Response – Jay: The Armchair Rapist

The piece we read for class about Jay was quite shocking. To know someone can think these types of things on a daily basis is a bit frightening. It is easy to see from this interview how some type of psychopathology might be affecting Jay’s mind. He could have a personality disorder of some kind or it’s also possible he experienced some type of trauma that has caused him to resent women so much.

One way Jay’s thoughts could be explained is through socialization, which is a part of feminist social theory. In our society, boys are raised to be strong, tough and also to be assertive. Males are supposed to chase after women and if they cannot do this well they may be seen as inferior. Jay has likely been denied by women he pursued in the past and this could be contributing to the aggression he feels towards women.

Another possibility is that Jay is part of a male dominated peer group that devalues women. It is possible they use language that makes it okay to talk about raping women like Jay does. Using specific language that justifies rape and supports violent behavior may be a part of his peer group. This type of language is one way the dehumanization of women occurs; once a person is dehumanized, it is much easier to assault them in some way. I speculated like this because Jay thinks in a way that is common in male dominated peer groups. He seems to believe it is okay to think in this warped way and it is easier to understand this type of thinking if it is looked at through an understanding of male peer groups.

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