Rape culture is a narrative.
Whether it’s one reflecting fiction or fact I’ll leave alone for the moment, but even the most earnest proponents of the claimed reality of rape culture cannot deny that rape culture is a cultivated narrative in the public political discourse and the public zeitgeist of western civilization in the 21st century.
Some feminists will claim rape culture is nothing less than a factual representation of the apparently real public environment of sexual predation against all women and girls. Ignored in this definition is the fact that women are not the only victims of rape. It discounts the rape of children by clergy, the rape of men by men, the rape of men by women, the rape of juveniles by their teachers, including female teachers, and the rape of male prisoners by female prison employees, both in adult as well as juvenile correctional facilities. No, for the most earnest proponents of so-called rape culture, it’s a description of male sexuality, and in fact male identity, as predatory and criminal. And it is the confining of female identity into the tiny enclosure of permanent victim, and helpless inanimate object.
Rape culture is a belief, not simply in the innate evil in all male human beings, but in the perpetual childhood and lack of agency in women. And this cultural narrative persists in a world in which rape is, by a wide margin, the least frequent type of violent crime tracked by law enforcement agencies. For the stats on that I refer you to the US DOJ statistics.
My personal characterization of what the narrative of rape culture is will probably raise objections from it’s proponents, those who believe in the narrative that rape culture is a concrete reality and not simply a fabricated cultural narrative.
Prempting such complaints, I will refer to the writing of one Susan Brownmiller. Brownmiller is a feminist and an author, and among other places, her essays are published in the Huffington Post. And, when she is published by such current online journals, it is always with an obligatory reference to her 1975 book “Against Our Will” . Written in ’75 yes, but continuously referenced every time Brownmiller is published in the HuffPo and elsewhere.
The content of that 1975 book is relevant to our culture’s current narrative, specifically, the component we refer to as rape culture.
Here is an excerpt.
Indeed, one of the earliest forms of male bonding must have been the gang rape of one woman by a band of marauding men. This accomplished, rape became not only a male prerogative, but man’s basic weapon of force against woman, the principal agent of his will and her fear.
His forcible entry into her body, despite her physical protestations and struggle, became the vehicle of his victorious conquest over her being, the ultimate test of his superior strength, the triumph of his manhood.
Man’s discovery that his genitalia could serve as a weapon to prehistoric times, along with the use of fire and the first crude stone axe. From prehistoric times to the present, I believe, rape has played a critical function.
It is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear.
According to this, for a man, his genitals are not a physical connection to sexual identity, or spirituality as manifested in some pagan religions. It is not even an integral part of himself as a physical being. No, in this narrative, a penis is an implement of pain and damage. It’s a weapon.
A more vicious and cruel imagining of human beings as other, and as enemy, it’s hard for me to fathom. But, it gets worse.
Rape, according to Brownmiller, is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear. All men, against all women, in a process of concsious and purposeful intimidation and cultivation of fear.
These are ideas from Brownmillers’ writing, which almost every time she has article or an essay published in HuffPo and elsewhere, are promoted.
Brownmiller’s definition then is integral to every mention of rape culture.
Understand this. Rape culture is a product of hate culture. Its nothing less than a conscious process of constant imputation of malice by which all feminists keep all men and boys in a climate of permanent accusation.