Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Not the Problem

I am on the fence about seeking therapy as each day another allegation and another man "apologizing" for his behavior.

Today the New York Times found women who had similar sexual assaults from Harvey Weinstein in the 70s, the time he blames for his behavior in the present.

Then we had the Kevin Spacey fiasco, followed by the second Editor at The New Republic stepping down from the job he took due to the first editor being removed from the position and since being revealed as a predator.

Or what about NPR? Well they too are facing hard talk. God the bastion of soft talking hard news and this. 

This is followed by more and more disturbing tales of women who are now confronting those in their past about their experiences with them that have left them shaken and tattered.

Then I read the local rag and there were Teachers fired from a local high school for reporting alleged sexual assault of a Student by a Teacher.  Yes the Principal fired them for doing what they were legally required to do. I cancelled every future gig at that school as I have said that working in these schools I always feel complicit but this pushes it in a new direction.  That is some sick shit I want no part of.

But as I came home tonight after going to another failed gig where the Teacher forgot to cancel the gig he offered me to stay as a Parapro or to sit and watch him teach. I said no thanks that I can use the time to serve better needs.  I canceled all my future gigs at that school.  Perhaps after the first of the year I may feel willingness to return, but I truly find myself walking in many of these buildings hating myself and as this Middle School is directly across from the high school I think I need a break from the area.

Yesterday a young black male student said loudly "It smells like farts in here, excuse me, excuse me did you fart?"  After a few more  of these inquiries I looked up from my reading and asked if he was talking to me and I said no I did not fart as I had not eaten today but was thinking ironically of Chili for dinner, but if I smell now I should rethink that and maybe go to a Doctor to see why I am emitting an odor.  He just laughed and said "I was playing with you."  Yes a 17 year old playing with an Adult whom he does not know.  I had passed the Teacher on the way out and she warned me about the class so I knew that I would hear and be exposed to idiocy and he did not disappoint. So rather than be offended or angry I acted surprised and grateful as if he had somehow helped me.  After he said the playing remark I said nothing and went back to reading.  I had disappointed him and there was no need to play any further.   This is not the first time I have a young black male say inappropriate comments, lay hands on me in a sexual manner and in turn watch and listen to young black women say utterly offensive things about me then in turn ask me questions that are utterly inappropriate and rude as if I was deaf and had not heard their conversation.  And so I have a snark remark ready and yes at times I get angry but of late that gets less and less.

Children here have clearly confused boundaries, the adults are equally confused, angry and exhausted and in turn it emerges in many behaviors.   A lot of this is redolent in the confusing attitude about religion and in turn the racial and sexual oppression that plagues this city.   I truly can say I want nothing to do with the people here and cannot wait to leave.

This is a State where they are number 4 in  domestic violence against women and I suspect that it includes sexual violence as they are not mutually exclusive.  I doubt much is reported as the guilt factor flies high in Jesus town. They end every news cast with be safe, I suggest they look in the mirror.

When I read this today I felt sick all over again.  I don't want to hear anymore and this means if I feel this way there will be more to follow.  Did anything come from Occupy Wall Street? Black Lives Matter?  This will be the same.   But in the meantime look to the man to left of you and to the right and ask them who they raped in their life, their answer may surprise you.  If they did not they know someone who did. 


What Experts Know About Men Who Rape

By HEATHER MURPHY
THE NEW YORK TIMES
OCT. 30, 2017


In 1976, a Ph.D. candidate at Claremont Graduate University placed a rather unusual personal ad in newspapers throughout Los

He sat by his phone, skeptical that it would ring. “I didn’t think that anyone would want to respond,” said Samuel D. Smithyman, now 72 and a clinical psychologist in South Carolina.

But the phone did ring. Nearly 200 times.

At the other end of the line were a computer programmer who had raped his “sort of girlfriend,” a painter who had raped his acquaintance’s wife, and a school custodian who described 10 to 15 rapes as a means of getting even with “rich bastards” in Beverly Hills.

By the end of the summer, Dr. Smithyman had completed 50 interviews, which became the foundation for his dissertation: “The Undetected Rapist.” What was particularly surprising to him was how normal these men sounded and how diverse their backgrounds were. He concluded that few generalizations could be made.

Over the past few weeks, women across the world have recounted tales of harassment and sexual assault by posting anecdotes to social media with the hashtag #MeToo. Even just focusing on the second category, the biographies of the accused are so varied that they seem to support Dr. Smithyman’s observation.

