Her Defense: I Had No Desire

Her desire is offensive and shamed. His is celebrated.

Why are girls still shamed for being sexually assaulted?

And why is lacking sexual desire still seen as good… a good girl?

In a double standard that does not hold for men?

***

Many people tell me that there is no longer a sexual double standard, as with a conversation I had not long ago. Yet consider the defense offered by young women who were raped in the following high-profile rape cases, each occurring in the progressive San Francisco Bay Area.

Up the road from me at Stanford University Brock Turner raped a young woman. His victim chose anonymity, knowing that she might be attacked. And her statement to the judge is filled with information supporting her innocence:

She hadn’t wanted to go to the party in the first place — she had just wanted to spend more time with her sister who was visiting from out of town. And she was dressed like a librarian. She had no desire, so she was a good girl.

Meanwhile, Brock Turner declared war on promiscuity. And who has heard of a promiscuous man?

You just know that he would’ve bragged to everyone about getting sex if he hadn’t been caught raping.

Some rapists are celebrated — even when everyone knows they committed assault — while their victims are shamed.

Audrie Pott, age 15, also lived just a few miles away from me. One evening she drank too much at a party and passed out. She woke up to find that her shorts had been pulled off and that nasty comments were scrawled all over her body in magic marker. Along with arrows pointing to her genitals. One scribble boasted, “(Blank) was here.”

Boys at her San Francisco Bay Area high school shared pictures of the assault with friends — and most of the football team. Rumors flew and Facebook messages on her wall continued the attack:

  • shit went down ahah jk i bet u already got enough ppl talking about it so ill keep it to myself haha. . . .
  • honestly like really no joke everyone knows. . . .
  • u were one horny mofo.

Her friends abandoned her, shamed her, and blamed her.

Eight days after the assault Audrie hung herself.

Before killing herself Audrie had declared,

I have a reputation for a night I don’t even remember.

Is she saying that she shouldn’t be blamed for sexual activity when she didn’t even have any desire for it? After all, she can’t even remember it. As if sexual desire in girls is so horrible — but laudable for guys.

Unfortunately, I could add several more examples.

Girls are still punished, whether they are sexual or sexually assaulted.

Meanwhile, the guys are out bragging about “conquering women” whether through sex or sexual assault.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on July 23, 2018, in rape and sexual assault, sexism and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 57 Comments.

  1. The crime of rape should not be defined by whether or not the female victim has previously enjoyed sex. It’s a weird mentality and I can’t help but feel that it’s one that only men could have endorsed.

    • Pretty crazy. patriarchal attitudes rather than male attitudes seem to be the key. Many women have internalized patriarchy – a system of privileging men — and also slut-shamed the victims. Whereas many feminist men work to fight against this sort of mindset.

    • The crime of rape is NOT defined in the manner you described.

      The vast majority of men (some 98%) opposed rape, have never raped or sexually assaulted a woman, nor morally condone rape.

      This entire “rape culture” just like “toxic masculinity” is a total farce. A totally fake concept espoused by feminist and the Left in America.

      This whole patriarchy thingy is another farce designed to subdue and emasculate men. This man will have none of it. None.

      • You are right that only about one in 12 men Seem to have committed rape.

        But you misunderstand rape culture. Including the fact that rape culture hurts men too. Rape culture is the phenomenon that arises when a community or a society blames the victim instead of the rapist. That happens when men and boys are raped two. One example is the Penn State football coach who regularly raped little boys. When those boys grew up and made their accusations public many people supported the football staff instead of the boys.

        Rape culture seems to arise because people feel like accusations of rape makes “them“ look bad. If there are accusations of rape against Penn State football staff then Penn State fans feel like they are made to look bad. But what makes them look bad is when they support the rapist and not the victims.

        Patriarchy is a system of privileging men and masculinity over women and femininity. It’s real and it hurts both men and women. I know many men who dislike patriarchy and feel there should be gender equality. In fact, if you survey people without using the word feminism or patriarchy — but just talk about the principles that patriarchy and feminism represent —- almost all Americans prefer equality over patriarchy. In fact, I believe that you would prefer equality over a system that privileges one sex, yourself.

