Thursday, June 19, 2014

SAPR Day: “Surely, Comrade! Surely You Do Not Want Jones Back!”

In my continuing series on the SAPR program, I want to share another set of slides.  These slides were not shown at the SAPR Day assembly, but were available on the network.Slide1

TRIGGER WARNING:  These slides were only intended for those people who not only drank the Cool-Aid, but licked the glass.


Well, this looks potentially constructive:

  • Discuss and explore historical factors that have provided societal support for sexual assault
  • Illustrate relationships between the social contexts of sexual assault in relation to prevalence, incidence, and other associated statistics
  • Explain the impact of trauma from a victim’s perspective
  • Distill prevalent myths with respect to sexual assault in general, and sexual assault victims and perpetrators in particular.
  • Rephrase existing offender research, how offenders operate, how offenders choose victims, characteristics of sex offenders, types of force employed by offenders, and known recidivism of offenders.

This would be an excellent time to discuss the history of the sexual revolution, the decline of the social supervision of sexual activity, the rise of the “hook-up culture”, and the psychology of the blurred lines of consent.


And . . . wait . . . what?

From the slide notes:

  • The Patriarchal Cultural Value System is an “underlying foundation” which has given men “social permission” to control women and children for centuries.
  • Patriarchy is a system of social stratification, which means that it is uses a wide array of social control policies and practices to ratify male power and to keep females subordinate to men.
  • Social patriarchy refers to a sex/gender system in which men dominate women and what is considered masculine is more highly valued than what’s considered feminine.
  • Patriarchy is a structure that gives some men power over other men, and all men power over women.
  • A look back through history helps to explain how this system has become so solidly structured.
  • In viewing 3 of our societal institutions, the family; the church; and the government it becomes clear as to how we have gotten to the place we have today when it comes to viewing women in our society.

So first of all, I’m pretty sure that patriarchy was never about “men” controlling women and children, but about husbands and fathers controlling their own wives and offspring, including adult offspring.  It’s the kind of system under which a father could say, “No, young man, you may not put your hands on my daughter,” which would seem to go a long way towards preventing the very issues we are supposedly having a problem with

Second, patriarchy was a system of laws that limited women in specific ways.  The slide’s overuse of that weasel-word “social” will be used to hide the fact that patriarchy has been well and truly dead for a long time; indeed, has been deliberately undermined by a host of new laws and government policies.

And third, what the hell does patriarchy have to do with a 20-year-old getting blind drunk at a party and waking up in the bed of someone whose name she can’t remember?


From the slide notes:

  • If we look back to Roman history we find the origin of the commonly used term “family”, it is actually derived from the Latin word “familia” which translated as meaning the total number of wives, children, and slaves belonging to one man.
  • Entitlement
  • In Roman times, under Roman Law, a man had the right to determine life or death over all in his family
  • By these terms it is clear to see that the government saw a man’s family as his property.
  • Think of the impact that such a law would have on the psyche of a man.
  • Think of the impact that such a law would have on the psyche of a woman.

What’s weird about this is that the author of these slides obviously believe that male leadership is culturally based, not driven by biology.  But in that case, the impact of Roman culture on the psyche of Romans would be limited to, you know, Romans – unless you argue that the culture was strong enough to have an evolutionary impact, in which case we’re right back to biology.  But I will note in fairness that this seems to betray a better understanding of patriarchy that the previous slide.


From the notes:

  • I’m sure many of you have heard of Confucius and many of his philosophical sayings.
  • I wonder how many of you knew that he also said that:
  • “One hundred women are not worth a single testicle!”
  • From what I know, and what I have read, Confucius had a significant impact on large number of people. Many believed what he said was gospel.
  • Now just imagine the detrimental effect had on women of the time.
  • What do you see as the possible long term effects?
  • Promotion of male prowess
  • Dehumanization
  • Entitlement

I read the Pearl S. Buck novel The Good Earth a few years back.  Women in China had it pretty rough.  Props for not just beating up on Western Civilization.


Gotta love that graphic of a very middle-American looking church on a slide a medieval Catholicism.  From the notes:

In the Middle Ages we see again see advise from the church. Between 467 BC and 1453 BC men of the cloth advised that:

•“Men should beat their wives. Wives should kiss the rod that beats them.”

