“Men are raping” these three words started a discussion that lasted over an hour. A friend was enraged by it, to him it implied the obvious unjust and inaccurate statement that all men are rapists. It is reasonable for a man, who believes he would never disrespect a woman let alone harm her, to feel insulted if he has been accused of being someone that would. Anyone would feel aggrieved at being accused of doing something they personally find objectionable. I can’t lament this natural instinct to defend oneself, but I do feel we need to pause and re-read the statement.
“Men are raping” does not say ‘all men are raping’, and it does not imply it. It states the fact men are committing sexual assault and it’s a problem. It is no different to saying “teenagers are taking drugs” or “Australian drivers are using their mobile phones whilst driving”. All these statements are true of the demographics without implying it stands as a rule across all.
It then dawned upon me, many of the men that are demanding they not be blamed for other men raping, are the same men that demand all Muslims take responsibility for Islamic terrorism.
Any time an act of Islamic terrorism occurs in Australia or in the West, the Australian National Imams Council scrambles to release a statement publicly condemning the act. In reality it seems like an absolutely fruitless thing to say, of course they don’t like seeing innocent people being killed, saying they are against murder is an incredibly easy and objectively obvious thing to say. Yet, due to social pressure, they felt compelled to do so.
This is because Muslims are committing acts of terrorism. Certainly not all Muslims, far from it, but it is a problem that Muslims as a collective need to confront. The fact is, as a society we gain very little from a Muslim simply stating that they condemn terrorism, we know the overwhelming majority do. What we would benefit from is an open and honest discussion about problems within the Mosques, the Islamic doctrines, and the culture that is producing the very few Muslims that end up being terrorists.
It is within this context that Men need to own the problem of sexual assault and domestic violence. It is not misandry to demand Men take ownership of our rape problem any more than it is Islamophobic to ask our Muslim community to take ownership of its extremist problem. The truth is both groups need to spend time reassessing the way they communicate, the way they are raising their youth, and the way they are even acknowledging there is a problem.
Society is not asking us to publicly condemn rape, they are asking us to affect real change to stop rape happening.
The overwhelming majority of Australian Muslims are peace loving people who would never hurt another living soul and are as disgusted by acts of Islamic Terrorism as everyone else. But even these Muslims must acknowledge there is a problem within the Islamic faith when innocent people are dying on Australian streets.
The overwhelming majority of Australian Men truly respect women and are sickened at the thought of any man who would sexually assault a woman. But even these Men must acknowledge there is a problem within masculinity when women are being raped and murdered on Australian streets.
Demanding a demographic take ownership of a problem is not placing guilt upon them, it is acknowledging that they are in the best position to fix that problem.
Australians killed by terrorism in the past 10 years: 4
Australian Women killed by Men every year: over 50