This post consists of some background to my most recent survey on rape, which is still open to participants (click the button below):
The survey was designed to explore people’s understanding of and beliefs about rape. The content of the survey was drawn from collected data and research, a wide range of reported personal experiences, news stories, and myths and propaganda propagated through various entertainment outlets. If you plan to take the survey – and it would be immensely appreciated if you did – please click through before reading further. My personal views are not important to the survey, and I don’t wish them to colour participant responses.
After years of thinking and examination of the number one influence on and limitation to my existence as a girl first, and later, a woman, I have to conclude that any discussion or consideration of rape must begin with a discussion of language. Indeed, any thinking on hierarchy, power dynamics or control mechanisms (which is where rape finds its roots) must take into account the role of language.
Humans vs. All Other Creatures
In considering the differences between humans and other mammals or any creature for that matter, there are some significant differences that set us apart. And note that this is in no way a comment that humans are superior to animals, as I don’t believe that for a second. Each species has its strengths and weaknesses, which makes hierarchy-development a rather stupid and pointless endeavour. In considering humans, language and the capacity for deep and complex self-awareness set them apart from all other living things on earth. Other creatures may have systems of communication and a limited ability to reflect on simple behaviours, but none rivals human capacity. That is not a judgment, just a fact. Dolphins don’t conjugate verbs and chimpanzees don’t chronically and masochistically self-sabotage or even commit suicide over lack of purpose or meaning in life. Non-humans also don’t develop systems of ethics or morality – even misguided, faulty ones. These are uniquely human ‘achievements’ and are only three of many, many examples of the complexities of human language and self-awareness.
Humans are also the only species capable of malice. Now, note that I am not talking about survival instincts. Men and silly women who defend men often argue that male violence is just a reflection of the instinct to survive and is comparable to the killing that any other species does. This is classic male logic designed specifically to try to justify violent male behaviour. Some of my Chinese male university students will state without blinking that we ‘live in a jungle’. Now, I do believe that males are naturally violent. They are wired for it. But as I’ve written before, as humans, we also have self-awareness, and it is this unique and incredible ability that allows humans to override violent impulses. But, as humans are also uniquely malicious creatures, instinct and deliberate cruelty frequently play off each other. No creature other than the human (male) kills for pleasure. And no creature other than the human (male) tortures other living things. There is no evolutionary or ‘survival’ purpose for killing for pleasure or for torturing. I’ve met a lot of men who try to argue with seriously twisted logic that there is a need for these things. This is when I back away, and wish I had a weapon at the ready in order to do like all other creatures do out of instinct – remove a dangerous threat to one’s survival. But, alas, human females are the only creatures on earth who are NOT allowed to defend themselves.
And this is where language enters the scene.
The Role of Language in Power, Control and Hierarchy
The pen is mightier than the sword.
Language is one of human’s oldest tools. Like all tools, it can be a beautiful mechanism or system used to do wonderful things and inspire the best in all of us. But like all tools, it can also be used to destroy everything in its path. In the hands of men, language is frequently used to express male ‘love’ and ‘creativity’, which as most women eventually come to find out, are dangerous things and not at all what female love and creativity are.
As human males have come to realize, weapons alone will not get you sustainable power. Sure, you can overwhelm a perceived enemy, but it is really difficult to maintain that victory for any period of time without a much more powerful weapon. That weapon is language. Language is, in fact, a much more powerful weapon than any ‘sword’. But they work together. Just as it is hard to sustain control with only swords, it is also difficult to gain and keep power with only words. We’ve all heard that common description of successful evil dynamic duos: ‘You have the brawn and I have the brains’ (cue the Pet Shop Boys here…). Well, that is an apt description of the sword and the pen. Employ the brute force, overwhelm the enemy, enact the mindfuckery of the brutalized population that only language can achieve (e.g., “War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.”), and then all future brutality just becomes an accepted part of the system. Those few who see beyond the language mechanisms and refuse to believe have no leg to stand on, and find themselves very much alone and often questioning their own sanity.
