Rape

type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse without consent
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Rape, in legal terms, is a form of assault where one person forces another into sexual intercourse.

QuotesEdit

 
In medieval times, opportunities to rape and loot were among the few advantages open to...soldiers, who were paid with great irregularity by their leaders...When the city of Constantinople was sacked in 1204, rape and plunder went hand in hand, as in the sack of almost every ancient city....Down through the ages, triumph over women by rape became a way to measure victory, part of a soldier's proof of masculinity and success, a tangible reward for services rendered...[and] an actual reward of war. ~ Susan Brownmiller
 
[A] product of a living organism (the rapist) is used to attack a biological system (the reproductive system) in members of the enemy population. Although this attack need not produce illness, it is designed to produce social chaos … . Sperm so used becomes a social and psychological toxin, poisoning the futures of victims and their communities by producing children who, if they survive, will remind whoever raised them of their traumatic origins in torture. … Unlike bacteria and viruses, sperm is easily containable, storable, preservable, and deliverable by means of men's bodies. ~ C. Card
 
For most men, hearing a description of an encounter where the man is forcing the woman to have sex, and the woman is in distress or pain, dampens the arousal by about 50 percent compared to arousal levels during a scene of consenting lovemaking. Ordinarily violence inhibits sexual arousal in men. A blood flow loss of 50 percent means a man would not be able to penetrate a woman. ~ Howard Barbaree
 
...where a man does not engage in communicative sexuality, he acts either out of reckless disregard, or out of willful ignorance. For he cannot know, except through the practice of communicative sexuality, whether his partner has any sexual reason for continuing the encounter. And where she does not, he runs the risk of imposing on her what she is not willing to have. All that is needed, then, in order to provide women with legal protection from date rape is to make both reckless indifference and willful ignorance a sufficient condition of mens rea, and to make communicative sexuality the accepted norm of sex to which a reasonable woman would agree. ~ L. Pineau
 
The message to people raped by intimate partners or raped while unconscious is clear: don’t report; don’t prosecute. Even if you’re demonstrably telling the truth, we still won’t offer appropriate punishment. Unless you were raped by a violent stranger down a dark alley, with the bruises to show for it, your rape doesn’t count. (And, even then, what were you doing in the alley?) ~ Emer O'Toole
 
It is vital... to establish facilities for providing sexual comfort to the soldiers as soon as possible. ~ Okabe Naosaburo
 
But is it necessary to talk about rape? Maybe women don't want it discussed. Maybe victims, no matter how rare or prevalent they were, haven't shared their stories for a reason.
It isn't hard to imagine why a woman raped during the Holocaust might stay silent. Irrespective of circumstances, when it comes to sexual victimization, there's fear, shame and concern about being blamed or viewed as "damaged goods."
In Yiddish, there's a word, "shanda" (pronounced shonda, like Honda) which means shame or pity -- the sort that, if revealed, might cast one's family or even the entire Jewish people in a bad light. Especially for older generations, it's considered a shanda to talk about certain things. Rape, molestation or sexual relations that kept women alive, whether they were forced or chosen, would be among the stories many might say would be better kept to oneself.
Add to this, survivor guilt: the anguish many carried of having lived while millions perished. Still alive, some might wonder, what right would a raped survivor have to complain? ~ Jessica Ravitz
 
Why should murder be so over-represented in our popular fiction, and crimes of a sexual nature so under-represented? Surely it cannot be because rape is worse than murder, and is thus deserving of a special unmentionable status. Surely, the last people to suggest that rape was worse than murder were the sensitively reared classes of the Victorian era … And yet, while it is perfectly acceptable (not to say almost mandatory) to depict violent and lethal incidents in lurid and gloating high-definition detail, this is somehow regarded as healthy and perfectly normal, and it is the considered depiction of sexual crimes that will inevitably attract uproars of the current variety. ~ Alan Moore
 
