor dear.


And yet, if we want to get terribly personal here, I'm sure the guy that raped me wanted to have sex. If I was up for sex, he (likely) would have been just fine with that. Happened to be that I wasn't up for sex (understatement of the century) and so he raped me instead.

While I agree that the whole Male Need to Put it In a Woman is a total fucking bullshit excuse, I also think we need to talk about what happens during rape. While very few of us still think of rape as the stranger in the alley anymore, men don't see themselves as potential rapists because they still don't think of the rapist as the guy who just didn't feel like stopping and jacking off in the bathroom instead.
posted by Sophie1 at 11:18 AM on September 20, 2013 [10 favorites]


On rapists' motivations: My wife was a sex researcher who focused on rapists' motivations, and I can tell you one reason we have to think about why the rapist offends: if we want to stop it we have to understand why it occurs. Of course, there are social reasons (rape culture, entitlement, machismo, and on and on), but we can and must research the issue from all available corners.
posted by arcticwoman at 11:18 AM on September 20, 2013 [10 favorites]


Of course, I'm talking in broad brush strokes about why it is an important issue. That does not mean that the rapists' motivation is always an appropriate part of any conversation about rape. The experience of the victim must always take primacy and when we are talking about a particular victim or group of victim's experiences, the motivations of the offender shouldn't even be mentioned.
posted by arcticwoman at 11:20 AM on September 20, 2013


Playboy... still exists?
posted by Flunkie at 11:25 AM on September 20, 2013


Playboy rape awareness cover. (via: the jezebel article linked to by bwithh). A poster from that campaign. Playboy article "ENTHUSIASTIC CONSENT: ONLY YES MEANS YES".

I'm happy about this campaign, and hopeful for the conversations it will elicit, but in this age of ubiquitous pornography I wouldn't point to Playboy as being the problematic cultural institution that supports rape culture.
posted by el io at 11:27 AM on September 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Rape is only a good time if you’re a rapist.

I think more like "rape is only a good time if you're a sociopath and a rapist"
posted by crayz at 11:30 AM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not sure what hair you think I'm splitting. Is it not important to understand what motivates rapists to rape?

In a conversation in which the topic is "what motivates rapists to rape," it is. In this conversation, not so much.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:32 AM on September 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


What an awesome stunt.

Consent on college campuses is pretty messed up. Colleges often operate in this grey zone where the law doesn't exactly apply to them, and students, male and female, often get away with really pretty atrocious things.

But it doesn't have to be that way. I always thought my alma mater did a pretty good job with their Consent Campaign, which really tried to not only make consent a common sense thing, but, like the hoax, make it about making the sex actually sexy:

Consent is sexy. Sex without consent is sexual assault. The Consent Campaign is a student-developed effort to change the way college students think and talk about intimate activity. We know college students talk about sex. We want them to talk about consent too. The message of the campaign is that consent makes for healthier, safer, and sexier intimate interactions.

Through provocative posters, creative promotional materials, and numerous workshops, the campaign reaches out to the campus community. By modeling explicit and affirmative communication, the campaign invites students to consider the language they use when they are being intimate. Join the Sexual Violence Response mailing list to receive updates about the Consent campaign.


When I was on campus, there were posters everywhere saying: Want to take it further? Ask her! Want to do it? Ask him! Want to make out? Ask first! Want to come over? Ask me!

Should be on all campuses, I think. Probably at bars too.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:36 AM on September 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


So yes, rape is about power, not sex. But it's important to clarify that the power in question is the power to take something fundamental about another person away from them: their control, their choice, their right to have individual wants or needs or self-ness. It's a grotesque crime and it's as far away from healthy sex as you can get, seeing as sex is all about the intimacy between two+ people. Necrophilia would be less awful. But because we have a culture that routinely strips women of their agency or their right to exist as anything other than a body to be consumed by men, rape is disgustingly common, even casual. That's why we named it rape culture—because it's a culture that revolves around this denial of identity or humanity, down to the stories it tells and the products it sells us.

I may have to scrape together another $5 just to favorite this again.
posted by crayz at 11:38 AM on September 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Are they in fact reaching the general public to any degree, xarnop? How many people here only know of this story by way of this very FPP and would not have encountered it otherwise? And Metafilter is just another choir, not at all 'the general public'.