But more recent research suggests that there are some commonalities. In the decades since his paper, scientists have been gradually filling out a picture of men who commit sexual assaults.

The most pronounced similarities have little to do with the traditional demographic categories, like race, class and marital status. Rather, other kinds of patterns have emerged: these men begin early, studies find. They may associate with others who also commit sexual violence. They usually deny that they have raped women even as they admit to nonconsensual sex.

Clarifying these and other patterns, many researchers say, is the most realistic path toward curtailing behaviors that cause so much pain.

“If you don’t really understand perpetrators, you’re never going to understand sexual violence,” said Sherry Hamby, editor of the journal Psychology of Violence. That may seem obvious, but she said she receives “10 papers on victims” for every one on perpetrators.

This may be partly connected to a tendency to consider sexual assault a women’s issue even though men usually commit the crime. But finding the right subjects also has complicated the research.

Early studies relied heavily on convicted rapists. This skewed the data, said Neil Malamuth, a psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who has been studying sexual aggression for decades.

Men in prison are often “generalists,” he said: “They would steal your television, your watch, your car. And sometimes they steal sex.”

But men who commit sexual assault, and are not imprisoned because they got away with it, are often “specialists.” There is a strong chance that this is their primary criminal transgression.

More recent studies tend to rely on anonymous surveys of college students and other communities, which come with legal language assuring subjects their answers cannot be used against them. The studies avoid using terms such as “rape” and “sexual assault.”

Instead, they ask subjects highly specific questions about their actions and tactics. The focus of most sexual aggression research is acknowledged nonconsensual sexual behavior. In questionnaires and in follow-up interviews, subjects are surprisingly open about ignoring consent.

Men who rape tend to start young, in high school or the first couple of years of college, likely crossing a line with someone they know, the research suggests.

Some of these men commit one or two sexual assaults and then stop. Others — no one can yet say what portion — maintain this behavior or even pick up the pace.

Antonia Abbey, a social psychologist at Wayne State University, has found that young men who expressed remorse were less likely to offend the following year, while those who blamed their victim were more likely to do it again.

One repeat offender put it this way: “I felt I was repaying her for sexually arousing me.”

There is a heated debate among experts about whether there is a point at which sexual assault becomes an entrenched behavior and what percentage of assaults are committed by serial predators.

Most researchers agree that the line between the occasional and frequent offender is not so clear. The recent work of Kevin Swartout, a professor of psychology and public health at Georgia State University, suggests that low-frequency offenders are more common on college campuses than previously thought.

“It’s a matter of degree, more like dosage,” said Mary P. Koss, a professor of public health at the University of Arizona, who is credited with coining the term “date rape.”

Dosage of what? Certain factors — researchers call them “risk factors” while acknowledging that these men are nonetheless responsible for their actions — have an outsize presence among those who commit sexual assaults.

Heavy drinking, perceived pressure to have sex, a belief in “rape myths” — such as the idea that no means yes — are all risk factors among men who have committed sexual assault. A peer group that uses hostile language to describe women is another one.

Yet there also seem to be personal attributes that have a mediating effect on these factors. Men who are highly aroused by rape porn — another risk factor — are less likely to attempt sexual assault if they score highly on measures of empathy, Dr. Malamuth has found.

Narcissism seems to work in the other direction, magnifying odds that men will commit sexual assault and rape.

What about the idea that rape is about power over women? Some experts feel that research into hostile attitudes toward women supports this idea.

In general, however, researchers say motives are varied and difficult to quantify.

Dr. Malamuth has noticed that repeat offenders often tell similar stories of rejection in high school and of looking on as “jocks and the football players got all the attractive women.”

As these once-unpopular, often narcissistic men become more successful, he suspects that “getting back at these women, having power over them, seems to have become a source of arousal.”

Most subjects in these studies freely acknowledge nonconsensual sex — but that does not mean they consider it real rape. Researchers encounter this contradiction again and again.

Asked “if they had penetrated against their consent,” said Dr. Koss, the subject will say yes. Asked if he did “something like rape,” the answer is almost always no.

Studies of incarcerated rapists — even men who admit to keeping sex slaves in conflict zones — find a similar disconnect. It’s not that they deny sexual assault happens; it’s just that the crime is committed by the monster over there.

And this is not a sign that the respondents are psychopaths, said Dr. Hamby, the journal editor. It’s a sign that they are human. “No one thinks they are a bad guy,” she said.
Indeed, experts note one last trait shared by men who have raped: they do not believe they are the problem.

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