“Policy is being driven,” Yager wrote in his analysis, by the idea “that false allegations are exceedingly rare.” But we simply don’t know how rare they are. What’s more, no legal or moral system purporting to be just can make presumptions about individual cases based on statistics. ~ Emily Yoffe
  • Throughout the country, many emergency care facilities fail to offer women who’ve been raped the treatment they need to prevent pregnancy. Emergency contraceptive (EC) pills, sometimes referred to as the “morning-after pill” can prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse, including rape. EC significantly reduces the risk of pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse or contraceptive failure. It is most effective if taken within 12 hours of intercourse, but can be effective up to at least 120 hours.
    Many emergency care facilities fail to provide EC to women who’ve been raped and some fail even to inform women seeking care after an assault that such a treatment is available. According to a study by the ACLU, fewer than 40 percent of emergency care facilities in eight of eleven states surveyed provide EC on-site to rape victims. The failure of hospitals and other facilities treating rape victims to provide EC unacceptably leaves these women at risk of becoming pregnant as a result of assault. EC is part of comprehensive care for women who have been raped and should be offered on-site by emergency care facilities.
  • Time is absolutely critical for a woman who wishes to prevent pregnancy after rape. The effectiveness of EC diminishes with delay: Experts stress that EC is most effective the sooner it is taken, with effectiveness decreasing every 12 hours.4 Therefore it is extremely important that emergency care facilities offer EC to women who have been raped during their initial exam.
  • By the time a woman arrives at an emergency facility, hours may have already elapsed since the rape took place. In the time remaining before the EC will cease to be effective, a woman who is merely informed that EC exists would most likely have to find a pharmacy that carries the medication. Unfortunately, studies show some pharmacies do not stock EC and others refuse to dispense it.9 As the hours tick by, her chances of preventing pregnancy decrease. Depending on when the rape occurs and where she lives, obtaining EC in time may be virtually impossible.
  • Perhaps it is the only crime in which the victim becomes the accused and, in reality, it is she who must prove her good reputation, her mental soundness, and her impeccable propriety.
    • Freda Adler, Sisters in Crime: The Rise of the New Female Criminal (1975), p. 215.
  • It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.
  • For most men, hearing a description of an encounter where the man is forcing the woman to have sex, and the woman is in distress or pain, dampens the arousal by about 50 percent compared to arousal levels during a scene of consenting lovemaking. Ordinarily violence inhibits sexual arousal in men. A blood flow loss of 50 percent means a man would not be able to penetrate a woman.
  • Rapists often recall being intensely angry, depressed or feeling worthless for days or even months leading up to the rape. Very often the rapists say that the trigger for the rape was when a woman made them angry, usually by rebuffing a sexual overture. The men experienced the rebuff as an insult to their manhood that intensified their emotional misery.
  • Societies with a high incidence of rape . . . tolerate violence and encourage men and boys to be tough, aggressive, and competitive. Men in such cultures generally have special, politically important gathering spots off limits to women, whether they be the Mundurucu men's club or the corner tavern. Women take little or no part in public decision making or religious rituals: men mock or scorn women's practical judgment. They also demean what they consider women's work and remain aloof from childbearing and rearing. These groups usually trace their beginnings to a male supreme being.
    • B.L. Benderly, 1982, "Rape free or rape prone", Science 82, vol. 3, no. 8. p.42-43; as quoted by Marlene Goldsmith, Chairman Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues Parliament of New South Wales in, Sexual Offenders and Pornography: A Causal Connection?; study cited in Perspectives on Human Sexuality, by Anne Bolin and Patricia Whelehan, State University of New York Press Albany, (1999), p.36; in Human Stress and the Environment] by Allen H. Rose, Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, (1994), p.42; Theories of Rape: Inquiries Into the Causes of Sexual Aggression by Lee Ellis, Hemisphere Publishing, (1989), p. 7.
  • The way society trains its boys and girls to think about themselves and each other determines to a large extent how rape-prone or rape-free that society will be.
    • B.L. Benderly, 1982, "Rape free or rape prone", Science 82, vol. 3, no. 8. p.42-43; as quoted by Marlene Goldsmith, Chairman Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues Parliament of New South Wales in, Sexual Offenders and Pornography: A Causal Connection?; study cited in Perspectives on Human Sexuality, by Anne Bolin and Patricia Whelehan, State University of New York Press Albany, (1999), p.36; in Human Stress and the Environment] by Allen H. Rose, Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, (1994), p.42; Theories of Rape: Inquiries Into the Causes of Sexual Aggression by Lee Ellis, Hemisphere Publishing, (1989), p. 7.
  • If an act of sexual violence has already occurred, Berkowitz said family and friends should be supportive, let the victim lead the conversation, and remember that the “reaction of the first person they tell is going to have a big effect on everything that happens next, on their healing process, how long it takes, or whether or not they report to police.”
  • Rape is a culturally fostered means of suppressing women. Legally we say we deplore it, but mythically we romanticize and perpetuate it, and privately we excuse and overlook it (because we always find a way to blame the woman for letting it happen). In other words, rape is awful— except in war, where the enemy's women are part of the plunder; except in marriage, where a man is entitled by law to have sexual relations with his wife even if against her will; and except in extenuating circumstances where the mere presence of a wornan is cause for a man to rape her.
  • We have all heard the cliche that “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, but in the case of women and girls who survive male violence, nothing could be truer. In today’s climate where rape and sexual assault has almost been decriminalised, with only around 3% of those reported to police in London ending in a conviction, reporting rape takes stamina and courage.
  • Rubenfeld is right that most instances in which one of the parties having sex (or both) have failed to give consent to the act, the act is morally wrong. Immoral sex need not be rape (or sexual assault), however. For example, if both sex partners are minors, they are not legally in a position to give content. If they have sex, they have not given legal content. But it doesn't follow that one person raped or assaulted the other. 'Rape’ is better understood as follows:
    A’s sexual encounter with B counts as A's rape of B, just in case (i) A is in a position to give informed consent to have penetrative sex, (ii) A knows or ought to have known that B is not in a position to consent to have penetrative sex or is not verbally or physically agreeing to have penetrative sex, and (iii) A is proceeding to have penetrative sex with B, despite (ii).
  • Man's discovery that his genitalia could serve as a weapon to generate fear must rank as one of the most important discoveries of 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.
  • In medieval times, opportunities to rape and loot were among the few advantages open to...soldiers, who were paid with great irregularity by their leaders...When the city of Constantinople was sacked in 1204, rape and plunder went hand in hand, as in the sack of almost every ancient city....Down through the ages, triumph over women by rape became a way to measure victory, part of a soldier's proof of masculinity and success, a tangible reward for services rendered...[and] an actual reward of war.
  • [R]ape by a conqueror is compelling evidence of the conquered's status of masculine impotence. Defense of women has long been a hallmark of masculine success. Rape by a conquering soldier destroys all remaining illusions of power and property for men of the defeated side. The body of a raped woman becomes a ceremonial battlefield, a parade ground for the victor's trooping of the colors. The act that is played out upon her is a message passed between men - vivid proof of victory for one and loss and defeat for the other.
  • In a victory for survivors of rape and their advocates, the Attorney General announced a newly revised definition of rape for nationwide data collection, ensuring that rape will be more accurately reported nationwide. The change sends an important message to all victims that what happens to them matters, and to perpetrators that they will be held accountable. It was because of the voices of survivors, advocates, law enforcement personnel and many others that FBI Director Robert Mueller was able to make this important change within the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR) Summary Reporting System (SRS). “Forcible rape” had been defined by the UCR SRS as “the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will.” That definition, unchanged since 1927, was outdated and narrow. It only included forcible male penile penetration of a female vagina. The new definition is:
    “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”
    For the first time ever, the new definition includes any gender of victim and perpetrator, not just women being raped by men. It also recognizes that rape with an object can be as traumatic as penile/vaginal rape. This definition also includes instances in which the victim is unable to give consent because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity. Furthermore, because many rapes are facilitated by drugs or alcohol, the new definition recognizes that a victim can be incapacitated and thus unable to consent because of ingestion of drugs or alcohol. Similarly, a victim may be legally incapable of consent because of age. The ability of the victim to give consent must be determined in accordance with individual state statutes. Physical resistance is not required on the part of the victim to demonstrate lack of consent.
  • [A] product of a living organism (the rapist) is used to attack a biological system (the reproductive system) in members of the enemy population. Although this attack need not produce illness, it is designed to produce social chaos … . Sperm so used becomes a social and psychological toxin, poisoning the futures of victims and their communities by producing children who, if they survive, will remind whoever raised them of their traumatic origins in torture. … Unlike bacteria and viruses, sperm is easily containable, storable, preservable, and deliverable by means of men's bodies.
    • Card, C., 1991, “Rape as a Terrorist Institution”, in Violence, Terrorism, and Justice, R. Frey and C. Morris (eds.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press p.187; as quoted in "Feminist Perspectives on Rape", Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, first published Wed May 13, 2009; substantive revision (Wed Jun 21, 2017).
  • People will say "you can't joke about rape. Rape's not funny." I say "fuck you, I think it's hilarious! How do you like that? I can prove to you that rape is funny. Picture Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd."
  • Rape is not a sexual crime. It is not sexual. Rape is a violent crime...it's a violent crime, where you cum at the end. It's no different than if you robbed a liquor store... and then came.
  • "One of the things that happens when you are assaulted is you feel powerless, you've lost control," says Inez Carey, clinical manager at 1800RESPECT.
    "Masturbation is a way to reclaim your own sense of your body and own ability to bring pleasure to your body that is totally within your control."
  • A common misconception about sexual assault is that the rapist is motivated by a sexual desire stimulated by a victim seductive in her behavior or dress. A retrospective analysis of 740 reported sexual assaults revealed 21 cases involving a victim between the ages of 60 and 90 years of age. The elderly victim was more often white and the assailant more often black than when younger victims are involved. Also, the data suggest that the rape of elderly women may involve a relatively few rapists, and that their assaults are of a serial nature. This study concludes that these rapists are motivated by anger, possibly racially related, and a need to express power, rather than by sexual desire.
  • Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of the children entrusted to them.
  • It’s in the Ten Commandments to not take the Lord’s name in vain. Rape isn’t up there, by the way. Rape is not a Ten Commandment. But don’t say the dude’s name with a shitty attitude.
  • In 1997, we told [the New Zealand] government we needed people in the health system to be trained on how to deal with victims of male rape, but it fell on deaf ears.
  • Resistance to male sexual exploitation and abuse by women in England during the post-war decades was hampered by the existing sexual ethos. Sexually progressive women had rejected the Victorian and Edwardian belief, shared by first-wave feminists, that sexual desire should be controlled and contained. They wanted to present sexual experience as positive and healthy, perhaps to themselves as well as to their readers. As the evidence on sexual behavior in earlier chapter has shown, for much of the population, the discourse on sexuality in the manuals had far outpaced the changes in behavior. Authors were also medical practitioners were aware that many couples had fundamental problems. The experience of helping couples who were often timid and inhibited by anxieties or unaware of the need to display affection, shaped their manuals. They saw encouraging people to become sexually confident and spontaneous as part of their task. In the 1950s, Joan Malleson wrote that it ‘has been repeatedly said that every woman in her heart wishes to be raped, and although this extreme may not be true, a husband should remember that a wife’s self-esteem is enhanced by being wanted’. Although she hints that readers should not take this approach to rape literally, this statement places rape on a continuum with expressing male sexual desire. But from Malleson’s perspective, the last thing the sexually constricted men and women she saw needed was encouragement to control themselves sexually. The manuals acknowledged that male demands for over-frequent intercourse (e.g. nightly) were a possible problem, but their efforts to present appositive perspective meant that they made almost no comments on sexual harassment or abuse. Non-feminist men of the type who accepted prostitution and premarital sex were more likely to make comments on sexual abuse in their manuals. They reflect prevailing medical and social beliefs about sexual violence. Macandrew (b. 1907) wrote that ‘It is a well known fact that in cases of attempted rape, the man very rarely gaines entry.’ Later he added that sexual harassment did not provide an explanation for female sexual coldness because ‘nearly all women have at some time or other been frightened in such a way’. In this period progressive discourses on sexuality encouraged men who engaged in abusive or predatory sexual behavior to see themselves as normal and women who objected as abnormal.
  • Karyn Riddle, a professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who researches the effects on children and adolescents of viewing violent media, echoes Ms. Murphy’s concerns. “Watching sexual violence could be traumatizing,” she explains, “and that fear could stay with you for many years.”
    If you suspect that your teenager has already encountered a rape scene on television, look for an opening to talk about it. You might get the conversation started by addressing the fact that depictions of sexual violence have not always been a regular part of television.
    When “13 Reasons Why” first aired, I found myself talking about the sexual assault scenes with a group of 14-year-old girls at the school where I routinely consult. “You know,” I said, “we never used to show rape on T.V.” One girl quickly replied, “That’s what my dad said!” Another girl chimed in: “Good. Because it was the most upsetting thing I have ever seen.”
  • I want to see this men's movement make a commitment to ending rape because that is the only meaningful commitment to equality. It is astonishing that in all our worlds of feminism and antisexism we never talk seriously about ending rape. Ending it. Stopping it. No more. No more rape. In the back of our minds, are we holding on to its inevitability as the last preserve of the biological? Do we think that it is always going to exist no matter what we do? All of our political actions are lies if we don't make a commitment to ending the practice of rape. This commitment has to be political. It has to be serious. It has to be systematic. It has to be public. It can't be self-indulgent.
  • I don’t believe rape is inevitable or natural. If I did, I would have no reason to be here. If I did, my political practice would be different than it is. Have you ever wondered why we women are not just in armed combat against you? It’s not because there’s a shortage of kitchen knives in this country. It is because we believe in your humanity, against all the evidence.
  • Rape is a question of access. Men will rape woman to whom they have access. The stranger in rape is used in a very important political way especially in organizing woman on the right: the stranger is used as a scapegoat. In the United States the stranger is black and he is a rapist. In Nazi Germany the stranger was a Jew and he was a rapist.This use of rape associated with a stranger is a basic component of racism. Women's fears of rape are legitimate. Those fears are manipulated to serve the ends of racism.
    We now see the same scapegoat strategy being used against homosexual men, who are accused of child molestation when most child molestation is of little girls. It is not that homosexual men do not rape. They do. So do black men and Jewish men. Men in all classes and of all races and ethnicities rape, which is not to say that all men rape. It is to say that all men benefit from rape, because all men benefit from the fact that women are not free in this society; that women cower; that women are afraid; that women cannot assert the rights that we have, limited as those rights are, because of the ubiquitous presence of rape.
  • Eva Fogelman, a New York City psychologist who has worked with survivors and children of survivors for more than 30 years, hopes for their own sake that survivors with secrets will open up. She contributed to Hedgepeth and Saidel's anthology and says the book -- as well as the events and discussions around it -- can help validate the feelings of those who were raped and offer them permission to voice their stories and seek professional help.
    "They need the validation for that particular pain and suffering ... to help them in their healing process," Fogelman says. And barring documentation, testimonies can provide "a more authentic sense of history."
  • Whatever they may be in public life, whatever their relations with men, in their relations with women, all men are rapists, and that's all that they are. They rape us with their eyes, their laws, and their codes.
  • The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. “My lords,” he said, please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.”
“No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.”
But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”
Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”
  • Genesis 19:1-6, (NIV).
  • In this cross-sectional, nationally representative study of 13 310 American women aged 18 to 44 years, 6.5% reported forced sexual initiation (mean age at forced sexual initiation, 15.6 years). Forced sexual initiation appeared to be associated with multiple adverse reproductive, gynecologic, and general health outcomes after adjustment for demographic confounders.
  • Prevalence of forced sexual initiation, age of woman and partner/assailant at first sexual encounter, and odds ratios (ORs) (adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics) for having an unwanted first pregnancy or abortion, development of painful pelvic conditions, and other reproductive and general health measures.
  • "[w]omen shall be especially protected against any attack on their honour, in particular against rape, enforced prostitution, or any form of indecent assault."
    • Fourth Geneva convention (1949) as quoted by Stemple, Lara (February 2009). "Male Rape and Human Rights" ,(PDF). Hastings Law Journal. 60(3): p.642. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 June 2010. Retrieved 2011-07-17.
  • We have to keep saying that this was still not the norm. This was not the Holocaust. It was the murder of Jews that was the Holocaust," she says. "But to assume the subject is untouchable is wrong. Women were tortured and raped. Breasts were cut off. How do you not talk about that? How do you not acknowledge that?"
  • In no state can a man be accused of raping his wife. How can any man steal what already belongs to him? It is in the sense of rape as theft of another man's property that Kate Millett writes, "Traditionally rape has been viewed as an offense one male commits against another — a matter of abusing his woman."
  • Women quickly learn that rape is a crime only in theory; in practice the standard for what constitutes rape is set not at the level of women's experience of violation but just above the level of coercion acceptable to men.
