Rape and Men’s Psychology

This is a post, which I admit reveals rather more about myself than I would like. Nonetheless, I have something to say. More so because not a single site or article on the Internet says what I feel is the truth. Not even close. The time has come for someone to stand up and stick out his neck with the facts.

First, my formal position on the whole rape issue. I do not condone rape. It’s a violation of a person’s privacy. This article is merely an examination of mostly subconscious responses in more or less every man or woman I have spoken to and is academic in nature. So no flaming please!

Here goes…

Rape elicits extreme reactions from the public. Repulsion, anger, hatred, and most interestingly, moral outrage. It is this last emotion that I am most interested in and all that I disclose below is in relation to moral outrage alone. This won’t apply to men who don’t feel a degree of moral outrage. Let me start by examining myself.

When I hear about the rape of a young woman, there are two conflicting forces inside me. One is to view the woman as a person. The others is to view her as an object. The moment I view her as a sexual object, rape doesn’t become something I abhor. When I view her as a person, I pity the raped woman as if she was bitten by a rabid dog. Not her fault, but hey, shit happens. Moreover, in this case, the rapist is behaving like an animal with no self control. So I would treat it as if some animal had assaulted the woman.

Image Credit: Grahford

Hidden Motivations

I think the sexual desire, when combined with the desire for power is what makes rape such a fantasy. Mind you, if it actually comes down to it, I know I won’t rape because when the victim looks frightened, or angry, she ceases to be an object, and becomes a person. In such a situation, I’m pretty sure I can’t commit a rape.

Nonetheless, the time has come for plain speaking. After holding detailed discussions with several men in confidence, and analyzing my own reactions to news about rapes happening, I can see that the first emotion that flares up in men, including me, is moral outrage. Now this may sound noble, but just wait until I reveal the sinister cause for this.

The truth is, it’s jealousy masquerading as moral outrage! This is specially true of Indian Society, which is still heavily sexually repressed. Sex is still taboo, and most Indian men just don’t get good quality sexual fulfillment. Men feel jealous of rapists, because they got sex outright without having to go through the tedious channels of courtship that most of us have to go through. They “Cut the line”! “Bastards!” they say. Yeah right. Let’s own up to the truth. We envy the guy who got a 20 something woman into his car and had his way with her for 3 hours.

Of course we can’t come out and say this. We want to kill the guy then and there, but we can’t do it in the name of jealousy. We have to disguise our hate in another way. I’ve learned always to be suspicious of moral outrage. Chances are, the real issue is something else.

Consider that men (I speak only for men here), feel moral outrage when a young pretty woman is raped. At the same time, they feel something like disgust, amusement, or confusion when an old sixty year old is raped. Why? If the outrage is actually about issues like violation of rights, and privacy etc, why the less outrage regarding rapes against old and ugly women?

Image Credit: dungodung

Men feel jealous of rapists

Men feel jealous of rapists!

Consider also, that if the real issue is pain and violation of rights, then why do we not feel the same way for other violations. Suppose a woman had her arm cut off. That also is a violation of a woman’s rights to herself, and most of us would roundly condemn the criminal. And rightly so. But, no moral outrage. In fact, all the women to whom I have put the question, say they would rather be raped, than have their arm cut off.

But why do men go up in arms (no pun intended) against rape, when for the limb cutting crime, they would not do so? Why are there no “Hang the mutilator” rallies? Most women I have met, would again rather be raped than have their faces disfigured with acid or something horrible like that. For other crimes which violate one’s privacy like robbery, there is condemnation, and hate, but the quality of the feeling that is felt towards rapists is very different. Again I say, the crime of rape provokes moral outrage.

And I say that this is a cover up for feelings of envy and jealousy. Envy, maybe even for the fact that the rapist had the guts to do in reality, what some of us dare not do even in fantasy. And if the social class of the rapist is much lower than that of the victim, the outrage is even more. This is because the jealousy is greater, that the rapist “got” what he would never have got, had he gone through the proper channels. A young woman being helplessly ravaged by a bunch of slavering dirty scoundrels, is one of the most difficult things to digest, precisely because of the class difference that exists. The outrage is even greater here.

