We have some tips for you.
There are a couple of things you should try to avoid….
Don’t engage in rape denial, rape erasure and rape apology – Don’t try to insist that the overwhelming majority of rapists are male, so as to cover up female rapists; don’t deny that women are socially enabled to apply much greater sexual coercion – gay-shaming, claiming if the guy doesn’t want it he’s insulting them or hates women – to men than men can on women; don’t deny that male rape victims get ignored, erased and that their rapes are often dismissed by law enforcement.
And when it comes to the matter of consent, please, please don’t make the mistake of indulging in dehumanizing, sexist stereotypes that claim that men are all sexual animals who want sex all the time 24/7, so that a woman can just have sex with a man anytime she feels like it, because he’s in some kind of permanent state of consent. And please don’t indulge in the peasant ignorance of basic biology that claims that an erection equals consent. Because either of those will just make you look like stupid and hateful and not really worth discussing this with.
Feminists have done such good work getting everyone to see that non-consensual sex is rape; please don’t go and shit on all of that.
Don’t try to say that female-on-male rape is so rare as to be insignificant, that it is such an anomaly that it really doesn’t merit much attention, or worse yet, that talking about female-on-male rape is just a ploy to divert attention from women who are raped, “the real victims of rape”. Instances of female-on-male rape and sexual aggression are in no way anomalous.
Don’t try to claim that men categorically cannot be raped because rape is a crime of power and men have all the power. That will just makes you look ridiculous to anyone who has lived as a man for more than a week.
And don’t try to claim that being made to penetrate is somehow any less of a rape than being penetrated. That’s just noxious sexist bigotry, and it’s probably not a comparison you’re in any position to make anyway. Also please don’t try to claim that very influential people have insisted on this very distinction and succeeded in getting it recognized as authoritative.
Don’t try to insist that rape is socially condoned and ignored – Don’t claim there is a “rape culture” in a society where rape is punished almost as severely as murder, where accused rapists are denied specific Constitutional guarantees, and where there is a bloody history of rape accusations being used in the service of racist terrorism and oppression, resting on a cultural valuation of women’s bodies as sacrosanct, because it puts you in nasty, nasty, nasty company and can even suggest you may be a nasty, nasty, nasty fellow traveler.
Don’t try to deny that false rape accusations are a real problem – Don’t advocate for policies at schools that enable anonymous accusations without any provision for verification, don’t deny that people accuse other people of rape for all kinds of spurious reasons for completely self-serving ends, or that they can and quite have had quite deadly consequences. So please don’t try to claim that a false rape accusation is somehow less serious than an actual rape. And when people advocate for reasonable penalties for false rape accusers, don’t come up with every squirmy prevarication and distortion you can to argue against that.
Don’t try to insist that when a woman rapes a boy it is somehow not as harmful to him as when a man rapes a girl. I hope this doesn’t require any explanation, but that’s just a disgusting thing to even say.
And last and most important:
Don’t try to monopolize the discussion – Don’t assume rape is a feminist issue or that the issue belongs to feminists, or to women, and that you as a feminst have some special insight into the problem that others don’t, because that just shows very clearly how little insight into the problem you do have.
This is really simple – simple gender equality – just make an effort to regard and assess female and male victims and perpetrators the same way, by the same standards, without special exemptions and excuses for rape. It is simple but very difficult, because it will mean jettisoning everything traditional society has taught you about gender relations and rape. And don’t be surprised to find a lot of those traditionalist assumptions embedded even in your feminism.
We can finally start to have some productive discussion about rape, but it is going to take some work. Some of us really have some trash to take out before that discussion can get under way.