If Only We Could Talk About Abusing Women Like We Do Abusing Cats | The Raw Story
I’m hoping many of you saw this story about Wendell Overton, a 10-year-old boy who came across a group of boys, ages 5-13, torturing a cat to death and who saved the cat. Because of Wendell’s intervention, Jackson the cat will make a full recovery from being thrown in the air and even run over with a bicycle.
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Missing from the discussion: Wondering if the cat was asking for it by being so cute and easy to torture. Blaming male hormones or implying that because it’s so sexually gratifying to torture a cat, some boys can’t help themselves. Making excuses for the cat torturers by saying that they don’t understand the difference between playing with a cat who wants to play with you and torturing it. Claiming that while cat torture is bad, we shouldn’t be too eager to punish the cat torturers.
A lot of people in comments said that we should teach boys not to torture cats, specifically noting cultural changes that could be instituted to prevent cat torture. These people were not subjected to an angry flame war where they were accused of being stupid, called by misogynist or racist names, or told that they should be tortured themselves until they understood that the only way to stop cat torture is for cats to defend themselves. It was understood that cats do try to defend themselves, but unfortunately, self-defense is sometimes not enough to prevent cat torture. It was accepted that cat torture is a crime that is cultural in origin, and that by changing the culture, we can prevent it.
I’m guessing you can see where I’m going with this. To be blunt, men who rape women do so for the same reason that boys who torture cats do so: Because they’ve been raised to believe that dominating others makes you a big, tough man, and they take pleasure in exerting power over this being they’ve been taught is beneath them. Most boys don’t torture animals, but we aren’t confused about those who do. Even if they do find some kind of visceral satisfaction from it, we don’t think they’re confused and simply think they’re, say, preparing a meal. When boys torture animals in groups, we know that there was probably a ringleader who used pressure to “be a man” to get the other boys to go along with it. We also know some boys torture animals in secret, taking pleasure in the conquest of these animals. If you understand why boys torture animals, you understand why teenage boys and men rape. The same codes of masculinity and sadism are underlying the behavior, and I’m guessing the overlap between the two behaviors is really high, with a lot of youthful animal torturers growing up to become sexual predators who get a thrill out of conquering women, especially considering how much more cunning you need to dominate and control a woman than an animal.
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