Anyway, the point is, fantasy is fantasy, and reality is reality. Real rape would entail too much of an emotional strain on me. To see the victims fear, and hate, and to hear her screams, would bring home the fact that she is a human being with rights. Since I value my own rights, I would not be capable of taking hers away. In addition to this, raping a woman would make ME too much of an object. I would lose my self control, and see myself as too much of an animal than my pride would allow.

Now I just have to sit back and wait to get lynched.

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Comments

  1. I think first man is a human who is doing this ,second human lost humanity because no animal do rape.Animals(male) fought only for sex to get but not for forcefully to get .so human is lower than animals here.third they hate women because they are failure, no women give them that weight women do not accept them sexually because of their behavior.naturally if they would have good sex life they will not get it forcefully so that they are deprived of sex .need to educate male how to behave with women how he could win the heart of a women .women have the heart so big once she accept she can do anything for the person she love.

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  2. Hi Bhagwad
    Personally, after hearing about the Delhi rape I felt no reaction, mostly like a just-another-crime thing. Later when I read about the brutality of it, the end result of it(the death of the victim), and a comparison picture of a smart student and her condition after the incident, I was a bit ruffled. Later I came across many sweet little girls playing with their parents. Though I am just 23 I have seen in my observation that dads have a very tender affinity towards their daughters(brothers to their sisters as well, but that affinity is lesser in my observation, but certainly may act similarly); I could sense the affinity the dads of those li’l girls experienced. The tender emotions they feel. She is like a tender flower to them which they nurtured painstakingly and lovingly. Then I was driven nearly to tears and anger when I thought of the Delhi girl’s father. Of his helplessness in the situation. That very helplessness forced on him, forced on us as a nation to watch our women being exploited shamelessly in the capital city, almost drove me out of sensible thinking for half a day or so( though I knew raging doesn’t help and I calmed myself down).
    Point is being a male also identifies with being a future father, a present brother, a friendly companion who enjoys the vivid beauties of compassion, love and caring nature that women bestow on his life. I felt rage if I linked myself to her father, brother, friends. I felt rage when I thought of someone corrupting and destroying this beauty which I respect. (I believe an outrage is also possible due to such a thinking on a statistical scale.)

    You want a scent of a flower you crush it on your palms or you fondle it and smell it makes no difference. But it makes a difference if you look into the effort that has been made to grow this beautiful flower. I believe strongly that there are people who got angry because of this insight (direct or drawn upon with comparison to their life) into the process of human bonding.
    But there is a point left out, which you pointed astutely. What about the raging that would take place when an old woman or a child is raped? I believe this is less about jealousy and more about ‘being a hero’ mentality. If someone slaps a pretty woman on the street males will coming running; not that strongly for an old woman or a child. Though the people who relate to the perception I explained will be equally angry in all circumstances.

    Your points are definitely interesting and worth thinking. I do not agree with your view in totality because I believe the picture is more complex, but I cannot refute all your arguments either. I think a useful and appropriate conclusion can be raised if we instead of doing at length subjective discussions, use math for this analysis. It can never go wrong.

    JD

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  3. Thank you for your honest comments. I was a victim of a brutal rape when I was 16. My attackers are in prison for life, not only for the rape, but for murder and robbery. I’ve moved on in my life but it has effected me profoundly in a lot of ways and I’m still trying to heal now in my early 30’s. I have a wonderful father, brother and many male friends who show me there are good men in the world. It is easier to make things black or white in our minds to cope but I know we humans are complex. I do believe that living life in a female body gives me perceptions a man could never know and vice versa. I can’t condemn a man for his perceptions/perspectives but we can do the best we can to try and understand I suppose. Thank you again for your candor.

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    • In reply to Kelly

      Thank you for understanding where I’m coming from. I am very sorry for what you underwent and I appreciate you knowing that I’m in no way condoning, or taking away from the ghastly and barbaric nature of rape.

      I admire your ability to try and understand the world even though it dealt you such a terrible blow.

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  4. CB Wilfer says:

    Wow.

