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return_to_hades

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return_to_hades

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Posted: 12 March 2013 at 12:46pm | IP Logged
^^

That rape was sickening. The thought of it makes me sick. I can't imagine anyone wanting to sympathize with these men. One thing that has been blurry to me is was the friend also sodomized? He would be a rape victim too then.

 

But foreign object rape is a common and serious concern that is not solved by castration.


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boreddamsel

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Posted: 12 March 2013 at 4:31pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by --arti--


This thread is for those who want to discuss sexual violence:
1. Its root causes as a form of gender violence (think deep here, maybe beyond "the clothes actresses wear these days" - some have suggested that we have a rape culture, for example)
I don't think attraction is the only cause of violence.. then why would people rape a two year old.. because they are cute? It could be anger, frustration, mental instability, trauma, principles ( like how unmarried women shouldn't walk around at night alone or even with a male friend) .. and the lack of someone in their life who didn't slap them when they must have shown indications of sexual violence as a kid! 
2. How it is often discussed or portrayed (e.g. by the Western or Indian media, by upper class/middle class/poor or working class women and men)
In the most idiotic way right now. I am not sure what is the best way. 
I encourage everyone to go watch the Vagina Monologues, join V-day and the 1 billion rising and spread the word! 
3. Cultural stigma against rape
It's all about the damn tissue (as my wise friend FLS says) .. 
I am putting rape in two categories.. and also putting consensual sex next to it to highlight how ridiculous society is!
- Consensual sex after marriage : is accepted and encouraged by society.. because sex produces kids and that's good. (At least some people now support contraception.. phew!)
- Rape after marriage : How is that rape? They are married, and its the duty of the spouse to fulfil their spouse's needs.. (Notice I didn't say that victims are always women.. I am sure there are women who pounce on men too when they aren't in the mood.. except men can easily switch to that mood anytime, unless they are umm.. of a different sexual orientation?) . So society doesn't accept marital rape.. and treats a woman in contempt if she dares to come forward and say that her husband raped her, not worried about how her family will either not support her or support her and face the consequences! But the good thing is there are laws to help victims of marital rape .. and I wish they knew! On the other hand, makes me wonder if a man would ever admit he was raped by his wife...? I kind of feel bad for men now! 
- Premarital sex - Big NO from society. Poor Khusboo's name was tarnished for life for supporting premarital sex! My take on why society doesn't accept it.. There are two kinds of people who are against it .. I didn't get to do it then why should others.. OR I did get to do it but I will still say I don't support it else others will know that I did it..! What I think society should say .. I completely support premarital sex as long as it's consensual and the two people doing the act know what they are getting themselves into, take complete responsibility and are ready to face the consequences!
- Rape before marriage - Well big no again for women at least .. because the girl is now impure ..! My take.. what the eff.. what is this purity.. what does that damn tissue got to do with anything ? Fine, call girls who have consensual sex before marriage impure if you are idiots, but why also tarnish the image of girls who were victims of a brutal act? The "impure" girl might be gorgeous, smart, independent, talented, kind, generous, god-fearing, loving, caring .. the perfect dil/wife/mom material.. but no because she lost her "virginity", she is the devil! Sorry LOL this is just too effing ridiculous.. no offense! Men on the other hand, could be raped too. Reminds me of that Akshay Kumar-Priyanka movie .. forgot the name...! But I'm sure the number of attacks on men is negligible compared to the number on women! 
4. Self-defeating ways in which we talk about rape and other forms of violence against women (e.g. "it's the woman's fault")
Everything is the woman's fault... of course.. that's just how society works.. because no matter how much we say we are getting to a point where women are considered equal.. they are still blamed for everything!.. and the funny thing is its women who are the first ones to blame other women. I am not sure what else to say here! 

5. Thoughtful, long-term strategies to end sexual violence (e.g. getting serious about rape - avoiding jokes about it and so on - as well as believing and providing support for women when they come forward to say they've been assaulted, redefining masculinity as being at all times respectful of women and their sexual choices and consent, and so on)
Free blow-up dolls and sex toys for all! Tongue
Wait, I just saw you wanted thoughtful strategies. I don't think any rules could prevent it. 
The first step is to stop treating women as some delicate beings. I remember watching the news about the Pondicherry school rape case and how the minister announced that girls would have new uniforms and will be asked to go in a separate bus. The more you try to segregate them, the more they would seem like forbidden fruit and forbidden fruit is always tastier right.. ? 
Another one is proper sex education, at a very early stage. Now with internet kids have a better chance of getting to wrong information fast. Proper sex education will encourage them to talk freely about it and learn that its normal to feel attraction .. and wait, now I can't remember what I learned in my sex education class!
Three is changes in the environment in which the child is raised. A boy needs to see women being given respect at home. There was this article someone wrote somewhere (excuse my poor memory) about how guys should help out in the kitchen. It is true, why is something only meant for women ..? Hell, I can shovel snow or cut trees .. while my hubby can cook. Kids should learn that its all a partnership .. women and men are equal and should be treated with respect and love. 
Four, of course three might not be possible.. there are broken homes. Kids from broken homes should have access to therapy. 

