If we lived in a world where rape was not against the law, do you think that men would be just raping women all over the place? (self.AskWomen)

41 ups - 39 downs = 2 votes

Me & one of my girl friends were having this hypothetical discussion. She thinks that if we lived in a universe where rape was not prosecuted by the law- that men all over the place would be just raping women on a day to day basis.

She thinks that the natural state of a man is to forcibly have sex with women he is attracted to. And she gave me examples from the animal kingdom and says "just look at sex in the animal kingdom, pretty much all animal sex is the male raping the female- I mean she doesn't want it".

Is that really the women's theory on men? Do you really think that the only thing prohibiting us from raping women is the law- and if that wasn't there then rape would just run rampant? Like all of us would be juts raping women all over the place?

174 comments submitted at 15:20:30 on Feb 8, 2013 by respondthrowaway

  • [-]
  • iloveteax
  • -13 Points
  • 19:48:57, 8 February

It honestly has nothing to do with insulting men, though. It's a question of how much our moral compasses are effected by the laws that govern us.

There are a lot of places where rape is either legal, or it might as well be legal due to the lack of prosecution. Rape happens to be extremely common in these places, and it's widely accepted/ignored by society.

Looking at the rape statistics in places where rape is legally/socially acceptable, it's reasonable to argue that if rape were legal, the instances of rape would increase significantly (although I wouldn't say it'd happen "all over the place"). It might take hundreds of years for the change to happen, but as people who grew up in a world where rape is unacceptable die out, and people who are born into a world where rape is legal and unpunishable grow into adults, the rate of rape is going to increase. That's just how societal norms work. What's seen as "disgusting" one day can easily be seen as "normal" a thousand years later, and vice-versa. The simple fact that 2000 years ago it was common for a many to marry and have children with his teenaged daughter is testimony to that fact. Heck, 1000 years ago it was perfectly fine for a man to marry a 8-year-old girl.

The one thing to remember about society is that our "moral codes" change at a relatively fast pace. It has nothing to do with insulting men, and everything to do with history, and how societal views change.

  • [-]
  • Honey-Badger
  • 16 Points
  • 20:19:39, 8 February

I just cant help but be offended by that. I do agree that you do have a point, the facts there are pretty conclusive. I just feel that my natural state is to protect women, i know most women dont like the idea of 'needing' protection or whatever and feel that men taking the role of the protector is somehow oppressive but thats just my natural state. I dont believe that its the law or moral codes that have been imposed by society stopping me from wanting to rape women, its the fact that the last thing i could ever do would be inflict that sort of pain on anyone weaker than me, the idea of it seems completely unnatural. The law says that i cannot attack another person wether they be male or female but if i happened to walk in on a man raping a woman i would quite happily cause that man obscene amounts of pain despite what the law says i should do. I belive most men feel the urge to protect those who are weaker than themselves because its a natural instinct not because of societies conventions

  • [-]
  • iloveteax
  • -7 Points
  • 20:34:39, 8 February

You shouldn't have taken my comment personally because I was not talking about you, specifically. None of this is about you, it's about society as a whole, so using your own personal feelings to argue a point is pretty pointless (not to be rude, just being honest).

Also, that natural urge you feel has been influenced by the society you grow up in. Absolutely everything about every person's personality, impulses, desires, etc. is influenced by the society you grow up in, and the values that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Sure, it might be partially a natural instinct for you to defend a woman, but more importantly, it's a societal norm. Look into the topic of "nature vs nurture," if you're not well-acquainted with it already. Our genes influence our behavior, no doubt, but our environment and experiences influence our behavior even more. Growing up in a society where men are expected to protect the women in their lives has a huge impact on the fact that protecting women feels "natural" to you. And the important thing to remember about society's influence on the individual is that it happens at a subconscious level. Societal norms influence your thoughts, feelings, and behavior much more than you could ever possible realize.

