Rights, Reality, and Rape Culture
Rape is a not a special kind of crime. What do I mean by this? I mean, when accused of murder, robbery, vandalism, or any other crime you can think of, regardless of how mild or severe, those accused should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. To say or suggest otherwise is to abrogate utterly the corner stone of our enlightened (at least on paper) legal system. Though recently I have noticed a disturbing trend, particularly among Tumblr feminists and others of their ilk, who seem to believe that the mere accusation is all that is necessary to prove culpability. And more than that, intent and context have lost all meaning as well.
Richard Dawkins was recently criticized for pointing out the obvious; that rape, like any other crime, can range in severity and suffering. Surely, being violently raped by a man over the course of several days is worse than drunken sex with another very drunk person with whom, after coming to your senses in the cold morning light, you realize you might not have had sex with sober. And yet many a Tumblr feminist might actually place the two in the same category.
I would contend that the scenario put forth is little different than the gulf between purposefully running someone down in your car after much careful planning and accidentally hitting a j-walker on a highway while talking on your cell-phone. The first situation in each scenario exhibits agents of sinister intent and premeditation while the second reveals questionable but potentially innocuous judgment on the part of both parties involved.
Is it not obvious that the characters of the perpetrators in situation one of both scenarios are malicious as opposed to the mere incompetence of all parties in situation two? To some it is not, and if you are among them, you may wish to learn to critically think because the differences are glaring. I might add that if our legal system made a monolith of crimes as Tumblr and Facebook feminists often do, we would be living in a world where incompetence and questionable judgment, and even pure bad luck, were always presumed malicious in nature.
Didn’t see that kid in your driveway as you backed out? Too bad, life imprisonment. And no trial either, after all, the girl down the street said you did it on purpose.
Accidentally poisoned someone allergic to peanuts? Straight to the electric chair with you! We don’t care what you did or didn’t know.
Had sex with someone who consented then but has changed their mind now? We aren’t concerned with the details, they said ‘rape’ and that’s all that matters. After all, we wouldn’t want to observe your right to a fair trial; that might be mistaken as protecting a rapist!
Accidentally killed someone while off your anti-psychotics? Well that doesn’t matter, what’s the difference? Nuance just muddles things and it takes too much brainpower to sort that shit out.
If it isn’t clear now how intent, motive, and severity matter, then I’m afraid you’re too stupid to exist in the civilized world and you may wish to consider going back in time to medieval Europe when hearsay was proof enough of someone’s guilt.
Sexual assault of any kind is a heinous crime. But regardless of how you feel about it, this doesn’t change how it is processed in a court of law.
Rape is under-reported and difficult to prosecute not because there exists a conspiracy against women and rape-victims, but because it is an objectively difficult crime to prosecute, pursue, and collect evidence for.
If you have gone through the trauma of rape it is unlikely that you are craving an appointment with a doctor who is not only going to ask you all manner of personal questions but will have to poke, prod, and swab you until they have sufficiently examined the crime scene that has become your body. That alone is enough to deter many people.
But if that weren’t enough, rape can sometimes leave no more evidence of its happening than consented-to sexual intercourse. Or the evidence is ephemeral, and dissipates before real action can take place. And in these cases it becomes a ‘that person says’ versus ‘this person says’ affair in which it becomes nearly impossible to shed any substantial light on the accusers claims.
All manner of crimes go unreported, unsubstantiated, and even come to court without ever proving what they intended to prove. Not the least of which occurs because of our primitive jury system that relies on the opinions of absolute nobodies who may have no idea what they are supposed to be scrutinizing. But the facts about rape as a crime remain these:
It is a heinous crime, like many.
It can be very difficult to prosecute and procure evidence for.
It ranges in scope and suffering, like many other crimes.
Those accused are not automatically guilty, like all accused, until the light of a trial.
Claiming ‘rape culture’ and fostering the hysteria surrounding it does not help victims, prevent this crime, or combat injustice. This is a fear-mongering tactic used by some to silence criticism and even obfuscate facts. Suggesting that the United States supports or dismisses rape is sheer nonsense, nonsense of a proportion on a par with insanity. I do not know of a single government institution that publically dismisses or supports rape as a crime. In fact, America’s ‘rape shield’ laws would seem to be doing just the opposite.
Merely citing a Republican, or some internet trolls, does not justify claiming America fosters and cultivates a culture of rape dismissal or support. Nor does quoting stats on the underreported nature of the crime, which could be due to a battery of reasons having nothing to do with patriarchy or supposed ‘rape culture’.
I could use the same arguments for homophobia and any number of social ills or crimes and I would never claim that America supports or fosters a culture of homophobia. Indeed, today institutions are actually actively supporting gay rights, whether by choice or force. The presence of backward assholes does not indicate the presence of a cultural conspiracy. And quite frankly, western people promulgating this crap should be ashamed of themselves – because there are places on this planet which suffer from real rape culture. Maybe, if you are uncertain, you could visit one such nation and after witnessing the total and utter lack of federal recourse and protection you might reconsider America’s situation.
I might add here that as Americans we are clearly more outraged by rape in art and cinema than we are by gratuitous violence. That’s right. Murder is apparently not nearly so big a deal in our minds. There are numerous shows and films in which the protagonist is a terribly violent man or woman. Lady Vengeance, Kill Bill, Sin City, Hard Candy, and Dexter to name a few – and yet if we had turned these people into sexual predators would they have seen airtime? No, of course not! And how is it that murder could be less than rape? Especially since one of these crimes always deprives you of your life.
But again, this comes down to yet again another fatal flaw of western feminism; its inability to grow, evolve, and realistically accept disparities no matter how small and marginal, which exist in every public, even the most reasonable and enlightened ones.