[tw: discussion of rape, child molesting] i wanted to reply to your post on the subject of child molesting and how it's not sexist to always refer to the molester as "he", and i wanted to disagree with you. even if it is only a small percentage of children that are molested by female people, or people of non-binary genders, it's important to use inclusive language and not erase those experiences. just because it's rare doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
Just because something is rare absolutely doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. You are absolutely correct. However, I stand by my thoughts that labeling something by what is clearly and undeniably the vast, vast majority is the right thing to do and is not sexist, especially considering the consequences of not doing so.
I’m sure many people have heard the argument “But women are rapists too!” and that “Men are victims too!” against most anti-rape and feminist stances, or even just against talk about rape itself because rapists are basically always listed as ‘he’. Yes, women can do these things, and yes women can and do rape and abuse. However its a tiny percentage. With the word ‘he’ and referencing to men is in the majority, the derailing misogynist arguments and ‘what about the men’ folk pop out, a lot. For me, almost every single time I discuss anything relating to rape on the internet ever. If this where to change to include women or trans* folk, I think it would seriousl;y bump up these misogynist, derailing bullshit.
If terminology used (gendered pronouns) where to include the tiny minority I certainly think that it would discount and deflect from the truth that rape and sexual violence ARE gendered, with men being the majority of perpetrators, causing more harm than good.
I think it’s most well put by Renee Koonin as written in the Australian Social Work journal, Volume 30:
“There are inherent risks involved in discussing child sexual abuse by female perpetrators. Acknowledging abuse by women may be used as all excuse to deny the gender bias in sexual abuse (Forbes 1992-93). Critics of the organisers of the National Conference on Female Sexual Abuse held in London in March 1992 were concerned that the debates would serve to turn the clock back to the time when professional literature on child sexual abuse looked only at individualistic and unthreatening theories of the causes of abuse. This psychiatric, psychological and family dysfunction literature either ignored the preponderance of male abusers, or sought to argue that the evidence was coincidental, inaccurate or incomplete. We are reminded that it was not until feminists forced the issue of male power into the analysis of child sexual abuse that the central significance of gender was gradually acknowledged (Kelly 1988-89).
Thus, there is concern that any attempt to remove the spotlight from male abuse serves the political ends of providing fodder for what ‘many policy makers, professionals, researchers and journalists urgently want to hear and believe’ (Nelson 1992), Critics view any emphasis on female abusers as part of the effort to revert to a gender-neutral theory and practice of child sexual abuse (Forbes 1992-93) and a clumsy effort to reemphasise mother blame and collusion. Media coverage of the London conference which referred to the so-called ‘discovery’ of sexual abuse by women as the ‘tip of the iceberg’ was extensive (Heath 1992., Laurance 1992; Marchant 1992:D Nelson 1992; Nelson and Oxford 1992: Sharpe 1992).
In this respect, fears that a broad discussion of sexual abuse by women will be used to deflect attention from the abuse of power by men are well-grounded.”