Monday, October 31, 2016

"Rape Culture"

It's in quotes because the membership is somehow determined by others.

Some people in the USA are convinced that there is a body of people which approves of the criminal assault of women, said assault being motivated by unchecked sexual desire. 
There is an immediate problem: depending on the source of the outrage, the definition of "assault" ranges from an "unwanted touch" by a friend to forcible rape by a stranger. 
Not only is the definition of these crimes flexible, depending on the whim of the offended, the responsibility for stopping rape always rests with men.

No one else. No one.

Due process and prosecution is not pursued as vigorously as condemnation because it requires proof, a burden on the affiant. This interferes with the expression of outrage by requiring logic to carry the legal point. Some of this is because the issue partly addresses behavior leading to assault, not the aftermath. 

It is lost on the outraged that men in general do not in fact approve of rape. The offended may have to have this pointed out to them, but men have wives, girlfriends and daughters, some of whom are worth the man's life in his own words. This, and the idea that some unwanted touch is not actually offensive to everyone, but considered a price to be paid for being sexually forward, increases the outrage of those who champion the idea that there is a "rape culture" that shelters and encourages offenders.

Some people think this is new. Others don't quite notice that when they assert independence and freedom of expression, added responsibility comes to them - at least not until it is forcefully explained to them, often by police detectives. This is an old and well-established concept that is hotly protested, though stupidly, because it's a societal law established by cause and effect: everyone interacting in a society will induce events that act on them.
I get accused of "victim-shaming" when I point out that there are times and places one should never wear provocative attire, and that these occasions are increasing in number due to public acceptance of crudeness and obscenity. 

Not only are there places *I* cannot go whenever I please, no matter how I dress, if I tell you to look both ways before crossing the street, I'm just trying to help your dumb ass avoid being hit by a bus. You should be ashamed it didn't occur to you that you can be hurt, and someone else had to point out the blindingly obvious.

Let's back off for a bit, and think of human sexuality and explicit action.

There is ample evidence that the American public is seriously bipolar/schizophrenic when it comes to sex. Many people deny vigorously that they seek it, even in the act of seeking it. They turn up their nose at Playboy and those nasty and artificial sluts within, yet reach eagerly for a copy of Cosmopolitan which features an article on how to make your boyfriend go crazy with the latest sexual trick. They confuse speech about sexual predation with real acts, insist that the possession of particular photographs victimize or "diminish" the people in them (even if no real persons are depicted), accept that the pro football player is wonderful when he has children out of wedlock, and defend the single mother who had no intention of ever providing a father for her multiple children. How empowered she is for having multiple sexual partners without commitment!
(You must forget that she does so with other people's money.)
They prohibit, by law, the possession of photographs on a cell phone by a person for whom the acts depicted in those photographs are actually legal.
The widely-acknowledged pursuit of casual sex by men is called an assortment of things, usually derogatory, but noting the pursuit of casual sex by women is called "victim shaming", even when it is objectively addressed. This is plainly irrational. You wear a seat belt because some drivers are dangerous. Will you stop that, and start insisting that other drivers should be taught not to hit you?

I think I've shown that logic is not part of the American sexual psyche. How about desire?

Desire is obvious and everywhere. Americans express this desire in every way with great vigor; for instance, Americans produce more obviously pornographic Web sites per capita than any other nation, and thousands more display "softcore" or less suggestive material (think, "paparazzi"). They spend money on this in amounts dwarfing the Top 5 businesses in America. On stage, we may find Beyoncé and Miley Cyrus, the formerly wholesome Hannah Montana, vigorously gyrating in simulated intercourse with entire crowds of men as they sing about how wonderful it is. Here is an actual lyric from Beyoncé:

"Can you lick my Skittles, it’s the sweetest in the middle/ Pink is the flavor, solve the riddle"

Some women claim this sort of thing is "empowering". How many of those decry "rape culture"? Do you look up to former POTUS and FLOTUS Barack and Michelle Obama? I suggest you should be deeply ashamed of them. This is what they think is just fine for the American public.

Media shows, not just tells, men and women how they are supposed to behave, independently of parental presence, desires and presentation. An immature "man" never trusted to ride a bicycle out of parental view learns from others that domination of another is the only way to express himself, so he emerges at night to do what people outside the home expect him to do with any female he finds.
An immature woman, convinced that she has a right to dress and act as she pleases, without consequences, acts in public as she has been shown.

Where is the "unwanted touch" now?

Both men and women frequent venues created specifically to enable customers to meet someone interested in "the hookup", the modern term for casual sex with any willing partner.
Willing? Did someone say, "willing"?
Aside from media celebrities showing interested people that casual sex is good, they and certain people in public state and show that casual sex is expected if you frequent certain venues and advertise your intent in some ways. This is doubleplusungood for the chaste, the discerning, or those who simply wish to look their best when out and about - when such people mistake their fantasies about human dignity for reality: Others do not care what you think. They care what you show them.

No, wearing a miniskirt and high heels does not entitle anyone to put his or her hands on you - but how much of this is criminal behavior on the observer's part, and how much is a miscommunication, that no, YOUR clothing, generally known to be provocative, is NOT a signal of your desire to have sex, and soon?
Just who are you wearing provocative clothing for, in the venue you have selected? 
If you radiate success via your appearance, who sees that and wishes to join you at any cost?

Meanwhile, the definition of "unwanted touch" varies widely - most notably with the desirability of the person initiating the touch. Then - of course - subsequent events do not follow one or the other party's notions of what is expected. Have we forgotten how powerful sex is at disposing of reason? Did I not show above how the public is nuts about sex already?

Have you not noticed that gunfire sometimes occurs around nightclubs?

Can you actually claim that it is someone else's responsibility to see that you aren't there when that kind of violence occurs? What role do you actually have in supporting a venue that attracts such a thing?

At some colleges, there are actual forms to fill out by couples intending to have sex, in which specific acts are to be spelled out and permissions granted in writing before clothes come off.
How do you like that idea? Maybe there's an app?

Now: note that the issue is, presumably, the criminal sexual assault of women. ALL of that is prosecutable. How do we determine whether entrapment and other factors apply? How do you determine the difference between premeditation and a crime of passion - a distinction actually made in murder trials? Where is the "unwanted touch" now? Can you even define it?

Sexual assault is a crime. That is not the question. Who defends you, though? 

YOU must defend yourself.

The Supreme Court, in Warren v. DC, stated clearly that police have NO DUTY to protect your person. There is no exception.

Read that again. There is NO EXCEPTION.

Meanwhile, rape still carries with it the stigma of the crime for many people, in different ways. In many cases, the victim's own "friends", "family" and "loved ones" remind the victim whenever possible that they are forever soiled and broken, never to take a free breath again. That must be overcome to see that the truly criminal get their just desserts.
As for those who are NOT criminal - but just misguided, maybe immature - it remains that the defense against them is STILL in the hands of the object of their attention. After all, how can you be an empowered woman - whatever that means - and still clamor for anonymous others to protect you, and that you are never at fault for engaging in the risky behavior of appearing sexually available to those whom you have no intention of allowing into your personal space, much less your life?

I will cheerfully defend you against criminal action. Please see to it that I am not the first to do so!