mal’s Weblog

{March 8, 2013}   the rape philosophy

helplessness = power over other

helplessness = power over other

This post stirred many a thoughts once I happened upon this piece. I would like to disclaim here that there is a lot more that can be further elaborated upon, and that toward the end I might sound like preaching (especially from an Islamic point of view), but 1. had I been preaching like a holier than thou saint I would not sometimes be found clad in tomboy clothes or I would be a regular head scarf-er etc; 2. I am merely putting down my thoughts as my mind untangles those threads and answers questions in light of my life and my study of life so far, even if it sounds like a conclusion, which it is in a way. I would also like to disclaim here that I do not expect everyone to spring into some realization and agree with me and my conclusion and adopt it.

There is A LOT to be said and understood about how sexual violence works. But in light of the above special-focus topic of ..I will limit this post of mine to a single aspect of sexual violence: rape.

It is men who have given rise to rape, and women are not to be blamed. And I say this because a soldier who rapes a woman victim of war is doing so mostly out of spite for the men she ‘belongs’ to, or, for those of you who won’t agree to the word ‘belongs’, ‘is associated with’. The simple proof of this is that you don’t see men raping their own nationality’s women during war. Another simple proof is that a lot of soldiers have this option and yet exercise their restraint and refrain from raping war victims.

While there are at least a couple more reasons as to why men rape, the same philosophy applies in rape outside of war. A man rapes a woman either because he’s just that horny and he doesn’t believe in proper courtship or marriage or a decent way to obtain sexual satisfaction with another human being and thus violates someone else’s rights because he does not believe in the relationship/connection aspect of sexual partnership and/or does not want to put in that much effort; or he simply enjoys the extra thrill of being the reason someone else is helpless; or he rapes a woman out of spite for the men she is associated with….which again translates to this guy enjoying how he is in power over someone else and how the other is helpless (all the more enjoyable if he gets away with it or is free again after penalty).
In the later case, the men this rape victim woman is related to or associated with, are the object of this rapist’s jealousy or insecurity of some sort – perhaps he is insecure that another man has such a perfect girlfriend or wife (in terms of physical and/or personality of a woman); perhaps he is jealous of the father of the rape victim for his monetary success. Out of insecurity, he tries to harm the other man in some way, and what better way to harm someone than by sexually violating his beloved (mother, daughter, wife/girlfriend). One can also harm-out-of-spite/revenge a man one considers successful or indebted to oneself in anyway, by means of kidnapping a son of the object-man of his jealousy/spite, and that should cause the other person just as much trauma. But it is men who have allowed themselves to feel twice, thrice the trauma, guilt and pain at a woman of theirs being raped by someone else. Because rape by definition is forced sex, and even the most agile karate fighters of women are bound to succumb to consistent and/or group attack, and this failure to protect their women, or their women’s failure to protect themselves, no matter how hard everyone tries, makes it even more precious to break into. Which makes sense. But what one could do is teach the women associated with one not to feel the shame they do upon being a victim of violence of sexual rights. Perhaps that is how men who would generally do not force themselves on women might think it is their right (or the most painful way to hurt the enemy – salt on injury) to harm another man’s woman / another nation’s women.

[Of course, there are other things to be done too, such as teaching women not to consider sex as the sole and/or most important way to a man’s heart and/or life, or to teach men not to use the trap of love to obtain sex, or to teach everyone how not to treat ANY PERSON (man OR woman), as a *’thing’ that is *’possess-able’. Like I said, there is A LOT more to be understood about how humans perceive sexual relationships and violence of sexual rights.]

And/But it is here where the link to women dressing scantily comes in. Men blame women who allow their skin or body shape to be deciphered (not necessarily because they want to, but perhaps because they feel comfortable like it, or perhaps because they did not consider it would be much of an issue), are actually, simply put, just allowing a glimpse of themselves to men, who then consciously or subconsciously analyze ‘what’* another man has.

Wouldn’t you cover yourself up if you were uncomfortable around someone? Do you wear your pyjamas in front of everyone ‘just because you are comfortable in them’? In a sense, that oft frowned upon rhetoric, “If you leave a sweet unwrapped, flies are bound to hover around it,” begins to make logical sense to me – because man is an animal, men more so than women when it comes to lack of the ability of self-control. I too used to frown at it, because it did not make sense to me until just now, and anyone who quote-slapped this in the faces of their more-sinful-than-them company/audience/object-of-shaming-for-the-sake-of-shaming had no more explanation or tolerance/patience to offer. But rather than taking offense to this or taking it personally, smart women should realize that men have more to be offended by this because they’re the ones being associated with disgusting insects, while the women are being associated with candy that is desired. And frankly, which would you rather choose to be anyway? [Yes there are those attracted to wrapped candy too, but wrapped candy can’t be harmed, at least not as easily; and if those who win candy over by way of deserving or permission (marriage for instance) and then abuse/harm it etc, are only fools who are accumulating wrath on themselves whether they realize it or not].

Putting it another way, just because you can do something, does not mean you should, or that it is not stupid to do so. Having the right to dress as you please, and having the sense to dress as you need, are two different things. And perhaps the mistake of our society, for one, is that they don’t know how to impart this teaching w/o sounding condescending or without offering the patience required with those who are no better equipped to understand. The Quranic verse which goes something like, ‘And there are indications for the smart ones,’ thus begins to make sense. [Here I would like to mention that I have been planning to pen down a few thoughts about religion too, for 3 days now, but have been too tired to, but now shall do so very soon, perhaps because a sort of stage has been set in this spur-of-the-moment post].

I was once having a discussion with a couple of my friends, and at some point, one of them said, “These things (coincidentally the topic at hand was again sexual wrong doings) happen everywhere, everyone indulges in them or makes use of this ‘tool’, but people who do it behind closed doors (such as business people) are safer than those who are closer to the public eye (such as media people) to attack.”

And that makes absolute sense. If human mind was not so easily lure-able, man would not have needed two things: clothes, and silence.
Just like you don’t say everything in front of everyone, it is also not wise to wear/bare everything in front of everyone. And that is one step closer to preventing oneself and those associated with oneself from the agony of violation of a human interaction that goes beyond physical interaction & exchange – sexual intercourse in all its glory is (at least devised by The Creator as and meant to be) the deepest and strongest of connections, being physical, chemical, emotional, and spiritual all at the same time (and I’m sure there could be even more dimensions to it, who am I, a mere human to make sense of it beyond that which I have been blessed with). And violating something that precious gives one the (false/temporary) sense of power over another such that it is an attack of the highest level in the hierarchy.

Maybe I’ve put my finger on one wrong reason when I try to analyze why men put so much importance on ‘their women’ and how it enrages them if their own women get raped (as a war crime or otherwise). Maybe this reason is not wrong. But whether it is men who are responsible for how this started & has continued even to this ‘modern’ age or not, there is a lot that a man can do to enable ‘his women’ to protect themselves, there is a lot that a man can do to dissociate a large chunk of his peace of mind with ‘the honor of his women’, and there is a lot that a woman can do to prevent herself from being victimized in a way that enrages ‘her men’ too.

what say you?

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