Rape Culture And Fear Mongering Or Paranoia
My gut reaction to such a pejorative phrase is that this term represents no real thing. I liken a hyperbolic term as this to psychological research, which one can often poke holes in, because there is still no way to prove a human brain’s responses to any real emotion, feeling, or idea. Those who produce psychological research do not use methods that are rigorous, and therefore the findings produced by such research cannot be definitive. In this case, though, calling an entire culture rape culture is not even backed up with studies. All there is, so far is a term with no clear definition. With the exception of Hitler, no one on Earth could legally or ethically cut into a human brain and come up with a study to meet standards of scientific research. So, we cannot prove that, “Rape Culture” exists. What I find a lot in Western culture is a tendency for us to make snap judgments, come up with highly charged reactions, and then use this to target people of color, sex workers, and anyone thought to live outside the boundaries of a white dominated patriarchal society. It is fueled by panic, fear, and dis or misinformation. There is no field of study that would claim that such a misunderstood thing as rape culture can be accepted into Academia or be trusted. What, also troubles me about some who instantly cling to this kind of, “buzz phrase,” is that it inspires anti-intellectualism and bullying. It reminds me of a, “new religion” or a kind of cult. We all feel alienated, and some of us, then ally ourselves with other people who are desperate to find some replacement family or group that seems superior to the one we started out with. The problem with this is that we must not jump to conclusions, make assumptions or generalizations, because all of the things that motivate us come from an imperfect humanity. All of us have flawed families. Even though we, ideally leave our family of origin, and we do so with some hate in order to successfully complete our development, no one group we choose to join will ever be better than the one from which we came. I suspect those who believe in the existence of rape culture are already vulnerable and looking for champions to cling to, and the problem with this is that those who have coined this term should be suspect, as well. A happy transition cannot be achieved, completely, so we experience cognitive dissonance any time we conclude that our new coterie is wholly different than the only one we can compare it to – typically our biological family, and in my case, my adoptive one. I digress.
While I recognize that some women and even men have been sexually assaulted, I disagree that our American or Western culture embraces rape. To say that is to dismiss our long history of art, literature, and religions that have produced some of the greatest works of all time. Philosophy is something Western society and many other societies, as well, like Asian and Indian cultures regard highly, as well. When we try to reduce anything into such a negative term, we deny the very underpinnings that have allowed all societies and cultures to develop. It is too tempting for an entire generation of people to reduce everything to such dark and angry a reaction, and the reason I say this, is because what this does to people like me – A Sex Positive Feminist and strong proponent of women’s rights and civil rights and porn advocate is it, once again turns us into the scapegoats in the name of something that may or may not even be real. If we break down into its most basic elements what this is (rape culture) what we find is that no proof exists that all of us are being hunted by strangers, imaginary (usually men) evil beings whose only purpose it is to assault us. There is no one group of men or women for that matter whose only goal in life is to attack us. One of the problems with assuming that, “stranger danger” exists is that most incest and rape occurs in the home. I raise the issue of, “stranger danger,” because that is the other catch phrase that is associated with this manufactured term. Never mind the targeting of sex workers (to include men) but men, in general become the demons. You might wonder why a woman would defend men, but as you know, that is part of being a Sex Positive Feminist. This new kind of Feminism does not encourage hatred of men by women. We see each other as fellow human beings both of whom desire each other at various times.
Right now, as well, we must take care not to indulge those who favor censorship, and what worries me most about this trendy term is that it gives people an excuse to silence artists, comedians, sex workers, or even political groups in the name of nothing. Defining something so quickly is tempting, but it can do more harm than good. In addition, the effect of creating a blanket term has the very real effect of terrifying victims of actual incest and sexual assaults to shut up about it, because the fear mongering involved in making up terms like this has the opposite effect of the one intended. Also, it focuses on only a negative view of sex, in general. I wish we could think of sex in a more positive way and encourage healthy discussions of how wonderful sex can be. I wish all assault victims have fabulous sex lives. I want Americans and every culture to talk about the funny, exciting, and even boring sex they have. I want us to embrace a more positive view of sex to include the freedom adults have to watch pornography, for families to deal with their children’s burgeoning sex lives by communicating to them that they can have good sex when they are ready, and to never ever scapegoat sex workers, online or otherwise for any kind of unhealthy sex. I want a better world. I want to live in a world where all identities are respected. I want to live my life as a Sex Positive, single, anal whore.