I'd bet money that this is making the rounds on college campuses. Or does something not count unless it makes the front page of the NYT? Or do college students (like the ones who created this) not count as the "general" public?
posted by rtha at 12:07 PM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I saw it on tumblr with a hillion jillion reblogs earlier this week.
posted by elizardbits at 12:08 PM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


... in this age of ubiquitous pornography I wouldn't point to Playboy as being the problematic cultural institution that supports rape culture.

There's worse stuff than Playboy, sure. But when you say "cultural institution", well, that's actually hitting the nail on the head as far as Playboy goes. Playboy is a Cultural Institution, with a sixty year history, that helped pave the way for the existence of today's Ubiquitous Pornography. It legitimized female objectification and rape culture as facets of being a Sophisticated, Literate Man.
posted by Cookiebastard at 12:17 PM on September 20, 2013 [11 favorites]


A poster from that campaign.

It's not that I don't think this prank was clever and brilliantly executed - but that poster is a lot more comprehensive in terms of "how to end rape culture" than anything the hoaxers put up. It's really a pretty great poster tbh.

Kind of makes me wish the hoaxers could have used their brilliance for generating publicity to team up with Playboy and publicize that real poster (and hopefully the massive and positive publicity boost would encourage Playboy to continue the trend) instead of the setting up this basically adversarial relationship between themselves and Playboy (and Playboy, like any other company with a valuable brand, logo, trademarks, etc., realistically can't just allow people to put up fake websites pretending to be them, regardless of the message of the fake websites and how much Playboy does or doesn't agree). Playboy's been a bastion of misogyny for many decades, no question, but I don't think that means it couldn't ever be rehabilitated.
posted by mstokes650 at 1:14 PM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


On rapists' motivations: My wife was a sex researcher who focused on rapists' motivations, and I can tell you one reason we have to think about why the rapist offends: if we want to stop it we have to understand why it occurs. Of course, there are social reasons (rape culture, entitlement, machismo, and on and on), but we can and must research the issue from all available corners.

posted by arcticwoman at 2:18 PM on September 20


Speaking of which:

1 in 4 Men Surveyed in Asia and the Pacific Have Raped

The UN Multi-country Study on Men and Violence in Asia and the Pacific surveyed over 10,000 men at nine sites in six countries: Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Sri Lanka. At the survey site in China, 23 percent of men admitted to at least one rape. In Papua New Guinea, that figure was 61 percent.

To understand what’s behind such startling figures, National Geographic spoke with Rachel Jewkes, the lead technical adviser for the study.

NG: You’ve studied rape extensively in South Africa and now across Asia and the Pacific. How did you get involved in this kind of research?

RJ: I moved out to South Africa from England in 1994. I had a job to set up the women’s health research unit in the South African Medical Research Council. I was told that the key issues in women’s health were things like teenage pregnancy, so I said, “Okay, I’m willing to do research on teenage pregnancy, but as part of this work I want to talk to teenagers about how they got pregnant.” We interviewed 24 pregnant teenagers. Twenty-three out of the 24 told us stories about being raped. I had absolutely no idea that sexual violence was a phenomenon that could have this sort of prevalence.

NG: What have you learned about why men rape?

RJ: Sexual entitlement is the most common motivation across all of these countries. I think that very, very strongly points to the root of rape in gender relations, and the fact that rape is really legitimized in so many of these countries.

NG: What do you mean by sexual entitlement?

RJ: Sexual entitlement means feeling that you ought to be able to have sex with a woman—essentially, if you want it, you can have it. The flip side of that is [the idea] that it’s a woman’s responsibility to make sure that she doesn’t have sex when she doesn’t want it. If a woman is raped, she would be blamed for putting herself at risk for being raped.

posted by magstheaxe at 2:23 PM on September 20, 2013 [18 favorites]


Christ, at least Hustler recognizes and openly acknowledges that their audience is a a bunch of Neanderthal dimwitted assholes.

I've never bought a Playboy and I'm unsure if I've ever actually seen one in person. I say this not because I think they're bad but so you don't assume I'm defending Playboy because I'm into it.