Here we not only see support and encouragement for chastisement of ones wife, we also see the church implying that wives should be appreciative of it. It serves as one of the many roots of a belief that a man has a right to beat his wife.

I don’t know if this is true or what the context was, but this isn’t a lecture on domestic violence.  It’s a lecture on sexual assault.


First:  dude, didn’t you hear me?  This isn’t a lecture on domestic violence!

Second:  from the notes:

  • The English legal system followed up on this papal advise by advise by advocating chastisement of one’s wife legal. The Rule of Thumb derived from English Common Law stipulated that:
  • “A husband could use a stick no thicker than his thumb when striking his wife.”
  • We use the term “Rule of thumb” so loosely in daily conversation, perhaps we wouldn’t use it so freely if we knew its true meaning.
  •  Married women in 19th century Europe and the US were unable to sign contracts, lacked title to wages and to property (even that inherited or owned prior to marriage), had no claim to their children following separation, couldn’t vote, sit on juries, hold political office, or enter many professions or trades.
  • Entitlement
  • Male Privledge [sic]

It took me 30 seconds to find “Rule of Thumb” on Wikipedia:

It is often claimed that the term's etymological origin lies in a law that limited the maximum thickness of a stick with which it was permissible for a man to beat his wife.[6][7][2] British common law before the reign of Charles II permitted a man to give his wife "moderate correction", but no "rule of thumb" (whether called by this name or not) has ever been the law in England.[8][9] Such "moderate correction" specifically excluded beatings, allowing the husband only to confine a wife to the household.[10]

Nonetheless, belief in the existence of a "rule of thumb" law to excuse spousal abuse can be traced as far back as 1782, the year that James Gillray published his satirical cartoon Judge Thumb. The cartoon lambastes Sir Francis Buller, a British judge, for allegedly ruling that a man may legally beat his wife, provided that he used a stick no thicker than his thumb, although it is questionable whether Buller ever made such a pronouncement.[11] The Body of Liberties adopted in 1641 by the Massachusetts Bay colonists states, “Every married woman shall be free from bodily correction or stripes by her husband, unless it be in his own defense from her assault.”[12] In the United States, legal decisions in Mississippi (1824) and North Carolina (1868 and 1874) make reference to—and reject—an unnamed "old doctrine" or "ancient law" by which a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no wider than his thumb.[7] For example, the 1874 case State v. Oliver (North Carolina Reports, Vol. 70, Sec. 60, p. 44) states: "We assume that the old doctrine that a husband had the right to whip his wife, provided that he used a switch no larger than his thumb, is not the law in North Carolina." In 1976, feminist Del Martin used the phrase "rule of thumb" as a metaphorical reference to describe such a doctrine. She was misinterpreted by many as claiming the doctrine as a direct origin of the phrase and the connection gained currency in 1982, when the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued a report on wife abuse, titled "Under the Rule of Thumb".[

Again, kudos for explaining patriarchy a little bit better:  it was about actual, black-letter law, not just social customs.  But even as a metaphor, the reasoning fails.  The lore of the “rule of thumb” was intended as a limitation to prevent men from using objects much more dangerous.

Parenthetically, we see this a lot:  Christianity comes to a civilization urging, for instance, the humane treatment of slaves, and modern scholars, who never did anything for anybody, come along centuries later and assert that Christianity supported slavery because they were modest in their social reforms.  We see this applied to, say, the Old Testament command, “An eye for an eye,” failing to understand that this, too, was a limitation preventing wildly disproportionate revenge, for instance massacring an entire village because one of its men raped your sister.


I could write a separate essay on the moral implications of this case, but let me stipulate that patriarchy, too, was never free from abuse or injustice.  Indeed, it would be hard to point to any human system actually tried that ever was.  But an honest discussion of patriarchy would be recognize that putting women under the protection of their families specifically prevented the crimes we are seeing today, and that the dissolution of patriarchy is implicated in the whole problem of “sexual assault” as the Air Force is presently grappling with it.

But this isn’t an honest discussion.  Rather than admit that our society has made certain trade-offs between patriarchy and the sexual revolution, it seeks to blame the shortcomings of the latter on the long-defunct former.

