More Framing Rape. Also, Zomg I H8 Tumblr So Much I Can’t Even, I’m Completely Unable To Even, I Have Lost The Ability To Even. November 20, 2012Posted by FCM in feminisms, logic, rape.
Tags: ann-tagonist, rape, tumblr
i have been watching with interest an ongoing discussion (on tumblr!!) about rape, and what it is and isnt. tumblr isnt my natural habitat, and im not interested in even trying to figure it out at this juncture, although if someone can show me how tumblr *isnt* primarily a huge gynergy-sucking waste of time (and not coincidentally, another way for privileged males to look busy at work while not actually doing anything) im all ears. srsly, i h8 tumblr! h8 it!
anyhoo, im trying to get my head around all the issues being raised here — despite this conversation essentially being a thought-terminating mindfuck (thanks tumblr! thanks men and trans and MRAs and pomos and hopeless reformists and baby feminists talking primarily out of their asses in short-form dialog in a nonradical mixed space). jeebus i hate tumblr so much. srsly, is it just me?
earlier, i proposed my own definition — or reframing — of rape, which is: the violent enforcement by men of womens sex role as fuckholes and breeders. this is, i believe, the correct historical and political context (intent and effect) of men raping women, across time and place. i think this includes all the relevant elements of rape, so that even if you called rape “bananas” it would still mean the same thing. note that i generally do NOT endorse calling stuff *other stuff* for purposes of obfuscating truths and diluting meaning, including the historical truths and political meaning of womens lives and what men do to us. i do however support paring things down to their elements, in order to achieve understanding, which is the opposite of what pomos do with their obfuscating nothing means anything, “everything equals everything” rhetoric.
so call it “bananas” if you like, what do i care? so long as you understand that rape is not a fruit with a yellow peel, and a banana is not a whiffle ball. and that we are talking about the elements of rape. thats the important thing, afterall. the meaning of the word, not the word itself. this is a particularly important point, isnt it, considering that its always mens meaning and mens interpretation of all words that are going to carry the day in all male-centric discourse and all female-only space too, unless and until we get our heads around what we mean when we say it. and in the case of rape, what it means to and for *us* when men rape women across time and place.
so looking at the convo over on tumblr, where the OP states that rape is “when a male uses his penis as a weapon against a female” whereupon the shit hits the fan…i have only my own definition to look to, dont i? because the definition men use for rape — that its forced sex — is both woefully inadequate and a reversal: since sex is allegedly “consensual” sex (isnt it?), the male-centric definition of rape implicates a logical, factual and indeed a linguistic impossibility — forced-consensual-sex. the way men define it also uses the word to define the word, which you also arent allowed to do. yay! thats what we are working with, definition-wise, illustrating how and why patriarchal practices and policies surrounding rape (or sex!) will never, ever benefit women, or indeed make any kind of rational sense at all when you *really* think about it. and as far as i know, even we dont have a better definition yet. if we do, im sure someone will tell me.
in fact, i think mens framing of rape as forced-sex — and the problems that causes, including what happens when you use the word to define the word, and what men appear to think of our “consent” too — can be illustrated like this (this is assuming that “sex” means consensual sex, and “rape” means forced sex):
if i got this wrong, im sure someone will tell me. but srsly, i think its right. and until someone can come up with a definition of “rape” that makes any kind of rational sense for women and centers womens experience of being raped by men across time and place — and a definition of rape that *doesnt* literally repeat the word “consensual” literally forever, as in infinitely, this is a feedback loop, even as it unambiguously values womens consent at “zero” — ima use my own definition of it.
and i think that the OP on teh evol tumblrs definition is consistent with my definition, or at least that its not inconsistent with it. i also think this topic — when done properly, centering the experience of female-bodied persons — implicates the uncannily-similar (okay identical) female-specific harms to women of both “consensual” PIV and rape. i think *that* needs to be discussed pretty much endlessly, although endlessly repeating ourselves and covering ground thats already been covered is gynergy-sucking too…how bout all’yall who are already wasting your time and energy on tumblr donate some time and energy to that one ay? its just a suggestion…
alternatively, if my definition isnt the one we want to use, lets make a better one. so long as we identify actual reasons why any new definition benefits women and centers womens experience with men raping us across time and place, and furthers understanding by isolating and contextualizing the elements of rape, and includes the historical truths and political meaning of rape in womens lives and the historical truths and political meaning of what men do to us. i think this task is huge, and that it requires nothing less.
i also dont think its likely to happen in a tumblr format. did i mention how much i h8 tumblr? h8 h8 h8 it! that is all.