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Thoughts about rape [Jan. 19th, 2007|10:21 am]
John
I'm putting this behind a cut tag, but I think it's relatively safe and non-triggering.


Yesterday, I saw a horribly scary thing said about rape. It was here. It suggested that we could use bullying as a metaphor for rape. People understand bullying more than they do rape, after all.

What's horrifying and scary about this? It fits. It fits so incredibly fucking *perfectly* that I feel like, have I and the rest of the world been blind?

Are there studies looking into the linkage?

I mean, aren't most rapes easily defined as sexual bullying? And isn't bullying fun for some people? And isn't it too goddamned accepted in our society?

And it makes me wonder if the angst over "you're making it sound like a guy who just wants to get laid, and is being a bit aggressive in his approach, is a rapist!" can be boiled down to "but if you aren't (willing to be) a bully, you'll stop far short of rape."

I mean... gods. Look, I grew up getting busted on a lot, but I learned to give and take; I learned that sometimes, folks like to cut up each other, but it's all in fun. And it's a common enough activity that people have learned when they've accidentally crossed the line, and back off (and often, in private, apologize - they don't feel comfortable doing it right away, because it would spoil the game). But everyone (I hope) understands that there's some folks who look for the nasty insult, the folks who *want* to draw blood, and don't like those people, and recognize them as bullies.

So it's not like people don't often have risky interpersonal activities where they have to be sensitive to the reactions they've caused. And it's not like it's *hard* to avoid hurting someone with your sexual overtures.

I think that difference - the rapist wasn't just making a move, he was being a bully - is one that's accessible and maybe really, really strong.
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Comments:
From: penitence69
2007-01-19 10:29 pm (UTC)

interesting

what am i missing? i mean, i've had ideas about this stuff for two decades. but i think bullying is the point; rape (real rape, not role-playing) is about control and violence and humiliation. and yeah, a true rapist gets off on it because he's got someone he can abuse and control and sexually manipulate. so here's a question: can a husband rape a woman? i believe the answer is yes. i've heard it said "rape is defined by the word NO." so again i say it's possible.

i read nancy friday's book "women on top" and looked at the askmen.com website, and everything i have found suggests some women have rape fantasies, which makes me feel a shitload better. but the fantasies most often expressed are about having control taken away, which can alleviate some of the guilt women can feel about enjoying themselves, but i am willing to bet most fantasies are NOT about humiliation and pain and violence.

i'd love to role-play in the future with my hubby, when we iron out our wrinkles, but i'd much rather NOT get my face bloodied! see what i mean? power exchange is about pushing the limits, but with the ultimate understanding of the responsibility that power entails. if there's no integrity or sensitivity to other's feelings, which rapists lack by their very nature, then a good power exchange is a failure. in that instance, all you'd get is a mess and the "bullying" i think you're pointing to.

is that right? am i hearing you correctly?

i appreciate someone talking about this stuff, because it's so taboo. years and years ago, my mom said people have a tendency to go "gasp!" when they hear the word rape in the news, but said everyone then goes on to read about it or watch the news bit about it. morbid curiosity? i don't think so. i think there's a strange hope in some people that maybe the story could be sensual if the person wasn't hurt at all. oh look! not so much in the sensual department, since she got smacked around. icky. but we still click on the links when they appear.

or then again, maybe i'm a sick individual and i have read too much nancy friday! but i think the fight or flight response can be very powerful; i'd just rather NEVER actually experience it wherein complete fear for my person pervaded! right?

but i think i get what you're saying. and i have always taken it for granted that rape is perpetrated by the lowest form of human, who must have some sort of inferiority complex and a shitload of issues that totally correlate with a bully's personality. i believe the only difference is when people are role-playing or doing something consensual (sp?) and the "bully" is conscious of his or her actions and their effects and can keep total control over the entire situation. i don't think that's easy.

btw, don't unscreen this if i'm sounding like a nutcase!
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2007-01-26 06:39 pm (UTC)

Re: interesting

can a husband rape a woman? i believe the answer is yes. i've heard it said "rape is defined by the word NO." so again i say it's possible.

Of course. In fact, if you(generic) think a man can't rape his wife, you're thinking of rape as a crime of "OMG, SEX!" rather than a violation of consent.

Geez, "violation of consent" (to a non-BDSMer) can sound so mild, but it's hurtful and humiliating to do anything you don't want to do. Did you ever have to finish your vegetables under threat of Dire Consequences from your parents if you didn't? I bet it sucked; I know it did for me.

Fantasies... fantasies are a different issue. They're based on the idea that, okay, if things go south you can say "whoa, hold on, stop!" Folks can fantasize about roughness, about wildness, about a (seeming) lack of control... but, generally, no one actually fantasizes about being bullied.

but i think i get what you're saying. and i have always taken it for granted that rape is perpetrated by the lowest form of human, who must have some sort of inferiority complex and a shitload of issues that totally correlate with a bully's personality

Nod. I don't think that rapists are "the lowest form of humans", in the sense that they are unusually monstrous. I think it's the bullying urge or bullying willingness that leads to rape.

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