  • [-]
  • Honey-Badger
  • 9 Points
  • 22:20:50, 8 February

|Absolutely everything about every person's personality, impulses, desires, etc. is influenced by the society you grow up in

Wrong. There is a bunch of scientific proof that shows that a lot of our 'morals' come from evolutionary instinct. There is a reason women are traditionally attracted to more physically muscular men, its instincts kicking in and saying that 'this possible mate can provide because he is strong and can possibly hunt'. Yes society does have its influences but its not the sole reason for our actions. There's a great video somewhere that i cant currently find thats actually arguing against the claim that our morals come from god but i think it would be relevant in this discussion. Just look at the natural world, why does the lioness hunt the zebra rather than just eating the lion? Does their society influence their decisions?

  • [-]
  • iloveteax
  • -6 Points
  • 22:35:28, 8 February

Definition of the world "moral" from dictionary.com: >of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical: moral attitudes.

Lions do not have a brain that's complex enough to have a sense of morals, so that example was pretty pointless. Not sure what you were trying to prove with that, care to elaborate?

As for physical attractiveness being biological, nowhere did I ever try and say it wasn't, so again, not sure what point you're trying to make. I said that all of the things I listed are "influenced by the society you grow up in." That is a fact. You say:

>Wrong.

and then go on to say:

>Yes society does have its influences but its not the sole reason for our actions.

Where in my comment did I say society is the sole reason for anything? Please, show me. Even in the sentence you quoted I said it "influences" our personality, impulses, desires, etc. So, why are you claiming that I said society is the "sole reason for our actions"??? Don't put words in my mouth.

  • [-]
  • Honey-Badger
  • 5 Points
  • 22:41:42, 8 February

You said that desires were the result of society, i presumed by desires you were referring to physical attraction, i suppose i just read that wrong.

Also reading back over your comment you didn't say 'sole reason' but your first comment definitely gives that impression(well it does to me anyway). Im sorry to of offended you i wasn't seeing this exchange as an argument i was quite enjoying having a discussion with someone from a different point of view. Please dont be offended.

  • [-]
  • iloveteax
  • -3 Points
  • 22:47:05, 8 February

I said desires are "influenced" by society. It's right there in the sentence you quoted.

And if you got that impression, it's because you jumped to that conclusion on your own, not because I said in any way, shape, or form that "desires are the result of society" or "society is the sole reason."

I'm not arguing with you, and I'm definitely not offended. But, I would appreciate it if you wouldn't take my words and twist them to mean something other than what I said. If you're going to have a discussion with someone, do so maturely.

  • [-]
  • double-happiness
  • 1 Points
  • 00:14:56, 9 February

> None of this is about you, it's about society as a whole, so using your own personal feelings to argue a point is pretty pointless (not to be rude, just being honest).

Can I ask how you would feel about saying that to a victim of rape or abuse?

  • [-]
  • iloveteax
  • -2 Points
  • 00:39:17, 9 February

Because a victim of rape's personal experience has nothing to do with the question that this thread poses, I'd tell him or her the same thing.

  • [-]
  • double-happiness
  • 0 Points
  • 00:57:05, 9 February

> Because a victim of rape's personal experience has nothing to do with the question that this thread poses, I'd tell him or her the same thing.

Shocking. That's so callous.

  • [-]
  • acyland
  • 2 Points
  • 05:07:54, 9 February

You realize she's right though? The initial question was posed looking at the whole of society and the impact of laws on the changeableness of morals. Bringing up the feelings of rape victims doesn't really contribute to the discussion at all.

  • [-]
  • double-happiness
  • 0 Points
  • 12:54:12, 9 February

> Bringing up the feelings of rape victims doesn't really contribute to the discussion at all.

Nuh, I don't get that.

Consider the following scenarios:

"I was raped and he was a sick, twisted, bastard, he really was a psycho, I think this sort of behaviour is exceptional in men and certainly wouldn't proliferate in a a situation were it was legal!"

vs.

"I was raped and he was a typically cold-hearted and callous male, they're all like that in my experience, if it wasn't prosecuted it would become an epidemic, men are all sex beasts you know!!!"