  2. As a society, we have decided that rape is bad. But what is rape? Most people think of a stranger raping an innocent girl in a dark alley, leaving her bloody and bruised. Yet most victims know their rapist prior to the crime. In those cases, many people give excuses for the rapist like “she was asking for it” or “she was dressed in…” because more people can relate to the rapist. When a rape crime starts to sound like a drunk hookup or a guy “getting out of the friend-zone”, people who have been in those situations become defensive. It is easy for someone to define brutal stranger rape as a crime but your buddy Dan’s hookup on Saturday night after the bar wasn’t rape, right? This is why women do not feel safe coming forward about rape cases and why they try to make themselves as free of desire and innocent as possible so that their rapist cannot as easily give such horrendous excuses.

  3. I find it extremely distasteful that there is effectively a war being waged over being able to live as a female in contemporary society. The fact that women have to essentially (and literally) “cover their asses” and equip themselves with pepper spray and concealed knives and the like is such a horrible double standard when my wimpy little self can go walking in a bathrobe and have no concerns. Society is telling women that they cannot have fun at parties, they cannot proverbially or literally “let their hair down” when every moment must be kept alert and at the ready to prevent being violated by immoral men. Yet, even despite this, preventing sexual assault is not a given which should be a red flag for society to tell men to set up boundaries, borders, and limitations on their own behavior. I personally do not understand how it is even feasible for someone to decide that they have the liberty to encroach and enter another person’s space so flagrantly and nonchalantly, and I feel as if it is not only a societal standard that needs restructuring but now an ingrained piece of firmware that has to be programmed out of countless men. It is so frustrating to see that neither of this is being done when both could have been done—in the Brock Turner case, he should have been not only punished but also rehabilitated in a manner that would hopefully redirect him from promoting or repeating such behavior; moreover, this would have set precedent and laid the groundwork for possibly new laws or elements of sexual education to be diffused into society. Alas, neither has or likely will happen and we are left hoping for another opportunity in the future, although hopefully one that will not irreparably endanger the life of another hapless woman.

  4. It kind of feels as women we’re damned if we do and we’re damned if we don’t, there’s no middle ground for us when it comes to sex. Either you a slut because you embrace your sexuality or you’re a prude because you embrace yourself and the need to not be sexual.
    When it comes to sexual assault it is almost always pinned on the victim regardless of gender “Oh well she was wearing that so she asked for it, oh they were drinking and should have known better” “Oh well he was flirting with her so why should he be mad if she took advantage of him, is he gay”

  5. This was definitely the norm for me growing up in Southern Indiana. Girls were slut-shamed in school if they lost their virginity while boys were lauded for their manhood. Boys and girls at my high school always spoke in terms of which girl is known to be the “easy “girl. I never understood why the boy was never described as “easy” for wanting sex and yet the girl never came out of the relationship unscathed. I remember reading about Audrie Pott, I felt such sadness at her pain of being ridiculed so publicly and then to be abandoned by her friends. To feel so much pain to end her life made me very upset. Audrie never even had the chance to say “No”. She was incapacitated and those boys chose to assault her. Even more disturbing was the lack of remorse in their correspondence to each other. They bragged about what they did and lauded each other. In the case of Brock Turner, Judge Aaron Persky furthered the idea that assault on a woman was not a crime to be taken seriously. After all, “a prison sentence would have a severe impact on him”. What about the impact the assault had on his victim?

  6. This is such a sad post. It’s so true. Men are constantly uplifted for “conquering” women and women are constantly shamed for having sex AND for being sexually assaulted. It makes zero sense and yet this crazy dynamic continues. This definitely has a lot to do with toxic gender roles. When men are taught that they are not to have empathy (to cry) etcetera and instead to “be a man” they are taught to be cruel. This, of course, does not mean that all men are cruel or lack empathy. However, gender roles do have a serious effect on our behavior and our perspectives, and thus our actions. Women even from a young age are told to dress conservatively. No one even considers saying this to a man. Young girls going to school have very strict uniform codes to follow, while boy uniform codes are much simpler. This is because women–even young girls are to blame for dressing “provocatively”. It is this exact mindset which leads to cases where victims of rape are blamed for something that they had no consent in. I think it’s important that we call these hypocritical scenarios out when we see them and be aware of our toxic gender influenced perspectives.