    You wrote this a while ago…but I just stumbled upon it…

    Insightful and Honest (perhaps a little ‘disappointing’ as a woman…but then, we humans are in general a ‘little disappointing”…aren’t we?)

    We are more ‘animal’ than we’re comfortable admitting

    Anyway…valuable post.

    Thanks!!

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  5. Rachel K. says:

    I’m really glad I read this. I am a lesbian, and in a way i guess you could say my sexual views of women are similiar to a man’s. I actually had been in a therapeutic group years ago where women discussed their traumas (I never having been sexually abused/violated) and I recall there being slight concerns of my reactions because I graphically described what I’d do to any man who did those things, especially to children (destroyed innocence breaks my heart). Anyway, certain psychotherapists were the first to bring up my possible jealousy. I was appalled. How dare they, why would I ever want to put a woman through that? I was seeing these women as people, watching their tears and hearing about their destroyed lives, and I felt that outrage..

    However, there have been other instances of people making comments about me… In fact my ex found my obsession with law&order SVU (one of the only shows I will watch) along with other things strange enough to always joke around saying I’m a ‘rapist’…. I realize how sensitive I am to anyone referring to me in that manner and get terrified they may think of me as a potential sexual abuser (which was the same way I was about liking women before I was aware I liked them ‘what will they think of me drawing a picture of a girl’, and I’d try to hide it)
    There are more instances, and I am aware I am jealous of men in general (penis envy?). But still, I feel odd…. I now at least accept the fact that the thought of sexually violating an attractive teen/young lady arouses me. I’ve made comments before ‘if I had a penis I’d be a rapist’ but let’s face it, with the anatomy I’ve been given it would be fruitless. But on another level, I am glad you said what you said, I also don’t see myself doing it because once I’d see the emotion from this poor woman, it’d make her human and not just an object….. I can hardly kill a fly and I will say sorry if I think I as much grazed you with a fingertip, so that is quite a snap into reality. The men who actually do these things must have some sociopathic tendencies, and what is scary is it happens constantly. Especially to children. I will go on rants about how men just like to stick their penis in everything, knowing all the while i wish i had one with which to stick. Is it the animal drive that overpowers emotional and perhaps sets one into sociopathic mode?

    I just want to thank you for writing this (even if it was a while ago and I just stumbled upon it) for having the balls (literally) to throw this topic out there with truth to it. I always embrace those who risk being ostracized by just opening the doors of truth most would rather pretend don’t exist. I open my own doors, but this is one I’ve felt very alone on.

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    • In reply to Rachel K.

      I remeber how i started having rape fantasies in myhed, at first it made me feel guilty. My reaction was like ” but im not like that!” I eventried to stop having those fantasies, but it was fruitless. Ten one day i read how fantasies dont mean you want to do them in real life and how fantasies represent kind of methaphors just like dreams do.

      In the case of rape fantasies is usually just a way of releasing frustration,s pecialy sexual frustration, that is why those fantasies are more frequent in shy guys who dont know how to date. This fantasies is how powerless people get to have power for a while in their minds.but just like you i dont like it when it happen in real life one thing is a imaginary representation of a woman and another is the real life full of emotions person.

      On a side note: i have noticed that as i get more comfortable around women and the more i interact and the better they treat me the less frequent the fantasies…

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    • In reply to Rachel K.

      Thank you for that honest comment. I appreciate it when people are open enough about their thoughts and acknowledge them and realize that by themselves they don’t mean you want to translate them into reality.

      Our actions define us. Thoughts…are just thoughts.

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  6. I appreciated this article. I suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, specifically the type where I scrutinize my thoughts obsessively and have the false belief that my thoughts are the same as actions. My obsessions begin to flare up whenever I see stories on the news about rape, because at one end I feel sympathy for the victim, but then I notice that topics like that which are sexual in nature can be arousing. This then causes me to feel incredible shame and thinking that deep down inside I might be some horrible person. I appreciate this article and the comments because thoughts are not actions. It is also true that men have testosterone which can be increased when presented with both sex or violence. It is therefore interesting how BDSM pornographers make so much money with the horrible acts displayed, but of all the millions of people who watch these films very few of them commit any of these acts.

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