After watching weeks of dialogue in the letter pages about rape, some Sisters (including myself) weighed in on the topic this week to add more female voices to the matter at hand. I always think it so very egotistical when men discuss issues concerning women without the input of women in the process; much like when men make laws about what women can do with their bodies or how they should dress without so much as a word from a woman on the matter.
And then, of course, when women do insist on adding their input (almost always without invitation), there is the typical response equivalent to a patriarchal patronising pat on the back because women simply cannot possess the “analytical sophistication” necessary to take on these big bad problems that trouble the world.
Instead, according to a male responder in the letter pages, the Sisters are to believe sophisticated analysis is actually playing games like “let’s push the blame,” which should be considered more relevant to a discussion on rape than for women to “trot out a statistic and elevate rape to a special category.” I beg to differ with that writer’s response.
The analysis of the statistics presented in the letter by the S4 Sisters concerning rape is as relevant as one man’s examination of a rape culture. In fact, the consideration of those statistics is a far more reliable reflection of that culture than the analysis of one man.
Some men, like the aforementioned letter writer, have put forth the argument that the manner in which a woman dresses can make her a target for rape. In other words, they are blaming the victim for the actions of the criminal. This is not a new argument. In fact, it has been expressed worldwide in an attempt to somehow rationalise the evil and criminal behaviour of rapists.
However, as pointed out by many good men, this argument condemns the entire male species to nothing more than mere animals without the ability to control some overwhelming need for violence or sexual conquest. I think much higher of the male human species than this characterisation. After all, not even male animals in the wild violate, brutalise and murder the females of their species.
If we have truly come to the conclusion that men cannot control their violent urges to rape and murder because they are nothing more than a product of a debased culture and animalistic instincts in which their brain and moral compass stops working at the sight of a woman in a dress – then it is time to finally assert that for the good of humankind, the movement of men must be restricted so as to protect the women and children.
Women are not the ones who should be restricted in movement, dress or in any other way – as they have been for thousands of years – because they are not the ones causing so much death and destruction to the human race.
In defence of men, I must say that of all the men I have met in my lifetime, I believe there would be less than a handful that would fit this disgraceful description being portrayed of them – and of those who did fit that description it was obvious that they made a conscience decision to follow their darker inclinations. They chose to be evil. Evil did not choose them (and yes, rape is evil).
On the one hand, it is commendable that men are searching for what causes their gender to rape. On the other hand, certain men need to look elsewhere to explain this criminal behaviour rather than blaming the victim because it is an immature mind that blames one person for an evil committed by another.
All mature adults know full well that they must accept responsibility for their own actions.
Yet since Adam, some men (not all) have been pointing their fingers at women to shirk the responsibility for their own wicked actions. And for just as long women have accepted that blame because if they did not they were beaten, tortured, raped and murdered.
What has changed? Women have awakened to the knowledge that men alone are responsible for any evil actions they commit. Women have also realised that they are just as human as men and thereby endowed with the same inalienable rights, which includes a life free from violence.
Still, some men continue to whine about how unfair it is that they are being held accountable for their own actions. Instead, these men should be trying to stop the atrocities committed by their gender by examining the gender committing the atrocities – not the victims.
I encourage this ongoing dialogue on how to address the issue of rape, as well as other forms of violence against women. This same discourse is taking place worldwide right now as the boiling point of violence has culminated in demands for justice instead of indifference from patriarchal institutions of law enforcement and justice systems.
So please, do continue the discussion my Brothers, but it is time you not only listen to input from women, but acknowledge that input for the merit it holds because we are women and are far more capable of speaking about issues pertaining to women than you.
Also, Brothers, don’t dare think for one second that you can continue to impede the freedoms of women to somehow regulate the evil actions committed by men. Don’t think that you can tell me how to talk, walk, dress, act or think just to appease your need to shrug the responsibility for the evil acts of men. It will not happen anymore.
It is time men grew up, rejected the evil that is being committed against the female half of the human race and faced this reality “like a man” to finally deal with it in a mature and intelligent manner.