  7. Not redistributing sex leads to incels who kill people because their lives are meaningless. Those who hoard sexual access become targets. You assume that a woman (or man) who participates in sexual socialism will be traumatized, but what if he or she is taught to believe it is not a violation? This is how we got over right wing resistance. They literally feel like they are being raped when we tax them but over time younger generations saw the validity of it.

    • I’ve paid a lot of taxes and I’ve never felt traumatized by it. On the other hand when anyone, male or female, is raped, it leads to trauma … and a loss of interest in sex.

  8. Sexual redistribution is only sexual assault to the degree that economic redistribution is theft. The right wing tends to be the ones raging about how they hate teh poors.

    • Actually, the two things are completely different.

      Economic redistribution helps everyone. The wealthy are even healthier in societies with redistribution, partly because if you don’t find public health the wealthy are also more likely to get sick.

      This aside he is with the most redistribution are the happiest in the world. America was happiest when we had the greatest redistribution, which was in the 1950s.

      Not redistributing wealth leads to a few rich people who live in barbed wire compounds and can’t go anywhere. It’s depressing for everyone.

      On the other hand, sexual assault leads to higher rates of posttraumatic stress than almost anything. Similar rates to combat veterans. Redistributing wealth does not have that effect. My husband and I pay more taxes than we get back but I am happier to live in a country with a strong middle class then I would to live in a barbed wire compound with everyone poor around me. That’s the sort of thing you tend to get with libertarian economics.

      • “This aside he is with the most redistribution are the happiest in the world. America was happiest when we had the greatest redistribution, which was in the 1950s.”

        They were happiest because their lives had greater meaning. They were genuinely connected. There was a nuclear family that provided love, care, stability, etc. Women were actually women.

        But, today’s feminists and liberals said this period was really oppressive and near slavery. Go figure.

      • In the 1950s the economy was booming, largely because of a redistribution of wealth that created the middle class. Unions were supported instead of busted. At that time our political leaders were working to help the people economically. Instead of redistributing wealth from the middle class to billionaires like they are today.

        Meanwhile, the happiest countries in the world today are also the most gender equal.

        I am a feminist in an equal relationship and I am very happy!

  9. Sexual assault is a direct result of sexual inequality in the same way that economic crimes (robbery, drugs) are a direct result of economic inequality. If you apply socialism to sex and evenly distribute it among the population there will be no more reason to commit sexual assault.

    • I don’t know how you postulate evenly distributing it. But some means of that would constitute sexual assault.

      Patriarchy tends to shame women’s sexuality, probably because non-patriarchal early cultures didn’t care who daddy was and that gave women a lot of power: family name passed through women, property pass through women, women headed clans. So Under patriarchy it became very important to know who dad was, to reverse all that. As a result women were shamed and even stoned to death if they had sex outside of marriage. Minka do almost anything they wanted and would be celebrated instead of shamed.

      Sexual assault is also associated with patriarchy. The more women are demeaned the more sexual assault you have. And the more women are objectified – and patriarchy reduces women to sex – the more sexual assault you have.

  10. You raise a good point: that journalists and people often talk bout rape as if the male rapist is the villain because he is a sex crazed animal and the woman is the helpless victim because she is not displaying her sexuality. The reality is that the problem with rape has nothing to do with sex, rather with the absence of consent. Put it best in an interview with Huffington Post. “I like to use the metaphor that if your attacker had hit you over the head with a frying pan, you wouldn’t call it cooking,” Chaffers said. “Just because the event involved genitals doesn’t make it sexual.”
    With this distinction in mind, it becomes easier to see how an interaction involving handcuffs and domination could either by healthy sexual expression or violent assault, depending on wether or not there was a clear, and honest “Yes.” It’s difficult to have this kind of nuanced conversation, when the majority of the news reporting on these kinds of events is supposed to take advantage of the gory detail of the individual story to attract viewers. I think the best solution is for sexually expressive women who have been the victims of rape, to get a chance to discuss their side of what happened to them.

