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!
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
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
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.