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Violence

I am a teenage male who is frankly rather scared of his attitude toward women. Understand that normally I tend to be rather liberal and progressive (Pro-choice, ETC) however I have certain compulsions that frankly scare the hell out of me. I have recurrent fantasies of raping women and enjoy the idea of dominating them. I also enjoy media depicting the rape, humiliation torture and murder of women. I've even experienced a time when I was extremely tempted to rape a woman I passed on the street late at night. I'm frightened that these compulsions are causing me to look down upon women, but I'm more frightened that I'll eventually snap and do something horrible.

Do you have any suggestions for someone like me? I don't want to rape anyone. I don't want to go to jail. I don't want to have to live knowing I ruined or ended a woman's life. Are there any support groups or resources for men like me? I'm terrified that if I admit this to anyone they'll lock me up and throw away the key, but I'm more terrified that I'm going to hurt someone. Maybe someone close to me. Isn't there anything I can do?

 

I am not entirely surprised by your feelings precisely because the culture seems to reinforce such behavior and in some instances even encourages it. And as hard as it is for some women to break free of a role that suggests that they be dominated, it's hard to men to step outside of a role that tells them to dominate. So it's not a surprise that you are thinking them, but I guess the more important question is how to not act upon them. And I think the best incentive might be....that you just don't and that's what distinguishes you from others. I know many men share your observations and desires, but what distinguishes them is that they know they would never act upon them and thus just because the image might be there doesn't mean you should make it a reality.

And I also think it's important to understand why you have such feelings — and certainly the cultures general attitude is to blame, but also I think you should delve back into your own experiences. Often men have these feelings or act on these feelings either because they themselves were abused and thus the power dynamic feels familiar to them or because they have insecure in other ways and thus have a desire to dominate. To help answer those questions you might consider talking to a therapist. And in general, just talking is often a good first step — sometimes just acknowledging it helps.

Amy