Are You A Rapist Or A Lads’ Mag Reader? Take The Test
WHAT do we make of the Middlesex University and Surrey University report that likens comments made by convicted rapists to those found in lads’ mags? Most men presented with words uttered by rapists and found in lads’ mags “identified themselves more with the language expressed by the convicted rapists”.
The rapists’ quotes were taken from the book The Rapist Files: Interviews With Convicted Rapists. Other quotes were taken from men’s mags like FHM, Loaded, Nuts and Zoo. How many rapists have read Loaded is not said. We also are not told how many men who read lads’ mags also read hard core porn magazines or look at XXX-rated websites. We are not told why rape jokes are acceptable and what it says about men who laugh at them and men who tell them.
We learn that “when presented with descriptions of women taken from lads’ mags, and comments about women made by convicted rapists, most people who took part in the study could not distinguish the source of the quotes”.
Men identified more with the comments made by rapists more than the quotes made in lads’ mags, but men identified more with quotes said to have been drawn from lads’ mags more than those said to have been comments by convicted rapists. The researchers also asked a separate group of women and men aged between 19 and 30 to rank the quotes on how derogatory they were, and to try to identify the source of the quotes.
Men and women rated the quotes from lads’ mags as somewhat more derogatory, and could categorize the quotes by source little better than chance.
What does it all mean? Says Dr Horvath, lead researcher from Middlesex University:
We were surprised that participants identified more with the rapists’ quotes, and we are concerned that the legitimisation strategies that rapists deploy when they talk about women are more familiar to these young men than we had anticipated.
Are rapists more reasoned – more logical and understandable – than lads’ mag readers? Does their argument that “no” means “yes” and woman dressed in short skirts and low tops want sex ring true with a majority of men? Are rapists more real than the hacks hired to tap into priapic readers’ fantasies and moist dreams? Are lads’ mag readers fantasy rapists?
Dr Peter Hegarty, from the University of Surrey’s psychology department, adds:
There is a fundamental concern that the content of such magazines normalises the treatment of women as sexual objects.
We are not killjoys or prudes who think that there should be no sexual information and media for young people.
But are teenage boys and young men best prepared for fulfilling love and sex when they normalise views about women that are disturbingly close to those mirrored in the language of sexual offenders?
Anna van Heeswijk, campaigns manager for Object, a human rights group which campaigns against the objectification of women, opines:
If we are serious about wanting an end to discrimination and violence against women and girls, we must tackle the associated attitudes and behaviours. This means tackling the publications which peddle them.
The Leveson Inquiry is currently looking into the culture and ethics of the press. These disturbing findings unequivocally demonstrate the need for the portrayal of women to be included in the remit of this inquiry.
Now is the time for action.
Want to see the questions asked? Here you go (use of the word girls in place of women mirrors the language of the tabloids):
1. There’s a certain way you can tell that a girl wants to have sex . . . The way they dress, they flaunt themselves.
2. Some girls walk around in short-shorts . . . showing their body off . . . It just starts a man thinking that if he gets something like that, what can he do with it?
3. A girl may like anal sex because it makes her feel incredibly naughty and she likes feeling like a dirty slut. If this is the case, you can try all sorts of humiliating acts to help live out her filthy fantasy.
4. Mascara running down the cheeks means they’ve just been crying, and it was probably your fault . . . but you can cheer up the miserable beauty with a bit of the old in and out.
5. What burns me up sometimes about girls is dick-teasers. They lead a man on and then shut him off right there.
6. Filthy talk can be such a turn on for a girl . . . no one wants to be shagged by a mouse . . . A few compliments won’t do any harm either . . . ‘I bet you want it from behind you dirty whore’ . . .
7. You know girls in general are all right. But some of them are bitches . . . The bitches are the type that . . . need to have it stuffed to them hard and heavy.
8. Escorts . . . they know exactly how to turn a man on. I’ve given up on girlfriends. They don’t know how to satisfy me, but escorts do.
9. You’ll find most girls will be reluctant about going to bed with somebody or crawling in the back seat of a car . . . But you can usually seduce them, and they’ll do it willingly.
10. There’s nothing quite like a woman standing in the dock accused of murder in a sex game gone wrong . . . The possibility of murder does bring a certain frisson to the bedroom.
11. Girls ask for it by wearing these mini-skirts and hotpants . . . they’re just displaying their body . . . Whether they realise it or not they’re saying, ‘Hey, I’ve got a beautiful body, and it’s yours if you want it.’
12. You do not want to be caught red-handed . . . go and smash her on a park bench. That used to be my trick.
13. Some women are domineering, but I think it’s more or less the man who should put his foot down. The man is supposed to be the man. If he acts the man, the woman won’t be domineering.
14. I think if a law is passed, there should be a dress code . . . When girls dress in those short skirts and things like that, they’re just asking for it.
15. Girls love being tied up . . . it gives them the chance to be the helpless victim.
16. I think girls are like plasticine, if you warm them up you can do anything you want with them.
As Zoo’s agony aunt Anny Dyer advised:
“You’ve got nothing to worry about, son. I’d suggest going out on a rampage with the boys, getting on the booze and smashing anything that moves. Then, when some bird falls for you, you can turn the tables and break her heart. Of course, the other option is to cut your ex’s face, and then no one will want her.”