Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

Rape 1

rubens_rape1

I’ve wanted to write a post about rape for awhile now, but it’s a pretty hard topic to write about. I’ve never been raped though I have been sexually assaulted a few times. I want to write about it because I want some discussion on it from my readers. If you never comment on anything else, this is the blog. Unfortunately, I have my usual problem of with holisticness. I can’t talk about rape without talking about gender, sex, feminism, and society. This means a lot of variables which introduce a lot more chance for me to accidentally spew bullshit.

(The purpose of my blog is to purge myself of bullshit. I am out here, saying to the whole world, “Hey, call my bullshit.” So, readers, if I say some total crap, be gentle. I’m here to learn.) Now that that’s out of the way…

When I was in high school, it was incredibly important to me to develop my world view. I’m not sure if my experiences are unique to me, if all young Christian me, all young Christians, or all teens in general feel this pressure to have an opinion on everything. I think because of Christianity, I was in a group of people who believed that they had special revelation about how the world should work, the pre-packaged world view I and other de-cons have mentioned before. The church calls this having a ready answer. I also believe that the rationality that my father taught me as a method for interpreting scripture helped me to be a rational thinker. It was important to me to have an answer that was really defensible.

I believed that rape was a crime, a terrible one that should be punished with death, but only in the case of real rape. A wonderful American girl with good clean hobbies, perfect teeth and and well earned scholarship to a small, but challenging private college, is snatched out of parking garage and raped after a prolonged fight with her assailant.

But in the news a lot was something called date rape. A woman would dress like a prostitute, let a man get her drunk, take her home, get her naked, and then say no. Well, that wasn’t rape at all, she acted like she wanted sex, then got upset when she got what she had, through her actions, asked for all night. I wasn’t sure how this should be treated, but certainly it didn’t deserve the death penalty. This could not be what God intended when he said that a rapist should be killed. If fact, the Torah says that a woman who is raped where others can hear her, and doesn’t yell for help must herself be stoned. (Deuteronomy 22:24)

I remember the scuff about Clarence Thomas, and similar stories, and the consensus among my peers was that these girls hadn’t really been raped, because they were asking for what they got. I remember the humorous incredulity in regard to news story of prostitute who had been raped. You can’t rape a prostitute, we reasoned, you can only rob her by not paying her afterward.

So, now I am an atheist. One of the things I have done is try to examine the claims of people who’s view I rejected outright before. Some I have found that I still reject their ultimate thesis, Muslims, for instance. But feminists surprised me. I found that while I don’t agree with everything they say, I can test many of the basic theories of feminists with a skeptical eye and burden of evidence, and that these theories pass.

You might notice I said “girls” in reference to the alleged victims of rape. I know that they were over 18. Yet, they are called girl, for the same reason that a 50 year old black man is called boy. An unconscious display of power, a statement of the hierarchy, a re-establishment of pecking order. I know now that what this is, and I try to eliminate such patterns from my writing and speech. And the feminist taught me a lot about rape.

First, most rapes are not what I described above as “real” rape (though it too is real). That would more appropriately be called “Hollywood rape.” It’s quite rare. The place where most rape happens: a woman’s own bedroom. The person most commonly raping them? Someone they trust; how do you think they got in the bedroom? Now, I know some people will read this and think to themselves, oh well that’s not real rape.

Rape by someone they trust in their own bed? That can’t possibly be real rape because that wouldn’t happen to nice girls. Whether you realize it or not, if you are going to be really honest with yourself, if you think that sort of rape isn’t real, it is because you have decided that a girl in her bedroom with a man she trusts is already guilty of wanting sex, so she can’t be upset about the man giving it to her. I used to believe that, so it is with some authority that I say, how mind bogglingly stupid.

Imagine going to a hospital and saying you are interested in a vasectomy. You talk to the doc for about an hour, you take the brochure, and you get up to walk out. At the door, the doctor shoves a needle into your left buttock. You instantly don’t feel right, you turn around and fall. As the world goes black and you become increasing powerless you feel the doctor pulling your pants off. You wake up, and you have a vasectomy. You’re not going to sue are you? After all, you’d been asking for it for an hour.

Two women both go to Applebee’s. They both go with someone they trust and care about. They both dress quite revealingly for the pleasure of being seen. They both get quite tipsy. They both get taken home and carried to their bed by their date. One is raped. One is not. What’s the difference between the two situations? The addition of a fucking rapist.

