Penises don’t rape people. People rape people.
Rape is about the physical violation of a person, power over the person. It’s about dominance, punishment, and humiliation. It’s a very personal one-on-one kind of terrorism, not always but mostly perpetrated (and penetrated) by men. Just like mass murderers and terrorists.
This is not bashing men. It’s bashing the culture with the concept of rape as integral as marbling is to a rib eye.
The most colorful expression of rape I ever heard came from a man complaining about a waitress: “I’d like to jerk off in her ear.” It was not about sex. It was not about “getting some action.”
He expressed his frustration as a desire to rape her–at least her ear–a punishment for not meeting his expectations. She didn’t fill up his drink or bring the meal fast enough.
Rape Culture Embedded in Language
This past weekend I finally saw how much rape is part of Western Culture, using the word F*CK. Some people are working steadily to make the F-bomb just another word with no shock value. People who don’t use such language will still say “screw it.”
If we don’t like something, we want to physically violate it. Our very language uses f*ck to vent our emotions–women as well as men. How far is that from that to actually raping or killing someone? People who are peaceful, like me for example, are willing to imagine the violence, even if we mean it metaphorically. What about people with less impulse control?
I don’t want to f*ck (eeeewwww) or violate or kill Donald Trump, no matter how much I dislike him. Yet the thought crosses my mind that someone should “take him out with extreme prejudice.” That thought puts me in the same category as any terrorist or mass-murderer, at least according to the Good Shepherd.
Rape culture objectifies victims
Add this to the misogyny of the use of language (compare “sissy” to “buddy” as names for siblings) , and you have a language that is white cis-male dominated. The people who complain about “political correctness” are the ones who don’t want to show common courtesy or respect to non-white, non-male people. Some of them do not see non-white-males as people at all. Every rape victim is suspect, even after the conviction of the perpetrator/penetrator of three felonies. Rape culture portrays men as unable to resist women, and therefore, it is the woman’s problem. Even in school dress codes, girls get sent home so as not to “distract” boys.
So it is with f*ck. I am not shocked by the word. I have used it often in my life. The idea of rape that the word reinforces even in my mind offends me, whether in full Anglo-Saxon or euphemism. Until we can erase the idea of physical or mental violation of a person or idea that we don’t like, we will continue to have rapes and mass murders.
Can we change the rape culture embedded in our use of language? It will take more than “f*ck it” to change our minds.