We now come to the long-promised slides that explain what the “rape myths” are:





I don’t really have anything to say about all this.  Obviously, rape is a real thing, even if its definition has been expanded beyond appropriate bounds.  But you can see what the agenda is:  linking objections to that expansion with the wrong-headed notions of the past.  It’s an old Leftist trick, exemplified by, for instance, The Mismeasure of Man, in which Steven Gould tries to discredit modern psychometricians by alleging that the IQ tests of 100 years ago were poorly done.


Except that women commit domestic violence at the same rate as men.  Men only do more damage because they are stronger.


From the notes:

  • The only 2 innate biological variables that appear to be determinants of violent behavior are youth and maleness.
  • These patterns are universal across cultures, history, and social circumstances.
  • This pattern is also seen across a wide variety of species, including our closest primate “relatives”;
  • For example in all Mammalian species (including human), males are reported to be the more aggressive sex.
  • It is the positive correlation with male sex hormones or androgens, especially testosterone; and
  • The negative correlation with female sex hormones,
  • Testosterone facilitates and stimulates aggressive responses to environmental stimuli,
  • Just as estrogens and progestogens inhibit aggressive responses.
  • There is also increasing evidence that serotonin is another biological inhibitor of violent behavior.
  • Men on average have lower levels of serotonin than women do.
  • Thus, men would seem to have larger amounts of the male sex hormones that stimulate aggression, and smaller amounts of 2 classes of inhibitors of aggression.
  • While these finding suggest a biological cause of sex difference in violent behavior, we should not forget that psychological and social factors are also determinants of whether one will grow up to be violent.
  • These latter determinants may in fact be potentially more powerful than the biological ones.

The authors are straying dangerously off-message here.  The very qualities that make men violent also make them better warriors.  How they reconcile this with the goal of putting women in combat is a mystery.

But don’t women use violence?


Well, that’s a relief!  As soon as our military is sent to, um, overthrow the civilian government, perpetrate terrorism, beat up kids, oldsters, and each other, well, they’ll have an army ready to go!

From the notes:

  • Women throughout history have utilized violence in various ways.
  • Still, most battering is perpetuated by men, and most male victims of battering are being battered by their male partners.
  • 40-93% of women in prison for murder or manslaughter killed partners who physically assaulted them, most in direct relation or to protect themselves and/or a child. (Stark)

That last bullet needs some nuance.  In point of fact, any woman in prison for murder had her self-defense claim rejected by a judge, jury or both.  Because she probably murdered her “partner” while he was fast asleep and then claimed he had been violent, a claim he couldn’t rebut, being dead.


Any excuse to show that Dolce Gabbana ad!  From the notes:

If we look at how gender expectations are expressed we find traditional gender socialization, femininity is defined in relationship to men

Describe the traditional feminine woman:

  • Attractive to men;
  • Her status is determined by the status of the man who is her partner

Describe the traditional masculine man:

  • Strong, powerful;
  • Has a submissive, attractive, traditionally feminine partner

What does this socialization process say?

  • Underscores the lesser status of women; &
  • Provides an incentive for offenders to assert authority over women

In what ways/forms has wide-spread sexually coercive behavior tacitly manifest in our society?

  • Sexual harassment, sexist joking, and inappropriate touching, is not the same as sexual assault, BUT it conveys to the offender that his actions are ok

How does the sexual predator take advantage of this climate?

  • It provides a justification for his actions, in a view that everyone, to some degree or another, shares his views of his victim(s)

The final cultural platform that supports sexual violence is our collective acceptance of violence is the entertainment industry

  • Violence has been made into entertainment art
  • Some even pair sexuality and violence to the degree that experts fear that there are generations of people who have been trained to be aroused by violence

There is a mix of reasonableness and absurdity in all this.  But what I want to leave my readers with is:  in a free society, socialization and biology tend to self-reinforce each other.  The underlying dimorphism of male dominance-female submission can manifest itself in healthy, socially constructive arrangements . . . and they can also manifest themselves as in that Dolce Gabbana ad.  These manifestations will then magnify the tendency.  The authors see this amplification and assert, well, if we can only get rid of the socialization we will emerge into the sunlit uplands of perfect sexual equality.  But just as the Dictatorship of the Proletariat never quite got around to yielding to the Withering Away of the State, so these Cultural Marxists are stuck in an endless cycle of authoritarianism and failure.

1 comment:

Felicity said...

Tumblr strikes again, at the heart of our own military.