It’s not the way they dressed. It’s not the way they talked. It’s not the drinks they had. The only thing that got one women raped, the only thing that made the situation something terrifying and twisted was the addition of rapist. The problem is not the victim, the problem is the rapist.

Not every man is a rapist, in fact most aren’t.  The problem is not the woman.  The problem is not men.  The problem is rapists.

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March 4, 2009 - Posted by | atheism, Christianity, Politics, Self discovery, skepticism, Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

17 Comments »

  1. As a woman, and someone who has been date raped, I think you’ve got it 100% right. Should I have screamed? It would’ve been nice. But I’ve found several times in my life that my psychological reaction to shock is a deer-in-the-headlights type reaction. It’s not conscious and seems to be uncontrollable. I would imagine this is true for many women who were taught to be “ladies” who never make a fuss.

    Once I was taking a shower at a campground. A boy snuck into the women’s bathroom, peered over the wall of the next stall and watched me for a few seconds before I noticed him. I didn’t scream then either. I couldn’t wrap my head around what had just happened, as it was something I would never even IMAGINE doing to someone else. It took me several minutes to digest that a boy had just seen me naked and then I screamed for help – but it was too late, as he had gone.

    Comment by Katy | March 4, 2009 | Reply

  2. I think you’re spot on here! I love the vasectomy analogy too. It’s perfect! I think I’m going to borrow that sometime.

    Very well stated, Truthwalker!

    Comment by Lottie | March 4, 2009 | Reply

  3. […] my earlier post about rape I mentioned the Christian/Conservative/patriarchal party line as my starting point, my beliefs in […]

    Pingback by Rape 2 « Ronin of the Spirt | March 5, 2009 | Reply

  4. […] 4 (The last one) This is my last post on this ghastly topic.  In the first, I said that I agreed with the feminist party line that rape is caused purely by the addition of a […]

    Pingback by Rape 4 (The last one) « Ronin of the Spirt | March 21, 2009 | Reply

  5. Really great post. I love the vasectomy analogy as well.

    In terms of my date rape experience, I was at a party and the guy I was dating at the time (who invited me) was ignoring me for some reason. I was upset so I drank a little more than I normally would and sat in a corner. A guy approached me and, after talking for a while, said that there was another party at his place…we went there with his friends and I thought, okay, these people are nice and this is a safe situation.

    I had made it clear to him (using words) that I didn’t want to kiss him, let alone have sex with him. He showed me his room and the next thing I remember is being naked underneath him on his floor. I started crying and asked him to pay for my cab fare home. It took me a long time to stop blaming myself for being a “slut” and to realize that I had been very clear that I did not want sex. He took advantage of me while I was passed out.

    I share this story because I think more people need to understand that date rape happens to anyone, when they least expect it. I’ve never blacked out drunk, and the one time I did…well, I wasn’t very lucky.

    Comment by Dollface | May 21, 2009 | Reply

    • @ Dollface, I hope you realize…Blah, blah, blah. The editor does not allow hate speech. If you want to say that rape is caused by those seductive, irresponsible woman and not by rapists start your own blog. I, (Truthwalker) am editing and posting your comment so that everyone can read that you hate women without having to read your bullshit.

      Comment by Sarah | November 16, 2009 | Reply

      • Damn, now I’m curious.

        Comment by amarisgrey | November 16, 2009

  6. I never know what to say when people are this candid on my website. Thank you for sharing this, and I’m sorry it happened. I don’t mean sorry in the fault sense, but just in expressing sorrow that you had to go through it.

    Comment by truthwalker | May 24, 2009 | Reply

  7. Rape is a tricky subject. More tricky when you are sure that you have been raped, but can’t remember. And even more tricky if you were only a child at the time, who knew something had happened even if you couldn’t list specifics and didn’t tell anyone until after your rapist (who was a family member) died. It’s a hard subject to build up to. You’re never sure how to tell people, never sure if people should know, or if they’ll think of you differently because of it. It’s a strange social situation to be in (and I say social situation because more than half of women who are raped, are raped by people they know, and often trust). The knowledge of it is like a cloud; something that’s always in the back of your mind and you can never fully forget it.