The audience of Playboy is in no way a bunch of Neanderthal dimwitted assholes. You know the cliched "I just read it for the articles!" statement about Playboy? It's because Playboy has, as you say elsewhere, a 60 year history of publishing excellent, thought provoking articles and stories by some of America (and the world's) greatest writers. Writers like Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, Jack Kerouac, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Margaret Atwood, and Hunter Thompson.

Slagging Playboy off as trash for dimwitted assholes displays an incredibly limited view of the magazine.
posted by Justinian at 2:38 PM on September 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


I've only ever read Playboy for the celebrity interviews. There's always been much better actual porn easily available elsewhere in my lifetime.
posted by planetesimal at 2:53 PM on September 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


But none of that excellent literary history negates its role as a cultural institution that has a role in contributing to an overall "lol get her drunk" rape culture, and acting like it does also displays an incredibly limited view of the magazine.

Those of you who have never even seen one or have much idea of its history are maybe not best positioned to comment on its impact.
posted by rtha at 2:56 PM on September 20, 2013 [8 favorites]


I didn't comment on its role in contributing to rape culture, I commented on whether its audience was limited to dimwitted Neanderthal assholes. As is clear from the quote I included.
posted by Justinian at 2:58 PM on September 20, 2013


Justinian, I think part of Cookiebastard's point is that Playboy's pornographic and rape-culture-affirming content directly conflicts with the excellent work it's printed beside. Hustler plays in its own mud; Playboy refuses to call its mud by its name.

On preview, the muddy part of the magazine tells the knuckle-draggers in the audience that their worldview is sophisticated and good. A lot of people read for the tits.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:00 PM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


So I have been wondering where to process an experience I had last night and here seems like a good idea.

In the town I just moved to, I live in a place that the casual racists call either "Little India" or "Little Mexico". I specifically had people tell me not to live in this area and I didn't realize why until I moved here-- like everywhere with minorities, it has the reputation of being loud, cheap, and sort of nebulously dangerous.

Being me, I walk home from the university at all hours. There are always people of lots of different ethnicities and genders on the streets, regardless of the hour, talking on cell phones, having lover's spats, whatever, so there are always folks around that I trust would at least be able to tell the police where I vanished from if I got kidnapped or whatever. And I've always felt pretty safe walking home... until last night. Last night, instead of the usual gang of gregariously chatty Pakistani men or the nice Japanese dude who lives on the corner, I started to walk down my street and saw:

Three white men. In a line. Coming down the street at me. All over six feet tall, with short business-y hair. All of them wearing expensive suits and shoes, with jackets off, ties askew, and frat letter t-shirts underneath. One was holding a wooden paddle of the traditional frathouse variety, one a gallon jug of some unidentified liquid. Every single one of them had this rolling, relaxed gait that said either we have been drinking or we own this place or probably both. Totally silent. They were looking at everyone else on the street, just... like... watching them.

I am not easily freaked out but my skin just starting crawling and I got the sweet fuck out of the way and ducked into a foyer and actually hid from these guys. Absolutely everything about them said predatory, whether they knew it or not. It was the same sensation you get when you look at tigers in a zoo for a long time. Three rich, drunk, white frat boys with connections, all of them taller and heavier than me. I'm sure they were looking for a particular brother to haze, or whatever, but that doesn't change the issue. They could have done whatever the hell they wanted to me and their social capital would almost certainly have bought their way out of anything more than a slap on the wrist from the school.

The experience of fear was so intense I was actually a little bit ill and I checked over my shoulder all the way home. Anyway, I'm not really sure what I'm trying to say, just that it was a really uncomfortable reminder of why we need stuff like this so badly.
posted by WidgetAlley at 3:16 PM on September 20, 2013 [20 favorites]


I know I am critiquing an interview answer here, but...

RJ: Sexual entitlement means feeling that you ought to be able to have sex with a woman—essentially, if you want it, you can have it. The flip side of that is [the idea] that it’s a woman’s responsibility to make sure that she doesn’t have sex when she doesn’t want it. If a woman is raped, she would be blamed for putting herself at risk for being raped.

Yes, I ought to be able to have sex with a woman.
But: Yes, I want it, but as in all things in life, I may or may not be able to get it, and I have to take care.

