1. MEN RAPE FROM LUST NOT RAGE
Let me start with a facetious declaration: the only reason I'm not a potential rapist is that I'm 5' 5″ and weigh a 125 pounds. Unless I go on a two-year weight-training regimen, most women would be able to fight me off successfully.
Which brings me to the point of why men rape. It's because they can. Men have physical power over women. They're bigger and stronger than their victims, so they rape them. Being pragmatic, men have availed themselves of this advantage since the dawn of man.
In fact, rape is as natural to mankind as nesting is to womankind. We may frown upon it now — thank heavens — but a few hundred years ago men were raping and pillaging like locusts tearing up a cornfield, which afforded them a pleasant diversion from burning women as witches or killing them not-so-softly via childbirth. Back then, men had absolute power over women; accordingly, so did their penises.
Did that mean they had anger issues with women? I don't think so. They just did what came naturally. In fact, I don't buy into the notion that men rape because they hate women. I think most rapists rape because they lust, not because they're mad at women. Of course there are some serial offenders who are psychopaths, with the empathy section of their brain MIA. But I believe rape is a different story for most Ivy League students who date-rape co-eds, or for army guys who rape fellow soldiers, or for Peace Corp volunteers who rape fellow volunteers. We're talking about thousands of nice, well-brought-up lads, who will go on to marry and have children, if they haven't done so already. I don't think they rape because they hate women, as comforting a notion as that may be to the ears of pop-psychology feminists. I think these men rape because they want a particular woman and have few qualms about forcing themselves upon that woman; they know they can get away with it. Their physical power makes them feel entitled to having their way with their lust object. Heck, they probably think they're doing their victims a favor by throwing them a boner. It's not hate or anger that makes them do it — they just want to screw a particular female. Some of these errant bastards will do it again. Some might even make a habit of it.
2. BHL AND DSK
A prick like Dominique Strauss-Kahn has most probably been leaping on French chambermaids all his life, and gotten away with it. The mistake he made was to try and rape an African immigrant in New York, a ballsy woman who was strong enough to fight back, and who let him stick his manhood in her mouth twice after he slapped her around a bit, but in the end she escaped.
Now a leading French intellectual like BHL, who must've been aware (as France's entire elite was aware) that DSL had problems with a libido that was as reckless as a financial derivative, comes up with this nouveaux philosophes drivel:
“I do not know — but, on the other hand, it would be nice to know, and without delay — how a chambermaid could have walked in alone, contrary to the habitual practice of most of New York’s grand hotels of sending a 'cleaning brigade' of two people, into the room of one of the most closely watched figures on the planet.”
“I hold it against all those who complacently accept the account of this other young woman, this one French, who pretends to have been the victim of the same kind of attempted rape, who has shut up for eight years but, sensing the golden opportunity, whips out her old dossier and comes to flog it on television.”
Perhaps BHL should button up his vulgar shirt along with his vulgar piehole while his friend is stuck with an electronic bracelet down where Achilles got nailed by an arrow. Going by BHL's example, one wonders if the French are not a bunch of pre-ancien regime misogynist sexists, despite their celebration of fashion and perfume and Truffaut-sophisticated dialogue about l'amour fair and fou, and le plaisir of sexual joie de vivre between sensuous, sensual and consensual adults, who are free to disregard the shaky shackles of le marriage.
DSK's moneyed friends (who include BHL) and his oh-so-understanding wealthy wife are probably going to buy off his accuser with a tidy package. By all accounts DSK is a brilliant man, the great left hope against the noxious Sarkozy, and a fine globalist-economist, who has cast a suspicious eye at the camp of the Wall-Street-uber-alles Slime Masters of the Universe like Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, Alan Greenspan and their odious ilk. Still, I sincerely hope DSK ends up in a jail with some African-American cons, where his posterior will be in for a world of hurt, which he richly deserves. Then he'll experience what it's like to be on the receiving end of the power equation. Guys like him are lucky our society does not chop off their winkies, which by me is the only appropriate punishment for rape. When you have to pee through a stump for the rest of your life, you're never going to forget that you got that stump because you were a pig.
3. RAPE IS NOT A TRANSGRESSION, IT'S AN INSTITUTIONAL HABIT
Rape is a much more prevalent institutional practice than is generally acknowledged. It happens in a majority of American institutions and other institutions all over the world, wherever men and women gather. Let's face it: rape is one of the most polished pillars of the patriarchy. That's the thing about rape that most people miss: it's not a lone-wolf enterprise — it's a cultural, institutional enterprise.