  • [-]
  • acyland
  • 2 Points
  • 16:39:12, 9 February

Well I'm sorry you don't get that but it's true. Those scenarios don't really prove anything. How can one individual's experience have anything to do with how society as a whole would react?

  • [-]
  • double-happiness
  • 1 Points
  • 16:58:36, 9 February

> Those scenarios don't really prove anything.

It's wierd, I'd have thought if you wanted to understand rape, the victims would be the first people you should talk to. I don't understand why you want to discount someone's feelings before you've even heard them. Why is this discussion about rape only open to people who haven't been raped? It's very odd. I suppose you're going to dismiss the entirety of Andrea Dworkin's radical feminist philosophy of sex because she had been raped and therefore wasn't objective on the issue, is that right? That is the logical conclusion of your intention to exclude victims from the debate, without doubt.

> How can one individual's experience have anything to do with how society as a whole would react?

How can they not? It's called 'Restorative justice'

This is very peculiar. I never thought I would find myself trying to convince women that rape victim's feelings should be taken into account and their experiences should be understood. This is really not a controversial standpoint, in fact it's rather controversial to argue that they should be excluded from the debate. A sample size of one does not make that person's experience invalid.

  • [-]
  • enticingasthatmaybe
  • 9 Points
  • 20:30:59, 8 February

It is an extremely sexist point of view. Basically it's a belief that the ONLY thing stopping men from being rapists is fear of persecution.

Rape is a Malum in se offense which means it's wrong or evil in itself.

No society could ever flourish with rape being 'okay'.

edit: spelling

  • [-]
  • iloveteax
  • -2 Points
  • 20:56:38, 8 February

No, not fear of persecution, compliance with societal norms (which are influenced by the laws that are in place).

You can call it "sexist" all you want, but the fact that rape is rampant in societies where it's legal/socially accepted proves my point.

My comment is not about the nature of men, and it isn't about painting men as evil, rape machines. The purpose of my comment is to illustrate how societal norms define what's considered "acceptable" and what's considered "wrong/disgusting/evil" etc. Like I said already, marrying and having sex with an 8-year-old girl was legal, and perfectly normal, only a thousand years ago (or less). That's a fact. Does that mean the only thing stopping a man from having sex with a child is the fact that it's illegal now? Definitely not. Your average, mentally sane grown man would be disgusted by the idea of having sex with an 8-year-old girl. But, the reason for that change in opinion is the change in societal norms (which are heavily influenced by laws, and vice-versa).

Again, that's just the reality of how society changes over time. It might be an ugly truth, and it might make you uncomfortable, but history, as well as statistics for rape in places where it's legal/socially accepted, backs all of this up.

  • [-]
  • bwatm
  • 5 Points
  • 21:42:56, 8 February

I think I'm following and agreeing with both of you a bit here. But I wanted to throw this in: just because societal norms are influenced by laws doesn't necessarily mean that societal norms are established by laws. It's not illegal to go around picking your nose in public (and I doubt it ever has been), but it's also not the norm or socially acceptable.

I think a lot of this hypothetical situation would depend on a bunch of other factors regarding that society. I think it could go either way, depending on that society and it's culture. I'm not sure this is a fair comparison:

>the fact that rape is rampant in societies where it's legal/socially accepted proves my point.

nor that it proves your point, though it does add weight to it. To what extent is it the acceptance that makes it okay, versus the legality? I agree with you that acceptance/legality can strongly affect one another, just not that it would absolutely be the case.

  • [-]
  • double-happiness
  • 1 Points
  • 00:07:06, 9 February

> Like I said already, marrying and having sex with an 8-year-old girl was legal, and perfectly normal, only a thousand years ago (or less). That's a fact.

Source, please?

  • [-]
  • iloveteax
  • -3 Points
  • 00:38:25, 9 February

I already posted three sources. Use your eyeballs.

  • [-]
  • double-happiness
  • 5 Points
  • 00:54:53, 9 February

> Use your eyeballs.

Be careful that you don't say that to someone who is blind. They do use the internet, you know.