I am certainly not entitled to sex, and I accept that fact and the reasons for it.

Entitlement to sex, to refine the definition given here, is to want to have sex, and expect to get it for some effort, much in the same way I want food, and expect to get it for some money or effort exchanged in the deal at some store or restaurant (and I'd be pretty pissed if the pizza delivery person denied the pizza after giving up the money).

Short: entitlement to sex bad and unhealthy, ability and desire to have it probably plain healthy. I would hope the ability and desire to have it is not being pushed into unhealthy territory.

And on preview: I get precisely the same feelings when I see those sorts of people WidgetAlley. I've gotten pretty tired of a conquering the world attitude that I get from such people.

Hopefully I haven't screwed up here on some commentary I spent 30 minutes on, and I accept responsibility if I did.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 3:38 PM on September 20, 2013


The UN Multi-country Study on Men and Violence in Asia and the Pacific surveyed over 10,000 men at nine sites in six countries: Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Sri Lanka. At the survey site in China, 23 percent of men admitted to at least one rape. In Papua New Guinea, that figure was 61 percent.

That's awful, to make an understatement. That said, I don't think Playboy's much of a factor in Port Moresby.

FWIW, for comparison, in a survey of American men, about 5% admitted to committing rape. On the one hand, that's many times lower than, say, Papua New Guinea; on the other hand, there are more rapists in the US than there are, say, Jews.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:07 PM on September 20, 2013


FWIW, for comparison, in a survey of American men, about 5% admitted to committing rape.

I believe that percentage gets much higher if you avoid using the word 'rape'. (Can't find the study offhand, though)
posted by CrystalDave at 4:27 PM on September 20, 2013


some men will admit to rape if you don't call it rape - 7ish percent, not under 5 like the other link - which still might not seem as high, but those are just the ones who will admit it. the more interesting part of that write up for me was what it found about repeat offenders - all of the arguments about "just a misunderstanding" don't really follow with the research, a lot of these type of offenders are doing it again and again and again. there is a particularly awful reddit thread filled with rapists recounting how they purposefully create and exploit fuzzy lines and shame to have sex with a woman at any cost, knowing that the cost to them will be negligible.
posted by nadawi at 4:41 PM on September 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


Beta tactics.
posted by glasseyes at 5:15 PM on September 20, 2013


What does beta tactics mean?
posted by Justinian at 5:26 PM on September 20, 2013


?

On preview, yeah, could you elaborate there?
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:26 PM on September 20, 2013


When I was trying to find up-to-date rape statistics for the US, I came across an interesting detail on a number from 1994. 8% of American men surveyed admitted to having committed rape or attempted rape, and of that group, 84% definitely did not think that they had committed rape.

I would have cited that bit, but 1994 is too old. Nadawi's link looks good, though.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:37 PM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, beta tactics is apparently...a MechWarrior thing? I'm confused.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:37 PM on September 20, 2013


I had thought "beta" meant "beta male." I think glasseyes was referring to the rapists in the last sentence of nadawi's comment. "Beta tactics" would therefore be these rapists' coercion of women using fuzzy lines, shame, and so on.

Rapists, assaulters, PUAs, and the like, often embrace the alpha/beta distinction. One way or another, it usually reinforces the kind of conventions that help such people prey on others. I would pause before I used it.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:17 PM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


[Deleted a comment. The is the sort of subject in which if you're going to make broad, sweeping statistical claims, you need to have actually read the cited statistics or cite new ones yourself.]
posted by restless_nomad at 8:12 PM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Blasdelb: " Fucking isn't the thing being desired in rape, its power and control, its the removal of someone else's most basic of rights to self determination . Rape doesn't happen because rapists get horny, rape happens because rapists get entitled, enabled, and ugly."

Rapists are not as monolithic and single-minded as you pretend.

Some rapists are self-centered drunk assholes. Some are predatory, psychopathic freaks. If you bundle them all together, the only thing that we are guaranteed will be true of each and every one of them is that they don't honor the primal human right to say "I don't want to do this".

It feels real good to say, "Rape isn't about sex!"... but that's only sometimes true.

