Big news in the fight against prison rape. MRAs oblivious.

There is good news, and bad news, and completely predictable news in the fight against prison rape. The good news: the Justice Department last week announced a major new initiative designed to fight against prison rape. The bad news: it’s being opposed by right-wing ideologues. As Think Progress explains:

This week, the Department of Justice published new standards addressing the epidemic of rape and sexual abuse in our nation’s prisons. The guidelines, which apply immediately to federal prisons and give financial incentives for states to comply, are a laudable, widely praised, and long overdue step in combating rape in the United States.

The American Action Forum, a Wall Street-funded group whose C(4) runs millions of dollars in attack ads against Democrats, responded by lambasting the move as too “costly” and “complicated.”

The Weekly Standard echoed AAF’s response, bemoaning the cost of preventing people from being raped in prison. The total expected cost is less than 1 percent of the overall cost of our prison system and ultimately “end up saving money — for example, by avoiding the medical costs of injuries suffered by rape victims,” according to the New York Times.

The completely predictable news? Men’s Rights Activists are completely oblivious to all this.

If the Men’s Rights movement were truly concerned with helping men, rather than playing “oppression Olympics” and complaining about feminists and women in general, they would be all over this issue. But I have seen nothing about this on any site in the manosphere, aside from one post on the Men’s Rights subreddit that drew all of six (mostly ignorant) comments. (Looking through one large thread on the subject of prison rape that was recently on r/mensrights’ front page, I found zero references to the Justice Department’s new initiative.)

What accounts for this obliviousness? It could be because MRAs tend to regard the Obama administration as a tool of our (imaginary) feminazi overlordsladies. Or because they would have to acknowledge that women are also raped in prison. But I think the real reason is that MRAs are so disconnected from real activists working in the real world to combat prison rape that they are completely unaware of any of this.

If you are interested in getting involved, or just learning more about the issue, I’d suggest checking out the website of the group Just Detention International, which campaigns against prison rape.

For more links, see this post of mine.

About David Futrelle

I run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon,, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.

Posted on June 21, 2012, in actual activism, antifeminism, irony alert, MRA, MRA paradox, rape, rape jokes, violence. Bookmark the permalink. 247 Comments.

  1. NWO: A man who has no access to women has sex with another man. He’s still attracted to women. When he has access to women he doesn’t have any interest in men.

    This is called, “situational homsexuality”. It’s been known about for centuries (in navies, in English Boarding Schools, in religious seminaries).

    You can pretend it doesn’t exist, the same way you pretend that someone leaving a room, and coming back with a pipe to beat in the skull of a woman who slapped him was self-defense.

    The same way you pretend to be a moral person.

  2. NWO said:

    “They’re getting raped by a gay/bi predator. Which of course means a miniscule portion of society does the majority of raping. Also the majority of your worst mass murderers are gay/bi as are your rapists of women and pedophiles.”

    Let’s have a few reputable sources for that, Sunshine.

  3. In NWO’s mind, if you’re a man who marry (and occasionally have sex with) a woman, even if you’re not attracted to her at all and dream of naked guys all day and all night, you’re straight!

  4. MRA not oblivious, MRA cautious. MRA aware that 99% of organizations that oppose sexual violence are ideologically hostile to straight cis males. MRA see JDI page, MRA count all featured testimonials, then MRA count featured testimonials by victims who might be straight cis males. MRA compute ratio. Ratio small, an order of magnitude smaller than what would be representative. MRA sadly not surprised. MRA imagine a straight cis male victim of prison rape. What’s dude to do, who does he have to pretend to be, or how badly must he be victimized in order to qualify as a “worthy victim”? These are the doubts that consume the enthusiasm.

  5. PASTA, have you turned into Yoda all of a sudden?

  6. CassandraSays

    MRA, he is. Make sense, he does not.

  7. But at least make content he does.

  8. Sorry, I made a mistake. NWO is a moral person, it’s just that his moral philosophy sucks.

  9. If by content, incomprehensible garbage, mean you.

  10. MRA full of logical failures. MRA ascribes motive without suppot, and blame without foundation.

    MRA say more about society than about DV, JDI, or women.

    I say, basta!

  11. Wait wait wait… Did NWO just say that the majority of rapists of women are gay/bi predators? NWO, isn’t a man having sex with a woman against her will straight sex? Wouldn’t that mean men who rape women are straight predators?*

    The distinction is kinda stupid anyway. It isn’t the sex that is gay or straight, because gay or straight isn’t a description of sex; it’s an orientation. If a man has sex with a man, but closes his eyes and pretends it’s a woman, is he straight or gay? If he has sex, but isn’t sexually attracted to the person he is fucking, does the gender deterimine his orientation?