  • History, sacred and profane, and the common experience of mankind teach that women of the character shown in this case are prone to make false accusations both of rape and of insult upon the slightest provocation for ulterior purposes.
  • "I have no doubt that some women were raped," says Lawrence L. Langer, a preeminent Holocaust scholar.
    But while rape is undoubtedly significant for those who are victimized, "the historical significance is very small in the context of the Holocaust experience," Langer says. "To make rape a significant part of the narrative, the numbers would have to be in the thousands or tens of thousands. We will never know how often it happened."
  • The risk for pregnancy after rape is approximately 6%-7%. There are an estimated 25,000 rape-related pregnancies per year in the United States; if every woman who was raped took emergency contraception (EC), which is estimated to decrease risk for pregnancy by approximately 90%, 22,000 of those pregnancies could potentially be prevented.
  • You know what the magic word, the only thing that matters in American sexual mores today is? One thing. You can do anything, the Left will promote and understand and tolerate anything, so long as there is one element. Do you know what it is? Consent. If there is consent on both or all three or all four, however many are involved in the sex act, it's perfectly fine. Whatever it is. But if the left ever senses and smells that there's no consent in part of the equation then here come the rape police. But consent is the magic key to the left.
  • I have turned roles down because they are rapists. It's something I don't even want to watch. If I even click on it on TV, I have to click it off or I'll put my foot through the screen... What you see on that screen is just my terror at having to do that scene.
  • Rape is loss. Like death, it is best treated with a period of mourning and grief. We should develop social ceremonies for rape, rituals, that, like funerals and wakes, would allow the mourners to recover the spirits that the rapist, like death, steals. The social community is the appropriate center for the restoration of spirit, but the rape victim is usually shamed into silence or self-imposed isolation.
    • Metzger, American Journal of Psychiatry, 133 (4), 405-408 (Metzger, D. (1976).
  • Why should murder be so over-represented in our popular fiction, and crimes of a sexual nature so under-represented? Surely it cannot be because rape is worse than murder, and is thus deserving of a special unmentionable status. Surely, the last people to suggest that rape was worse than murder were the sensitively reared classes of the Victorian era … And yet, while it is perfectly acceptable (not to say almost mandatory) to depict violent and lethal incidents in lurid and gloating high-definition detail, this is somehow regarded as healthy and perfectly normal, and it is the considered depiction of sexual crimes that will inevitably attract uproars of the current variety.
  • Pornography is the theory, and rape is the practice. And what a practice. The violation of an individual woman is the metaphor for man's forcing himself on whole nations [...], on nonhuman creatures [...], and on the planet itself [...].
    • Robin Morgan, "Theory and Practice: Pornography and Rape", 1974 in Going Too Far: The Personal Chronicle of a Feminist (1977).
  • A disconnect from ourselves and intimacy is a common occurrence after sexual trauma, says psychologist Lauren Moulds.
    "Often one of the things that we lose is we don't really know anymore what feels good and we don't feel connected or in tune with our body," she says.
  • After sexual assault, not only do we store the bad memories in our brains, our bodies keep the "memory" of the touch and actions, impacting a person's ability to be intimate, explains Dr Moulds.
    "Intimacy can be stopped by both our body … or our mind not letting us be willing to be intimate or be close with someone and remembering those kinds of traumatic or challenging emotions."
    She says body memories are re-experiencing the physical side of a traumatic event — the feelings and sensations the person felt during the original trauma.
    "This can be re-experienced when something triggers that … [such as] being touched in a certain way," Dr Moulds says.
    When brain memories are triggered, we can have trouble remembering whether the trauma is happening now or in the past, she says.
  • Lauren Moulds is a psychologist who deals with many women who've been sexually assaulted.
    She says navigating intimacy after the fact is particularly challenging due to how our brains store trauma.
    "We're wired to remember more fearful experiences than we are those happy times," Dr Moulds says.
    If we experience a similar environment to an assault, whether that be what we saw, heard or smelt, it can often trigger incredibly painful memories.
    "Our brain then has trouble remembering whether the trauma is happening now or whether it happened in the past," Dr Moulds says.
  • The only exception I have to have an abortion is in the case of the life of the mother. I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.
  • A victim of rape every minute somewhere in the world. Why? No one to blame but herself. She displayed her beauty to the entire world, strapless, backless, sleeveless, nothing but satanic skirts, slit skirts, translucent blouses, miniskirts, tight jeans: all this to tease man and appeal to his carnal nature. Would you put this sheep that you adore in the middle of hungry wolves? No... It would be devoured. It's the same situation here. You're putting this precious girl in front of lustful, satanic eyes of hungry wolves. What is the consequence? Catastrophic devastation, sexual harassment, perversion, promiscuity.
    • Fiez Muhammad, qtd. Miranda Devine, "Liverpool Muslim Cleric Hate", The Sun-Herald. (2005 April 24).
  • It is vital... to establish facilities for providing sexual comfort to the soldiers as soon as possible.
    • Okabe Naosaburo as reported by Karen Parker & Jennifer F. Chew, Compensation for Japan's World War II War-Rape Victims, 17 HASTINGS INT'L & COMP. L REV. 497, 503 (1994), citing "Order of June 27, 1938 by Okabe Naosaburo, Chief of Staff, Japanese Expeditionary Force in north China," reprinted in Rapes Sparked call for facilities, JAPAN TIMES, Aug. 5, 1992, p.3; qtd., Kelly Dawn Askin, War Crimes Against Women: Prosecution in International War Crimes Tribunals, (1997), p. 49.
  • “Rape isn’t an isolated brief act. It damages flesh and reverberates in memory. It can have life changing, unchosen results – a pregnancy or a transmitted disease”, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka stressed, adding that consequences of a one-time act can sprawl into damaging long-term effects.
  • Alcohol consumption by a victim, an assailant, or both is known to increase the risk for sexual assault (Koss et al., 1987; Muehlenhard & Linton, 1987). An important component of this relationship is the way that women view how alcohol affects their risk. This view can affect the measures that women take to protect themselves. For instance, if a woman perceives that her drinking alcohol increases risk primarily through its physically debilitating effects, then she might be most receptive to prevention efforts that promote moderate drinking. Of course, alcohol can increase risk for sexual assault both through its physical effects and through psychological mechanisms (see Abbey, Ross, & McDuffie, 1994; Norris, 1994 for reviews). Physical effects occur when cognitive and motor abilities are impaired as blood alcohol level increases, and a woman becomes physically less able either to perceive risk or to respond to it.Psychologically, alcohol might operate as a barrier to perceiving and responding to risk. Because of the social stigma attached to a drunken woman (Fillmore, 1984; Van Amberg, 1943), as well as the cultural view, ascribed to by both men and women, that she is sexually available (George, Gournic, & McAfee, 1988), a woman drinking socially might be less likely than a nondrinking woman to call attention to a man's unwanted sexual advances. That is, she might be embarrassed by her own drunkenness and blame herself for inviting these advances. Such feelings and self-perceptions can serve to delay or mitigate assertive selfprotection. Besides alcohol, other psychological barriers to resisting sexual assault have not received a great deal of attention.
  • In addition, several studies have found that a substantial number of rape victims were previously victimized (see Browne & Finkelhor, 1986 for a revie). However, a history of victimization does not directlvpredict victimization as an adult (Atkeson, Calhoun, & Morris, 1989; Mandoki & Burkhart, 1989). For example, earlier victimization was found to be related to an increased number of sex partners, which in turn predicted adult sexual victimization (Mandoki & Burkhart, 1989).
  • Imagine that you are suffering from an illness and taking medication that knocks you right out. Imagine that you wake up to find semen on your body. You confront your partner; he admits he had sex with you while you slept. You tell him that this is not OK. A few weeks later, you awake to the feeling that you have been penetrated. Your partner is masturbating and watching porn beside you. He admits to violating you again. Later he reveals that he does it often. The relationship ends.
    The extent of his breach of trust makes you feel unsafe all the time: you begin to understand that what happened was rape. You write to your ex-partner to ask him to explain himself. He tells you that he “used your body for [his] gratification” for almost a year. He tells you that he raped you up to 10 times while you were unconscious. By the time you bring him to court, you are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety. You have nightmares. You have attempted suicide twice. Your rapist walks free.
  • Men rightly observe that a conjugal act imposed on one's partner without regard to his or her condition or personal and reasonable wishes in the matter, is no true act of love, and therefore offends the moral order in its particular application to the intimate relationship of husband and wife.
  • ...where a man does not engage in communicative sexuality, he acts either out of reckless disregard, or out of willful ignorance. For he cannot know, except through the practice of communicative sexuality, whether his partner has any sexual reason for continuing the encounter. And where she does not, he runs the risk of imposing on her what she is not willing to have. All that is needed, then, in order to provide women with legal protection from date rape is to make both reckless indifference and willful ignorance a sufficient condition of mens rea, and to make communicative sexuality the accepted norm of sex to which a reasonable woman would agree.
    • Pineau, L., 1989, “Date Rape: A Feminist Analysis”, Law and Philosophy, 8(2): pp. 239-40; as quoted in "Feminist Perspectives on Rape", Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, first published Wed May 13, 2009; substantive revision (Wed Jun 21, 2017).
  • Sexual assault of females is predominantly a crime against the young and has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. There are approximately 683,000 adult women raped annually in the United States, with only 6 percent occurring past the age of thirty (Kilpatrick, Edmunds, and Seymour 1992). The majority of rapes (61%) occur in childhood and adolescence, and in 75 percent of cases the assailant is known to the victim, and is often a relative. Only 26 percent of rape victims seek medical help after a rape, usually because of physical injuries (McFarlane et al. 2005). The main concerns a woman has after a rape are the possibility of pregnancy, of having acquired a sexually transmitted disease, including HIV, and of public knowledge about the attack. The “rape trauma syndrome” is a common sequel with serious physical and psychological symptoms leading to disruption of existing relationships and the ability to work or go to school (Baram and Basson 2007). Any person who has been sexually assaulted should receive counseling for an extended period by someone skilled in treating post-traumatic stress syndrome. Approximately 5 percent of women of childbearing age who are fertile and not using contraception at the time of the attack will become pregnant as a result of the assault (Beckmann and Groetzinger 1989).
  • When looking at the problem of pregnancy after rape, is the distress for the mother from the pregnancy more significant than the possibility, which is not remote, of causing the death of a child? With good obstetrical care and emotional support, the woman's life is not in immediate danger because of the pregnancy. She is not obligated to raise the child after birth, but could place the child, who is after all, biologically hers, up for adoption. The poor anovulant effect of LNG-EC, and likely interceptive or contragestive effects of the drug poses a significant risk of interrupting a conception, and thus the good effect for the woman of not going through a clinical pregnancy is outweighed by the bad effect on the embryo.
  • Saidel, Hedgepeth and others who share their passion know they face obstacles in bringing attention to sexual assaults during the Holocaust.
    They say some people believe that focusing on gender-specific experiences takes away from the overall human and Jewish experience. Others have suggested that sexual violence against Jews wasn't a real issue because racial purity laws prohibited intercourse between Germans and Jews. And then there are those, they say, who are uncomfortable accepting testimonies as proof of occurrences.
    But Saidel wants to know this: If historians are willing to look at how the Holocaust experience differed from country to country and camp to camp, why shouldn't they also examine how experiences differed between men and women?
    As for the argument that racial purity laws protected Jewish women, she says, "That's absurd. That's like saying there are laws against rape so people don't get raped."
  • But is it necessary to talk about rape? Maybe women don't want it discussed. Maybe victims, no matter how rare or prevalent they were, haven't shared their stories for a reason.
    It isn't hard to imagine why a woman raped during the Holocaust might stay silent. Irrespective of circumstances, when it comes to sexual victimization, there's fear, shame and concern about being blamed or viewed as "damaged goods."
    In Yiddish, there's a word, "shanda" (pronounced shonda, like Honda) which means shame or pity -- the sort that, if revealed, might cast one's family or even the entire Jewish people in a bad light. Especially for older generations, it's considered a shanda to talk about certain things. Rape, molestation or sexual relations that kept women alive, whether they were forced or chosen, would be among the stories many might say would be better kept to oneself.
    Add to this, survivor guilt: the anguish many carried of having lived while millions perished. Still alive, some might wonder, what right would a raped survivor have to complain?
  • ...the rape of slave women by their masters was primarily a weapon of terror that reinforced whites' domination over their human property. Rape was an act of physical violence designed to stifle Black women's will to resist and to remind them of their servile status … . Whites' sexual exploitation of their slaves, therefore, should not be viewed simply as either a method of slave-breeding or the fulfillment of slaveholders' sexual urges. (1997, 29-30)
    • Roberts, D., 1997, Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction and the Meaning of Liberty, New York: Vintage Books p.31; qtd., "Feminist Perspectives on Rape", Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, first published Wed May 13, 2009; substantive revision Wed Jun 21, 2017
  • We need more rape jokes. We really do. I love that some people applauded that. Needless to say, rape, the most heinous crime imaginable. Seems it’s a comic’s dream, though. Because it seems that when you do rape jokes that like the material is so dangerous and edgy. But the truth is it’s like the safest area to talk about in comedy. Cause who’s going to complain about a rape joke? Rape victims? They don’t even report rape. I mean, they’re traditionally not complainers. Like the worst maybe thing that could happen, and I would feel terrible, is like after a show maybe somebody comes up to you and is like, “Look I’m a victim of rape, and as a victim of rape I just want to say I thought that joke was inappropriate and insensitive and totally my fault and I am so sorry.”
  • Does Djilas, who is himself a writer, not know what human suffering and the human heart are? Can't he understand it if a soldier who has crossed thousands of kilometers through blood and fire and death has fun with a wench or takes some trifle?
  • The perpetrator invaded the body of a person by conduct resulting in penetration, however slight, of any part of the body of the victim or of the perpetrator with a sexual organ, or of the anal or genital opening of the victim with any object or any other part of the body.
    • Rome Statute, "Elements of Crimes", (17, July 1998). Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved 2017-05-25.. PDF: Archive copy at the Internet Archive PDF. International Criminal Court.
  • Both perpetrator and victim enter a conspiracy of silence and why male survivors often find, once their story is discovered, that they lose the support and comfort of those around them. In the patriarchal societies found in many developing countries, gender roles are strictly defined. […] Often, […] wives who discover their husbands have been raped decide to leave them. They ask me: 'So now how am I going to live with him? As what? Is this still a husband? Is it a wife?' They ask, 'If he can be raped, who is protecting me?.
  • We do not discount the seriousness of rape as a crime. It is highly reprehensible, both in a moral sense and in its almost total contempt for the personal integrity and autonomy of the female victim and for the latter's privilege of choosing those with whom intimate relationships are to be established. Short of homicide, it is the "ultimate violation of self." It is also a violent crime because it normally involves force, or the threat of force or intimidation, to overcome the will and the capacity of the victim to resist. Rape is very often accompanied by physical injury to the female and can also inflict mental and psychological damage. Because it undermines the community's sense of security, there is public injury as well.
  • There are few studies that examine the sexual assault experiences of single mid-life women. Further research into the experiences of single mid-life women is warranted to provide direction for nursing education programs and clinical practice.
  • If a rapist comes to your door, then your own fears and anger and aggression have brought him there. You have broadcast your feelings, and he has picked them up . . . There is a reason -- there are no accidents.
    • Susan M. Watkins in Conversations With Seth, Book 2: 25th Anniversary Edition, Volume 2, p. 5
  • Assuming rape was common "taints all women survivors," Weitzman says. "It is not that they don't want to discuss something that was painful, it is that they do not want to be branded by something that did not happen -- not to them or to their sisters or to their mothers or to their daughters. The real horrors they experienced were horrible enough."
  • "Of course it happened," she says. "If you have 6 million people murdered, everything happened. Anything in the world we might imagine could happen to a person probably did."
  • Rape is like bad weather: if it's inevitable, you might as well relax and enjoy it.
  • Their widespread and systematic nature indicates a structural pattern: rape is still used as an instrument of war and oppression. Sexual violence is used as a tool by the Burmese military to demoralise and destroy ethnic communities.
  • A CENTRAL TENET of advocates seeking greater accountability for sexual assault is that the complainant is virtually always the one telling the truth. As a 2014 White House report, “Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action,” stated, “Only 2–10 percent of reported rapes are false.” Campus materials aimed at students make similar assertions.
    But as Michelle J. Anderson, the president of Brooklyn College and a scholar of rape law, acknowledged in a 2004 paper in the Boston University Law Review, “There is no good empirical data on false rape complaints either historically or currently.” The data have not improved since that time. In a 2015 working paper, Lieutenant Colonel Reggie Yager, a U.S. Air Force judge advocate who has defended men accused of sexual assault, took a comprehensive look at the research on the incidence of false rape reports, and concluded that the studies confirming the overwhelming veracity of accusers are methodologically unsound.
  • Yager writes, however, that about 45 percent of the cases Lisak reviewed did not proceed, because there was insufficient evidence, or the complainant withdrew from the process or couldn’t identify the perpetrator, or the allegation did not rise to the level of a sexual assault. In other words, no one could possibly determine whether these claims were true or false.
    “Policy is being driven,” Yager wrote in his analysis, by the idea “that false allegations are exceedingly rare.” But we simply don’t know how rare they are. What’s more, no legal or moral system purporting to be just can make presumptions about individual cases based on statistics. For many years, feminist activists have said that the legal system and culture tend to prejudge assault claims, with an inclination toward believing men over women, accused over accuser. They have rightly pointed out the deep injustice of that bias. But it is also unjust to be biased against the accused.