6. How to deal with offenders as a society in a just and meaningful way (i.e. is transformative justice possible.. this really is a big question for me and I have no idea what the solution is. Or we are going to just indulge in collective anger and a tit for tat attitude, like calling for barbaric things like castration and so on, basically adding more violence in the mix, when our problem is violence in the first place).
We could use a bribe-free judicial system that ensures rapists don't walk away freely.. but then I could use a billion dollars too! One thing that is possible is to have a hearing and for the judge to pass judgement the day after rapists are captured, ensure they are punished as soon as possible. Can we have more courts to handle rape cases, please .. I think our government is getting there. 
Castration would be awesome .. but I have a better option .. can they be put in a cell with guys who have been in jail for like forever, you know the ones who have forgotten a woman's touch.. and now are craving sex in any form.. Let's see how these men would feel when they get raped ... buhahaha..  


Sorry if I was being sarcastic... if at all I was, its because I feel helpless. Society is cruel and its important for women to at least support other women! So start by not telling your friend to go back to her abusive husband! 

Arti, I know you said you didn't want just subjective stuff.. but I really had to put my thoughts out there.. else I won't be at peace. When I find time, I will come back and join the discussion! 

Thanks for this topic.. it's good to just see that people care! Smile


Edited by boreddamsel - 12 March 2013 at 4:44pm

--arti--

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--arti--

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Posted: 12 March 2013 at 4:38pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by return_to_hades

I think the emphasis on castration is more symbolic than an actual deterrent. The trauma of rape is not exactly in the physical act, but a lot more in the violation of one's sanctity and personhood. Similarly castration may be physical, but a lot more weight lies in the mental loss of dignity and manhood.


The fact that the penis is laden with all this symbolic power is part of the problem. It's not the penis, it's the kind of meaning that's attached to it. This is connected with how rape works as a form of gender violence. Rape isn't just any old form of violence. It is particularly enmeshed in these notions of what it means to be a man.

As a critical feminist intervention, we should want to detach these kinds of sexist meanings from the penis, and de-centre it from the idea of masculinity. Masculinity (or male sexuality) does not need to be centered around the penis, and it certainly doesn't need to be violent. Male dignity, just like female (or transgender) dignity, should be rooted in one's ability to be a productive and thoughtful person with valuable social attributes like empathy and compassion. And healthy forms of masculine sexuality should be linked to how someone can engage others sexually with their consent, provided that the individual is capable of giving consent (i.e. is not mentally disabled, a minor, etc.). Male dignity really has nothing to do with whether or not one has a penis and how big it is. The fact that that violent equation exists is one of the problems with discourses of masculinity.

The way I see it, talk of castration as a gratuitous response is not only fundamentally violent (and I do have a problem with responding to violence with more violence), it necessarily re-produces all those problematic meanings attached with the penis. We can't use the same logic of the rapist who uses his masculinity or what he thinks is his masculinity (penis, power, his gender attributes, you name it) to punish the rapist.

--arti--

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--arti--

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Posted: 12 March 2013 at 4:53pm | IP Logged
On men as rape victims, or women raping men.

So this does keep coming up, and I want to spend a moment on this issue. Are men victims of rape? Yes, they are. No two ways about it. But the reason we call rape gender-based violence, is because we are looking at an overall trend of how the majority of those who are raped, are likely to be raped, or live in fear of rape are women and girls. Transgendered people are also likely to suffer sexual violence, because their "confusing" gender identity often generates violent responses.

When men are raped, a lot of times it's in prison or in circumstances where their masculinity is in question or being challenged. So for example, a man or young boy who is viewed as effeminate might get raped.

Basically the same notions of violent masculinity apply. It's very rare that women rape men, and again, even if they do, it's probably embedded in this idea of maleness and femaleness - "wearing the pants," "making someone your b*tch," and other kinds of f*cked up expressions that are about asserting violent masculinity (and yes, women can participate in asserting masculinity too).

We should be against violence of any kind against men or women. So the friend who got beaten up on the bus. We should be against the violence he suffered, whatever form, whether or not it was sexual violence.

What men can do

I think there are a lot of things that male allies (men who are against sexual violence or gender based violence) can do. One thing they can do is allow space for women to participate, without drowning them out, or without taking up the space to talk about how men are victims of rape. In general, just don't act like men are oppressed somehow. Just understand that notions of gender in society work in favour of men most of the time.