    Sources

    Frank, P. (2017, November 13). Why Men Masturbate In Front Of Women Without Their Consent. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/masturbation-sexual-assault_us_5a04dcc4e4b05673aa584c89

  11. Why is that when a women wants to be sexually active they are automatically “whores” but when a guy wants to be sexually active people just support them and actually celebrate it as if they just won a jackpot. Especially the topic about rape. When a woman gets raped, they are terrified to come forward and ask for help, the guy who raped them can just walk around like nothing happened but a woman that was raped would feel like their whole world just fell apart and there is no will to live anymore knowing that if they come forward they are the ones who will look bad saying “you asked for it.” For example, the Brock Turner case, as stated, if he hasn’t been caught for raping he can easily get away with it and tell everyone that he just scored and had sex. But his victim, chose to come forward anonymously knowing that if her name came out to the public she will be attacked for turning in the Stanford student. Women shouldn’t feel scared to speak up about being sexually assaulted, they need to come forward because not only this affects them physically but mentally as well having the thoughts of ending their lives.

    • “Why is that when a women wants to be sexually active they are automatically “whores” but when a guy wants to be sexually active people just support them and actually celebrate it as if they just won a jackpot.”

      Patriarchal society’s tend to shame women’s sexuality and celebrate men’s. And then even as we move out of patriarchy (we’re still there) we are so used to the way of thinking that most people don’t question it.

      (Interestingly, in early societies not knowing who dad was gave women a lot of power: property was passed through women, the family name was passed through women, women headed clans. It’s probably a large reason why patriarchies tend to shame women’s sexuality but not men’s. It’s easier to sustain patriarchy when you know who dad is.)

  12. This was a very sad blog to read. It is frustrating how under talked about sexual assault is. Sexual assault and rape both need to be talked about, acknowledged, and dealt with. I feel the problem stems from how adults are raising their children. Honestly, the young girl mentioned here was only 15!! It is horrible what happened to her and how young boys think that is ok to do. It obviously does not help that we have a President speaking the way he does about women. That makes it ten times worse. However, adults and parents need to teach their children wrong from right. One of the people at that must have seen her at one point and they should’ve done something. Even afterwards, the comments and the teasing and cyber-bullying, that is ridiculous. I wish the young girl would’ve spoke up or mentioned to her parents what had happened or what she as going through. Sadly, sometimes saying something to an adult doesn’t always fix the situation. However, maybe if she didn’t feel as though she was all alone she wouldn’t have hung herself. People are and can be very mean and cruel. I feel we need more sexual assault awareness facilities, programs, hotlines, shelters where people can go and not feel so alone.

    • It’s incredibly sad that we shame women’s sexuality so much that a young woman will kill herself after being shamed for being sexually attacked. And meanwhile those who do the attacking are bragging?!

  13. This post hurts me and makes me sick to my stomach. Why do people feel the need to treat each other like this? What do they get out of it? People should be supportive of one another. People should be looking out for one another. There are a lot of bad people out there, and we need to stick up for each other so that the bad people do not win. It should not matter that she looked like a “librarian” because if she was dressed differently, that does not give anyone permission to rape her. She should be able to wear whatever she wants without fear that her outfit will give men a pass to do whatever they want to her. The double standard that men who have sex are “players” which has a generally positive connotation, whereas women who have sex are “sluts” which has a very negative connotation. There should be no difference, people should be able to have as much consensual sex as they want.

    • Yes. Why do people treat each other this way? Sometimes I just wonder what’s wrong with people – people Who harassed and harm other people. I suspect that insecurity lies behind it – putting others down to make themselves feel better about themselves.

  14. It has always bothered me that those who are sexually assaulted have the burden of proof thrust upon them (no pun intended) that they were not “asking for it”. “It”. What is “it”? Sex? A hard f-ck? Someone may want sex, but they are never asking to be assaulted.

    In my early college career, I was date raped by a guy who I had been interested in. We had kind of been friends and hung out together a few times. I had been drinking at a party and somehow got locked in a room with him. (The door handle was broken, and my coordination and dexterity levels were severely impaired) I tried to leave. I tried to fight him off. He was getting more and more aggressive and I was afraid of getting hurt. In the end, I just kind of froze, gave in and let it happen. It was just easier to give in.

    Afterwards, I felt so many emotions. Anger. Disgust. Both with him and myself. It took a long time for me to reconcile with myself that I was not “asking for it” or that my desire for him, up until that point, was something that had been used against me.

    Today I read Brock Turner’s disgusting appeal. His claim that he didn’t really desire “intercourse” with her , only “outercourse”. I guess he thinks digitally penetrating his victim does not count because it was not his penis? Is he now claiming lack of desire? Did he not want “it”?

