Thinking about Rape

Rape is headlined in our newspapers this week.

RAPE BY A STRANGER on a main street in town…the nightmare of every woman.

RAPE OF A 14-YEAR-OLD  at a party…plied with liquor by two older guys…the nightmare of  every parent.

Rape pushes every hot button for me.  When I hear the word, adrenalin rushes through my body pushed by fear and anger.  I react so strongly (some might say overreact) that I see and feel the discomfort of those around me.

Rape has always been with us. I don’t have any answers.   But I have some questions.

I have this niggling uneasiness with the amplification of adolescent testosterone fed humor.  What used to be manifest in sniggers in the corner of the playground or grouped around hot rods is now a constant barrage in the media.

Kids are watching movies and prime time television shows in which crude humor is the main theme.  Even more disturbing is that they are watching their fathers laugh at the same things.  And then the mothers and daughters laugh.

Maybe this is all well and good if there is balance.  But who is telling these same children that the behavior is inappropriate?  That the words are hurtful? That bodies are not objects to be dehumanized?  Is there a Q & A after the show?  Is there a filter provided for young minds that don’t grasp that what is funny on the screen may not be so funny on the street, or school or at work?   Our boys and our girls deserve these clarifications.

Oh please, I know that rape is a violent crime.  I realize that there has to be some hostility and anger or an absence of  empathy behind such a crime.  But is there also entitlement?  Is there lack of respect?  Is there a lack of boundaries? Is there a lack of understanding responsible sexual behavior?

Just thinking and wondering.


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