Assaulting Daisy to Create “Male Superiority”
Trigger Warning: May be triggering for rape victims.
Plenty of people think rape is perpetrated by men who are sick in the head, or men who can’t control their lust for scantily clad women – especially women walking around late at night.
But as most know, rape primarily revolves around power issues. And relatedly, sexual assault is often used to create a sense of manhood and male superiority. The case of Daisy Coleman, who I wrote about recently, helps unveil the evil phenomenon.
“Manhood” is commonly linked to power, domination, virility, not being gay and, oftentimes, violence. Rape, itself, contains all of these things as a man overpowers, dominates, penetrates and acts violently toward his victim. And if he has an audience, like Matthew Barnett did when he attacked Daisy Coleman – he “proves his manhood” to others, too. That’s likely why the assault was witnessed and videotaped.
Manhood is often tied to male superiority, too. That’s because maleness still outranks femaleness. That’s why men so often feel pressured to prove manhood – to demonstrate they deserve that higher status. (Whoever heard of women feeling pressure to prove their womanhood? Who needs – or wants – to prove inferiority?) A sign of superiority comes from domination, but also denigration.
Rape is largely about denigrating a woman: putting her down to raise the rapist up. No wonder Daisy’s assailants asked her to drink from a “bitch cup” just before the assault. Next, she is discarded on a snow-covered front porch, in freezing temperatures. She is shown no courtesy. In fact, her life, health and well-being just don’t matter.
After word of the attack gets out she is further ridiculed in person and online, like being reduced to a thing that just wants the “D,” however she can get it. Daisy recalled:
Matt put on Twitter something recently. It read:
“If her name begins with A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z, she wants the D.”
Others may then pile on to demonstrate their own superiority over her. Even when Daisy told her story to XO Jane, comments were closed with this note: [EDITOR'S NOTE: We have made the decision to disable comments on this article.]
Meanwhile, high-rape fraternities pressure brothers and pledges to demean women. It all goes toward putting women down to raise men up.
But are these guys really superior? Or subhuman?
Luckily, most men don’t behave this way. And many men see thing’s very differently. Like Ted Esparza, who wrote a piece for my blog, declaring: “Real men don’t beat, rape women.”
Or, as Alex Ghanma recently wrote on my blog:
Seems to me that manhood should be about having the courage to resist peer pressure that leaves us harming ourselves and others. Men’s studies professor, Michael Kimmel says manhood is about “honor, integrity, respect and doing the right thing despite the costs.” I agree with him.
I agree with him, too.
Posted on October 25, 2013, in feminism, men, psychology, rape and sexual assault, sexism, violence against women, women and tagged Daisy Coleman, feminism, Maryville, Matt Barnett, men, psychology, rape and sexual assault, sexism, violence against women, women. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.