Let's talk honestly and intelligently about rape, and not pretend it's a one-size-fits-all monster.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:23 PM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you bundle them all together, the only thing that we are guaranteed will be true of each and every one of them is that they don't honor the primal human right to say "I don't want to do this".

Isn't that enough?
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:27 PM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Rustic Etruscan: Isn't that enough?"

Enough for what, exactly?

It's not enough to effectively stop them, not enough to prevent rape, not enough to help survivors heal. I really can't imagine what it's enough for, except to say "those are rapists".
posted by IAmBroom at 8:32 PM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Being able to accurately and completely identify rape, particularly in a culture which calls a lot of rapes not-rape, is a necessary step in preventing and eliminating rape.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:37 PM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think this is sick and should stop, but it's currently not viewed as rape by a lot of people. And there is a lot of pressure for women to be MORE ASSERTIVE if they REALLY don't want to have sex because merely saying, "Let's do something else" once is not indicidative of REALLY not wanting to have sex, and surely she wants to be negotiated into sex or she would be ruder and more firm--- but then of course, the whole relationship is sabatoauged so women have to decide whether to put out when the pressure is on and keep the relationship or risk losing the whole thing.

This was me, and I still have a lot of hangups as a result of the relationship where I was pressured/coerced into sex on a regular basis-- it really soured a lot of sex for me for a while, and though it's been nearly a decade since then I still have nightmares where I'm with him. At the time, I'd internalized a lot of rape culture-- I was a teenager, barely not a kid anymore, and I was surrounded by it-- and the supposedly sex positive stuff I was reading was from people like Dan "oral sex comes standard" Savage, where the advice given to people made it seem like consent was something that it was okay to get through wheedling, through pressure.

I wish I'd had any education from anywhere that promoted enthusiastic consent, that talked about pressure and coercion and warning signs. I still don't have a real way to classify that experience in my head, since I still feel like calling it rape is co-opting the experiences of people who experienced more trauma or "legitimate" trauma.
posted by NoraReed at 9:40 PM on September 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


Pope Guilty wrote: Being able to accurately and completely identify rape, particularly in a culture which calls a lot of rapes not-rape, is a necessary step in preventing and eliminating rape.

I think it's unrealistic to demand that we "accurately and completely identify rape"; most crimes have grey areas and we deal with those just fine. In the mean time, I can live with the definitions coded into the jurisdictions I'm familiar with: basically, it's rape if the victim cannot, or will not, or is compelled to consent to sexual intercourse - and intercourse itself is defined, of course.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:13 AM on September 21, 2013


Right, but even if we assume (purely for sake of argument) that the criminal justice system is absolutely perfect when it comes to addressing sex crimes, that's still only one part of how to deal with sexual violence. How do we deal with the victims? How do the victims deal with themselves? What do we do with the perpetrators, aside from incarceration? How do we identify and deal with people who have not perpetrated such a crime yet, but who may be at an elevated risk of doing so? What happens when there's a "close case", where the jury just can't quite convict on rape, but where the victim has a more-than-reasonable belief that that's exactly what it was? I mean, it's not like a sports game, where you tell the "loser" that that's the way the cookie crumbles.

That's not even getting into the flaws of the criminal justice system as it stands. That's all with the assumption that the criminal justice system handles rape with absolute perfection.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:28 AM on September 21, 2013


I didn't comment on its role in contributing to rape culture, I commented on whether its audience was limited to dimwitted Neanderthal assholes. As is clear from the quote I included.

Didn't Playboy re-launch itself as a sort of Maxim but with actual nudity over a decade ago? maybe even before the turn of the century? The last thing I can remember them publishing that was some kind of cultural event was Nabokov's "Original of Laura" four years ago, and that was sort of notable for being like "the old Playboy".
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:26 AM on September 21, 2013


As for the FPP itself, I like this kind of culture jamming. I like the idea of forcing Hef, et al. to either say, "we stand behind this message," or to distance themselves from the prank.

However, the choice of target is a little odd. Why Playboy? Wouldn't a beer or liquor manufacturer have been a more effective target?

I mean, when was the last time Playboy was all that culturally relevant? I'm not talking about branded undies, Weezer videos, and cutesy reality TV shows: I'm talking about Playboy as a website (let alone a magazine) with much sway over college-age men, let alone even as a source of pornography.

