Archive for December 9th, 2006

Hi everyone,
I got a comment today on my post On Rape. I thought it was important enough to devote a post to the question and my response. Below is the comment, from a commenter who calls himself Future Rapist. Below that is my response. I invite you to read it through, and to join me in talking about this issue, because I think it is one of the most important topics we can ever talk about together.

Actually I landed on this e-page while searching information, how to avoid women’s or girls? In my environment there are more women’s and girls with skirts and tops. I attempt many times to change the environment, as if my fate goes wrong where I go in some way or other way I have interact such women’s or girls. Most of time when self conious of herself, my mind never thinks of sex with her. But when women’s and girls are very open, I could hardly control myself. So far I am controlling by leaving the place of short time and join the work after sometime. On the other hand its not possible to leave such environment all the time.

Anyways, I would like question the originator of the article and he/she defended the victim and blames fully on rapist.

My question is how he/she is going to mark a line in between seduction and attempt to rape or rape.

Your answer is highly appreciated for a guy like me who could be a future rapist.

Future Rapist

well, first of all, you’ve got a lot of guts to ask such a question. It sounds like you want to do the right thing, so I’ll answer your question, and hopefully it will help you, and the women you are in contact with.

First of all, you cannot assume that anything a woman does indicates she wants to have sex with you. Not the way she is dressed, not how she talks to you or acts toward you. Society puts a lot of pressure on women to be sexually suggestive, and that comes out in how women dress and act and talk. And even when you might be in an intimate situation with a woman, she might only be willing to do certain things and not be willing to do others. So don’t make assumptions about a woman’s desire by these things, as they are not necessarily indicators of what she wants.

The only way to make sure of what a woman wants is to ask her in a way that is sincere and not coercive. That means make it clear to her that you will not want to do anything that she doesn’t want to do. Let her know that it is important to you to
make sure she feels safe and secure and if she feels uncomfortable at any time that you will stop. Do not try to convince her to do something she has said she does not want to do. This is not seduction; it is coercion. If she says no, that is the end. NO MEANS NO. You must not continue to do anything that a woman has told you to stop doing. And here’s the trick: she might not tell you with words. She might tell you by moving your hands away, or trying to physically move away from you, or by not responding to you either verbally or physically. 70% of communication is physical, so pay close attention to what she is telling you with her body.

So, you have to respond to a woman’s “negative” body language that tells you she doesn’t like what you are doing, but you have to get confirmation from her in regards to “positive” body language that tells you she might want to be intimate with you. If you can’t get this confirmation, for any reason, then assume she does not want to be intimate with you. better safe than rape.

I’m a bit concerned with the way you seem to view women in general. Women are not objects to be used for men’s sexual gratification, or even just to be looked at and enjoyed, like pieces of art. Women are people who have minds and feelings and desires of their own. Women are not there to be used by or to serve men. They are not to be won over or convinced to do anything. Just removing yourself from the environment isn’t enough – you really need to rethink your attitude toward women. I suggest you seek out counselling to help you think about women in a more healthy and respectful way.

Sex is something that should be enjoyable for all parties involved, and something that all parties are comfortable with and want to do, at all times throughout the encounter. The idea that there is a point of no return is false: both men and women can stop at any time. It might suck, but it has to be done if consent is at issue.

Also, bear in mind that rape is not only wrong and immoral, but also ILLEGAL. You’re not just an asshole of you rape a woman – you’re also a criminal. Rape has consequences that are devestating to the survivor, both emotionally and physically. But rape also has consequences for the rapist. So if you’re not won over by appeals to refrain from hurting a woman in such a way, then perhaps you’ll be influenced by the legal consequences of rape.

I hope this is clear, and helpful to you. Please take this advice very carefully. Now you cannot say you didn’t know. Now you have the information you need not to become a rapist.

Thanks to Ruxandra for her help in formulating this response.

If any of my other readers have any suggestions for this commenter, please pitch in. I think this is an important topic – maybe the most important topic we can deal with on this blog. Violence against women is at epidemic levels, and it has to stop. One of the ways we can contribute to ending VAW is through discussions like this, so please, join me.

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So, I’ve been tagged by Ruxandra. I have to recommend a book in one paragraph. YIKES! Which of the thousands of books should I recommend? Fiction or non-fiction? Something about feminism? Something about philosophy? Something that I found helpful, useful? Something that made me feel something wonderful?

really, just one?

I think I’ll recommend the book I most loved these past few years:

time-travelers-wife-cover.jpgThe Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger. This book is just pure magic. It is about a man named Henry, and his wife Clare. Clare meets Henry when she is very young, and Henry is a grown man. Henry meets Clare when she is in her early 20s, but not before. You see, Henry time travels. But not by choice – he does so involuntarily, thanks to a strange physical condition he has. So while Clare has grown up knowing Henry, Henry hasn’t met Clare until she is an adult. The story is fantastical, due to the element of time-travel. But on another level altogether, the story is magical because it is a completely romantic love story like no other you’ve read. The connection between Henry and Clare is really touching and lovely. The book is impossible to put down, highly addictive, and overwhelming in its ability to make you FEEL the story. It’s tragic and beautiful and sad and passionate and absolutely unforgettable. Everyone I’ve given this book to has loved it deeply and counts it among their favourites, and has thanked me for introducing them to it. So, now I’m passing it along to you. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Thanks Ruxandra for the opportunity to plug this book to a wider audience!

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