For example, the cops rape prostitutes. That's a perk of the job in every country from ours to Cambodia.
In the military, many women can expect to be raped, and when it happens, they can expect to be told not to complain.
The Catholic Church is another example. For centuries the biggest church on earth has had what they call altar boys, which is code for boys who are free to be raped by those priests who are so inclined. The Catholic Church has been a resplendently respectable refuge for rapists. Nothing works as powerfully as religion to control the young and the weak. Only in our time, and only at first in America, did this centuries-old Catholic practice come to light, a practice sanctioned by most of its popes and cardinals and bishops through the ages.
Ex-IMF chief and would-be President of France Dominique Strauss-Kahn is only one example of powerful men who force themselves upon their subordinates. There are millions of them all over the world. And not all of them are as crazy as Idi Amin, of whom I will tell you the following story. If you don't like graphic violence, skip the next two paragraphs.
My friend tells me a girlfriend of hers was at a nightclub in Kampala, Uganda with her boyfriend. Idi Amin arrives with a posse, and starts dancing with her. The boyfriend briefly objects, then goes to the bathroom. She doesn't see him again. She leaves after a few dances, and drives home. When she opens her front door, there is Idi Amin sitting in her livingroom. He calmly announces two things. Number one, he's in her home to screw her. And number two, before he does that, he wants her to get him an orange juice. So she walks to the kitchen and opens the fridge to get the juice, and sees in her fridge, staring glassily-eyed back at her, the decapitated head of her boyfriend.
What does she do? She takes Idi Amin his orange juice, she lets him screw her, repeatedly, and when she wakes up the next morning and finds that she is still alive, she goes to the airport and takes the first flight out.
That's the kind of crap women have to put up with all over the world every minute of their waking days and sleeping nights. I can tell you worse stuff, especially about rape in war. (Was your granny a German woman when the Russians overran East-Germany in WW2? Was your great-granny a Chinese woman in Nanking when the Japanese took the city? Do you have a daughter in Congo?). But for now I'll spare us our delicate American sensibilities. Jon Stewart likes to make skull-f*ck jokes all the time, but he and me and his viewers wouldn't laugh if we came across the real thing.
Then there are young men all over the world who rape women: call them the institution of young bucks. I have a friend who is a barman, who's worked in a number of our American states, and he told me that there is guaranteed to be at least one young dude on any evening in every bar in the land who tries to slip a roofie into a chick's drink so he can shtup her later when she doesn't know what's happening to her. As an expert, my barman friend regularly spots these vagina jockeys, night after night, and what he does is alert the offender's friends, who usually take their friend outside and kick the crap out of him. If there is one potential rapist in every bar in the land on every evening, we're talking about millions of young-buck rapists.
One of my girlfriends once said to me, you know, you're the first boyfriend I've had that I'm not scared of — the first one by whom I don't feel physically threatened. What do you mean, I asked — I'm the first boyfriend you've had that you know won't hit you or anything? Yes, she said, that's exactly what I mean. Imagine that: this woman, who was in her thirties, had always lived in fear of the guys who loved her.
In fact, being a man, I have no idea what it's like to live with the fear of being raped. Besides going to prison, where men get raped — and where you probably get used to being someone's bitch — the closest thing to dreading rape that I can imagine would be a society in which penile amputation was a traditional custom, so that when you leave your home in the morning you'll be thinking that this might very well be the day that your willy gets abbreviated (if you instinctively wanted to cover your crotch while you were reading the above, you've got a smidgen of an inkling of a notion of what it might be like to be a woman).
4. FIVE OF MY GIRLFRIENDS WERE RAPE SURVIVORS WHEN I MET THEM
Of the eight or so serious girlfriends I've had, five have told me that they were raped when they were younger. One had to let an abortion doctor screw her before she got her illegal abortion from him. One was raped by her cousin while her mother was in the room next door. One was gang-raped by her boyfriend's four friends, an evening's entertainment arranged by her boyfriend. One was raped by an actual psychopath, who had an axe with which he threatened to kill her and her kid. He raped her repeatedly, and she got out alive by, Sheherezade-style, talking-talking-talking with him, until he finally left in the morning. He ended up behind bars; the others did not because they were not reported.
