Is That A Gun in Your Pocket – A Little Look At Rape February 21, 2015Posted by voolavex in Social Issues.
Tags: rape, sex
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Social media has put rape on people’s minds. For which women and girls, for the most part should be very grateful. No, that isn’t right. No woman should be grateful about any kind of rape – it is a nasty word; long whispered – that is now in capital letters. It was never discussed in the presence of children when I was one. It was shameful and ugly and dirty but it was always the woman who had done something, anything , to make it happen. Consequently raped women were soiled, whores, sluts, dishonored, used, unmarriageable (horrors), no better than prostitutes, unclean and a laundry list of other denigration that drove these women and girls to hide in shame and in many cases, commit suicide. Enslaved women were beaten and raped. Sex trafficking is part of a very old profession. Most went unreported, children of rape were pariahs and rapists – well -they just couldn’t help themselves. Oh sure they were animals and monsters but it was women who made this behavior occur and therefore, men were worse victims of this invasion of body and soul than the cheap women who deserved what they got. Let me tell you , it is going to take more than social media, DNA and rape kits to make it stop.
Here’s the disclaimer: I like men. I am married to a male – and not the first; I have a male child and a father whom I adored. This is the best part in some ways because I have loved and been loved by men that left me sad when they were gone, happy when they weren’t and angry when they took what I had not given freely. But it makes me a sort of expert. Women surrender themselves in the back seats of cars, the picnic blanket, the football stadium after dark, in their own rooms when no one else is home and it is often forcible surrender. And I suppose the crux of the matter is that last phrase. But for me the issue almost always excludes the one thing that no one seems to address (and it may be not be addressable – [I suspect it is]); the nature of the men who rape; the date rapist, the frat boy, the boss, the lover (yes, the lover), the relative, the stranger, the man is very much a product of nature not nurture. The gun has been in his pocket all his life and this gun has always had a mind of its own. Not every man is a rapist – not every man has this drive in his heart or soul or mind; but every man has the weapon and instructions come with it. And it’s okay because to them; just as women “get themselves pregnant”, they also “get themselves raped”.
Cultural differences are usually not included in the war on rape. We would like it all to be the same and in the end it is all the same, but it is not seen or done the same way. Raped is raped; but customs – whether they are good or bad are part and parcel of the crime. Questions of whether any woman has essential equal rights to the sovereignty of her being form part of the basis of how the act is regarded. If you come far enough to those endless local and federal government and legal debates, in this country alone, you will see that the very Solons and lawmakers, in their suits and ties, who run the show, regard rape in as many ways as there are ways to think about it. And apparently men think about it a lot. The lure of a woman’s body appears to be unmanageable for a large number of men and judging by the thousands of reasons they concoct to excuse what they did, thought, wanted, were entitled to have; they are not entirely comfortable with any of it or some don’t even believe it was actually wrong Whatever emotions or appeal men have for women – ours seems less fraught with confusion and much more emotional.
There is the age old (and I mean eons old) fact of “pillage and rape”. After the angry hordes have decimated their adversary – almost as an afterthought or a reward for the pillaging, they rape. And you might imagine they would be exhausted after the destruction and murder and mob violence – it seems logical – but adrenalin and testosterone and sexual assault are not the things of logic and victims (male and female) get raped. In some ways ending war is the twin brother of ending rape. Or not; having endured marital rape and date rape and having said “no” and meant it, to no avail; I suspect that freedom from rape is just as much an imaginary construct as peace on earth. Sad, but this is what I think.
Now you may be thinking. Eee-oo, what a nasty look at some of the rape issue – but this is how I see it now. But more than these self-evident truths is a larger and much more pressing question. How does the world in this century undo eons of thoughts, attitudes and the act itself. Talk is so cheap and support groups are so superficial and the courts are so backlogged with cases in this country alone, it defies the issue and that is just one part of it – but look at recorded history. Rape has been for many men – an entitlement and for many more – an expected part of war. And I suspect in many, many cases it is almost a reflex. Yes, that’s what I think. After all – sex is a very basic act and one can argue about whether rape is a crime of a sexual nature or of power – but does that really matter if you have been raped? I think it is a tiresome debate because I think it is both and we waste too much time debating which one it is.
A recent article in the NY Times Sunday edition of January 25, 2015, entitled “Searching for Sex” by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz includes a survey. “Of the top ten questions about “my penis” nine involve size” Average monthly searches (derived from anonymous and aggregate web activity) are telling and size is a source of insecurity if the numbers are even close.. Just as it is good to be king, it appears good to have big dick. Touching briefly on the male Gay community; it is also an issue there and a peek at “Grindr” is informative and a little scary. I will let you decide on your own.
Answers? I am not convinced there are any. Rape is not new. It is being dealt with at this point as if it is – but that is a Sisyphean position. Zero tolerance on campuses, asking permission for hot sex that is consensual is absurd. Yes. These are both very PC but very unproductive and not practical. Alcohol fuels sex and as a woman I can attest to that. Do men take advantage of this? Yup. Do they memorialize it on smart phones and social media? Yup. Do they brag? Certainly. And do they expect a pass when it is reported? Yup. They have always gotten a pass (and by always I mean historically) – this has been a part of having a penis and may be a serious reason why men believe they are in charge and control. To some degree they are. I don’t understand gang-rape well; the same men who insist on female purity accept sloppy seconds + when presented with the chance. But shame? Not much.
Can you teach a male to not rape. Some men simply never will. It will be abhorrent to them. But just as some people will never use a gun even if they have one, the inherent problem in the case of sexual force, abuse or rape, is that the means are stuck on the front of men’s bodies. And this organ responds without permission. Women who are skin and bones get raped, women who are very overweight get raped, nuns get raped, pregnant women get raped, mothers with children in tow get raped, disfigured women get raped, disabled women get raped, mothers and grandmas get raped, children get raped. They are beaten, subdued, unconscious, in burkas and “modest” apparel. They are raped by one; they are raped by gangs and they are raped by turns. This has always been part of human history and in last few years of the 20th century and in the 21st we have decided to fight a war which is so entrenched and so widespread it makes me despair. And in the end we tend to ignore a simple truth that confounds us. Boiled down to the its essence; since the basic tool for the rape is attached to the rapist, the rape is on the rapist. It is on their person. It is part of them. And that is the entire source of the problem. Until men do not see rape as a viable or opportune act – there will always be rape and the raped will continue to bear the shame and the blame.