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View Diary: He Doesn't Believe There's a"Rape Culture" (208 comments)

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  •  The search for statistics (0+ / 0-)

    is particularly difficult in this arena.  Personalized experiences are highly emotional, people on both sides are bound to feel insulted or worse.  So we really want to find something concrete to try to ground ourselves, I think that makes sense.  

    I have come to realize that debating rape and domestic violence (and I'm sure other issues, but these are the ones I have read the most about) is just different from other topics.  

    My theory one an important reason it's so different is because we can't identify with rapists or abusers, because their entire process is quite different from our own.  

    I might be able to identify with an armed robber, or even a murderer.  I can try to put myself in their shoes, and think 'what would I do?' - 'why would I do that?' - and I can certainly do this with other benign issues like taxes, workplace regulations etc.  

    So I think it's natural to try to do this with rape and abuse.  It's why people will claim rape is about sex, or that it can be brought on by short skirts.  Or that abuse can result from a "temper."  We are trying to view rapists or abusers as people who are on an extreme end of a spectrum we are on (spectrums of sexual desire, or anger).  But, in reality, they are entirely different wavelengths, they are in completely different modes of thinking.  

    That's what is so important about realizing that rape is about power and control.  It's becasue the rapist mind is just working differently from yours and mine.  

    So, to get back to your question, a conversation on rape seems guaranteed to break down.  Because it's a topic that is virtually impossible to understand (And I certainly don't), and people will come into it with perspectives that are so different they may as well be speaking two different languages.  I think the attempt to grab statistics is natural when this happens.  We want to find a number we can point to, and say "this is truth."  Because our perspective on truth is so far apart.  

    However, this is still missing the entire point.  I don't think the diarist would claim that the point of the diary is that _% of people are raped.  That number is largely irrelevant to whether or not 'rape culture' exists and what it looks like.  It's about whether or not a culture tolerates and even facilitates rape.  And the idea that we are culturally complicit in such a terrible crime is abhorent, it's only natural to reject it.  I do it too, I think we have to admit that we all do it (a great example for me is my unwillingness to give up my love for Beauty and the Beast, despite it basically being about Stockholm syndrome...)

    •  Thanks, that helps a lot (0+ / 0-)

      I am relatively new to the Daily Kos commentariat.   It's lively, to say the least.   This whole conversation helped me to think about what I had written in different ways than when I first fired it off.  I had envisioned a conversation and when the statistics started showing up I realized some people thought they were going to win some kind of fight.

      It's about whether or not a culture tolerates and even facilitates rape.  And the idea that we are culturally complicit in such a terrible crime is abhorent, it's only natural to reject it.
      I like the way you put this. I think we are all complicit in whatever we've got going on in society because we are all here, contributing to it and taking from it.  That seems so self evident that there has to be a huge dose of shame involved for people to get all clogged up with denying it.  We tolerate a lot of shameful, ugly stuff, men and women alike.  It's hard to bring it up, talk about, and then let it lie there and be exposed for what it is.  We attack or we jump to any conclusion that feels safe and stable.

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