Archives for posts with tag: Rape Culture

Blame is something which is attributed while responsibility is something which is assumed.

Let’s return to rape.
The recurring question here being:

As stated by the Chinese proverb above, victim blaming will get us nowhere. For as long as we’ll ‘blame first, ask questions later’ we’ll never understand what’s going on. Remain stuck in ‘status quo’.
Where some of the victims will feel entitled to say:

Can you blame them?
Should we blame them? After all, the broadness of the accusation ultimately reduces it to a shot in the foot…
But haven’t we agreed earlier that blame will not move us forward? No matter how we feel about the whole thing?

How about ‘manning’ up?
How about each of us, men and women, assuming responsibility? Each their own!

Simply because it is us who have to deal with the consequences!
We, the women who get raped.
We, the fathers, brothers, partners, sons, friends, etc. of the raped women.
And we, the mothers of the raped women.

We, all of us, have ‘condoned’ a society where male children are taught to be assertive. Chivalrous, maybe, but, certainly, assertive.
And, simultaneously, a society where female children are taught to behave nicely and to refrain from becoming a ‘nuisance’.
These are, roughly, the gender roles our society – read ‘we, the parents’, continue to imprint upon the young generation. The Dolce and Gabbana advertisement above being only one of the myriad examples which illustrates this fact.

What next?

In the name of ‘playing it safe’ are we going to presume that each male (?!?) is a potential rapist?
And take the ‘necessary’ precautions?

How is a potential victim going to protect herself against a (close) acquaintance?
What kind of clothing are they supposed to wear and what kind of a behavior should they adopt in order to avoid being raped by a “current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend (?!?)”

OK, let’s consider we’re done with the ‘blame-game’.
Let’s play ‘responsibly’ now. Who should assume it?

We! As in ‘All of us’.
For the simple reason that it will always be us who will ‘foot the bill’. Have to deal with the consequences!

From having to overcome the experience of being raped to helping towards healing the wounds to actually bearing the costs – not only the financial ones, of so many people being hurt.

We, the parents, need to educate our children in such a way as to understand that rape – in any shape, way or form, is unacceptable.
We, both men and women, need to educate ourselves about what to do when in ‘dire straits’. How to avoid ‘dangerous situations’ – from not going to ‘sleazy’ bars to not taking our dates to ‘unsafe’ places.
We, all of us, need to educate ourselves towards openness. Towards coming forward when something like this happens. Towards helping those who suffer it. As in being an ‘active’ participant instead of pretending nothing happened.
And, last but not least, we – all of us, need to learn how to overcome this.
And how to help the victims to overcome their tragic experiences.


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As much as I love writing, I do have to eat.
And to provide for my family.
Earning money takes time.
If you’d like me to write more, and on a more regular basis, hit the button.
Your contribution will be appreciated!

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One way to interpret Maslow’s pyramid of needs is to consider that an individual might become a full fledged human only after having climbed to the ‘fifth floor’.

The key word here being “might”!

Because nothing mandates that all those who have overcome the material constraints of this world and have successfully integrated themselves in the social milieu will ever become a ‘better version of themselves’.

Need examples? Have you ever heard about people like Bernie Madoff, Martin Shkreli or Myron Scholes?

‘But the last guy, Myron Scholes, was recognized by the Nobel committee as a world class economist!’
Exactly! What more could a person want? Money, fame, worldwide recognition… he was on the fast track to becoming whoever he wanted…
Yet he had chosen to associate himself with one of the deepest financial black-hole ever… Knowingly, unknowingly… doesn’t matter!

‘But what does it mean to become a full fledged human?’

To be free. To consider them-self a free person and to be recognized as such by their peers.

‘Scholes wasn’t a free person?!? Shkreli?!? Madoff?!?’

Nope. Neither was free from greed!
Greed for money, power, public recognition… or any combination thereof.

‘But “greed is good”!!! Isn’t this the current mantra? Aren’t we all driven by this sentiment?!?’

First of all, greed is not good. Read Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiment.
But yes, we are bombarded from all sides with this notion. That ‘greed is good. That greed is the engine of capitalism, which capitalism has brought us here. Where it is good.’

Yes, here it is indeed good. Only for fewer and fewer of us. It used to be better but since ‘greed has become good’ every ‘bump’ we encounter along the ‘free market’ road has proven to be quite a challenge. An insurmountable challenge for more and more of us.
An unsustainable arrangement. For us, as a community.
And yes, capitalism is the best economic paradigm to date. Only, as all paradigms, it has to be put in practice. By us, the people. In the right way. In the free market way.
Only we are no longer free! Those who cannot escape their sentiment may not consider themselves free. And too many of us have been enslaved by their greed!