As far as men's magazines go, I would happily wager that Maxim is both much more popular and much more rape-culture-y than Playboy. Sports Illustrated's websites comments section has probably included more vigorous defenses of more rapists than whatever goes on at Playboy. (Let's not even get into where Playboy fits into the universe of pornography.)

I honestly haven't browsed through Playboy issues older than those in my dad's collection, so I've just spent the past few minutes going through Playboy.com's Sex & Dating section. And it seems relatively...innocuous? I mean, I could be wrong, I only skimmed a few columns, but nothing seemed particularly objectionable. (I also note that their advice column freely references a reader's hypothetical wife - meaning, older audience.)

Is it just the "party school" list itself? Because, okay, I get that. I see the connection between so-called party schools and rape. And if that's what it is, then that makes sense as a target.

But...why Playboy? It's not that they're "innocent", but more that they don't seem like a particularly relevant target for this sort of thing.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:27 AM on September 21, 2013


Didn't Playboy re-launch itself as a sort of Maxim but with actual nudity over a decade ago?

If I recall correctly, that idea was floated and later mutated. Aping lad mags was not a good business strategy. Lad mags were a mostly a fad; many of them folded.

Sidenote: a friend of mine used to intern for Playboy, about eight years ago. He said that there was "a drawer full of ideas they could only do after Hef died." It made me curious whether those ideas were good ideas or bad ideas.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:36 AM on September 21, 2013


The "party school" list carries a lot more relevance to rape culture than you might think. Apparently the place I chose for grad school was ranked highly on that list while I was there, and when I was on a work term in another city, lots of jerks weren't shy about inferring things about me personally based on that.
posted by peppermind at 9:00 AM on September 21, 2013


the "why playboy" is absolutely the party school list. between them and the princeton review - that list makes the news every year. just recently a mefite was discussing problems at penn state pre-sandusky scandal because of being listed as a party school (and then npr doing stories on that).

playboy might not be the go-to for porn anymore, but there's a reason their merch flies off the shelves on flasks and underwear and tank tops and notebooks and keychains and and and - also, if i remember correctly, women buy the playboy branded stuff far more than men do - thinking of the brand as just lame porn for 10 year olds and middle age men is a fallacy.
posted by nadawi at 9:14 AM on September 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


as for did playboy just turn to a lad mag - they ended up going with a hybrid - some (famous) women make the covers and don't go nude, they do more maxim style features (like making the party school list an every year feature starting in 2009) both in the magazine and on the website, but there's still naked women and smoking jackets. they also do tv programs and radio shows. the magazine at this point is just a small part of their business.
posted by nadawi at 9:18 AM on September 21, 2013


The "party school" list carries a lot more relevance to rape culture than you might think.

I see your point, but I'd still put beer and liquor companies far ahead of Playboy as far as relevance goes. I say that as someone who very much enjoys drinking. Maybe the people behind this prank should go after them next.

...

In a weird way, Playboy is a company like Marvel and DC, where while their "main" product still very much exists (the magazine, or the comic books), the vast majority of their money comes from licensed merchandise. Not very many people buy Superman comics, relatively speaking, but lots of people buy Superman T-shirts, bedsheets, etc.

I'd stay away from calling Playboy "lame" pornography. Aside from the problems with the word "lame" itself, it's not so much that their naked ladies are any better or worse than anybody else's, so much as the fact that what they do is so removed from what we even usually think about when we think about pornography nowadays. Besides, even in the universe of softcore, lots of websites have tease/glamour photography: Playboy's not even really a major player in that world, AFAIK, especially in comparison to their brand recognition.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:19 AM on September 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I mean, when was the last time Playboy was all that culturally relevant? I'm not talking about branded undies, Weezer videos, and cutesy reality TV shows: I'm talking about Playboy as a website (let alone a magazine) with much sway over college-age men, let alone even as a source of pornography.