  • [-]
  • enticingasthatmaybe
  • 1 Points
  • 01:33:01, 9 February

Marriage before puberty happened in outlying cases. Puberty was generally the signal that a woman was of age to marry.

As you say, a thousand or so years, has moved the legal age of marriage around 5 years. Less depending on the country.

Is it your argument that because people have coupled up since forever, that somehow people could start thinking rape is okay?

  • [-]
  • iloveteax
  • 0 Points
  • 02:11:21, 9 February

I actually prefer no tomatoes, but that can be a controversial choice for some.

  • [-]
  • enticingasthatmaybe
  • 0 Points
  • 21:05:03, 8 February

> You can call it "sexist" all you want, but the fact that rape is rampant in societies where it's legal/socially accepted proves my point.

Name an advanced - first world society were rape is rampant

> Like I said already, marrying and having sex with an 8-year-old girl was legal, and perfectly normal, only a thousand years ago (or less). That's a fact.

Source?

> Again, that's just the reality of how society changes over time.

Some things don't change, they can't change if the society wishes to survive. Murder has always been a no-no. Sure, people get murdered - bumped off. But, in an evolving society - people need to know they are relatively safe from murder. Rape and murder can never be the status quot in a 1st world society.

  • [-]
  • bwatm
  • 5 Points
  • 21:29:52, 8 February

>Name an advanced - first world society were rape is rampant

Name an advanced - first world society where rape is legal?

  • [-]
  • Jen33
  • 1 Points
  • 21:26:04, 8 February

> Some things don't change, they can't change if the society wishes to survive

Precisely. Any look at history will show you that places with barbarities such as legal or unpunishable rape and murder will either be forced to change/assimilate with more civilized societies or die out.

  • [-]
  • iloveteax
  • 1 Points
  • 21:25:02, 8 February

>Name an advanced-first world society were rape is rampant

Why would I only talk about advanced, first-world societies? Because other societies don't exist? Don't matter? When we have billions of people living in second- and third-world societies, it would be incredibly ignorant to only talk about first-world societies.

>Source?

This is a well-documented fact that anyone who's taken any level of history would know, but here are a few links:

http://www.faqs.org/childhood/A-Ar/Age-of-Consent.html http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/10310-majority http://ehistory.osu.edu/world/articles/articleview.cfm?aid=58

>Rape and murder can never be the status quo in a 1st world society

Again, why would you only talk about 1st world societies when they do not make up the majority of the human population?

  • [-]
  • enticingasthatmaybe
  • 5 Points
  • 21:45:08, 8 February

> it would be incredibly ignorant to only talk about first-world societies.

No, it proves the point eloquently that societies cannot evolve without specific mores in place. You cannot use outlying human behavior as the control in your study. The control in your study would be to look back over the course of history and see that rape has never been rampant in a flourishing society.

> This is a well-documented fact that anyone who's taken any level of history would know, but here are a few links:

Even if the sources of those articles can be verified - they are outlying instances. And, among them; they were not consummated until the female's puberty. Older societies were pretty strict about consummation happening after puberty.

> Again, why would you only talk about 1st world societies when they do not make up the majority of the human population?

Source?

  • [-]
  • iloveteax
  • 3 Points
  • 21:54:52, 8 February

But we are not talking about what makes a society flourish. That is not the question that's being posed.

The root of the question that's being posed is whether legality has an effect on the rates at which rape happens. The OP did not ask, "Is it possible to have a flourishing society where rape is rampant?"

Furthermore, rape is pretty damn common in the first world, despite its illegality. So, if we were talking about a society's ability to flourish while having rape be commonplace, your argument would fail.

As for finding sources, how about you get an education instead? I'm not going to play the role of your professor. This is all stuff that I learned prior to even earning a bachelor's degree.

  • [-]
  • enticingasthatmaybe
  • 1 Points
  • 22:16:10, 8 February

> But we are not talking about what makes a society flourish. That is not the question that's being posed.

