Uncomfortably Aware Part 2
Despite the absurd myths perpetuated by rape culture, the mere sight of an unaccompanied female, particularly one who is intoxicated and not fully clothed, does not literally suspend male freewill as all sense drains from his brain directly into his robotic erection, which then directs everything he does like a remote control. That’s ridiculous. Men can walk away from an unconscious, semi-naked girl passed out on a sofa. They do not HAVE to rape her. That’s also ridiculous:
The human brain has evolved beyond its limbic system and does have access to higher levels of cognitive functioning. The masculine mind CAN make the decision to not rape someone despite the physical state of his body, just like he can resist the urge to piss in his own pants. It is ridiculous to say otherwise – almost as ridiculous as the Good Samaritan Rape Defence, as offered up by one Rodger William Kelly, who claimed he carried his unconscious 29-year-old neighbor from her porch to his bedroom because he was trying to keep her warm and save her life. Having sex with the non-responsive woman seemed like the logical answer. In other words he raped her as an act of random kindness. Fucking absurd.
But of course there will always be misogynists, fanatics, ignoramuses and misguided apologists who deny rape excuses are absurd or that the blame for rape should be squarely placed on the rapist’s shoulders. They will keep arguing, as Nick Ross did that “rape isn’t always rape”; the victim must take some responsibility. He likens a provocatively dressed female to a “sack of cash” left unguarded at the front door of a bank, or in the middle of a poorly secured airport.
Ah, sorry, but giving in to the temptation of stealing a bag of unchaperoned money that does not breathe, feel pain, or have a brain, is NOT the equivalent of forcing your erect penis into another human being who finds you repulsive. And even if you didn’t make her sick to her stomach – even if she was attracted to you – she STILL would not be interested in having you sexually assault her, believe it or not.
But none of that matters does it? Lowlifes and sadists who choose to think of rape as a game of mutual seduction are not, as a rule, impressed by pleas to a sense of humanity, video-recorded facts, expert and reason-based opinions, or eye witness testimony which conflicts with their biases. No one, however, was going to enlighten those lesser evolved, narrow-minded vertebrates anyway. They will not be swayed. They stand cemented in their philistine mud.
For the higher evolved Homo sapiens, the ongoing chronicling of rape and brutality plague the intellect and generate awareness. Ultimately, it is this awareness that revs up the enormous, slow-to-start, gas-guzzling engine of social change.
The rape stories are morbid, but they are also vital sources of fuel that must be mined, exported and consumed. This is the power of the people driving the engine.
As a result, the rapists don’t have to worry about the wrath and judgment of a god anymore (although did they ever?); they have to worry about humanity’s judgment…or at least those members of humanity who are outraged by this epidemic of rape.
Granted, it is not unanimously conceded rape is or ever was an epidemic, nor is it accepted across the board that an entire subculture exists around this social pathology.
There remain those who choose to believe rape is nothing more than a minor nuisance that’s been blown out of proportion by radical feminism and mass media, with an agenda to either malign men or create sensationalized news stories for the sole purpose of increasing viewer and readership amongst the sheep-like masses.
But whether you believe a disease is a disease or the product of choice makes little difference to the disease’s progression. A carcinoma left unencumbered, undetected and unaddressed will spread. And while the relentless reporting of rape on a daily basis might seem like the cancer, it is actually the first flush of a cure.
As humanity takes notice it’s under attack by sinister phenomena, the hope is that it will no longer passively sit by as rape after rape after rape occurs without restraint. And while clearly humanity is not completely awake from its apathy, certain of its appendages are beginning to show signs of life.
There is movement.
An army of social activism has been assembling and reacting in retaliation against the river of human sludge that snakes its way throughout the internet, infecting humanity, spreading hate, inciting violence and ruining innocent lives.
Change is a foot.
I personally am grateful for these changing tides because the unyielding diet of rape stories, of which I feel force-fed, is emotionally draining. It makes me antsy, helpless…hopeless.