Whoever Controls Language Controls the World
As a tool and building block of control and power, it is safe to say that if you aspire to megalomaniac status, you need to master language. I don’t mean that you should learn to speak several languages. I mean you need to learn how to use language to manipulate people and situations, and to obscure facts. You need to weaponize language. You need to see where language has its greatest influence. My Oppressor Triangle discusses a few major centres of influence, but there are other arenas. Language has had its greatest influence in the areas of politics, law, economics, academia, and the health care system (industry). These areas don’t function separately. There is much overlap. The language enacted in the political sphere can and does affect all other spheres of power, for example.
The question becomes: who controls language? And the answer is: men. Men have always controlled language. And they control it as much today as they have in the past. It’s not a race thing, as much as some people might wish it to be so. It is a MALE thing. If you are a big picture thinker, if you think internationally across time and place – and really, you have to be if you are ever to hope of ending oppression – you have to accept the truth that males control language, and as a result, they control everything. If you get bogged down on other group affiliations, you’ll change nothing. Only the truth can set you (and everyone else) free.
How do we know that males control language, and as a result, the world? It’s pretty easy. You have to take an overarching look at lifestyle and living conditions and determine who overwhelmingly benefits and who overwhelmingly is denied choices and freedoms. Look at any country. It is the same no matter which country you look at and no matter which race is being considered. Who is the poorest group? Females. Look at any field of research: who is studied meticulously and who benefits from the research? Males. Look at entertainment in any country. Who makes the most money, and who is hired based on talent rather than physical attributes? Males. Who is human trafficked most often? Females? Whose social justice complaints actually make progress? Males of all races and orientations. Who receives the poorest health care, and the most needless and harmful surgeries? Females. Who has been hurt most by the field of psychiatry? Females. Whose bodies and decisions about bodies are controlled by the state and institutions like religion and marriage? Females. Who is barred from politics, employment, education, and safety on a regular basis? Females.
And more. So much more.
There are data to back up each of these. Easy to find. Google, government web sites, academic journals. I’m not doing that here. This is not an academic journal article. And it is tedious to state and restate everything that has been said by women a million times before. What I find important here is the theory that it is language and the control of language that facilitates control on every other level.
Language and Rape
Men have been raping, torturing and killing women since they realized they could. It has nothing to do with evolution or survival. Any man who tells you that it does is dangerous and you should get away from him before he hurts you.
Male control of language has had its greatest impact on the one thing that has allowed them to maintain control over women. Rape. Without rape, men don’t have a hold over women. Control the language surrounding rape, and you control the crime itself – or whether it is even considered a crime, or who can commit it, or who is responsible, or who can be raped. We know that women have no power, and certainly have no control over language, because rape is so rampant and that they are on the receiving end with little ability to avoid it or seek justice for it.
It is only relatively recently that rape was even considered a crime, and only extremely recently that rape was considered to be a form of torture. In Western cultures, the rape of a women was considered to be a crime against the man who owned her. And it could only be committed by a male who did not own her. She herself, as a rape victim, was deemed dirtied, rendered an embarrassment, and often tossed out like so much garbage from family and community. Even today, rape victims often end up in prostitution or suffering from mental health problems that leave them unable to self-actualize, let alone take care of themselves properly. The propaganda and brainwashing campaign that all societies provide to women to get them to accept rape as reality, as normal, often succeeds in neutralizing female protest to unlivable conditions. Rape is a crucial part of Western entertainment – drama as well as comedy. Many women will suppress their experiences or deny that rape even happened. Rape victims who don’t follow the rules are often punished by society, and frequently by other women who prefer to lash out at other women than to name the real problem.
In non-Western countries, rape has gone through equally horrible control by men. In some countries, raping girl children isn’t considered rape. Elsewhere, rape cannot occur within a marriage or family. In others, rape has only occurred if a woman can get a handful of male witnesses to support her claim. No, women aren’t in control of language at all. Anywhere in the world. I mean, no woman would ever set up the linguistic, social and legal hoops/barriers to proving rape that are currently in place in every corner of the earth. We aren’t that masochistic or stupid of our own free will.
Men Can Be Raped, Toooooooo!
Likely, in response to women calling more attention to rape and violence against women, men retaliated. Men always retaliate. They are allowed. There are always repercussions to women gaining even an ounce of freedom or power. And language is always at the centre of any retaliation. And there is always violence.