  15. Reading this post was very dishearting. I think men view women as asking for this type of activity, when in fact they are not. This women did nothing but attend a party because she wanted to spend time with her sister. This story reminds me of the netflix movie “13 Reasons Why”. I do not believe that there is a double standard here. However, I do believe that people view the situation as her asking for it. For example, drinking and attending this kind of party is asking for trouble, but why does it have to be. Why can’t someone just enjoy a hang out with out this type of behavior and activity. I feel like women are still shamed for there sexual behavior unlike men. If a women has multiply partners shes considered a whore, but if a man does than he’s praised. There is no equality here.

    • And I think it’s crazy that women have to convince everyone that they had no desire. So what if she did have desire? She still might not want to have sex because she doesn’t have birth control, is afraid of getting a disease or whatever. It seems entirely beside the point. If you don’t consent no one should force sex. Period.

  16. There is certainly a different respect from society depending on weather a boy is sexually active or a girl is sexually active. For a boy, it is a part of entering adulthood and “becoming a man,” but for a girl it is equated with loss. Growing up, it was completely instilled in me that if I had sex I was going to die. Then, I figured out that was false so they told me that if I had sex then I would go to hell. Then they told me that if I was sexually active I would never be able to grow up, get married, and have a good normal family. It felt like my entire life was going to be consumed in shame if I was sexual at all. I know this isn’t true, but I still feels like these ideas are somehow ingrained in me. In my life, I think this is where the sense of shame comes in. I do not have the experience of being a man, but I think the element of shame does not come with being sexually active the way it does for a girl. Even as sexually active adults, women are taught to “regret a one night stand” and “feel guilty afterwards” but men are given high fives. These emotions of shame are not natural, but learned by girls throughout society because of the institutionalized messaging of social norms. Society wants girls to be sexual, but tells them to be “pure.” Because of the internalization of this message by individuals, there exists practices of victim blaming and double standards that sometimes girls cannot survive. And it all starts with shame.

    • Unfortunately patriarchal society’s celebrate men’s sexuality and despise women’s. And patriarchy and men are two different things. Many men are gender equal and many women still are not, unfortunately.

  17. Artrea Williams

    Sexual assault should be taken more serious than it is.I am currently in college and I feel that colleges do not care about sexual assault as much as they need to and it is ridiculous. It is a shame that victims are scared to even talk up about it because they feel like nothing will be done. The worst part to me is when they actually speak up about it, people give them shit for it like they lying. Usually, at college parties, I am the only sober one. So when I see a girl about to get taken advantage of, I make an effort to stop it or call the police. I hate seeing stuff like that and to see boys not understanding the meaning of “no” makes me furious. It is also not just women who are victims of sexual assault but men are too. Although they are not as highly reported on as women, they can still be victims as well.

  18. The double standard is believing that men and women are held to different standard in terms of sexual conduct. The double standard is used constantly in terms of our American society, in this case, it is true to say that women are more likely to be shamed for their sexual desire. Whether that be that they have or do not have desire for sexual conduct, women should not be shamed for something they went through and had no control over. Some people go through traumatic things and if that must include the violence that women go through with sexual assault then it is obvious that it is not right to belittle women’s sexual desires yet people still do this. Women should not be normalized to want sex the way men are perceived, as should anyone be perceived this way, nor shamed for it. But since men are always perceived to want sex then society doesn’t make them victims to the issue and this is makes it just an issue for women when in reality its an issue in general. This ties back to social norms and how men and women are being stereotyped in terms of opinions rather than fact.

  19. This is a topic that weighs heavily on me. It honestly makes me sick that there is a sexual double standard. I don’t understand how people still think there isn’t. Let’s start with sexuality and sexual desires. Just that in itself sshouldn’t be viewed differently based on whether it’s a woman or man. The judgement that women face for enjoying sex is unjust. Why are women labeled as sluts, whores, and tramps for wanting to have sex. Why are they considered dirty or sinful yet men don’t get those labels or reactions. I feel as though society has taught us that men are animals and want sex all the time, that’s normal and there’s nothing we can do about it. We accept it as it is and are never shocked or surprised by their sex lives. They see sex as a conquest and are referred to as “the man”, god’s, kings, and players (in a good way). Men gain accolades for having sex while women are shamed. Now, to touch on assault. How sad that some women who have been sexually assaulted feel they have to keep quiet or go anonymous for fear of their reputations and lives being ruined when they are victims that didn’t do or want any part in the assault yet we constantly hear, “she was asking for it” or “what she was wearing sent a signal that she wanted me to do it”. Consent is consent. There should be no assumptions based on clothing or what level of partying or drinking a woman is doing. Men should not be able to take whatever they want, ruin these women’s lives, and live without any type of consequence or judgement. I really do hope that at some point the double standard does not exist!

