I just saw a 'Real Men don't X' thing on Tumblr which got me thinking again about these campaigns.
I hate this 'Real Men' meme. Apparently real men don't do all kinds of asshole shit, which makes me wonder about these....half men? fake men?....running around fucking everything up for the rest of us, real men and women alike.
A particular favourite spotted on a bumper sticker a few weeks ago: Real Men Love Jesus.
Clearly, these real men aren't just defined by what they DON'T do, they also love jesus, and probably treat real women like gold. UGH.
I know I'm a complete pedant but it seems like this stuff just reinforces the same gender stereotypes in a way. I guess the assumption is that rapists will get so angry at not being perceived as 'real men' that they'll just stop raping? That would be nice.
I presume the point is that men are making an effort to socialize other men into acceptable behaviour which doesn't include rape. Not that rape is sissy or ungentlemanly in some way. I think this effort is laudable, but the language bothers me in that it's prescriptive about what "men" do or don't do. So the issue isn't that rape is a crime, or that rape affects huge numbers of women (and men); it's also the issue that according to the campaign, these behaviours don't transgress a code of decency or of lawfulness, they transgress a code of manliness.
It just seems evasive of the crucial core reasons of why rape (buying girls, whatever) is wrong. It's not wrong because it's not manly.
On the upside, at least this is one campaign that has nothing to do with women's conduct, behaviour or chosen attire (SlutWalk).