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The discussion above displays an unfortunate lack of balance in our thinking.

Don’t be sexist when approaching this issue

The discussion above displays an unfortunate lack of balance in our thinking. In fact, I would say it so far displays an institutional sexism much like much talk of racist behaviors display an institutional racism on the part of many who would never think of overt racism.

A number of years ago members of the psychology department at Washington University started a study of rape in the student body. Many female students were asked, “Have you been a victim of sexual assault as a student?”At first only women were questioned. When the males in the department objected, male subjects were added. But the results were underwhelming. Only about 5 percent of males were replying “yes” to about 60 percent of females. People began to use that data to design programs aimed at men, to get them to behave better. But a couple of males doing the survey changed the question to “Have you ever been the subject of coercive sexual advances?” The positive female response remained unchanged, but more than 40 percent of the male subjects answered positive, a very startling and significant change. After further questioning and analysis if was found that men did not regard themselves as victims and would only reply to that suggestion with a negative. But many had been coerced into sex, often in alcohol related situations, often involving several women who were daring their friends and verbally humiliating the male if he did not cooperate.

Often the women were fitting patterns of female narcissism and bullying by threatening to publicly humiliate the male.

What is suggested here is that the problem in not nearly as much a problem with males and their hormones and socialization, although these are part of it. The problem is much more systemic, and is in the culture of treating others, male or female, as objects to be used for one’s pleasure and aggrandizement; another notch on the belt. Any suggested solution that addressed the problem as one of male behaviors against females will be unsuccessful and only add to the it.

About Thomas Schmidt

Thomas Schmidt is a retired psychotherapist and chemical dependency counselor who belongs to the Sufi Ruhiniat International order of Sufi’s and is a drummer in the Spokane Sufi group and an elder at the Country Homes Christian (Disciples of Christ) Church. He is a member of the Westar Institute (The Jesus Seminar people). He studied for the ministry in the late 1950’s at Texas Christian Church and twice married Janet Fowler, a member of a long tern TCU family and a Disciple minister. He was active in the Civil Rights Movement, studying philosophy at Columbia University and psychology in the University of North Carolina university system. He has taught philosophy and psychology, and was professionally active in Florida, North Carolina, and, for 25 years in Spokane. He has studied and practiced Siddha Yoga, Zen Buddhism and, since the mid 1970’s, Sufism and the Dances of Universal Peace. He has three sons and three grandchildren. With the death of his wife, Janet, he is continuing their concentration on human rights, ecology, and ecumenical and interfaith reconciliation.

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3 comments

  1. Tom,
    Thanks for pointing this out. I feel like not enough ink has been used to expose the female bullying that goes on in all areas of society, and for this topic it is especially important.

  2. Women are predators too as the female teacher/abuser cases that have been coming to light more and more prove. I think we will see more.

  3. This is the form of sophistry that perpetuates rape culture by privileged white males.

    This is all victim blaming.

    I think there is an “unfortunate lack of balance in [your] thinking”, and not in “our” thinking.

    And a female can sexually advance just the same as a male, that is everyones right in this country.

    A female is also free to bully and humiliate, as there’re few laws against that. And even when that’s the case, there is still no cause or justification to rape a female because of it.

    None of your reasons justify rape, furthermore, they have nothing to do with why females are raped,

    IT IS NEVER THE FAULT OF THE VICTIM!

    -and yet your reasons have everything to do with why rape-culture continues to be perpetuated by victim blaming article’s like this, which are deigned by religious figures to convince people that it is the fault of their daughters when they are assaulted, just the same as it is the fault of the original woman in their mythos.

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