  20. One way to prove that there is still a double standard is that women are labeled with a plethora of terms to describe their promiscuity: “slut,” “hoe,” “whore,” “easy,” “loose,” the list goes on. When a man acts the same way, he is given a congratulations and called a “player” or “baller” which usually has a positive connotation to it. Our society values traditional gender roles and when a girl is “good,” people think perhaps she didn’t deserve the rape but if alcohol was related or she was wearing revealing clothes, she gets victim blamed. People often love to ask the question, “what were you wearing?” I think we need to shift the idea that consent means anything but the word, “YES.” Silence, being intoxicated, and passing out, are not a substitute for the word “yes,” and in no way mean consent was granted. People should be allowed to drink and wear what ever clothes they wish, without having to worry about the possibility of being sexually assaulted.

  21. It is only rape because she didn’t want it. We should be asking why doesn’t she want it, and encouraging her to actively persue it. Like if a man says no to sex we know there is something wrong with him b/c we know deep down that he wants it.

  22. The anonymous woman’s statement to the judge is very telling. Like the post says, her defense was that she “had no desire” for sex, “so she was a good girl.” But would it have been so bad if she had? What if she had gone to the party that night and was, to be blunt, a little horny?

    Why does a woman have to be chaste or even be a “good girl” to deserve not to get raped? Or to get justice if she had been? The reality that women have sexual desires and at times might even pursue sex should is frankly irrelevant to issues of rape.

    Insinuating otherwise leads to tragedy, inside and outside of the legal system. If men are made to believe that an outwardly sexual woman is a “bad girl,” then what’s to stop him from assuming she wants and/or deserves an assault. And what’s to stop a jury from believing that she “asked for it?”

    • Yes! Pretty sad that boys brag about sexual assault while women feel pressure to damp down there desire, And insist they don’t have any, making them good girls.

  23. I think we men need to accept the fact that most women do not desire us nor like us. Sexually assaulting and/or raping a woman is not acceptable.

    I only ask that the same standards be equally applied to women. All too often women get a free pass or a slap on the wrist for sexual misconduct, even with minors.

    So, we can agree on the substance of this piece. Kudos!

  24. Progressives simply are not serious about making men and women equal when it comes to sexual promiscuity. Why? Because they are in a full blown moral panic about sexual assault and rape. The reverse is inconceivable that men would instigate a moral panic about women being too pushy about wanting sex. We all know that would never happen. So why aren’t progressives pushing the narrative that women should be more sanguine about excessive sexual advances? Because they’re not serious. They’re not consistent. The progressive moral panic is perpetuating the notion that women are virginal wallflowers who are somehow ruined by a less than wonderful sexual experience. No wonder that poor girl hung herself. The progressive left will cause many more to die until they actually stop hating sex and learning to like it like men do.

    • You totally didn’t get my point.

      My point is that girls should not be shamed for having sexual desire. Read it again.

    • @Fred747..

      “The progressive left will cause many more to die until they actually stop hating sex and learning to like it like men do.”

      Nothing could be further from the truth. Women DO like sex just as much as we do. However, they value “good sex” and not just sex.

      I am most certainly NOT some virtue-signaling “progressive.” But, the “progressives” are not responsible for these young women dying. In each case, these women were violated and humiliated. That violation was due to the young men.

      • It’s true, huggy usually argues with me from the right.

        But I know from personal experience, and from research, that when women are taught that sexuality is shameful they are inclined toward repressing and losing sexual desire. And then it takes A LOT to get them interested. So nearly half of American women experience lack of sexual desire. Still, half of American women are still sexually interested. We are all a mix of culture, personal experiences, and the personality we are born with. So you get cultural patterns and individual differences.