What makes a 1st world society? The people in it. Would the architects of a first world society doom themselves by backsliding into rampant rape? No, it's unlikely they would.

> Furthermore, rape is pretty damn common in the first world, despite its illegality.

You are screaming SRS to me, and thus I'm simply going to ignore you.

  • [-]
  • eleanorlavish
  • 1 Points
  • 00:02:44, 9 February

No, really. Rape and sexual assault is pretty common. That's no hyperbole; it happens to all types of people of all ages. Many people I know, including myself, have experienced multiple assaults or rapes.

  • [-]
  • enticingasthatmaybe
  • 1 Points
  • 00:56:56, 9 February

Please, what are these multiple assaults? You brought them up

More Comments - Not Stored
  • [-]
  • double-happiness
  • 0 Points
  • 00:25:49, 9 February

> Name an advanced - first world society where rape is legal?


> Why would I only talk about advanced, first-world societies? Because other societies don't exist? Don't matter? When we have billions of people living in second- and third-world societies, it would be incredibly ignorant to only talk about first-world societies.

I think the point was being made that we are all safer in advanced, developed, democratic countries - rape is one of the many scourges that underdeveloped regions suffer from. Therefore we need to fight poverty to reduce rape in those regions.

  • [-]
  • iloveteax
  • -1 Points
  • 00:39:55, 9 February

What does being "safer" have to do with the topic at hand? Your comments are not making any sense. Completely irrelevant.

  • [-]
  • double-happiness
  • 0 Points
  • 00:52:34, 9 February

> What does being "safer" have to do with the topic at hand?


> Q. If we lived in a world where rape was not against the law, do you think that men would be just raping women all over the place?

My answer: No, because most men want to make the world safer for women, and for themselves too.

  • [-]
  • iloveteax
  • 1 Points
  • 02:10:27, 9 February

Hahahahaha

  • [-]
  • double-happiness
  • 2 Points
  • 00:11:58, 9 February

> What's seen as "disgusting" one day can easily be seen as "normal" a thousand years later, and vice-versa.

Do you think there's no historical continuum or cultural agreement on what is seen as disgusting, then? I'd disagree - I think excrement has mostly been seen as disgusting, for example.

  • [-]
  • opgrop
  • 1 Points
  • 01:12:17, 9 February

Laws are more reflective of what is and isn't socially acceptable than vise versa. Of course if it were legal, it would probably happen more. But that's the whole nature of law in and of itsself.

  • [-]
  • iloveteax
  • 0 Points
  • 02:10:46, 9 February

Mkay

  • [-]
  • Legolas75893
  • 2 Points
  • 15:56:03, 9 February

Also, I don't really like that you're implying that only men are capable of rape. Statistically, yes, it is mostly men that rape. But it doesn't mean men are never the raped people. In fact, if you're counting in prisons, pretty sure men are raped more than women.

  • [-]
  • sigtrap
  • 0 Points
  • 04:45:31, 9 February

>It honestly has nothing to do with insulting men, though.

Yes it does. The OP is suggesting that men are inherently rapists and that we have to control some huge urge to rape every woman we see.

  • [-]
  • iloveteax
  • 1 Points
  • 06:03:41, 9 February

Some men like musicals, some don't. You can't really make a generalization about theatrical tastes when it comes to either gender.

  • [-]
  • WHITE_POWER_OUTAGE
  • -4 Points
  • 20:37:49, 8 February

You perfectly articulated my thoughts. I don't find it insulting to men. The fact is there are men out there who would rape women were it legal. Looking at societies where it isn't punished shows us that.

  • [-]
  • Unspeakablydepressed
  • -2 Points
  • 00:37:12, 9 February

FYI You're being brigaded hard by /r/MensRights

They don't like being told to not rape

  • [-]
  • iloveteax
  • 1 Points
  • 02:09:13, 9 February

lol! That's hilarious

  • [-]
  • enticingasthatmaybe
  • 3 Points
  • 01:02:12, 9 February

Men don't like being told they are something that they themselves find repulsive. Logic hurts.