reckless intuitions of an epistemic hygienist (gustavolacerda) wrote,

“rape is ‘not about sex’” in the same way that “anorexia is ‘not about food.’”

On the occasion of Take Back the Night, I have been seeing posters claiming that "rape is a hate crime, and not about sexual desire". I was naturally reminded of Maymay's blog post, which attributes this belief to the idea that sex and violence cannot go together (which is obviously contradicted in BDSM).

One might imagine that such a bold conclusion was surely arrived at after years of rigorous studies in behavioral science. And if so, it would be a remarkable finding: considering that animals rape, one should conclude that either humans are special, or that animals also rape for the sake of power alone (both of which seem unlikely to me).

What is so objectionable about the idea that rape is about both sex and power; and why do we need to accompany this with a disclaimer, that rape is an awful thing to inflict on anyone, regardless of the perpetrator's motivations?

Finally, a quote from Staci Newmahr "Playing on the Edge: Sadomasochism, Risk, and Intimacy":
<< Rape, which many of us would shudder to consider “intimacy,” is so heinous precisely because it is so intimate. >>


See also: Rebecca Crane's post about the myth that all rape is committed by men
<< [this myth] encourages many young cisgender men (and others) to internalize the belief that having a penis makes them a rapist NO MATTER WHAT they do -- thus, they might as well just give up (either on sexual relationships entirely or on consent) and not even try. >>


It sounds odd that guilt can propagate this way, but I know a therapist who works here at Columbia, and he told me the exact same thing.

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