  25. it’s not just women who are victims of sexual assault but men are too although they are not as highly reported on as women. likewise we see men as the most common perpitrators of sex assaults but we all too easily forget that women can commit such crimes too although again this is not reported as much with regard to the statistics. Recently here in Australia, a young and aspiring comedian by the name of Eurydice Dickson was raped and murdered while walking home late at night. her body was found in princess park in Melbourne Australia. the perpetrator who was 19 was said to have asbergers spectrum disorder but I beg to differ on this one because sometimes these things are used as an excuse to get out of being punished. since the attack, the government and others have tried to declare war on women’s safety and the fact that they should never be walking alone at night. In turn, an attempt has been made to try and demonise all men to make them out to be rapests when not all men are like that and it’s not just a respect for women that should be focused on but a respect of everybody and anybody could be vulnerable to attack when walking home late at night by themselves man or woman.

    • Yes, I know that men are also victims of sexual assault. And most often they are victimized by men. That’s why men in the gay community are more alert and worried about it then straight men are.

      But my point here is that women are shamed for desire so much that even when they are assaulted they talk about how they had no desire for sex And so should not be shamed for the Violence that was perpetrated on them. When boys are bragging about committing sexual assault and girls are defending themselves by saying that they had no desire you’ve got a society that is really, really screwed up!

      • What it really seems is society and law just doesn’t respect victims of sexual abuse in general which is sad. It’s messed up. I know your point is how ridiculous a woman’s sexuality is used against her or how her lack of desire is used in relation to her being believed she was raped as far her desiring sex or not.

        It shouldn’t matter how much someone wants sex because that should be irrelevant because rape is something taking against a persons consent and will. This backfires for men too. Women aren’t supposed to want sex or the ones who want it “are asking to be raped” but the male victims , since men are invulnerable or always want sex, society and the law doesn’t believe make victims either. And then the bs slap on the wrist sentencing child molesters get.

  26. Renata Ingram

    This is one post that is not only heart breaking, but sadly, oh so true. I wouldn’t say that there isn’t a double standard, I would just state that sadly, we live in a very selfish, cruel, prideful and ignorant time and especially having lived in the Bay Area my whole life, I also grew up with both guys and girls who would attack and offend victims of assault and rape. I actually saw it first hand. I was a “peer helper” in high school and would be in charge of being pulled out of class to hear another peer explain their emotions of confusion because she was being attacked by being called, a “slut,” because she wasn’t a virgin anymore. Even though she never gave consent. I also knew a co worker of mine, who went to Las Vegas for her 25th birthday and was drugged by the date rape drug. Fortunately, she had a dozen of close girlfriends with her that noticed her off behavior and quickly took action before the worse could happen. Assault can happen any where and unfortunately to anyone. I believe a women/girl should feel free and safe to be anywhere at anytime, including being dressed as a secretary at a party. I also believe that because there are sick people in the world, anyone should take precautions to avoid anything dangerous from happening, including assault/rape. Witnesses could have made the difference in Audrie’s story. More actions could have been taken in school to handle anyone spreading rumors or attacking her in any form of any kind. Although it doesn’t help her now, it can help someone else reading her story.

    • Yes, we certainly have not moved into a gender-equal world yet. And most certainly not when it comes to sexuality. Women are still shamed and harassed for their desire.

      In the long run this doesn’t help men either because when women learn that desire is evil and something that is punished they damp down their desire so that over time they are less connected to it. No wonder that in America today nearly half of women have low to no desire.

      Thank you for being a peer helper and offering your support for girls who have been shamed and harassed.

      • “No wonder that in America today nearly half of women have low to no desire.”

        You have stated this many times. I disagree of course. I am just not seeing it (except in marriage).

        According to the most recent government household data, there are now just as many unmarried women today as married. The majority of these single women do not appear to be suffering from low sexual desire. Most of them have pretty healthy sex lives with lots of different men. Just what I have seen and experienced.

        As for married women, I would concur with your view.

      • Plenty of research has consistently found this pattern of nearly half of American women with low desire for sex. That’s not natural. Women naturally have as much desire for sex as men do. But part of the reason why women lose interest in sex in marriage is because when their desire is depressed they need a lot to be interested, and being with the same man for many years is not as interesting and exciting as a new relationship.

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