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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The R word

RAPE, there I've said it. This is a hard topic for a man to write or discuss, but it affects everyone.
I'm not an expert psychologist, but recently I've been reading a feminist's blog that I mentioned previously. She has very specific views on the subject and reading the comments so do most of her readers. What they define as rape, is not what most men would consider it to be. I've thought about it for a day or two and thought to add my two cents.
Being male, though I might speak for all of my gender it is my perspective. That caveat added here goes:
The legal concept of rape is when a man physically makes a woman have sex against her will. It is a crime, because it is physically forced, even if there are no signs of harm. A gun, knife or sheer size of the attacker may cause the woman not to struggle, deadly force is considered physical harm.

The women felt that a boyfriend, significant other or spouse gets angry at the woman's "no" frightening her with verbal abuse, sexual rights based on religious beliefs, threatens to leave, pouts for an hour or more, refuses to take out the trash, etc. Men can be rather temperamental when they're in the mood and the woman isn't.
Should the woman though not wanting sex then says, "Yes" giving in to this emotional blackmail in a legal sense this is not rape. Consent was given, this type of duress isn't a factor in a court of law.

Men like the legal concept of rape, and the women say, "Bullshit."

As a man the legal concept is what is thought of should a woman use the word against him. Stop yelling women and let me finish the thought. Just as a woman's reputation can be ruined by a man writing about her on the men's room wall, or derogatory words concerning her sexual experience, if a woman files a legal charge of rape against a man, even if the charges are dropped or he is found not guilty this is a black mark that sticks for life. The number of men released from prison the last ten years because DNA testing exonerated them makes this a valid point.

I know that one in four or five women in their lifetimes will be raped. I know that two thirds or more of all rapes go unreported. I know that the majority of rapes are done by someone the woman knows: family members, friends of the family, boyfriend. Those are only statistics.

I also know first hand what happens to young girls who've been sexually abused. Twenty seven years teaching middle school and high school and you see much more than you ever wanted making your  heart break. When a young girl goes from smiles and being friendly with other students, even giving the teacher a little attitude, then over a weekend she starts dressing like it's winter in 80 degree heat. She comes in alone and leaves alone without saying a word to other students keeping her head down refusing eye contact and fights to hold back tears. You know this young woman, has been scarred for life.
By law observing such signs teachers are required to report this to the councilors, and on a few occasions I did, but usually women teachers were there before me seeing subtle changes in her long before I could tell.

I don't know what the answer is to an age old human problem, but making rape a one size fits all word by women for every time they said yes when they really didn't want to, or felt trapped in a relationship financially or emotionally only causes more confusion on a very serious matter.

I know, I know, I'm a man and just don't get it.


Unknown said...

P M: It is a vicious crime of violence. The perpetrators should be brought to justice. Through counseling, many victims have benefited, and I hope and pray these resources are always presented as options under such horrible circumstances.

P M Prescott said...

Michael, I am in complete agreement.