"Rape Humor: Why It’s Not “Just a Joke”" (2014)Edit

Amy Jenkins, "Rape Humor: Why It’s Not “Just a Joke”", Brainstorm v. VI, University of Oklahoma, (2014)

  • In 2010, The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey found that “nearly 1 in 5 women (18.3%) and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives, including completed forced penetration, attempted forced penetration, or alcohol/ drug facilitated completed penetration” (Black et al 1). Rape is a sensitive and persisting crime, and it is insensitive, to say the least, to ignore the fact that a significant portion of most audiences on some level identify with the victims of rape and sexual assault jokes.
    • p.3.
  • Virtually every young woman has heard lectures regarding their safety at some point: Don’t live in that neighborhood. Don’t walk alone at night. Never take your eyes off your drink at parties—better yet, don’t go to parties. And when the very real fear of rape that our culture constructs is mocked in a joke, cognitive dissonance is to be expected. The most common response that I see women exhibit after hearing an uncomfortable rape joke is silence or artificial laughter. A joke may make a woman uncomfortable, but she often chooses to respond with apathy to defend herself from the discomfort that she feels at hearing rape victims mocked.
    • p.3.
  • Norton’s argument, that rape jokes and the people who make them do not condone or perpetuate rape, is common among those who defend rape humor, which often includes comedians or peers who have been criticized for a rape joke they’ve made. They feel that those who frown on rape jokes obviously just do not have a sense of humor. Why are they being so opinionated/ sensitive/dramatic? They just can’t take a joke. Audiences are not meant to take jokes literally, nor should they. However, while rape jokes may not directly condone rape, they can desensitize their audience to it. Manuela Thomae and Viki Tendayi, who conducted a study on a related issue of the correlation between rape proclivity and sexist jokes, argue: If a person holds hostile sexist attitudes, then exposure to sexist jokes may create a situation which not only enhances tolerance of discrimination against women, but also appears to elevate the propensity to commit rape. These results sound a note of caution towards the use of sexist jokes in social settings (Thomae and Tendayi 264).
    • p.6.
  • College campuses give us a real-life example of where inappropriate rape humor and heightened threats of sexual assault occur. Campus organizations have made national headlines with disturbing public displays of crude, sexist humor. In 2012, CNN presented a video of Yale fraternity pledges chanting, “No means yes, yes means anal,” on campus near the dormitories where freshman women live (Daily News and Nature). While this was obviously meant as “just a joke,” it does not improve the already suffering fraternity reputation regarding campus rape culture. This reputation is not unwarranted, as statistics show that fraternity members are, in fact, more likely than other college men to commit rape (Gray). The chant not only potentially traumatized women in earshot, but it also exemplified these young men’s apathetic attitude towards nonconsensual sex.
    • p.6.
  • The effect of jokes that mock victims of assault seems to be fairly consistent among audiences, which is why comedians like to use them: rape jokes evoke an emotional response. They are used by comedians and the media to cheaply shock the audience into awkward “did-theyreally-just-say-that?” laughter. When audiences allow this sort of humor, it desensitizes them to the horrors of sexual assault; eventually, audiences associate the use of rape in a joke with laughter and consider sexual assault legitimate comedic material. This effect of rape humor is deeply disturbing—it seeks to make sexual assault funny. I imagine that three possible events occur in audience members’ heads after hearing a rape joke: laughter due to shock/discomfort; mindless laughter; or the terrifying, literal image of a rape occurring. It takes courage to speak up when someone tells a joke that crosses the line from comedic wit into tasteless, knee-jerkreaction laughter—especially considering that women most commonly attempt to combat these jokes, and often become disregarded as sensitive and humorless.
    • p.7.

"Loving or Having Sex with a Woman Who's Been Raped" (May 05, 2017)Edit

Seth Meyers, "Loving or Having Sex with a Woman Who's Been Raped", Psychology Today, (May 05, 2017)

  • Extensive research exists on the numbers of women who have been raped, and much of the research shows that sexual assault and rape occur in extremely high numbers at colleges and universities. One recent study suggests that 15 percent of college women are raped in their freshman year of college, and that number would be much higher if it included the more general category of sexual assault (Carey, Durney, Shepardson, and Carey, 2015). Nevertheless, 15 percent is still an extremely high number when you consider how horrific and violent the experience is. What happens after rape? In terms of relationships and sex, how does rape change rape survivors?
  • According to a University College London study (2014), 40% of women surveyed with severe mental illness had suffered rape or attempted rape in adulthood, and 53% of those had attempted suicide as a result. In the general population, 7% of women had been victims of rape or attempted rape, of whom 3% had attempted suicide. If these statistics don't sound accurate to you, your hesitation or disbelief supports another reality about rape research: Because so many individuals who survive a rape may not report a rape (for a multitude of reasons), statistics have limited meaning.
  • Especially with dating, most women who have been raped will not disclose this part of their history until they know and trust a man well. (Yes, rape occurs in homosexual female and homosexual male couples, too, but that is a similarly complex topic that deserves its own article.) If you are in a position where a woman discloses that she has been raped, it can be overwhelming and even scary to hear. A million thoughts could flood your mind. Men in this situation often feel anxious and uncomfortable, unsure of what to say but feeling pressure to say the "right" thing. The reality is that you don't actually have to say all that much. Without exception, never blame her - out loud or privately to yourself.
  • The most important rule to remember is that there is no universal textbook for what to say or do when someone you are with shares this kind of trauma history. Focus on letting her know that you are listening and that you care about what this experience was like for her. Don't treat her like a lab specimen or museum exhibit by staring like she has three heads and don't tell yourself that she is an anomaly. (She isn't.) If you are completely honest with your feelings, you may have a moment where you have a mental flash: Is she damaged goods? Is she broken? Will she ever move past this? The answer: Yes, she will, and she will heal one day at a time.
  • Once a woman has shared that she survived a rape and the two of you have talked about it to a limited extent, let some time pass - hours or even a day or so - and then come back to her. Ask her if it's okay if you ask her some questions about it. In terms of the rape, you might want to ask her how it has affected how she feels toward men, or you might want to ask how it has affected how she feels toward sex. Ask her how she feels about the way you treat her in bed, and ask her if there are things you could do to make her feel safer and more comfortable.
  • Some women may want to talk extensively about their experience, while other women may not want to discuss it much at all. As far as you are concerned, however she chooses to talk about it is absolutely fine. One thing that I recommend, especially if you are with a woman who doesn't want to talk about it, is to read about other women's experiences. You will find that reading about other women's experiences, whether online or in books, will make understand better the horror of rape.
  • While some people like to believe that "Everything happens for a reason," I don't find any psychological truth to that when it comes to psychological trauma, whether it be rape or something else. I have found, however, that something good can always come from something bad. The female I worked with not long ago who suffered a rape found only one real benefit: She is more in touch with her feelings - especially her anger - than she ever was before. And while there is definite value in being in touch with your anger, let's all admit that suffering a trauma is a pretty awful way to learn that lesson.

