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Culture of Abuse

Tuesday, Jun 25, 2013

Ramblings

First thing's first: the title doesn't mean what you think it means.

Second thing's second: If you're a woman, you are likely to be offended by this article. If you're a "male feminist", you are definitely going to be offended.

Rape Culture

Rape culture is real and it is destroying lives even as you read this. For the victims, their destruction is obvious. For the perpetrators, their destruction is less obvious but it is obvious. For the rest of us men in the world?

We pay the price right along with them.

Sexual Control

Are you familiar with the phrase "you can't rape the willing"? Usually that's applied to men, under the quite mistaken belief that men want sex all the time and are always ready. Therefore, it is impossible for a woman to rape a man. Period. It can't be done. Likewise, a gay man can't rape another gay man. Perhaps this is the root of the crazy fear that gay men will rape on the drop of a hat?

Blah.

Have you ever considered how this may impact a man who is the victim in an abusive relationship? What happens then?

Let's take another situation. My wife and I were having a few drinks with some friends this one evening, and her friend, let's call her Lisa (because only my name is allowed to be real on this site), was relating how she managed to get money from her husband to go and have this night out.

"You see, it's really very simple. I asked and he said no. So I said 1...2...and then he gave it to me."

And she and my wife laughed uproariously! So I asked why threatening him with a timeout worked, and I kid you not, this was her answer:

"It's not a timeout. That's how many days he has to go without sex!"

And all the girls at the table bust out laughing at the horrified look in my face.

Now, Lisa doesn't actually do this to her husband. She's a nice girl, she wouldn't use sex to control him. This is an inside joke these friends have had for years. And it's totally, completely, and utterly acceptable.

All women joke like that, right? What could possibly be bad about it? It's not like they actually do these things!

Sound familiar?

Reproductive Rights

In 1973, when Roe v Wade was decided, it evened the playing field. Absolutely no disagreement with that, because you're an insensitive sexist ass if you disagree with the right to an abortion. Between that and the pill, women could finally feel a sense of liberation from the one thing they could never do that any man can always do: walk away from an unborn child.

Fast forward to the present, and now a woman can walk away from an unborn child but a man cannot. Not without getting chased down, paternity test thrown, and child support thrown on, and since he walked away he still can't be the father.

Sit on that for a minute, because I know at this point you're thinking "What's wrong with that?" And you have a good question, what could possibly be what's wrong with that?

The Face of Abuse

There are now hundreds of studies that show quite plainly that women are at least as violent as men in relationships.

Read that again, because you may not have read it right.

Women are at least as violent as men in relationships.

This is an established fact.

Let's talk about traits of abuse, then, shall we?

The abuser:

  • Minimizes or completely invalidates your feelings and thoughts
  • Sees you as property, particularly a sex object
  • Forces you to have sex through various means, such as threatening to take your kids away from you
  • Destroys your belongings
  • Tampers with birth control (Yes, this article focuses on men, but it shouldn't take a leap of logic at this point to be able to see that women do it as well in abusive relationships)

The list actually goes on a long ways. If you want a fuller list, click on that link. I've isolated the ones I wanted to talk about.

The Control of a Man

So the question comes up, then. If women are equally abusive to men, despite all stereotypes to the contrary, then why don't we hear about men being abused? Let's refer back to rape culture and the previous discussion.

  • It's ok for women to joke about using sex to control a man (It's ok for men to make jokes about raping a drunk woman)
  • Men are supposed to be "always ready" (She didn't say no!)
  • He can't leave, because as long as I have this baby, I can get 20% of everything he makes (She was flirting earlier!)
  • Even if he does leave, I can get an abortion. (It's not my fault she got pregnant, she should've taken care of it herself)

Rape culture exists because men grow up in a culture that teaches them men are dominant and need to always prove their strength and sexual prowess. A man's healthy libido is judged by how often he gets laid, and how many different partners he has. He is always under pressure to sleep around more, to accept any random sex offered to him. He is also always warned of the consequences should he get someone pregnant. This is what it means to be a man. This is the face of rape culture.

This is the reason a man can never admit to being abused by a woman. Women are supposed to submit! Can you imagine the shame a man feels when he admits to having suffered abuse from a woman?

I can. I've been there. I have friends for whom I've pulled their violent, crazy wives off of them.

This is real. There is a Culture of Abuse directed towards men.

Denying it is the first sign of a problem.

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