An Irregular Column
by Mykel Board
TOPIC NUMBER ONE: There should not be a law against rape. I was watching Morton Downey and there was this right-wing Kansas city porker arguing with a pornstar owner. He was pushing the typical line about how pornography causes rape. I'd heard it so many times before that I was ready to turn it off when POW: a revelation-- an epiphany-- a vision: There should not be a law against rape.
Of course I don't mean that rape should be allowed. I'm as opposed to forceable sex as I am opposed to forceable knife stabbing, or school going or any other form of non-consensual violence. That's the point-- rape is just that: a violent crime. It is assault. As surely as being hit in the head with a brick, it is assault.
That is not, however, how the law sees rape. It sees rape as a SEX CRIME. Like certain types of porn, (in many places) homosexuality, sodomy, incest and a slew of others. It's no wonder people think that pornography causes rape-- they're BOTH "sex crimes." I've written a lot about pornography before, I don't want to rehash the old stuff. Right now I want to pose some questions (and answer them, of course) about rape.
If you knew you weren't going to get AIDS (that of course could be "assault with a deadly weapon") would you rather be stabbed with a knife or stabbed with a penis? Would you rather have a brick slammed into the side of your head or a prick slammed into some orifice? If you choose the non-penile answer to those questions, do you think you would have chosen the same answer if you were brought up in a society that made sex less shameful?
One of the greatest moral and psychological crimes of humankind is the fact that there are any acts considered "sex crimes" at all. Is poisoning some one a "food crime?" Is there a special "fist crimes" police unit for violent crimes committed using a clenched hand?
The word(s) Sex-crime associate those two things in people minds. The create situations where simply the act of sex is a crime. Of course I don't think that rape is OK or that it should be legal, but I do think it should be treated for what it is: assault. It is a crime of violence by one individual against another. It comes from anger, hate, feelings of powerlessness, frustration, the dozens of emotions that cause assaults. It has as much to do with sex, as using a hammer to bludgeon someone to death has to do with carpentry. Fuzzy sex thinking creates a lot more "crimes" than there would be if people looked at actions, rather than classes of actions.
If you give a child pleasure by feeding him/her. . . if you help the kid find enjoyment in travel, toys, food, knowledge. . . it's called "nuturing." If you give the same kid enjoyment through sex, its "molestation." If you have sex with a person who is your husband or wife, it's "the bond of holy matrimony." If that person is your father, mother, sister or brother, it's "incest." What gives? How is giving pleasure "molestation?" How is something that is "holy" with one person, the illegal and morally reprehensible "incest" with another.
The answer to most of these questions is the unstated opinion that sex is bad. If not bad, then at least something "special." It's special in a way that there has to be a lot of rules around it. It's special in a way that there are people you can do it with and those you can't. It as nothing to do with the physical act itself, but with a slew of emotional baggage attatched to it. What I'd like to do is help make a dent into unburdening it.
One step in this direction would to stop making rape special. It is assault. It is more or less brutal-- more or less painful-- varying from circumstance to circumstance. It is NOT a sex crime. If you are raped you are no more guilty or should feel no more shame than if you are hit over the head with a lead pipe. Part of the horror of rape is the way people react to you after. My friends who have been raped tell me that the feelings persist as you read pity yet a strange fear in the eyes of the people who learn what happened to you.
These feelings would not exist if rape were thought of the violent crime that it is. There should be NO such thing as sex crimes. When we reach that stage, we will find ourselves a much happier and healthier people.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Part of the inspiration for what I wrote about in this column comes from a wonderful book called CAUGHT LOOKING. (BUY THIS BOOK!!! It costs $8 including postage from The Real Comet Press, 3131 Western Ave (#410), Seattle WA 98121-1028) It's an anthology of feminist writing about and against pornography. BUY THIS BOOK!! Besides having some of the sexiest pictures of both boys and girls, It's written by some of the smartest girls this side of Gertrude Stein. All the women who contribute to the book are opposed to censorship. Not all would agree with me on rape, but in an essay called "False Promises" Lisa Duggan, Nan D. Hunter, and Carole S. Vance have this to say:
"[They] offer no justification for singling out sexual assault from other kids of violence. Certainly the experience of sexual assault is not always worse than that of being shot or stabbed or suffering other kinds of nonsexual assault. Nor is sexual assault the only form of violence that is fueled by sexism. . . "
Ah, we hit on another point. That a misogynist can just as well belt a girl in the stomach as thrust his prick up her cunt. I once wrote that feminism causes more rapes than pornography. I was close to the truth, but I didn't hit it exactly. Taken in the light of the fact that there are noble libertarians who are feminists (like the one's who wrote CAUGHT LOOKING), and the addional light of the fact that there is anti-woman violence that is not rape, I guess a more accurate statement would be that the anti-porn/anti-sex brand of feminism causes more violent crimes against women than does ANY pornography. I know it's a little less wieldy sentence, but it's hard to be clever when you're precise. The reasoning is the same, however. Pro-censorship, anti-sex/anti-men women create anger and hostility. Anger and hostility breed violence. I can't think of how sex could breed any of those evil emotions-- although sometimes those emotions come out through what appear to be sexual acts.
TOPIC NUMBER TWO: This is completely unrelated to what I have already written, but since this is shaping up as a "what I think" column as opposed to a "what happened to me" column or a "lets piss off some punks" column, I will include it here as another example of how thinking about things sometimes gets in the way of what you assume you always knew.
Question: Is the earth suffering from human overpopulation?
Answer: Yes, there are too many environmentalists.
back to "You're Wrong Index"