Sunday, September 2, 2012

Rape as a Tool of Election





The idea that a woman’s body can and will reject sperm at will from a rapist speaks  not only to the deepest form of ignorance of the human anatomy but also to the idea that such words are not to be taken very seriously. The comments were made in the same offhand way a man might declare the defense of one football team better than the offense of another. There are no real consequences to that opinion, are there? Why bother with facts when all you are really looking for is for there to be some sort of agreement between the people you know already agree with you, and the opinion you were feeding them?

The idea women cannot become impregnated by rape also speaks to a profound ignorance of rape itself.  In the final days of World War Two and the aftermath of that conflict, hundreds of thousands of German women were raped, some to the point of death, and tens of thousands of pregnancies occurred. The most common form of death by German women in the year after the war was suicide and most of those were pregnancy related. Rape as a form of warfare exists on a large scale today in many conflicts and to consider rape as some sort of device for procreation rather than assault is ignorance on the order of magnitude to be breathtaking in its scope.

Yet there are larger issues here. The very idea there is an audience for this sort of drivel, and that audience is being courted by someone who would like to have a say in how this country is being managed, speaks to those issues.  There are people in this country who are being trained not to think about the worth of a candidate, but rather to react to certain hot button issues as well as certain labels on either those issues or candidates.
A strategist for Ronald Reagan once said, “If we can make Willie Horton a household name we can win this election” and that is exactly what happened.  Horton, by the way, was a man who was furloughed from prison who went on to become a rapist and an issue in the 1988 elections.  

When the Russians invaded Germany in World War Two there was in mind the idea to seek revenge for the German invasion of Russia just a few years earlier. The Soviet Army, composed of men who had seen what the Germans did as invaders, sought to avenge the death, destruction, and rape of their country by doing exactly that to the Germans, and they did. But more so than physical assault, gunshots, or shrapnel wounds, rape is intensely personal. It is a one on one war that leaves the victim violated in a way that scars the psyche.  That is the intent of rape. When used as a tool of war rape is meant to put the conflict into the minds of the victims in a way that bullets and bombs cannot. The message is as clear as it is brutal; we will violate you and you cannot prevent this.
The war being waged with words such as “legitimate rape” is a war very much the same as that waged against the women during World War Two.  The difference now is the men in control are wearing cowboy boots and suits rather than military uniforms.  The difference now is the men in control are using the threat of health care loss as a weapon rather than guns. The difference now is that a man who has never had to deal with the issue of rape personally can toss out terms like “legitimate rape” and homilies about a woman’s body rejecting pregnancy.  The results will be strikingly similar.  The issue here is one of control. The message is the same; we will violate you and you cannot prevent this.

Control is not necessarily violation but violation is a means of control. Take away a woman’s health care and she no longer controls her body.  But while those nodding their heads and breathing through their mouths at the idea that rape can be “legitimate” or not, they do not realize women and children first means someone else will be next.

This assault on women is nothing more than the first erosion of rights of everyone. If a body of legislation can codify the possession of a woman’s uterus then they can certainly lay claim to anything else that belongs to anyone else. Isn’t that what rape is all about?  Wrap in in religious fervor, package it in “conservative values” and sell it to the mouth breathers and suddenly you can win this election.  It doesn’t matter than you’ve damaged irrevocably the constitution or the rights of a class of human beings first to lose out in any conflict. All that matters is you’ve discovered a way to win an election.

None of this is accidental. The powers that be know full well how much is at stake in this struggle.  This is a method to create an underclass, an impoverished underclass, which has always been exploited for so many reasons and so many ways I dare not begin to list them here. This is nothing more than an assault on basic human rights, intellectual honesty, and the very idea that an informed populace will elect informed leaders.

There is a formula for winning elections these days. First you must sell yourself to special interest groups who will fund you, and to who you will be in debt to forever. Second, you must demonize your opponent and that opponent’s character. Then you must appeal to the lowest common denominator in the electorate.  You must discover who the mouth breathers are and apply base instinct and knee jerk reaction issues to their minds.

If you wonder why politicians rail against the public schools systems it is because educating the wrong people interferes with electing the right people, in their point of view.

Take Care,
Mike

10 comments:

  1. Mike, please submit this to national and visible web entities, such as Huffington Post. It is the most well spoken response I have read or heard on the subject, and I think others need to read it as well. I am going to post to my Twitter feed, but I don't use it much, and don't have many followers. Tere

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    1. Thanks, for the Twitter feed even if you don't have many followers.

      If I could get someone to publish it I certainly would! I'll see what is out there.

      Thanks again!

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  2. "The difference now is that a man who has never had to deal with the issue of rape personally can toss out terms like “legitimate rape” and homilies about a woman’s body rejecting pregnancy."
    I'm not so sure he hasn't had to deal with rape personally, but as a rapist. He's at least reserving the right to do so in the future.
    I was encouraged at the outcry from the GOP in the hours following Akin's statement, but that soon faded as the party powers, right up to Ryan, started to proclaim the same stance.
    It saddens me that half the country would vote for these bastards.

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    1. It would sadden me if anyone would.

      But they believe, and rightly so, if they can turn this into a single issue race then nothing else matter, not even the cost.

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  3. I think you're right. I think I might have to change my approach from "isn't this shocking what they're saying" to "look at them trying to destroy our intelligence and create a class of people who can't protect themselves."

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    1. That was well put, actually, scyllacat.

      What is a scyllacat?

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  4. Mike - you and I often don't agree on things, or when we do it's to very different extents.
    However.
    This article is one of the most eloquent, poignant, and pointly true pieces I've read in a long time and I 100% agree with GirlwithDogs: PLEASE submit this to more visible places - BOTH on the web and in print. I guess I'll just call myself GirlwithCats and repeat her request =P
    You hit the nail dead-on. As my roomie pointed out [and I'd already thought of], rape as a tool of war [and a tool of relieving the violent aggression that builds in a person used themselves as a tool of war] has been around since time immemorable. Vikings used it [although at least they 'took the women in' as slaves afterward usually, to become their breeding cattle. Not good but at least they took responsibility of a sort for the results of their *cough* effort]; tribes and dictators in Africa STILL use it; anywhere women have been available as victims of war, they have become victims of rape. But your narrowing the scope of focus to some of the most recent world wars - wars that supposedly had lots of 'human rights' or 'civil rights' resolutions etc attached to them - helps people focus on the modern and the fact that this tactic is still VERY much in use.
    So, tl;dr: Loved it, agree, want you to boost yer own signal as best you can.
    *hug* Thank you for writing this.

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    1. You are very kind, Amanda, and considering you have very strong opinions, which are frequently well guided, this is a high compliment for me.

      Thank you!!!

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  5. Great post. Found you through Forming the Thread. How do I subscribe?
    Here's my post on this:http://cyclingrandma.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/war-on-women-can-it-get-any-scarier/

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    1. I'm uncertain how to subscribe but I am flattered you'd ask. Look on the right hand side of the page were there is a box labeled 'followers' and that might be what you are looking for!

      Off to read your version of events!

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