In a weird way, Playboy is a company like Marvel and DC, where while their "main" product still very much exists (the magazine, or the comic books), the vast majority of their money comes from licensed merchandise.

yeah - that's the point - their porn is secondary (or even further down the list) of what makes makes them relevant. you can't discount the licensed products and reality shows and stuff because that is their cultural relevance - if they weren't relevant, no one would be buying their stuff. you still have women tattooing themselves with the bunny, you have people wanting to buy and project the playboy brand. licensing is the only part of the business that is seeing consistent growth. the party school list is a big deal - and sure, maybe they could have focused on an alcohol company or whatever, but they don't release yearly lists to spoof. this group seems to have done just fine since lots of places did a story on the original list or the hoax.
posted by nadawi at 10:53 AM on September 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't say it hit lots of places. Outside of explicitly feminist/SJ blogs, I see it on Slate, ThinkProgress, and Huffington Post. Oh, and RawStory.

I'm not trying to say that this prank was bad. It just could have been much better.

The reason why I'm fixated on Playboy's existence as a brand is because Playboy has very little influence outside of its existence as a brand unto itself. That's been my point!

Yes, Playboy lists "party schools", but that's much less interesting than the fact that there are "party schools" to list in the first place. What makes a party school a party school? I'd put alcohol, popular music, and lots of other things far ahead of Playboy. It's less about defending Playboy than it is about not otherizing what goes into what many call rape culture. It seems far too easy to pick on a media entity which barely exists outside of its own logo. More challenging would have been to go after things that lots of people still actively engage with, such as beer and liquor.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:56 AM on September 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


also picked by atlantic and philly.com and some other places.

if no one cared about playboy, no one would be buying all the playboy merch. their logo stands for something - it's not just out there without context. maybe you can come up with a single strike plan to shame and bring down all the mechanisms behind party schools and how they inform rape culture, but i'm pretty satisfied that this group did something and got at least some people talking. playboy isn't being "picked on" and them being an easy target is how culture jamming like this works - you go for the easy target to make the splash. playboy makes the party school list because it's an easy way to get their names in a bunch of entertainment and "what about the kids??" reporting, which is why they're a good target for this.
posted by nadawi at 12:52 PM on September 21, 2013


If it did good, then it did good. If there are other things that people could do to do good, then people should also do those things.

I'm vaguely amused to report that my Google search for "atlantic playboy hoax" turned up this interesting Atlantic article from 2011, about what a Playmate casting call is like.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:04 PM on September 21, 2013


We have this worship of the Male Need to Put It In a Woman as if self-pleasure wasn't a thing anyone has access to, we treat blue balls like a fatal disease and therefore that makes rape less bad because he just couldn't help it, poor dear.

Is this blue balls thing a strictly American condition? I've never seen or heard any reference to it outside of the USA.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:19 AM on September 22, 2013


My (American and male) mind was blown when a high school friend of mine, who went to an all-girls Catholic school, asked me if "blue balls" was a real thing. Naive as I was at the time, I had no idea that anyone would be so manipulative and/or dense to refer to "blue balls" as anything resembling a medical condition.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:15 PM on September 22, 2013


"Blue Balls": A Diagnostic Consideration in Testiculoscrotal Pain in Young Adults: A Case Report and Discussion"
posted by the_artificer at 4:32 PM on September 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


In a weird way, Playboy is a company like Marvel and DC, where while their "main" product still very much exists (the magazine, or the comic books), the vast majority of their money comes from licensed merchandise.

I don't know if this is the case in the US, but in the UK you can buy pink Playboy bunny branded pencil cases. A few years ago, Superdrug was selling a range of Playboy-branded make-up.

Playboy as a a magazine isn't really a cultural touchstone here - it's probably changed with internet porn, but the trope in the UK is that your first glimpse of a naked woman would be in a discarded porn mag found in the bushes, and this would usually be Escort, Razzle, or something cheap, nasty and full of misogynistic copy. The comparison to Marvel and DC is a good one - with the lack of comicbook culture here most kids would know Batman as a movie, game or cartoon character, and I would bet most teens would know Playboy as that brand with the bunny logo, as though it were Adidas or Hello Kitty.
posted by mippy at 3:39 AM on September 23, 2013


"Blue Balls": A Diagnostic Consideration in Testiculoscrotal Pain in Young Adults: A Case Report and Discussion"

I'm seeing way too many uses of "perhaps" and "possibly" and "maybe" in that text to trust it as authoritative proof.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:47 AM on September 23, 2013


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