Rape is a choice

Apparently, there are some [television] writers out there who think that their audience is somehow clamoring for more quips about abuse. | Rape, Television, Writer,

It's not biology, it's a cold-blooded decision

One of the most persistent arguments about rape is that it's entirely the woman's fault if she goes out without anticipating men will be compelled to rape her.

This crops up in a couple of forms. The pseudo-scientific one is that men have evolved to spread their genes by sleeping with as many women as possible, so rape, by letting them spread their seed further, is a biological imperative.

The vaguer version is that rape is somehow "natural." Scott Adams (of Dilbert) summed it up a couple of years ago by comparing rape to a lion killing a zebra. The lion's actions are perfectly natural, right? So if you pass a law saying lions shouldn't kill zebras, that doesn't make the killing wrong, it just means the law is criminalizing perfectly normal behavior.

Given how much rape doesn't involve reproduction, the genetics argument is bullshit. Rape, after all, includes anal rape, oral rape, rape of children too young to conceive, rape of seniors too old to conceive, rape-murder, rape with blunt objects, same-sex rape, rape with condoms (it happens), spousal rape (the rapist already has reproductive access) and gang rape (as each rapist's sperm has to compete).

The non-genetic argument doesn't work either. Rape doesn't involve someone responding to some innate lustful drive because rapists plan. They think it through. They put drugs in the victim's drink, try to get her alone, or wait somewhere they know it'll be safe to attack. Rape is a conscious, deliberate choice.

Even if biology was at the root of rape, what difference should that make? We have a biological need to eat that's even stronger than our impulse to get laid. I've yet to hear a rape apologist suggest that if a starving person orders a restaurant meal then slips out without paying, they're just following human nature. Or that if you shoplift from Publix or Whole Foods, it's the laws against shoplifting that are flawed. I mean, come on, look at how stores flaunt those tempting mounds of fruit in the produce section! Can you blame someone who can't afford food for taking what he wants? Hell, some stores give away free samples'if they're giving it away, what's the objection to someone taking it?

And if men's nature is so dangerous and destructive, why aren't we doing something about it? The "it's natural" advocates are quick to suggest all the things women should do, like never go out alone, never wear clothes that are "too sexy" (rape-apologist pundit Rod Dreher has asserted that if a woman dresses like a prostitute, she can't expect men to treat her like a decent woman), never go out and drink. Shouldn't we be instructing the men instead? Don't go out and drink if you're going to lose control. Never go out without a companion to stop you losing control. Don't assume that because you think a woman's dressed slutty, you have some right to have sex with her. Or hell, just blindfold guys so they don't get overstimulated by the sight of all those hot women.

Instead, the focus is on how those rape victims behave'imagine thinking they can go out alone and not expect to get raped! Imagine dressing Like That and not expecting a guy to take advantage of it! Imagine thinking you can go out hoping to get laid and then turn a man down when he "offers" sex (not hypothetical'a Florida jury let off a rapist who'd stabbed his victim multiple times on the ground she'd gone to a bar looking for sex). Imagine thinking the law protects sluts as well as decent women!

Rape is not the inevitable outcome of our biology. It's a deliberate, brutal act.

It creeps me out that some people choose not to understand that.

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Updated May 22, 2018 1:43 AM UTC | More details


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