The radical feminist
movement does not say that all
men are rapists ... they say that all men are potential rapists
, for a number of reasons. This statement is not meant by radical feminist
s to accuse individual men of rape
or of being capable
of rape. Once again, confusion between commenting on "men" as a group and commenting on individual men
Although I am not sure that I agree that all men are potential rapists, I think it is important to understand all of the radical feminists' argument. So, I will try to explain the claim.
They say that men, in a society like ours, are socialized toward things like violence, sexual prowess, and domination. Little boys are encouraged to be forceful and demanding, young men are encouraged to become big studs ...
This pattern of encouraging violence and sexual acts in men make it easier to connect violence and sexual acts. Although not all men accept this connection (in fact, most don't), it is a correlation that is made easier to accept in the minds of men in a misogynist society. Further, sex is also considered to be an act of submission by the woman and domination by the man. This correlation encourages men to think that domination IS sex and that sex is not only better with a dominant/submissive paradigm, it is natural that way.
These mixed messages of sex, violence, and domination play into creating a rape culture, a place where men are not only allowed to be violent and dominating, they are rewarded for such behavior.
Because nobody exists outside of society, these socializations contribute to make every man a potential rapist. Other socializations, including religious beliefs, moral beliefs, or a general learned respect for women can combat this socialization and prevent the men actually becoming rapists.
This socialization of men into a rape culture is not intended to place blame on men who have never commited rape, it is to be blamed on society for teaching that these types of actions are acceptable.
The only way we can unlearn socialized behavior is to learn that that socialization exists in the first place. If we want to change the rape culture, then we must realize what messages we are inbibing without even realizing it.
Although I am not sure that I buy this argument, it is important
to realize that the radical feminist claim that all men are potential rapists
is more complicated than pointing at a man and saying "You would rape me."