    The answers, because NWO is dense: Likely straight, and no.

    * Note: I do not actually believe this sheep’s stomach, just pointing out a contradiction

  12. MRA say more about society than about DV, JDI, or women.

    Which implies MRA say something about something, unlike MRA detractors who so far say nothing about nothing.

  13. If by content, incomprehensible garbage, mean you.

    Comprehension on the part of this one, for it to start ruffling its feathers, sufficient seems.

  14. *sigh* They really are all crawling out of the woodwork, aren’t they?

    Btsaa, jsut baseuce you can udntrneasd tihs dseon’t maen you sluohd tpye lkie tihs. It’s ayionnng.

  15. Is it just me, or do our latest trolls all meld into this for everyone else too?

  16. Also, making your opponent annoyed or upset doesn’t mean you’ve made a respectable point. You’re probably just being tedious.

  17. Okay enough talking like yoda for me. Pasta, are you seriously trying to say that you think straight cis males who are raped in prison are then pretending to be gay men or transwomen in order to have their rape taken seriously? Could you elaborate on why you think this is true? Or if I’ve misunderstood, could you explain what you meant in a non-yoda voice?

  18. I think Pasta’s problem is that there are people who oppose prison rape, and people who specifically oppose prison rape of gay or trans prisoners, but there’s no organization dedicated to fighting the rape ONLY of straight cis men. Which obviously means straight cis men have no resources at all.

    And considering they’re the most important people of all, this is a very serious problem indeed.

  19. Speaking of which: gay and trans prisoners have a much, much higher chance of being raped in prison than straight cis men. I have a link to a study on this on my prison rape page.

  20. Argenti Aertheri

    Shadow — it isn’t just you.

    NWO —

    @Argenti Aertheri
    “Hasn’t that shit been debunked like 15 times over by now? Ignoring that, his reasoning has to be circular — a man raping a man is a gay act, thus he’s a gay man, thus more gay men abuse men than straight men do. Well duh NWO, you de facto excluded the possibility he was a straight man.”

    Your reasoning isn’t sound and you’ve debunked nothing. Your religion doesn’t allow you to admit the truth. A man has sex with a woman. That’d be straight sex. A man has sex with a man. That’d be gay sex. How does this elude you? You simply refuse to admit you promote a sickness. Not too long ago it was diagnosed as a sickness and psycologist’s would help. Now that women have saturated the psych fields, they call anyone who call’s gays sick, sick. It’s a topsy turvy world where wrong is called right and right is called wrong. Good is now bad and bad is good.

    Let me use really small words, maybe then you can keep up. First, I did not say “I am about to debunk” or “watch me debunk” I said “hasn’t that been debunked repeatedly” — and that part really wasn’t directed at you (see where my comment switches from “his” to “you” that’s when I started directing things at you).

    Second, do bisexuals exist in your reality? Or do we turn straight the moment we’re in a straight relationship and gay the moment we’re in a homosexual relationship? How’s that work with non-cis people?

    Third, homophobia isn’t a psych diagnosis, you are welcome to stew in your hatred all you like as far as your psych is concerned (nobody is trying to cure racism either btw, you can be a bigot, until you break the law, and then you’re a legal problem, still not a psych problem).

    Fourth, somedays I believe 6 impossible things before breakfast, you’re going to have to try harder to mock me than pulling Wonderland references. One, NWO actually believes all this; two, he honestly thinks that gives him the moral high ground; should I continue, because six is “I can slay the jabberwocky” and I should maybe just skip to that one (three, there’s some chance NWO might get the joke).

  21. Basta: Which implies MRA say something about something, unlike MRA detractors who so far say nothing about nothing.

    Nope. MRA was a pronomial substitution for “BASTA!”, and the explicit statement was that what you thought you were saying, was wrong. You thought you were talking about feminists. You weren’t. You were talking about society; which is equally composed of men and women; and feminists aren’t more than a large plurality.

  22. MorkaisChosen

    … Bloody hell.

    So, a few days ago I was getting into a discussion of whether Ruby counts as a troll or not, on the basis that she may have actually thought we’d agree about things.

    Fuck that noise.

    There’s nothing I can say here that hasn’t already said, but… yeah. At this point, Ruby, you must know we are not going to agree with your bullshit. Fuck off back under the bridge where you belong.

  23. @Julie Gilis

    a quote from those comments

    I have a funding proposal for Julie and other liberals that are so conveniently outraged: Let’s stop all local government funding of Planned Parenthood and instead divert all those dollars to stop rape in prison. What do you think? Would you rather tax dollars go to providing free and/or subsidized abortions for women, or to prevent men from being raped? In the reality of local governments, many of which by law must balance their budgets, choices must be made. This is yours. Choose one and explain why.


