Friday, October 26, 2012

Rape is a horrible, detestable crime

Today on his blog on the National Catholic Register site, Jimmy Akin posted a post-mortem on the political comments of his non-relation, Todd Akin of Missouri, and Richard Mourdock of Indiana.  Election season is the most common time of year for cases of foot-in-mouth syndrome, especially for the males of the species Politicus dufus; and T. Akin and Mourdock provided us with a couple of doozies on the subject of aborting children conceived through forced sex.  Back in the days before sonar and radar, the British submarine service had a saying: Never mind your enemies, watch out for your friends.

J. Akin's advice to pro-life politicians can pretty much be summed up in the old salesman's slogan KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid.  Per Murphy's Law, anything that can be misunderstood will be misunderstood, particularly when it's contracted to a three-to-five-second soundbite, and most people simply don't have the patience to read or listen to such things carefully ... especially if they're on the opposite side to begin with.  In T. Akin's case, it comes with the rider that one should not introduce questionable scientific claims into the argument.  The important points to hit are: 1) Rape is a horrible, detestable crime; AND 2) We should not punish the child for his/her father's crime ... "AND" because neither point is more important than the other.

My initial reaction, I confess, was impatience.  Why is it not taken for granted that Candidate Joe Schmuckatelli holds rape to be a horrible, detestable crime?  Why must we men be made to feel that if we don't say, in so many words, that rape is a horrible, detestable crime, we must therefore believe that rape really isn't that bad?


It no longer takes much digging into the ugly world of pornography to find what can only be described as rape fantasies, often labeled "hate-f**ks".  No weapons, no punching or kicking, yet with a level of violence as palpable as in any action thriller.  And while women are occasionally cast in the dominant role, the vast majority feature men pushing women around, forcing them to submit to their masculine power and desire.

If there weren't a market for such hideousness, no one would have ever shot a minute's worth of footage.  (Sorry for the anachronism, as everything is digital nowadays.)

It wasn't that long ago that the absence of forensic evidence for rape made prosecution very difficult if not impossible.  Without eyewitness testimony or circumstantial evidence, it was her word against his ... and if she had any kind of history that was less than near-virginal in its chastity, his word prevailed.  Common sense should tell us that even a prostitute can be raped; no police record can take away a woman's right to say "no" to a request for sex.  And yet, in some corners of our "sensitive" postmodern culture, we can still hear men (and a few women) say of a victim, "She deserved to be raped.  I mean, she's such a slut!  Look at the way she dresses ... like she's going to the stripper bar to do a few lap dances!"

So ... despite the feeling that one is treating adults like nine-year-old kids with ADD by stating what should be obvious as sunrise on a cloudless day, perhaps it still behooves us men who still believe, like Gandhi, that Western civilization "would be a very good idea" to say clearly and often that rape is a horrible, detestable crime, and that the perpetrators need long prison sentences, mental therapy, chemical castration or whatever else is needed to stop them from ever raping again (save the death penalty).

No woman "deserves" to be raped.  Not even a prostitute.  That belief is worse than anything Akin or Mourdock said.