In South Africa, where I come from, rape is a cultural institution. Most boys experience their first sex by coercing a girl, and most girls are coerced out of their maidenhood. (Here in America, girls as young as twelve and thirteen give blowjobs to get out of having to screw boys, and because our sexualized culture and peer pressure force them to believe it would be uncool not to do it.) In South Africa a few years ago, grown men went on baby-raping sprees when there was a folkloric belief that this could cure you of AIDS. A white woman in South Africa who was gang-raped by a bunch of black teenage boys caused quite a stir when she wrote that the boys were out for an evening of fun, and that they enjoyed themselves. This didn't fit the feminist notion that rapists hate and detest women, and the victim was roundly abused by feminists for writing the truth. Just goes to show — women might suffer as much from the aftermath of the rape as they do from the rape itself. Which is one reason why so many don't report any rape. And irony of ironies, they might even suffer at the hands of their sister feminists.
And then there are cultures in which a rape victim is murdered by her family because she is believed to have brought shame upon them.
5. IS THERE ANY SOLUTION TO THE CRIME OF RAPE?
I think the crime of rape will remain a huge and undisclosed problem everywhere until it is included in middle school sex ed in a way that I have no idea how it could be included –and if feminism not only flowers into the most powerful force on earth, but becomes as quotidian as jeans and as natural as water. Meanwhile, it would help if the crime itself is regarded as just about as heinous as murder. When I grew up in South Africa, the standard punishment for rape was execution. In one celebrated case, two white guys who were being prosecuted for serial rape got bail, and used their bail time to rape another woman. They ended up hanging by the neck until they were very dead.
I don't like the idea of capital punishment for anything — not even a terrorist act that kills hundreds — but I did not feel very sorry for these guys or their families when I read that they were dead. I acknowledge that's a dire chink in the liberal armor of civilization I affect to wear, but there it is. Some atavistic revulsion at the thought of a stronger person taking advantage of a weaker person makes me want to see the stronger person dead. Not very noble of me, but what can one do when, like Godzilla from the deep, one's reptile brain rears its ugly head?
Rape itself is an atavistic, reptilian practice. It's a way for even the most powerless man to exercise power over another human. It's freakily basic and quotidian to the testicular nature of man. Maybe that's why it elicits such atavistic feelings: Look, she wanted it! Hey, they should cut off his dick! It wouldn't have happened if she hadn't worn a miniskirt!
Rape is one of those ugly things that most of us can't think through calmly. Myself, I can sit through the most violent movie imaginable, and I have. But when there's a rape scene in a film, I look away. I find it totally distressing. I just saw a movie about what happened in Nanking, and it freaked me out beyond endurance. Yet many women who've been raped — like my rape-survivor girlfriends — pick up their shattered pieces, knit them together, and live on.
I think this speaks to something deeply heroic in women that men can only fantasize about. Men can't be the heroes that women are. Ever. Not by a chalk as long as the phallic symbol of a space elevator. By that I don't necessarily mean that ours would be a better world if it were run by women (although I think it would be, despite Margaret Thatcher and Indira Gandhi not being my favorite world leaders). By that I mean to ask: what would a man do if he were in a women's shoes? I know what I'd do. I'd go get me a gun and kill my assailant. I'd be tempted to walk around with a gun all the time, and any time a man made unwanted advances or remarks, I'd be wanting to answer him with a bullet in his crotch.
Most women don't do that. They grin and bear it. They put up with the crap that men give them on a daily basis. They navigate the patriarchy. They move on, day after day. I think that's nothing less than flat-out heroic.
6. RAPISTS ARE RAISED BY MOMS
Someone always brings up this point, so I'll bring it up myself: rapists and sexists are raised by mothers. What exactly does this mean: that testosterone dooms too many men, despite their nurturing at the hand and breast of a woman? I don't know. But listen, if you're a man, dip your head politely in the presence of a woman at least once a day, just so your psyche can marinate itself in a habit of respect. And if you're a woman, hold your head high, as bloody high as you can. For that matter, hold your nose high, too: most guys don't deserve any better.
If the truth be told, a majority of men are pigs in one way or another. It's not a very comfortable truth, but it's nonetheless as true as the fact that a woman in South Africa has a better chance of being raped than learning how to read; as true as the fact that one in three American women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime; as true as the fact that only 16% of rapes are reported to our cops; and as true as the fact that if DSK had become President of France, he wouldn't have changed his ways one wicked bit. In fact, he would've been worse. For sure.
Because let's face it, folks. Power corrupts the penis. And absolute power corrupts the penis absolutely.