So recently, men decided to change the language surrounding rape. They decided that rape no longer meant ‘male forcibly entering a female through her vagina using his dick’. Suddenly, males could be raped! And further, women could be rapists!
These revelations served a very, very important purpose. You see, if you can show that a crime or negative circumstance ALSO affects men, it is no longer a sex-based inequality. Men no longer are forced to be held responsible. Men are no longer predators. They are no longer deficient in some way. If you can show that they suffer tooooo or that women are doing the same evil deeds tooooo, then men no longer will be examined as the sole source of a major problem or epidemic. Once males can name themselves as victims, all focus can be ‘justifiably’ removed from women and recentred on men and boys. All we need is one male victim to negate the suffering of millions of women. And all we need is one female predator to negate the predation of millions of males. That is the male control of language at work. Change one word or one definition, and you can change the lives of millions. Control is regained.
Predictably, women got on board with the rebranding of rape, as they usually do when males find new ways to name themselves as victims, to detract from female victims, and to blame women for something. Women are usually the first ones on board with helping men hurt women. And men are experts at painting themselves as victims and martyrs.
Rape, in the minds of many, now also means a woman ‘forces’ a male to pop a boner and stick it to her. And strangely, rape now also means a dick forcibly entering an anus. But the thing is this, even if the former is forced, it is not rape. It may be a sexual assault, and if so, it needs to have its own label. The latter is NOT RAPE. It actually already has its own label. It is called forcible sodomy. Women are also frequently forcibly sodomized by men, sometimes in addition to being raped. But ignoring and/or broadening existing definitions has achieved its goal. We’ve taken the focus off what men do to women. And sex crimes are no longer seen primarily as the domain of male perps. Congratulations men and the dangerous women who support them.
Letting Victims Define Crimes
I wrote a short piece in the past on the problem of letting perpetrators define their crimes. Interestingly, it is only with male violence against women that this is allowed. As in my example in that previous post demonstrates, it sounds ridiculous say, to allow a thief to define his crime. But we don’t bat an eye when men get to define crimes against female bodies.
Women need to be allowed to define the crimes against them. As it is, so many victims fall through the cracks because currently, men define what happens to women. Men control women’s and girls’ bodies, and that is a serious issue.
There are several problems with how we deal with rape and sexual assault – besides our unwillingness to name men as the primary perpetrators of sex crimes. One is that we don’t have enough clearly defined categories of crimes. We also have too many barriers to victims coming forward. And finally, our punishment system is inadequate and doesn’t take into account that a) crimes against women are hate crimes, and b) men who commit sex crimes are more likely to commit again than any other type of criminal, even after being ‘punished’ (i.e., no man ever, ever, ever rapes once). Personally, I want all rape, sexual assault, torture and murder of women/girls by men punished by death. This has nothing to do with deterrence (which we know doesn’t work), but everything to do with protecting future victims. It does not make sense that victims and potential victims have fewer rights and considerations and access to safety than hate-crime, sex criminals. In other words, only a dead rapist can’t rape again.
Other things to consider:
- Many women don’t report rape if their attacker is seen as ‘at risk’ or ‘vulnerable’. This includes non-white men, immigrant men, homeless men, disabled men, unemployed men, etc. It is a mixture of fear and compassion that drives women to negate their victimhood and protect their attacker.
- The burden of proof should be on the perpetrators, not the victims. Men should have to prove that they did not rape. In no other crime is the burden of proof on the victim. This exists ONLY because rape is a sex-specific hate crime by MEN against WOMEN, where males, who are in control of language, get to define the crimes they commit. Rape is the only crime where all the perps are male and all the victims are female. And men don’t want to take responsibility or stop raping. This needs to change.
- Consent has always been a problematic issue. It is rooted in property disputes. Bodies should not be seen as property. Further, in no place on earth do women come to the table on equal footing with men, and as such, they cannot give free and equal consent in any agreement with a male.
- Orgasms are erroneously seen as evidence of consent thanks to 2-dimensional male thinking on sex. Females are trained from birth into seeing servitude as a duty and a pleasurable activity. Orgasm has nothing to do with acceptance or lack of coercion.