”Sexual Assault in Marriage: Prevalence, Consequences, and Treatment of Wife Rape”Edit

Patricia Mahoney and Linda M. Williams, ”Sexual Assault in Marriage: Prevalence, Consequences, and Treatment of Wife Rape”, Family Research Laboratory, University of New Hampshire

 
Stereotypes and misunderstandings are common in discussions of wife rape. Wife rape is still generally regarded as a contradiction in terms; the common notion of rape is not one that includes a marital context. In fact, a marital rape exemption legally shielded husbands from being charged with the rape of their wives, and this exemption was not successfully challenged until the late 1970s.
  • Stereotypes and misunderstandings are common in discussions of wife rape. Wife rape is still generally regarded as a contradiction in terms; the common notion of rape is not one that includes a marital context. In fact, a marital rape exemption legally shielded husbands from being charged with the rape of their wives, and this exemption was not successfully challenged until the late 1970s.
    • p.1
  • Research and policy recommendations on wife rape represent a minor focus of the literature on domestic violence or on rape in general, notwithstanding the convincing evidence that wife rape is frequent and damaging. Two of the best studies to date that have investigated the prevalence of wife rape in representative samples of women (Finkelhor & Yllo, 1985; Russell, 1990) have found that between 10-14% of ever-married or co-habitating women have been raped at least once by their partner. In addition Russell (1990) found that among ever-married women, husband-/ex-husband-perpetrated rape was 4 times more common than stranger-perpetrated rape.
    • p.2
  • One of the difficulties in addressing the issue of wife rape, as is the case with rape in general, is defining what behaviors should be considered "rape." At its most basic definition, rape is forced sexual contact, yet what constitutes "force," and what sexual acts are included must be defined. This review focuses on marital rape defined as any unwanted sexual penetration (vaginal, anal or oral) or contact with the genitals that is the result of actual or threatened physical force or when the women is unable to give affirmative consent (see also (Bergen, 1996; Pagelow, 1984)). This also includes sexual exploitation involving sexual contact, such as when a husband coerces a wife to engage in sexual acts with someone else. We have endeavored to review studies to find relevant information about such experiences perpetrated by men in marital or cohabiting intimate relationships. Although it may appear that research on "wife rape" should by definition include only legally married couples, most studies have not limited themselves in this way. Many have included cohabiting couples, suggesting that the relevant relationship dynamics of long-term cohabiting couples are similar to those of legally married couples. In addition, because such experiences may occur during a separation period or after divorce, the relationship of ex-wife/ex-husband is relevant to our review.
    • p.3
  • In the United States, no husband had been successfully convicted for the rape of his wife until the late 1970s. The marital rape exemption, which precluded a state from charging a husband with the crime of rape of his wife, was the presumed common law in the United States until this time. The most frequently cited source of this exemption was 17th century British Chief Justice Matthew Hale, who wrote that husbands could not be guilty of a rape of a wife because "by their mutual matrimonial consent and contract the wife hath given up herself in this kind unto her husband, which she cannot retract" (as cited in Drucker (1979).
    It has been noted in several high court decisions that Hale's words were not delivered in the context of a court decision, nor was any authority cited; therefore they should not have been considered precedent for common law. Some criminal law authorities in the United States, however, accepted these words to imply a common law, while others have questioned Hale's authority as well as the constitutionality of such a statement (Drucker, 1979).
    • p.4
  • Two studies have assessed and reported data on the prevalence of wife rape based on interviews with community samples of women. One of these studies (Russell, 1990) reports rates of wife rape for adult women in general and also calculates rates for the "ever-married women." This calculation is important because those who were never married have no risk of wife rape. Russell interviewed a randomly selected representative community sample of 930 San Francisco women, and found that 8% of the women were survivors of wife rape. When calculated based on only those in the sample who had been married at some time in their lives, the prevalence of wife rape was 14%. In a second study that provides some basis for estimating the rate of sexual assault of wives, Finkelhor and Yllo (1985) interviewed 323 Boston mothers, and found 10% of these ever-married or ever-cohabited women were survivors of wife or partner rape. In terms of estimating lifetime prevalence of wife rape it is important to note that most of the women in both of these samples were under the age of 40 and would continue to be at risk for rape in marriage for many more years. It should be noted, however, that although we know little about the relationship between age and wife rape it is likely that, as is the case with other partner violence (Straus, Gelles, & Steinmetz, 1980), the rates of wife rape will decrease with age. Our best estimate based on these studies is that one in ten to one in seven married women will experience a rape by a husband.
    • p.7
  • A number of studies that have examined rape by intimates as a percentage of the total number of rapes reported per year have consistently found that rape by intimate partners accounts for over one quarter of all rapes. Randall and Haskall (1995), who interviewed a random sample of 420 women in Toronto, found that 30% of adult rape cases were committed by husbands, common-law partners, or boyfriends, while 12% were committed by strangers (the remaining cases involved perpetrators who were dates or other acquaintances, e.g. coworkers, neighbors, etc.). They conclude that "women in intimate relationships with men are at higher risk for sexual assault than are women who are not in intimate relationships with men." Ullman and Siegel (1993) found that 28% of adult (16 plus years of age) survivors of sexual assault were assaulted by intimates and George and colleagues (George, Winfield, & Blazer, 1992) found that 29% of all sexual assaults of adult women were perpetrated by a husband or lover.
    • pp.7-8
  • Kilpatrick and colleagues (1992) reported that one out of every eight adult women in the United States had experienced at least one forcible rape in her lifetime. Many of the women experienced multiple rapes. Nine percent of the rapes experienced by the women were committed by husbands and ex-husbands; another 10 percent were committed by boyfriends and ex-boyfriends. In their estimates of the proportion of rape that involves husbands or boyfriends, the Kilpatrick et al. study arrives at a lower figure (19%) as this rate is calculated based on all rapes reported, including those experienced during childhood.
    • p.8
  • The incidence of sexual assault reported by battered or help-seeking women is much higher than that found in the general population. Of women seeking relationship maintenance, counseling, or assistance, between 20-30% have reported at least one forced sexual assault by a partner (Campbell, 1989; Yegidis, 1988). This is two to three times the rate of wife rape experienced by all ever-married women. The incidence of sexual assault among battered women has been assessed by many studies, most of which report that at least half and as many as 70% (Pence & Paymar, 1993) of all battered women have been sexually assaulted by their partners. This is a rate five to seven times higher than that reported by ever-married women. It should, however, be kept in mind that these samples are comprised of women who have sought help or who were residing in battered women's shelters. It is unlikely that these samples are representative of all battered women. Women who are living in shelters or those seeking help are likely to be those women who have experienced the most severe abuse. It could, however, be argued that many of the most severely abused women do not seek help due to fear of the abuser, and thus the rate of rape of battered women in shelters may not be an over- estimate of the rate of sexual violence for all battered women. Moreover, as Russell (1990) noted, the most severe abuse cases, those in which the husband kills the wife, will obviously not be included in these samples. In 1992, at least 1,414 women were killed by intimates (Uniform Crime Reports, 1992, as reported in Bachman and Salzman (1995)).
    • p.8
  • Rape is one of the most under-reported crimes in the country (Bachman & Saltzman, 1995; Kilpatrick, et al., 1992). In a recent study of women's lives using a large, nationally representative sample (Kilpatrick, et al., 1992), only 16% of all rapes disclosed to the interviewer had been reported to the police. Rape victims may also be reluctant to discuss their experiences with researchers. In one study, only half of a sample of acquaintance rape victims who had reported the rape to the police disclosed the rape to an interviewer (Curtis, 1976).
    There is considerable evidence that victims of wife rape would be less willing than stranger rape victims to discuss their experiences with either friends or formal service providers. Koss, Dinero, and Siebel (1988) found that only 3.2% of the women who were raped by people they knew reported the incident to police, compared to 28.6% of stranger rape victims. Ullman and Siegel (1993), using a large nationally representative sample, found that women assaulted by strangers were more likely to talk to a friend, relative, or professional helper than women assaulted by nonstrangers. In her study of rape victims, Williams (1984) concluded, "Of all the factors that influence a victim's decision to report, the relationship between the victim and the rapist appears to be the most important." In Browne's (1987) study of women who killed their partners, she notes, "women were more reluctant to talk about their partners' sexual assaults than about any other type of abuse." This reluctance and discomfort in talking about sexual assault experiences has also been noted by Russell (1990), Bergen (1996), Finkelhor and Yllo (1985) and Hanneke and Shields (1985).
    • p.9
  • Studies consistently report that most wife rape survivors have experienced multiple rapes over the course of a relationship. In Finkelhor and Yllo's (1985) sample, half of the women were raped 20 or more times; for some it was so frequent that "they lost count." Two-thirds of the Russell (1990) sample were victims of multiple rapes, with 1/3 experiencing more than 20 rapes. The Koss and associates (1988) study found that "over half of the women assaulted by spouses or other family members reported five or more rapes by the same perpetrator." Riggs and associates (1992) found that while none of the stranger rape victims reported multiple attacks by the same offender, 64% of the wife rape victims did. Browne (1987) found that women who had killed their husbands were more likely to have been raped more than 20 times when compared to a battered control group, indicating a possible link between high frequency of rape and homicide potential.
    Some wife rape survivors reported that rape episodes lasted for many hours during which time they were repeatedly raped and brutalized. Such reports of rapes of long duration usually involved a husband who was drunk, on drugs, and/or who had a history of being severely abusive (Browne, 1987; Pence & Paymar, 1993; Russell, 1990).
    It is not surprising that women raped in marriage tend to be raped more frequently than stranger rape victims, because these women live with their rapist. In such a marriage they have no place in which they can feel safe from revictimization.
    • p.16
  • We have not found any large, representative study of husband-rapists nor has any study, to date, focused on the characteristics of husbands who have raped their wives. What we know about the characteristics of the husband-rapist typically comes from reports by wives who have sought shelter from their battering and sexually assaultive husbands. Although much of this information is not highly sensitive (e.g., income, age at marriage, etc.), some important factors (e.g., alcohol abuse history, attitudes toward violence) is subject to either bias or misinformation when reported by the wife, and should be viewed with caution. Further research with multiple measures is clearly needed in this area.
    In Russell's (1990) study of one of the largest community samples, the husband- rapists were reported to be from all ethnic groups and of varying ages, social classes and educational backgrounds. Some studies with shelter and service-seeking samples have reported that husbands who rape as well as batter their wives are more violent (exhibit more severe and more frequent battering) than batterers who have not raped their wives (Bowker, 1983; Campbell, 1989; Frieze, 1983; Monson, et al., 1996). The husband who rapes his wife is characterized as domineering and is reported to be more accepting of wife abuse (Campbell, 1989). It is reported that he believes that it is the husband's right to have sex whenever it pleases him (Campbell & Alford, 1989), as illustrated in this quote from Bergen (1996): "That's my body - my ass, my tits, my body. You gave that to me when you married me and that belongs to me." Frieze (1983) found that women reported that the batterer/rapist was more likely than the batterer/non-rapist to be jealous of his wife and children, and was more likely to be violent in other ways, including towards people outside of the home. Spouse abuse in the family of origin and sexual dysfunction have been reported to be associated with husbands who committed wife rape (Bowker, 1983; Rosenbaum & O'Leary, 1981).
    • pp.16-17
  • The relationship between alcohol and wife rape is complex and the data are contradictory and unclear. Alcohol may decrease inhibitions or excuse the sexually assaultive behavior of husbands (Barnard, 1989). This may increase the rate of wife rape by alcohol-abusing men, and it may also decrease the reporting of this behavior, if intoxication provides an excuse that the wife accepts. It is thus not surprising that some studies have found no relationship between alcohol abuse and wife rape (Bowker, 1983) while others have found that husbands who raped their wives were more likely than battering, non-rapist husbands to have had a drinking problem (Frieze, 1983). Nearly one-quarter of the women in Russell's (1990) study responded that the husband-rapist was drinking at the time of the rape, and about an equal number were described as habitual drinkers. Again, these studies were based on the wife's report. As many wives may be unwilling to report their own or a husband's drinking (or may be in denial about it), this could contribute to the inconsistencies in findings.
    • pp.17-18
  • We have not found studies that examine the motivations of the husband-rapist. It is unclear how similar the motivations of husband-rapists are to those of stranger-rapists. When women were asked their opinions about why their husbands committed sexual assaults, issues of power, control, dominance and humiliation were commonly reported (Frieze, 1983). Many women also indicated that their husbands believed in the wife's obligation to consent to sex upon the husband's expression of desire (Campbell & Alford, 1989).
    • p.18
  • In the sexual assault literature typologies of rape have described the dynamics of rape and have been used to understand the etiology of the rapist's behaviors, to develop treatment strategies and to predict treatment outcomes (Groth, 1979; Prentky & Knight, 1991; Prentky, Knight, & Rosenberg, 1988). Groth (1979) conceptualized three types of rape and rapists. "Anger" rape is perpetrated as a means of retaliation, humiliation and to hurt the victim. "Power" rape is motivated by desire to assert dominance and control, and "sadistic" rape is motivated by fetishistic sexual fantasies and sexual deviance. There have also been recent attempts to develop typologies of batterers (Gondolf, 1988; Holtzworth-Munroe & Stuart, 1994; Saunders, 1992; Snyder & Fruchtman, 1981).
    • p.19
