Yesterday I found the best comment on my blog so far. In honour of the person who posted it, Kim Boo San, I am going to establish an award. ‘The Quiet Riot Girl post of the year award’. It is a rolling competition, so the winner can be toppled at any time. But this one is going to be hard to beat. Thank-you Kim. Your prize is knowing how much you have heartened this jaded feminist in her struggle to keep arguing her corner in a hostile (‘feminist’) environment.
Here is the comment in its entirety:
‘I really enjoyed this article; I’ve had issues with the whole “rape culture” concept but I’ve never been able to pin down why. I think you brought up some of the problems I have with it, as a term.
What I really want to say is how much I love the “opposite of rape is not sex, it is no rape” concept. I am very frustrated in the rape dialogue because the confounding of rape with sex hyper-victimizes the victim. Rape becomes the WORST THING EVER and something the victim cannot – indeed, should not! – ever recover from. To me, the disempowers rape victims.
Rape is about violence, and like getting hit in a fight or mugged on a street corner, it is traumatic. But society doesn’t stigmatize the mugging victim – “Oh, she’ll never be able to walk home from work again!” – the way it does a rape victims. Rape victims are supposed to immediately suffer huge, insurmountable issues in their sex life, it’s almost a cliche.
Now, I’m a victim of date rape. It was not fun. I hated myself for “allowing it to happen” even though I was incapacitated by alcohol at the time, so yeah, I had issues about that I’ve taken a long time to confront. But you know what? It was not the end of my sex life. I did not suddenly distrust all men. No really, I kept having sex! Even after rape! I know, it’s crazy talk! *rolls eyes* Women who suffer violent rape have different issues, of course, and certainly have reason to experience trust and personal space issues. But it is NOT about sex; it’s about being violently attacked. And until that differentiation is made the stigma of being a rape victim will continue to deprive such women the right to recovery.
This mythologizing of rape is still rooted in the whole “pedestal” complex, IMHO, and thus rapists are EVIL and women who get raped are spiritually/psychologically disfigured for LIFE and blah blah blah. The “rape culture” paradigm, while clearly meant as helpful critique and containing valuable cultural insight, seems to carry on that tradition.
Not that I have a viable alternative, mind you. I just liked what you had to say. Thank you!’
No, thank you!