  24. Oh and basta sounds more like a caveman to me than yoda. What’s with the deliberately making your comment a pain in the ass to read?

  25. Argenti Aertheri

    “Let’s stop all local government funding of Planned Parenthood and instead divert all those dollars to stop rape in prison. What do you think? Would you rather tax dollars go to providing free and/or subsidized abortions for women, or to prevent men from being raped?”

    So this bit of fact checking took all of 5 min —

    Planned Parenthood’s chart shows that abortions made up 3 percent of its total services. Another way to measure the group’s abortion services, however, is to divide the total number of abortions by the number of clients. For example, Planned Parenthood said that it “provided nearly 11.4 million medical services for 3 million people” in 2009. Its 2011 fact sheet says it performed 332,278 abortion procedures in 2009. That would mean that roughly one out of every 10 clients received an abortion.

    Planned Parenthood’s 2008-2009 annual report states that it received $363.2 million in “Government Grants and Contracts.” (See page 29.) That’s about one-third of its total revenues for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009.

    However, not all of that money is from the federal government. Planned Parenthood’s government funding comes from two sources: the Title X Family Planning Program and Medicaid. About $70 million is Title X funding, Planned Parenthood spokesman Tait Sye told us. The rest — about $293 million — is Medicaid funding, which includes both federal and state money.

    If anyone can manage to come up with a way to stop prison rape for $70 million annually, I’m pretty sure we can figure out where to cut the budget (oh idk, maybe one of those needless wars? or we could legalize marijuana and release everyone locked up solely for possession and *poof* bet the money genie would balance the math real fast then — “oh wait, we have how many less prisoners to feed and house now?”).

    Today on Spot That Fallacy!! we have a false dichotomy!

    False dilemma (false dichotomy, fallacy of bifurcation, black-or-white fallacy) – two alternative statements are held to be the only possible options, when in reality there are more.

    In this case, a shit ton more, and frankly, I would guess prison rape victims cost “the system” money in terms of health care, recidivism, etc, such that preventing their rape would pay for itself.

  26. This is also the idiocy of, “to help x, you must unhelp y”.

    There is also a certain level of implicatory equivalence. Women are equated to inmates. One, or the other, can have decent care, but not both.

    There is also the problem of, “If women aren’t willing to give shit up, they don’t care”.

    Ok, what is Mr. Self-righteous willing to give up?

    Nothing. Because the point of his little tantrum wasn’t to present a serious policy recommendation. It was to abuse women and abuse prisoners. He said they weren’t worth the evils of that come of making health care affordable to women.

    He gets to say women don’t care about preventing inmate rape.

    And he gets to try and shame them for having a sex life.

    He’s an ass.

  27. I’d rather get rid of some corn subsidies or private military contractors, and fight prison rape AND unwanted pregnancy.

  28. Why Basta! think talking like Code Monkey help Basta! communicate?

  29. I’d rather get rid of some corn subsidies or private military contractors, and fight prison rape AND unwanted pregnancy.

    YES. Preferably both. (Of the former, I mean.)

  30. Not that I claim to understand the politics of American agriculture, but I thought corn subsidies were to maintain a domestic food supply, so that we wouldn’t have a food situation analogous to our oil situation?

    In any case, though, our HFCS usage is out of hand.

  31. Yes, I meant 8th amendment.

  32. If Basta so smart, why Basta forget helping verbs? Did Basta’s smarts get him skip second grade?

  33. Not that I claim to understand the politics of American agriculture, but I thought corn subsidies were to maintain a domestic food supply, so that we wouldn’t have a food situation analogous to our oil situation?

    In theory, yeah. But in practice it’s less ensuring our food supply, and more skewing our food supply away from more nutritious and varied crops.

  34. That’s the theory, but it’s not that way in practice. The subsidy is for any maize crop. So corn that’s only good for alcohol/HFCS has come to dominate (because there are secondary subsidies for that) and so the market for feed corn has changed too.

  35. @pecunium yeah, you summed up exactly how I felt when reading that comment, but I was too tired or impatient to even bother to explain it. It was just a, “Fucking really?” moment for me. I told the guy that he was transparent though haha. It’s just… sometimes I just can’t. I know what you’re trying to do man, just stop.

  36. …Jessay, you’re talking about Basta, not me, right?

  37. These MRAs just love to focus on problems that don’t exist. Instead of focusing on issues that are actually a genuine threat to men like prison rape, homelessness, conditional homosexuality, gang involvement, youth unemployment, gay rights etc. No, those things don’t exist, according to them. Things only exist when they when they feel that they can be compared to women’s problems and when they are something to whine about.

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