  • Women who are battered and raped in marriage are more likely than battered only women to leave or consider leaving the marriage (Bowker, 1983; Frieze, 1983), although as wife rape is also associated with severe physical assaults it is unclear if it is the sexual nature of the assaults or the severity of assaults in general which are more closely related to a woman's decision to leave. Russell (1990) found that women who were the primary breadwinner at the time of the husband's first rape were more likely than others to "take effective action" (either leaving the relationship or other action) which put an end to the rape, a finding consistent with other research indicating that financial insecurity is one barrier to a woman's leaving an abusive relationship.
    • pp.21-22
  • Kilpatrick et al. (1988), using a nationally representative sample to study rape in America, found that "Women assaulted by husbands and boyfriends were actually more likely to sustain physical injury." Campbell and Alford (1989), who interviewed 115 raped/battered women, found that 72% experienced painful intercourse and 63% had vaginal pain as a result of sexual assault by the husband. Other problems the respondents attributed to the sexual assault included vaginal bleeding (37%), anal bleeding (30%), leaking of urine (32%), miscarriages and stillbirths (20%), and unwanted pregnancies (18%). Eby (1995) found that, among 110 battered women, 38% reported pelvic pain and 21% reported painful intercourse in the 6 months prior to the interview.
    It has been noted that most women who are raped in marriage also experience severe forms of physical abuse (Bergen, 1996; Campbell & Alford, 1989; Eby, et al., 1995). Campbell and Alford (1989) found that half of the women had been forced to have sex when ill, and almost half were coerced immediately after discharge from hospital, often after childbirth. Nearly half of the women had been hit, kicked, or burned during sex. Bergen (1996) noted common injuries of severely battered and raped women included black eyes, broken bones, blood clots in their heads and knife wounds. Rape often followed physical assaults (Bergen, 1996; Campbell & Alford, 1989; Russell, 1990).
    McFarlane et al. (1992) found that abused women were twice as likely as nonabused women to delay prenatal care until the third trimester. They speculate that this rate may be higher for women who became pregnant as the result of a rape, although no research attention has focused on wife rape and pregnancy. Given the strong link between prenatal care and positive birth outcomes, the relationship between rape, pregnancy, and prenatal care deserves attention (Campbell, et al., 1995).
    • p.22
  • Psychological consequences of rape include anxiety, depression, lack of sleep, eating disorders, lack of interest in sex, fear of men, other social phobias, substance abuse, suicidal ideation, and PTSD (Goodman, et al., 1993; Kilpatrick, Best, Saunders, & Veronen, 1988). There is no evidence to suggest that victims of wife rape are less likely to experience these outcomes relative to victims of stranger rape. To the contrary, there is considerable evidence that the psychological consequences for wife rape victims are more severe.
    • pp.22-23
  • Rape victims who experience high levels of stress and have few coping resources are at higher risk for negative psychological outcomes (Goodman, et al., 1993). As noted by Browne (1993), "some researchers suggest that PTSD is most likely to develop when traumatic events occur in an environment previously deemed safe." A wife rape victim experiences the violation of her body in a place (her home) and by a person previously "deemed safe." Living with a person who has sexually assaulted her, there is no place in which she may feel safe from future assaults. Such an experience may cause her to "cease believing that she is secure in the world, that the world has order and meaning, and that she is a worthy person (Goodman, et al., 1993).
    The limited research that has focused on wife rape survivors has found that the consequences of wife rape are severe and long-lasting. Among raped/battered women, frequency and duration of wife rape is associated with more severe and long-term impacts (Frieze, 1983; Russell, 1990). Koss and colleagues (1988) found that "women raped by husbands or family members, particularly when compared with women raped by nonromantic acquaintances or casual dates, gave more severe ratings of their anger and depression and of the offender's aggression." Ullman and Siegel (1993) found that sexual distress was highest for assaults by intimates. Finkelhor and Yllo (1985) note that the survivors expressed betrayal, anger, humiliation, and guilt.
    • p.23
  • A common misconception regarding wife rape is that forced sex between a husband and wife should be less traumatic for the victim because she has previously engaged in consensual intercourse with her husband. However, Kilpatrick and associates (1988), found that there were no differences by victim-offender relationship in the way in which victims "subjectively judged the danger of the attack." They conclude that "common assumptions about women assaulted by strangers having a more difficult time adjusting to the event than women raped by husbands and boyfriends appear to be incorrect." The same conclusion was drawn by Riggs and colleagues (1992) who also found reports that similar percentages of marital rape victims and stranger rape victims feared that they would die during the assault (36% and 40% respectively).
    • pp.23-24
  • So little is known about the experience of the husband-rapist, it is only possible to speculate on how wife rape effects his life. His behavior and the force used to have sex against his wife's wishes may lead to the loss of intimacy between himself and his wife and to the disintegration and loss of his family. Although the husband-rapist may also experience negative psychological outcomes from the abuse he inflicts, he may not have other means of managing his anger, and thus may continue to create an unstable home environment in which he is feared and even hated by his family.
    • p.24
  • The personal accounts of wife rape indicate that children often witness sexual assaults or overhear struggles and screams during rapes. As noted earlier, some studies reveal that a small percentage of children are also forced to participate in sexual acts (Campbell & Alford, 1989). Unfortunately, aside from the finding that raped/battered women are more violent to their own children than battered only women (Frieze, 1983), almost nothing has been written about the effects of marital rape on children. Children are often aware of the conflicts between their parents, even when the parents believe otherwise (see Chapter 4). We know that children who witness physical abuse between parents are more likely to be involved in physically abusive relationships as adults. It may be that children who witness sexual assaults between their parents will be more likely to be involved in sexually assaultive relationships as adults. Further research on these relationships is needed.
    • p.24
  • Various researchers have suggested that wife rape should be ruled out in families with an alcoholic husband (Barnard, 1989), a batterer husband (Pence & Paymar, 1993), or a relationship with a great deal of conflict and value dissimilarity between husband and wife (Bowker, 1983). Medical professionals must screen for sexual assault when women report other related health problems (Campbell, 1989), especially in the case of pelvic pain or vaginal or rectal bleeding. One of the most frequently stressed recommendations coming out of the wife rape literature is the need for assessment of the sexual history of all women coming to the attention of medical and mental health professionals. Sexual assault by a partner is not a topic survivors of wife rape will want to discuss spontaneously. Direct, sensitive assessments will be necessary. In order to be most effective, assessments must avoid labels such as "rape" or "sexual assault" and must include more than one behaviorally-specific question. Concerned professionals might ask about "unwanted sexual activity" or contacts including sexual intercourse and sexual touching. They might ask about sex that was uncomfortable, painful or unwanted or threats or force used by a partner to achieve sexual contact (see Assessment Tools, this chapter).
    Follow-up questions should ask about what sexual act or acts occurred, the relationship to the person with whom it occurred, the frequency with which it occurred and if the unwanted sexual contacts are still occurring. Appropriate referrals should be made for counseling, shelter, protection or legal assistance. Women should be advised of the dangers of staying in the relationship, encouraged to seek counseling, and informed of their legal rights.
    Men who come to the attention of medical or mental health professionals should also be asked about their sexual histories. If men report they have forced sexual contact on their partner, they should also be referred to counseling and informed of the seriousness of their behavior.
    • p.25
  • Kilpatrick and colleagues (1992) report that only 17% of rape cases in the U.S. resulted in a medical exam following the assault. It is less likely that victims of sexual assault by intimate partners will seek medical attention. In all cases of known or suspected wife rape a woman should be given a thorough rape exam with careful documentation (Campbell & Alford, 1989). Women should be encouraged by police and others to have forensic evidence collected, as this information will be vital in the event of prosecution.
    • p.27
  • Some have suggested that when working with batterers or alcoholic men, it should be assumed until proven otherwise that the man has forced or coerced sex with his partner (Barnard, 1989; Pence & Paymar, 1993). Although this is an extreme position, at a minimum men with a history of partner violence or substance abuse problems should be asked about their attitudes towards sex and, using behaviorally-specific questions in a non-threatening way, asked about their sexual behaviors to assess past sexual violence and current danger to a spouse. This information should be used in treatment planning. If sexual assaults are reported, the wives/partners should be contacted and offered confidential counseling and other appropriate assistance.
    • pp.27-28
  • We currently do not know the extent to which the husband-rapist differs from the rapist or the batterer. Although treatment protocols have not been clearly described for this type of offender and no evaluations of treatments have been conducted, it appears wise to recommend that treatment models for dealing with husband-rapists be sensitive to issues that have been addressed by both batterer treatment and sex offender treatment programs. One treatment program for men who batter, The Duluth Model (Pence & Paymar, 1993) (see Chapter 8), includes a unit on sexual respect that addresses many issues relevant to wife rape. In addition, Johnson (1992) and Knopp (1994) contain discussions of sexuality in the context of wife and date rape which the practitioner may find useful (see Resource Appendix for ordering information).
    • p.28
  • Kalichman and colleagues (1993) note that sexually coercive men may be deliberately manipulative and insincere in their sexual relations. They suggest focusing on the development of empathy, changing negative attitudes toward women, and engaging men in relationship values clarification. Programs for sex offenders have recently also begun to emphasize deficits in empathy and approaches to treatment designed to increase ability to take the perspective of and to empathize with the victim (Marshall, 1989).
    It should be noted that the materials discussed in this section offer a psychoeducational approach to counseling the husband-rapist. Such approaches have not been evaluated, and are considered an introduction to working with men who sexually assault their partners. It should be assumed that such men will also need additional counseling in order to understand and change their sexually assaultive behavior.
    No known treatment programs have been designed for use with children of wife rape survivors and/or perpetrators. It is recommended that in addition to the treatments suggested for children witnessing physical violence between their parents, such children receive age appropriate counseling on sexual issues.
    • pp.28-29
  • Practitioners must attend to the need of survivors of wife rape for a safe, private environment and a sympathetic person in order to feel comfortable discussing a part of their lives that they may not have discussed with anyone. Practitioners must learn to facilitate disclosure (Hanneke & Shields, 1985), and to respond in a supportive manner, letting the woman know that she is not alone, and that it is all right to feel hurt, angry, betrayed, or confused (Yllo & LeClerc, 1988).
    Frequently researchers have suggested that practitioners and service providers need to confront their own biases surrounding marital sexual assault (Barnard, 1989; Hanneke & Shields, 1985; Prescott & Letko, 1977; Weingourt, 1985) and work towards understanding the dynamics of wife rape. If a service provider believes common marital rape myths (that the woman must be frigid, that she probably wasn't hurt, that she would have left if the rapes had been really bad), s/he will not be able to help the survivor effectively. Counselors must also recognize that if they are uncomfortable discussing sexual issues, this may make disclosure a negative experience for the survivor. Counselors who are uncomfortable discussing sexual issues should seek training designed to reduce this discomfort and improve ability to establish rapport with survivors.
    Counseling wife rape victims is difficult, as the woman may still love the offender and desire a continued relationship with him. Due to transference issues, counseling may be especially difficult for the survivor if the counselor is a male. As many women have been told in their relationships that they should defer to men, it may be difficult for a male therapist to empower a wife rape survivor (Weingourt, 1985).
    It should also be noted that, at least in the anecdotal accounts of battered women, husband-rapists have been described as very violent individuals. Professionals must remember when working with this population that they must take precautions (e.g., having a secure working environment) to keep themselves and their clients safe.
    • p.29-30
  • In future research on wife rape we recommend that "rape" be specifically and operationally defined and that prevalence data be presented for each of the definitional criteria assessed. For example, studies would be most useful if they reported the number of cases involving each of the following: sexual penetration, sexual contact without penetration and sexual exploitation. In order for the best use to be made of study data, researchers should report prevalence data for each level of force and for different types of victim-offender relationships (e.g., husband-wife, ex-husband-wife, cohabiting partners, dating but not cohabiting partners.)
    It is time for the field to embark a large case-controlled, longitudinal study of a representative sample of wife rape victims and offenders supplemented by a longitudinal study of a randomly selected representative community sample of couples. Such a study should be designed to measure the prevalence, precursors and consequences of marital rape.
    Case studies of wife rapists are needed to refine the typologies of wife rape, inform our understanding of the etiology of sexually assaultive behaviors in intimate relationships, and develop and test hypotheses for prevention and treatment.
    More research needs to be done on what types of mental health, sexual, and body image counseling are needed and appropriate for survivors of sexual assaults in marriage. Research attention must be paid to children in marriages in which the husband sexually assaults the wife. As no research to date has focused on children in sexually assaultive marriages, research that is retrospective, prospective, quantitative, or qualitative is equally needed.
    • p.32
  • When rape occurs in marriage, it is typically a chronic problem that results in severe psychological and physical outcomes for wives. Although there is little direct research in this field, there is considerable evidence that homes in which wife rape is occurring are homes in which anxiety and distrust are common emotions for wives, husbands, and their children. Wife rape creates an unstable home environment for all family members. It is of utmost importance to recognize the damage being done by wife rape, and to implement research, programs and policies that will stop wife rape before it starts.
    • p.33