‘But greed is written in our DNA!’

Indeed! So is the urge to have sex!
Only we’ve managed to teach ourselves, community wise, that while sex is good, rape is bad!
Not so long ago, rape was more or less condoned. ‘She must have enticed him’. ‘What was she doing there at that hour?’ And so on…
Nowadays, rape is shunned. By most of us.

Only we still live surrounded by rape culture. Seeped in greed.

Will we ever learn?
Will we, as a community, ‘actualize’ ourselves?

Or ‘what can be learned from a stand-up comedian’s long standing career?’:

OK, there are at least two sides of this and until recently there was no sure fire way of ascertaining either:.
1 – he did it and then we have to ask ourselves how come nothing came up for so long or
2 – he didn’t do it and then we have to ask ourselves how come such an obscene thing can happen to a ‘pillar of the society’: “You’ve got to stop beating up your women because you can’t find a job, because you didn’t want to get an education and now you’re (earning) minimum wage,”

Now, after “newly unsealed court documents revealed that the comedian has admitted to giving at least one woman quaaludes before sex”, we have to answer a very clear question. One that every rape victim that has not yet find justice has been yelling at us since the moment of her being violated:

Why are we so willing to overlook the really aberrant behavior of the perpetrator while attempting to make excuses that throw the guilt on the victim?”

(I used quotation marks because I borrowed this from a FB wall. I didn’t provide a link because the owner of that wall has a ‘friends only’ policy. Nevertheless, this is my way of offering thanks for a very well asked question. So well asked in fact as to prod the following answer:)

The fact is that we, modern humans, are so entangled between two conflicting emotions that we sometime behave quite erratically.
On one hand we admire success and successful/powerful figures and on the other we hate/fear failure.
This conflict that tears us apart drives some of us to admire the ‘predators’ – at least as long as they are not caught – and to despise the victim – as long as it is not one of ‘us’.
This might appear as a perversion but maybe this is exactly what we need to do in order to survive as conscious human beings: to constantly adjust our behavior as close to the straight and narrow as possible.
After all it is us who came up with the concept of ‘the end justifies the means’… which, seen from the other side, might be read as ‘Be careful what you wish for, lest it comes true’.

Some of Cosby’s victims might have doubted not only the ability of the judicial system to adequately take care of the matter (“The district attorney on the case told the Daily Mail that at the time, he thought Cosby was probably guilty, and he wanted to arrest him, but he didn’t have sufficient proof of the alleged assault.”), the consequences of filing a complaint but also their value as a person: “What could I say? I was 19 years old. I felt, ‘He’s Bill Cosby. He’ll lawyer himself up. I don’t have a lawyer. It’s going to be he said, she said, and they’ll look at me like I’m crazy.’ … My reputation would have been ruined.”

There is also a way bigger problem. This attitude of ours, the inner conflict, manifests itself in even more pernicious ways.
The German culture is a very strict one. It’s almost inconceivable for a German national to offer a bribe to a fellow German. Yet Siemens had no qualms to shower graft money on foreigners: “Siemens and the battle against bribery and corruption“.
Same thing is valid for the US. Most of the world thinks, backed by the very strong anti-corruption legislation that has been put in place there and by the insistence with which American government officials preach abroad on this subject, that the Union must be a corruption free heaven. Yet things are not exactly as they should be. “An associate warned him that he’d have to “pay to play” “, “Judge Gets ‘Life Sentence’ for Prison Kickback Scheme”, and “Lockheed Wants Out of 40-Years-Old Disclosure Demand”.

This attitude also influences International politics. Putin was lionized in the Western media up to the summer of 2014 despite his ‘antics’ (or rather because of them?!?) and even now almost 22% of the Americans still have confidence in him…not to mention his huge popularity at home, bolstered precisely after the latest events.

The explanation is quite simple. What happened in Putin’s case, as well as in the Siemens/Lockheed Martin developments, follows the pattern we can discern in the dual career of Bill Cosby – stand up comedian and sexual molester. For as long as the perpetrators are seen as being successful, they garner strong collections of fans. As soon as enough of those fans understand that it’s precisely those ‘successes’ that jeopardize the general well being – including their own, the erstwhile fans suddenly wise up.

” “Completely disgusted,” tweeted singer Jill Scott, who had vociferously defended her mentor.” 
PS. Now what about this:
“Bill Cosby’s private art collection at Smithsonian withstands controversy”
““It just raises a little eyebrow that a trustee of a museum is lending [her] own collection, funding part of the exhibition and the exhibition is highlighting works … by less well-known artists whose work is considered by some to be undervalued,””
Normal development or over-reaction?
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