- Many people believe that rape must involve weapons or threat of bodily harm in order to be considered rape. I’d argue that most rape is of the coercive or manipulative variety. I’d bet all of Donald Trump’s money that almost all women have ‘sex’ with the men in their lives (including husbands) because they fear abandonment, rejection, cheating, etc. All women know on some level that male love can turn on a dime if they don’t live up to the constantly changing expectations.
- Male children are born with a weapon – their penises. They learn about how to weaponize their dicks early in life thanks to parents, television/film, porn, and school. I’d argue that if they are using their dicks as weapons, then they need to be treated as dangerous. Sex predators never stop. I don’t have a problem with killing sex predators who are children – innocent child, my ass. And I also have no problem with holding mothers and fathers responsible for the crimes of their boy children. Rape destroys girls’ lives. No girl ever ‘gets over it’. I know I’m nearly alone in wanting boy sex predators eliminated from existence, but you’re deluded if you think predators are ‘born’ in adulthood out of nothing.
- I think statutory rape needs to be rethought. It’s not that I believe that girls are capable of free and equal consent with a boy the same age. No female of any age is ever on equal footing with a male of any age. This one is a hard one for me though. It saddens me that children are fucking. I truly wish girls were kept separate from boys for the duration of their childhoods so as not to have opportunities, educations and futures destroyed by the straight mandate and public school crash course in fuckholery and blowjobery. One final note: Adult males who fuck girl children and teenagers need to be shot. Period.
- ‘Sex workers’ / porn actresses – paid sex is rape as far as I’m concerned. There is a lot of disagreement on this. And people get mighty pissed when a feminist suggests that sex work is abuse, not work. Abused people often lash out and get defensive when they feel attacked (even if they are not being attacked, but rather someone is trying to help them). All I can say is that women would not sell their bodies if men didn’t exist. It is almost always done out of desperation and/or resulting from childhood sex abuse. These are the conditions that make rape easy peasy to dress up as legit in a capitalist, male-serving society.
- Drugs and alcohol are convenient get-out-of-jail cards for men, and eternal damners of women. It is no coincidence that males joke about helping women relax with a drink. ‘No inhibitions’ is just man-speak for ‘no credible defense’ in a rape trial.
This really is a huge issue. So much more could be written. But it is some background to my survey. Again, if you wish to participate and let your thoughts be known, it would be very much appreciated. The link to the survey is below.
Preamble to the Survey
In the past, I designed and offered up a Super-Fun Quiz™ on feminism dilution, which remains open to this day (read the prelim post first and follow the link at the bottom after). It was casually designed, and not intended for serious data analysis. The tool itself was inadequate for design/measurement purposes, and besides, I didn’t vet or validate the quiz first. But it is certainly useful for introspection or further thinking on topics. At least it was for me. And it was from the results of this quiz, that I got to thinking about designing a second, more specific, survey. It became apparent to me that people have some really disturbing or unclear ideas about rape. The quiz wasn’t designed to look at that specifically, but there was one question that addressed one element of the most serious issue facing every single woman on the planet. I mean, really, rape is the single-most important and influential reason our planet is speeding towards death on several levels. Without rape, things would be unimaginably different. Rape affects not only the lives of women, but trickles down to affect every aspect of human life, animal life, and the environment. It is hard for most people to understand that, and see the connection between the primary mechanism of female subjugation and the destruction of the planet, but examination with open eyes and honesty shows that it is true. Anyhow, I wanted to explore ideas about rape.
So, out came my methodologist’s cap, and I’ve set to designing prodding questions on this single topic. It is a survey, rather than a quiz. You won’t be scoring yourself on ‘rape knowledge’. I’m collecting data for further thinking and further writing, that’s all. In the past, I did work professionally in research on serial rape and workplace violent crime, but this survey is not destined for publication other than on my blog.
If you intend to take the survey, the link is below. I’m going to discuss my own views in the next post as I’d prefer your views not to be coloured by my opinions. I’d appreciate your participation. I was thrilled to have had a great turn-out for the last quiz, and to be honest, I’m much more interested in this current survey, so your opinions are of value to me. Please be assured that the survey is anonymous. Polldaddy collates country respondent information, but that’s all that is provided to me.