Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

Rape 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 rapist.  In the second, both in the comments and the post, I said I really struggle with the idea that no woman could be held even a little bit responsible.  Primarily this was because of my close relationship with a rape victim.  It seemed to me that if I said that a woman who was getting drunk and frisky with total strangers had the same total lack of fault as child who was raped (my friend) then I was somehow cheapening the horror and misery that latter felt.

While I rationally accepted the obvious truth that rape is cause by the addition of a rapist (something that did not seem so obvious to me a few years ago), I found this statement emotionally disturbing, and I wasn’t sure why.  So, post three was an attempt to explore my feelings about it.  I found two reasons to be disturbed.  The first was I had a lot of hate toward women when I was young man.  Though I never acted on these feelings, to accept that rape is just as evil towards a drunken, promiscuously dressed woman as it is towards a child, meant I had to look at my feelings in high school and college about my peers, not as the reasonable thoughts of frustrated young man, but as something profoundly unhealthy.

The other reason was the safety and security of my daughter.  Obviously, I had some unhealthy views about sex, love, and sexual roles.  I picked these views up in the malaise of church, camp, campus, books, and “positive Christian radio”.  I want my daughter to grew up healthy, strong, and, above all, free.  I want her to love freedom.  Free speech, free press, free trade, freedom of religion.  These are the things I believe in.  They bring me joy, and if I can only communicate one thing to her in my life it would be “Freedom is worth fighting for.”  Yet, having been the first trusted male for several rape victims.  I have heard about rape to a detail I could have never imagined, and I am terrified of teaching my daughter to believe something that could hurt her the way some of my beliefs hurt me.

So I arrive at my answer:  Rape victims are to blame for rape in exactly the way that soldiers are responsible for their injuries.  Right now my good friend Paul is “down range”.  He volunteered to join the Air Force.  He volunteered to go on the very dangerous mission he is on.  No one forced him to join.  No one forced him to go on this mission.  If he gets shot, it will happen at the end of chain of decisions for which there can be no one to blame but him.  Yet, if he gets shot my thought will not be “Well,  he was asking for it.”  Or, “Well of course, he got shot, wearing a US uniform in a place like that.”  Or “Well, a nice guy would not have been in that village with an M4 in the first place.”

It all boils down to reasonable expectation.  You see, I joined for a lot of reasons.  I was broke, I was tired of fighting the bad guys and never winning (we belonged to an inner city church). I was facing my fears.  There were a hundred reasons I joined, but in the end I joined to fight this misguided war on terror for one reason: So my daughter wouldn’t have too.  I made a decision about “reasonable expectation”.

The US has a reasonable expectation of acts of terror.  They are people out there who hate us. Regardless of whether their motivation has merit, their methods are horrific.  I volunteered for the Air Force during a war, a war that will never truly end.  I volunteered to endanger my life for an ideal, the ideal that terror should never be a reasonable expectation.

We fight for rights by using them.  We fight for freedom of speech by speaking freely.  The day we say “I’m not going to say that, I’m afraid of what the government might do” we have lost our free speech, regardless of what a old piece of parchment under glass in Washington says.  Couldn’t we blame Martin Luther King  for his assassination?  He could have stayed at home.  He could have stayed quiet.  But instead he fought for his right to free speech by speaking up.  He fought for his right to peacefully assemble by peacefully assembling.  He got shot because he stood up and said “Hate is not a reasonable exception.”

Rape is not a reasonable expectation.  No matter what the statistics say, no matter how many lives are destroyed, no matter what, it is never a reasonable expectation.  We fight for the right of people to dress how they like, speak how they like, and act how they like without fear acts of hate by dressing how we like, speaking how we like and acting how we like regardless of the consequences.

I joined the Air Force because I believed that planes full of innocents crashing into buildings was not a reasonable expectation.  This life style choice is a risk, but I believe in this ideal so much, I will risk my life for it.  For the belief that rape is not a reasonable expectation I will believe things that put my daughter at risk, because I would rather have her live a life of danger and freedom than cower in fearful security.

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March 21, 2009 - Posted by | atheism, Christianity, Politics, Religion, Self discovery, skepticism, Slice of life, Uncategorized | , , , , ,

5 Comments »

  1. Wow! This is powerful. I’ve never thought about this way before. It’s definitely worth pondering.

    Thanks for writing about this. I know it’s a difficult subject to write and read about, but I think it’s one that needs to be addressed.

    Comment by Lottie | March 21, 2009 | Reply

  2. Thanks Lottie. As I read through it I see some points that people with a deist world view might pick up and argue with. We’ll see what I get.

    Comment by truthwalker | March 21, 2009 | Reply

  3. This probably better directly addresses the point I was making:

    http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2006/10/is-protection-from-threats-highest.html

    Comment by thinkahol | July 20, 2009 | Reply

  4. Well, thank you for reading, and I can see what you are saying with the metaphor, but perhaps you misunderstand what I am saying. I refer here not to the effectiveness of my volunteering, but the spirit in which I undertook it. In essence what links you have sent me say “The US government lies, has poor or evil foreign policy, and uses it’s military for short term profit.”

    Well, of course. No sane person would argue that. The case you need to prove is not that the US government does evil. All large organizations do evil. The case you need to prove is the US governmental system does more evil than other available alternative systems, when given the same resources.

    Certainly, the US government causes harm. That fact alone is meaningless. You need to prove the US government does more harm per person, or per dollar than other governments.

    Comment by truthwalker | July 20, 2009 | Reply


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