Posted: August 7th, 2013
Rape is indeed a sensitive topic, but the purpose and objective of this essay is to enlighten the reader about the crime, and enable him or her to develop a philosophical way of thinking and discard bias related to the topic. Working on this essay has also proved beneficial to me. It has enabled me to know more about rape, its effects and its history as well as understand that everything, however good or bad, has another side to it, thus making me perceive the matter differently. However, I faced many difficulties that included cost overruns, unavailability of research material, difficulty in summary, reluctance from those asked to help such as friends and power outages that slowed down my pace.
Despite the problems I encountered during my research, I enjoyed doing the essay since it made me realize that I can break the social barrier by interacting with persons that I was meeting for the first time. What inspired me to do this article was because rape, nowadays is just a word to many people. A certain friend of mine was raped by her boyfriend, and after that, she became depressed and tried to commit suicide. Fortunately, she is better now and undergoing counseling. This event motivated me to do this essay, for her and for the many that are victimized.
Another Side to Rape
Rape, refers to non-consensual penetration, whereby a form of sexual assault takes place, meaning that the victim is subject to abuse by physical materials without being orally, anally or sexually penetrated (Savino, Turvey 9). Other definitions referring to rape have been constituted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations viewing the act as forced penetration (even the slightest) of the vulva or anus by the penis or any other physical object or coitus without valid consent, respectively. The International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda identifies rape as the physical invasion of sexual nature under circumstances deemed coercive.
The word, ‘rape’, is derived from the Latin word, ‘rapere’, which means, to take by force. In his book entitled, “Criminology”, Larry J. Siegel states that, “rape has been a recognized crime throughout history. It has been the subject of art, literature and theatre. Paintings such as The Rape of the Sabine Women by Nicholas Poussin, novels such as Clarissa by Samuel Richardson and poems like The Rape of Lucrece by William Shakespeare…have sexual violence as their theme…(338)” thereby creating emphasis on the aforementioned fact that rape is not devoid of the past.
Rape has been ‘glorified’ in every sense of the word. Edward G. Armstrong in his article, Gangsta Misogyny: A Content Analysis of the Portrayals of Violence against Women in Rap Music, analyzes rap songs full of misogynist content, characterizing degradation of women. The arguments on rape do not border on the sides of good and evil. If it were like that then, rape would be purely antagonistic. Therefore, in order to prevent bias on this sensitive topic, the circumstance and form under which the act took place are considered instead of basing it purely on its moral aspect and nature.
The following circumstances argue for rape, in terms of the cause of the act:
A study by Antonia Abbey, Acquaintance Rape and Alcohol Consumption on College Campuses, shows that men are more likely to interpret a variety of verbal and non-verbal cues as evidence that a woman wants to engage in sex with a man. Revealing clothing and secluded date locations are some of the signs misinterpreted by the men.
According to Samir Abu Hamza, a Muslim cleric based in Australia, it is the right of men to demand sex from their wives according to the Quran. This influences an inferiority complex on the wives as they are bound by their religion to be ‘obedient’ to their husbands lest they are punished.
Physical attraction is also a basis for rape as most rape victims are either in their teens or mid twenties (Thornhill 11).
The above are some of the arguments for rape; however, we cannot ignore those claims constituted against the crime, which include:
Victims of rape or sexual assault tend to commit suicide at a higher rate. The experience of the act on the victims, such as pupils is enough to drive to taking their own lives, as they are not able to talk about it due to the nature of the subject around their parents, friends as well as strangers alike and the stigma associated with it (Davidson JR et al).
Most victims blame themselves for being raped. They blame themselves due to either their actions or their character, thus predisposing themselves to shame, anger, aggression and the desire to get back at their abusers (Tangney 27).
After examining going through the debate, I have concluded that there is no justification for rape. There is no reason for forcefully demanding sexual ‘amenities’ from women because they have a right to agree and disagree. Much more should be done, not only on the part of men to protect women against the crime but also for women to take a firm stand and fight the vice themselves.
Armstrong, Edward G. Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture. Murray, KY: Murray State University, 2001. Print.
The article singles out the criminal tendencies that are part of a popular culture.
Davidson, J. R. et al.” Archives of General Psychiatry. Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, 2011. 550-596 Print.
Davidson, in his article, mainly focuses on the psychological part of most individuals, mostly those who have been abused or violated.
Savino, John O, Brent E. Turvey, and John J. Baeza. Rape Investigation Handbook. Amsterdam: Elsevier Academic Press, 2005. Print.
Savino’s book entails processes used in the investigation of rape and sexual assault crimes.
Siegel, Larry J. Criminology. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2000. Print.
Siegel identifies the various deviances characteristic of a social environment. He explores on the various crimes committed in the society as well as the history of the crimes. The book also gives the reader awareness on the effects of social deviation.
Tangney, June P, and Ronda L. Dearing. Shame and Guilt. New York: Guilford Press, 2002. Print.
June Tangney’s text revolves around stigmatization, guilt and shame associated with victims of abuse and assault.
Thornhill, Randy, and Craig T. Palmer. A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2000. Print.
Randy Thornhill criticizes most feminist approaches regarding rape. The book identifies the feminist theories and criticizes them because they are self-centered on the cause of rape being men.
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