Not a week has gone by where I cannot at some point be found sobbing in front of a monitor as I watch or read another story of barbarism, especially against children. These accounts DO NOT desensitize, as you often hear – they antagonize ALL conscionability.
It doesn’t take much effort to seek out these stories, either. Do a quick Google News search and you will find a self-replenishing supply. Turn on the TV or stroll down the frigg’in street and chances are your brain will be sucker-punched with this unwelcomed information.
There is the seemingly endless stream of rape cases out of Pakistan, Afghanistan and India involving children and young women, such as the recent report of a 4-year-old who was lured with the promise of a banana and then ripped apart in a violent act of sexual assault. She was found hemorrhaging and later died of cardiac arrest.
The 23-year-old medical student was taken hostage on a bus and gang raped by six men in particularly sadistic ways while the bus kept in motion. Her companion was beaten to near death. The bloodied twosome was eventually discarded on the side of the road and 2 weeks later the young victim died from her injuries. The family did not want her name released for fear of the shame it would bring.
And don’t get complacent in thinking this one savage gang rape and murder as well as the resulting protests has put an end to this presently exposed evil – the reports continue to roll in every hour.
Last week another story broke of a gang rape involving a31-year-old Californian woman who was traveling in India. There is a bit of “slut shaming” going on around this case because the woman, who was stranded, chose to get in a truck with three strange Indian men. She didn’t “choose” to get raped, just to be clear – she chose to accept the kindness of strangers:
On this continent, no one will soon forget the intensely disturbing, news-breaking story of Ariel Castro kidnapping, confining, torturing and raping three girls who he kept imprisoned in his Cleveland shack of a house – in the SAME neighborhood they were snatched from – over a TEN YEAR period. How does something like that go unnoticed, when there were SO MANY indicators? This is the same insidious cancer referred to above.
It is as if humanity has been ignoring the signs of its disease. Healthy cells die while malignant tumors rape and multiply.
Then there are the stories of sexual coercion and persecution that utilize social media in some way. There is the recent story of a 12-year-old girl from Chicago who was raped at gunpoint by three teen boys, one of whom recorded the whole thing. The video was then shared on Facebook like a trophy to be admired.
Facebook seems to come up a lot in these tales of horror.
The Chicago attack is just one in a virtual library of instances where a gang rape has been recorded and then proudly shared on Facebook or You Tube as if the rapists had actually accomplished something worthy of praise and recognition. They do have half of that straight: their crimes ARE being recognized and it IS causing alarm and a call to arms of sorts:
As the war on rape wages in the US, with cases such as the Steubenville trial whereby two teen-aged football players were found guilty of repeatedly raping a drugged 16-year-old girl at various parties throughout a single evening, in Canada 17-year-old, Rehtaeh Parsons, hung herself as a result of being raped at 15.
After the rape, Parsons was systematically shamed and harassed over the next two years, with the by now familiar custom of sharing images of the assault and engaging in rape-encouraging propaganda via the internet. Before Parsons, a similar fate became of Amanda Todd, who was painted with a virtual Scarlet letter and then mercilessly cyber-bullied until she too was pushed into suicide.
We could carry on with the stories, but there are too many – this blog would never end. My conscience would never be freed from the vice-like grip of the innumerable atrocities waiting to be discovered and the despair they are sure to induce.
But there is, I’ve discovered, an antidote for such despair in examples of protest, action and justice. These are the stories where the muted bystanders and the victims, the apathetic and the apologetic, the paralyzed and the indecisive begin to move and make noise. They stand up from their comatose positions, take to the streets, to their keyboards and to their internet connections -- people like blogger, Tim Baffoe, feminist writers and activists such as Soraya Chemaly and Lindy West, and comedians such as Tiny Fey and the brilliant Patton Oswalt -- who say wait a minute, we’ve got something to say - ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. And they say it with humor, poignancy, provocation and insight beyond the confines of mainstream beliefs and opinions on these issues. These are inspiring times and there are jokes to make you laugh but more importantly think:
To be continued...