"“What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger:” The Fallacy of Rape Narratives as Paths to Women’s Empowerment in Contemporary Television" (2020)Edit

Alessia S., "“What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger:” The Fallacy of Rape Narratives as Paths to Women’s Empowerment in Contemporary Television" (2020).

 
When violence against women is used as a plot device to make characters stronger then we have a problem. It is not empowering to be beaten and raped, yet so many films make it their ‘pheonix’ [sic] momentfor women. We don’t need abuse in order to be powerful. We already are.
 
Just because sexual violence was being openly discussed for the first time in Hollywood does not mean it was the first time Hollywood dealt with the topic. In fact, rape narratives have always been “a staple of American cinema” (Clover: “Getting Even,” 137). Film scholar and feminist anti-rape activist Sarah Projansky goes so far as to argue that “one cannot fully understand cinema itself without addressing rape and its representation,” and that “quite probably not a year has gone by since the beginning of cinema when rape, attempted rape, or other forms of sexual violence were not represented or alluded to in films” (“The Elusive/Ubiquitous...,” 63).
 
Television series that depict rape as a transformative experience for a woman into a leader is dangerous because they imply that rape can have positive repercussions, namely, that it can make a survivor “stronger.”
 
Projansky acknowledges the impact consuming imagery of rape can have on spectators, which I believe is essential for scholarship on this subject. However, I disagree with her contention that “all representations of rape,” regardless of how feminist or anti-feminist it is, “necessarily contribute to the discursive existence of rape” (Projansky: Watching Rape, 137). There are instances in which rape can be depicted to subvert rape culture rather than contribute to it by debunking commonly held rape myths, and are therefore beneficial additions to discourse, which will be discussed later on in this chapter.
 
The rape revenge films of the ‘70s and ‘80s were shaped by the social changes that were taking place during those years), most notably by implying that we live in a rape culture, for which all members of our society, not just rapists, are responsible (Clover: “Getting Even,” 138-139). The understanding of rape culture changed society’s conception of rape prevention. The onus should not solely lie on survivors to fight for social change; every member of society must educate themselves and change their behavior in order to make a difference.
 
The relationship between television and anti-rape ideology is not insignificant: television takes such ideology out of feminist theory and makes it available to mainstream audiences, who, in turn, view rape and its victims in a more empathetic light because of how they are portrayed on-screen. Cuklanz posits: “prime time serial television may be an important ground on which the tensions between traditional and feminist ideas about rape are played out”, and for an example of a series that dedicates itself to playing out those tensions, one needs to look no further than Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Wolf, 1999–).
 