    …I don’t know… My thoughts are of often hard to express on this subject. I might write more when I can get my thoughts in a more coherent state…

    Comment by amarisgrey | June 2, 2009 | Reply

    • Oh, honey, I’m so sorry. You’ve mentioned this to me before and I am always at a loss to know what to say. To me one of the most frustrating things about rape is that punishment is meaningless. Even if we killed the rapists, or tortured them and then killed them…it can’t un-rape the victim. If you steal my car, you can buy me a new car. Burn down my house and you can get me a new one. But rape, there is no way to fix. It’s not something you get over, but rather something learn to function with the knowledge of.

      We really miss you btw. You are about the only thing in MS worth seeing again.

      Comment by truthwalker | June 2, 2009 | Reply

      • It’s alright, dear. Life goes on.

        I miss you guys too. Things are so crazy right now. I still don’t know if I’ll be approved for disability, even though I’ve been to see three doctors now because of it. The whole Richard thing probably would have been easier if I could go to your house and talk about it with you and Becky over tea. I hope I can see you guys again someday.

        On the plus, though, I’ve got orders to make a corset for two people, and am moving from elizabethan to victorian styles. Very proud of myself, I should say. Gosh, not being in a relationship gives a person a lot of free time…

        Comment by amarisgrey | June 2, 2009

  8. You are absolutely right in every respect, Amaris.

    Comment by Lottie | June 2, 2009 | Reply

  9. PS you right about it being someone the victim knows. I believe the most common is step father, followed by step brother, followed by male relative in immediate family. If you eliminate family rape would decline by about 60% in the US. Stranger rape is the statistically most unlikely to happen to any person HOWEVER….(oddly enough) 80% of stranger rape cases are purported by less than 4% of the rapists. You read that right. Getting 4% of the real bastards would reduce total rape crimes by about 33%.

    Comment by truthwalker | June 2, 2009 | Reply

  10. I have been trying to deal with the fact that I was forced in to sex by a stranger Oct 17, 2007. Less that 2 years ago. I still blame myself for this. I feel like I cheated on my husband. I still don’t know who the man is. This is the problem I am having. He told me to chose, He would “F” me with the knife or I could willingly “F” him. I was not to tell him no or stop. The knife was on the floor right beside my head the whole time, but I could not bring myself to grab it. I still don’t know if this was rape because I did consent. He was there for 2 and a half hours. Please, am I wrong. I just need outside views. My husband told me that I did not cheat, but he has not told me if he thinks it was rape.

    Comment by Anonymous | September 21, 2009 | Reply

    • Of course it wasn’t your fault. The choice he gave you was not a choice. It was basically “let me rape you or I’ll stab you to death.” That’s not a choice. You didn’t do anything wrong. He wants you to feel like it was your fault so you won’t press charges should they discover who he is. Don’t let the bastard win. You did not ask him to rape you. You did not ask him to hurt you. He told you to not fight back or say anything, otherwise he would kill you. That does NOT make it consent. He is a rapist. He raped you. He forcefully took something from you that was not his to take. He deserves every bad thing that’s coming to him. Don’t you EVER forget that.

      If you ever need support, from both a woman and a victim of sexual abuse, or just someone to talk to, don’t hesitate to message me. I’m always here.

      Comment by amarisgrey | September 21, 2009 | Reply

      • I have not told anyone what happened. My husband knows just what was posted up there. I did report it to the police but they are not investigating it any more. I got the rape kit done, and the police say that if they find him it will be my word against his. I only had two bruises on my legs and the cop said that with me consenting he could say it got rough. After he finished the first time he wanted to know where the bathroom was and i told him. He garbed me by my hair and pulled me to the bathroom and told me to get into the tub. I refused because I was scared he was going to kill me. He pushed me over the tub put the knife to my neck and told me not to scream as he anally raped me. I have never felt pain like that before.

        Comment by anonymous | September 21, 2009

  11. It was rape. Consent under threat of force is not consent. Ask yourself this. If your children, or your friend told you “Some one said they would mutilate me or rape me, and chose to be raped. Does that mean I consented?” You would say no. Hold yourself to the same standard.

    I’ve never been raped, but I know this: You need to talk to someone professionally if you haven’t yet. I can’t offer you any other advice then that. Yes, it was rape. You experienced something traumatic and horrible, and it wasn’t your fault. I’m so sorry.

    Comment by truthwalker | September 21, 2009 | Reply


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