I think it is important to use art, particularly film and television, to depict the horrors of rape in order to raise public awareness for how it affects its survivors and to continue to debunk rape myths as it has been doing since the second-wave feminist movement. However, to portray rape with the goal of eliciting shock value is irresponsible and offensive to survivors everywhere who can relate to that representation. In that same vein, insinuating that rape revenge is the ultimate resolution for a survivor is equally offensive—revenge does not erase trauma for survivors, but the rape revenge narratives of Game of Thrones and Westworld imply that they do.
  • “When violence against women is used as a plot device to make characters stronger then we have a problem. It is not empowering to be beaten and raped, yet so many films make it their ‘pheonix’ [sic] momentfor women. We don’t need abuse in order to be powerful. We already are.” –Jessica Chastain, via Twitter
    • p.5
  • Just because sexual violence was being openly discussed for the first time in Hollywood does not mean it was the first time Hollywood dealt with the topic. In fact, rape narratives have always been “a staple of American cinema” (Clover: “Getting Even,” 137). Film scholar and feminist anti-rape activist Sarah Projansky goes so far as to argue that “one cannot fully understand cinema itself without addressing rape and its representation,” and that “quite probably not a year has gone by since the beginning of cinema when rape, attempted rape, or other forms of sexual violence were not represented or alluded to in films” (“The Elusive/Ubiquitous...,” 63).
    • pp.5-6
  • This chapter will analyze how film and television are capable of upholding and subverting rape myths, such as that someone cannot be assaulted by a partner, consent can be measured through physical passivity, or exacting revenge on a rapist relieves the survivor of any posttraumatic stress from the attack. Television series that depict rape as a transformative experience for a woman into a leader is dangerous because they imply that rape can have positive repercussions, namely, that it can make a survivor “stronger.” Countless films and television series include “gratuitous representations [of rape], not closely connected to the larger narrative” (Projansky: Watching Rape, 135). However, narratives that use sexual assault as a call to action for women characters are particularly guilty of providing unnecessary portrayals of rape. They use rape as a backstory or a narrative starting point for women when it could easily be substituted with any other form of trauma so that their women leaders can be simultaneously victims (by being raped) and heroes (through their subsequent action). By featuring a woman victim-hero, theses narratives participate in misogynist viewing practices by providing male spectators with active women who are less threatening to patriarchy because they were previously victimized by men. It is crucial to understand how representations of rape have evolved and been influenced by the feminist and postfeminist movements before discussing these more recent examples of rape in television.
    • pp.6-7
  • Projansky acknowledges the impact consuming imagery of rape can have on spectators, which I believe is essential for scholarship on this subject. However, I disagree with her contention that “all representations of rape,” regardless of how feminist or anti-feminist it is, “necessarily contribute to the discursive existence of rape” (Projansky: Watching Rape, 137). There are instances in which rape can be depicted to subvert rape culture rather than contribute to it by debunking commonly held rape myths, and are therefore beneficial additions to discourse, which will be discussed later on in this chapter.
    • p.10
  • The New York Radical Feminists organized conferences where survivors spoke about their experiences with rape and the judicial system, leading the NYRF to conclusions that reshaped feminist ideology regarding rape, such as: “The idea that victims of rape were unfairly made to feel guilty and responsible, the observation that victims were often accused of lying or exaggerating their claims of rape, the assertion that rape was treated differently from other felony crimes with respect to standards of proof and assumptions about victim behavior, and the conclusion that current law reinforced shame and secrecy.” (Cuklanz, 8)
    • p.11
  • Read identifies three categories of rape revenge: “primary, secondary, and displaced revenge” (95):“Primary revenge refers to instances in which the rapist is killed by his victim, while secondary revenge refers to those cases in which he is killed by someone other than his victim, most usually a family member or loved one...displaced revenge, covers instances in which, while the rapist is not killed, another man or men is made to suffer in his place.” (Read, 95)Before the 1970s, rape revenge narratives almost always fell into the “secondary” category, as victims would not enact their own revenge. The 1970s saw the rise of “primary” rape revenge narratives, and with Lamont Johnson’s popular film Lipstick(1976), the rape-revenge film became popular and rape became “a problem for women themselves to solve” (Clover: “Getting Even,” 138). In Lipstick, a model named Chris (Margaux Hemingway) is raped by her little sister’s music teacher and loses her criminal case against him. When the music teacher tries to rape Chris’s little sister, Chris, having lost all faith in the justice system, takes matters into her own hands and shoots him. Heller-Nicholas credits Lipstick for highlighting a rapist who is not a “cartoonish villain” (27) as previous rapists were represented in film, but a seemingly ordinary person. This new representation of a rapist was no doubt influenced by the new conceptions of rape formulated by the anti-rape movement, which argued that anyone could be a rapist, not just those othered by society. Most of the time, a rapist is someone who is embraced by society, whose privilege enables them to take advantage of others, often people they know and may even love.
    • p.12
  • The rape revenge films of the ‘70s and ‘80s were shaped by the social changes that were taking place during those years), most notably by implying that we live in a rape culture, for which all members of our society, not just rapists, are responsible (Clover: “Getting Even,” 138-139). The understanding of rape culture changed society’s conception of rape prevention. The onus should not solely lie on survivors to fight for social change; every member of society must educate themselves and change their behavior in order to make a difference.
    • p.13
  • Rape narratives in film changed with the rise of postfeminism in the 1980s. Yvonne Taskerand Diane Negra define postfeminism as broadly encompassing “a set of assumptions, widely disseminated within popular media forms, having to do with the ‘pastness’ of feminism, whether that supposed pastness is merely noted, mourned, or celebrated” (1). Since postfeminism operates on the assumption that feminism is “no longer needed” (Taskerand Negra, 1), it “entails an emphatic individualism, but this formulation tends to confuse self-interest with individuality” (Tasker and Negra, 2) because, with the belief that the feminist movement is in the past, there is no need for women to work together for common goals. Thus, women in postfeminist films work towards individual goals rather than tackle institutional problems. Not only is postfeminism taking the place of what it considers to be an unnecessary feminist movement, but it is also “understood as a backlash against feminism” (Read, 117). Tasker and Negra goon to argue that postfeminism is inherently white and middle class, as well as being propagated on consumerism for self-betterment (2). Thus, the rise of postfeminism led to the representation of postfeminist heroines in film and television: women who were white, of privileged class status, and who, in the guise of self-empowerment, consume products in order to alter their appearance for the heterosexual male viewers’ pleasure.
    • p.13
  • Projansky connects rape narratives following the 1980s to postfeminism, arguing that they alter feminist ideals and propose that feminism is not necessary (Watching Rape, 121). Postfeminism enables a “double reading of any representation of rape:” the actual assault of a woman, which acts as a backlash against women, and a representation of the calamity of the act (Projansky: Watching Rape,123). In other words, postfeminism allows a film to portray a violent sexual assault on a woman, which is read as an anti-feminist representation of hateful violence against women, while it is demonstrating the horrors of rape, which is read as a feminist exposure of the realities of rape. I believe there are methods to portray rape on-screen without depicting a brutal attack that functions as a backlash against women.
    • pp.14-15
  • Television programs began reflecting feminist conceptions of rape, its causes, and survivors in the late 1980s, featuring episodes on acquaintance rape and offering the victim’s perspective more often (Cuklanz, 25). Cuklanz lists four traditional rape myths that the anti-rape movement worked to debunk: 1)“Rape claimants are often liars,” 2) “Rapists are marginal or readily identifiable,” 3) “Real rape is violent and committed by a stranger,” and 4) “Victims contribute to their own attacks by provoking or asking for rape” (16). As anti-rape activists discredited these myths throughout the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, television slowly began to portray rape in less exaggerated ways. For example, studies on acquaintance rape began in the 1970s, and by the 1990s, prime time television was producing episodes on acquaintance rape more often than the “basic plot” narratives of stranger rape found often in the ‘70s (Cuklanz, 4). The relationship between television and anti-rape ideology is not insignificant: television takes such ideology out of feminist theory and makes it available to mainstream audiences, who, in turn, view rape and its victims in a more empathetic light because of how they are portrayed on-screen. Cuklanz posits: “prime time serial television may be an important ground on which the tensions between traditional and feminist ideas about rape are played out”, and for an example of a series that dedicates itself to playing out those tensions, one needs to look no further than Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Wolf, 1999–).
    • pp.17-18
  • Representation of rape trauma is crucial to the responsible representation of rape in film and television. In her work on this topic, Amanda Spallacci contends:“The prevalence of rape scenes in mainstream Hollywood cinema over representations of rape traumacreates the standard that the burden of proof falls onto the survivor” (3). Moreover, without representations of trauma, the film or series implies that rape does not stay with a survivor after it happens, manifesting itself physically and mentally, often in the form of posttraumatic stress disorder. The rape revenge genre is especially guilty of not representing rape trauma. Because the resolution of the rape revenge narrativesees the rapist punished, the genre insinuates that a survivor is completely healed after rape once they get revenge on their rapist, whether that revenge takes form in physical harm or legal ramifications. The narrative does not continue to depict how the rape continues to affect the survivor mentally. This thesis contends the “myth of rape revenge,” as I refer to it, perpetuates the notion that the trauma of rape ends when the rapist is punished.
    • p.21
  • Throughout the past few years, I have noticed a startling trend in rape narratives on popular cable television programs, which use the act of rape as a catalyst to propel a female character to a position of leadership or power. These narratives imply that these women need some sort of trauma to “overcome” in order to achieve power in an androcentric world, and because sexual violence against women is so prevalent in film and television, rape appears to be an obvious narrative tool in a woman’s path to empowerment. This trope is neither new, nor is it exclusive to television series. In 2001, Projansky noted in her book: “Some texts depict independent women as interested in masculine careers. Rape emerges in these films as a mark of women’s essentialized bodily gender difference that must be overcome before they can succeed in a masculine world” (144). In other words, rape in these narratives serves to point out the fundamental difference between the male and female sexes—the male being read as superior and the female as inferior—through the violation of the female body. Only after the woman is reminded of her place as lesser in the misogynistic diegesis through this violation, she can rise to positions of power. In these narratives, “a woman both faces rape because of her desire to access her equal right to a masculine career and is fully transformed into an independent masculine subject (a version of a postfeminist feminist), ironically, as a result of rape” (Projansky: Watching Rape,144). Projansky articulates this point with the film Opposing Force (Karson, 1986) in which a military captain rapes the only woman soldier in his prisoner of war training camp in order to prepare her for what would happen if she were taken by the enemy. By the postfeminist logic of this film, her rape was inevitable because of her decision, fueled by her independence and ambition, to enter the masculine space of the military. As a woman soldier, the main difference between her and her male colleagues in this POW training scenario is her risk of being raped. Therefore her rape emphasizes her status as “other” from the men so that she may remain in this space while being reminded of her place within its misogynistic structure. Thus she becomes a postfeminist (accepting of her place within patriarchy) feminist (an independent, active woman).
    Such character arcs for women are incredibly problematic because they “imply that rape can produce positive results,” specifically leadership opportunities, as well as insinuate, “that all women are already committed to independent action, they just need rape to ‘free’ them to take that action” (Projansky: Watching Rape,150). In other words, the women in these narratives are capable of being active characters, but only the act of rape can enable them to be active. Additionally, these character arcs uphold the misogynistic notion that in order for a woman to be a hero for male viewers to identify with ¬¬without threatening “the structures of male competence” (Clover: “Her Body, Himself,” 99), she must be brutally victimized on-screen.
    • pp.26-27
  • I believe Projansky’s argument applies to the character arcs of Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) in Game of Thrones (Benioff and Weiss, 2011–2019), Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) in Westworld (Nolan and Joy, 2016–) and Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) in Marvel’s Jessica Jones (Rosenberg, 2015–2019). Sansa and Dolores’s rape propels them to political power and leadership positions, and Jessica’s incites her to be a superhero.
    It is crucial to emphasize at this point that most rape narratives focus on white, heterosexual, able-bodied women, perpetuating the myth that straight, white women without disabilities are the most likely demographic to be assaulted, when in reality, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and people with disabilities experience sexual assault much more often (Linder, 10). Hollywood is notoriously heteronormative and white-centered, and the women it chooses to portray in leadership positions and as victim-heroes reflect those values—not the reality of who is actually assaulted in the US. Additionally, I do not want to imply that only women can be victims of sexual assault. People of all genders can be and are assaulted everyday. However, referring back to Projansky’s argument, the idea that rape could be a catalyst for empowerment is specific to non-male characters as it, for lack of a better phrase, “puts them in their place” with in misogynist society, and allows for them to become heroes without disrupting patriarchal power dynamics by making them victim-heroes.
    • pp.28-29
  • I think it is important to use art, particularly film and television, to depict the horrors of rape in order to raise public awareness for how it affects its survivors and to continue to debunk rape myths as it has been doing since the second-wave feminist movement. However, to portray rape with the goal of eliciting shock value is irresponsible and offensive to survivors everywhere who can relate to that representation. In that same vein, insinuating that rape revenge is the ultimate resolution for a survivor is equally offensive—revenge does not erase trauma for survivors, but the rape revenge narratives of Game of Thrones and Westworld imply that they do. Depictions of rape survivors on-screen can be feminist if they demonstrate the strength of the woman survivor as her ability to cope with her trauma. Because Jessica Jones and Top of the Lake dedicate time to show how much Jessica and Robin are struggling, the characters appear stronger because viewers watch them be powerful, successful leaders even though they live with the daily struggle of their trauma. Victimization does not breed strength, but a person’s inner strength can be found in how they manage to pull themselves together after being victimized and find ways to keep living.
    • p.102

“The Legitimate Children of Rape” (August 29, 2012)Edit

Andrew Solomon, “The Legitimate Children of Rape”, The New Yorker, (August 29, 2012)

  • Writing in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Dr. Felicia H. Stewart and Dr. James Trussell have estimated that there are twenty-five thousand rape-related pregnancies each year in the United States.
  • Women who are being abused on an ongoing basis are particularly likely to conceive in rape. Catherine MacKinnon has written, “Forced pregnancy is familiar, beginning in rape and proceeding through the denial of abortions; this occurred during slavery and still happens to women who cannot afford abortions.
  • Augustine saw a noble purpose in rape; while promising women that “savage lust perpetuated against them will be punished,” he also praises rape for keeping women humble, letting them know “whether previously they were arrogant with regard to their virginity or over-fond of praise, or whether they would have become proud had they not suffered violation.” The Roman physician Galen claimed that women could not conceive in rape—could not, in fact, conceive without an orgasm based in pleasure and consent. Classical mythology is full of rape, usually seen as a positive event for the rapist, who is often a god; Zeus so took Europa and Leda; Dionysus raped Aura; Poseidon, Aethra; Apollo, Euadne. It is noteworthy that every one of these rapes produces children. The rape of a vestal virgin by Mars produced Romulus and Remus, who founded Rome. Romulus organized the rape of the Sabine women to populate his new city. In much later civilizations, the rape of the Sabines was considered a noble story; in the Renaissance, it often graced marriage chests. The hostility such children inspired due to their origins has also long been acknowledged. In both the ancient and the medieval world, women who bore children conceived in rape were permitted to let them die of exposure—although in medieval Europe a few weeks’ penance was deemed necessary for doing so.
  • Historically, rape has been seen less as a violation of a woman than as a theft from a man to whom that woman belonged, either her husband or her father, who suffered an economic loss (a woman’s marriageability spoiled) and an insult to his honor. There was also the problem of bastard children, who were considered a social burden; the Athenian state, for example, was primarily occupied with protecting bloodlines, and so treated rape and adultery the same way. Hammurabi’s code describes rape victims as adulterers; English law of the seventeenth century takes a similar position. In Puritan Massachusetts, any woman pregnant through rape was prosecuted for fornication. In the nineteenth century, the American courts remained biased toward protecting men who might be falsely accused. In order to prove that an encounter was a rape, the woman had to demonstrate that she had resisted and been overcome; she usually had to show bodily harm as evidence of her struggle; and she had somehow to prove that the man had ejaculated inside her.

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