They can do a lot to call out their male friends when they make sexist comments or rape jokes. Just take a stand and tell them it's not cool.

Overall they can challenge the idea that masculinity is inherently violent, or that is has to expressed as power over somebody - over a woman, over a "lesser" man or a child. They can help redefine masculinity in healthy ways.


Edited by --arti-- - 12 March 2013 at 4:57pm

return_to_hades

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return_to_hades

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Posted: 12 March 2013 at 5:20pm | IP Logged
I really like this guys views










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boreddamsel

moomin4455

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Posted: 12 March 2013 at 7:11pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by --arti--

Originally posted by return_to_hades

I think the emphasis on castration is more symbolic than an actual deterrent. The trauma of rape is not exactly in the physical act, but a lot more in the violation of one's sanctity and personhood. Similarly castration may be physical, but a lot more weight lies in the mental loss of dignity and manhood.


The fact that the penis is laden with all this symbolic power is part of the problem. It's not the penis, it's the kind of meaning that's attached to it. This is connected with how rape works as a form of gender violence. Rape isn't just any old form of violence. It is particularly enmeshed in these notions of what it means to be a man.

As a critical feminist intervention, we should want to detach these kinds of sexist meanings from the penis, and de-centre it from the idea of masculinity. Masculinity (or male sexuality) does not need to be centered around the penis, and it certainly doesn't need to be violent. Male dignity, just like female (or transgender) dignity, should be rooted in one's ability to be a productive and thoughtful person with valuable social attributes like empathy and compassion. And healthy forms of masculine sexuality should be linked to how someone can engage others sexually with their consent, provided that the individual is capable of giving consent (i.e. is not mentally disabled, a minor, etc.). Male dignity really has nothing to do with whether or not one has a penis and how big it is. The fact that that violent equation exists is one of the problems with discourses of masculinity.

The way I see it, talk of castration as a gratuitous response is not only fundamentally violent (and I do have a problem with responding to violence with more violence), it necessarily re-produces all those problematic meanings attached with the penis. We can't use the same logic of the rapist who uses his masculinity or what he thinks is his masculinity (penis, power, his gender attributes, you name it) to punish the rapist.

If you castrate a man, you take away the ability for that man to be sexually aroused. There are some men who cannot have sex in any other way other than being violent towards women and they are known repeat sex offenders. In those cases I think castration is perfect -take away the sexual urges and you take away the need for sex. Same with paedophiles: there are repeat child sex offenders who cannot control themselves around children - shouldn't they be castrated?

If it is barbaric, then isn't forcing a woman (or a man) or a child to have sex not barbaric? There are some men who cannot be reconditioned or 'saved'.

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--arti--

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Posted: 12 March 2013 at 10:31pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by moomin4455

If you castrate a man, you take away the ability for that man to be sexually aroused. There are some men who cannot have sex in any other way other than being violent towards women and they are known repeat sex offenders. In those cases I think castration is perfect -take away the sexual urges and you take away the need for sex. Same with paedophiles: there are repeat child sex offenders who cannot control themselves around children - shouldn't they be castrated?

If it is barbaric, then isn't forcing a woman (or a man) or a child to have sex not barbaric? There are some men who cannot be reconditioned or 'saved'.


Whether or not sexual violence is barbaric isn't really in question because we all seem to agree on that. The issue also isn't about whether or not we can "reform" all rapists. It's more about how we respond to sexual violence as a society. Our responses seem to betray some fundamentally problematic views about sexual violence, gender, and so on that we hold deep down, and that's my starting point for this discussion.

Castration doesn't take away the ability to be sexually aroused. It takes away one of the sex organs of the body, but the brain is also a sex organ and people are still capable of experiencing arousal. So the argument that it takes away "urges," particularly violent ones doesn't really hold water.

As has been put forward already, the push for castration is because of the meaning of what it means to be a castrated man. A "lesser" man. Any number of derogatory terms exist for that. I think that all of this "lesser man" business is rooted in sexist/homophobic/transphobic thought. Masculinity or maleness isn't about being an a*shole or a violent person, or about having x, y, z body parts or demeanour. I'll stop there because I've already made this point and other threads have gone over gender as a set of attributes and behaviour that we learn socially. Violent masculinity is learned behaviour, and it has no connection with whether or not someone has a penis. Violent masculinity is enabled through rape culture.

I think we have to abandon our attachment to the idea that a) rape is all about sex, and b) rape is a form of "defilement" towards women/victims.

a) There are a lot of compelling arguments based on facts and empirical data that show us that rape is ultimately about power. Rape victims are all kinds of ages and their perceived sexual attractiveness or perceived sexual availability isn't the issue.

b) It's a form of sexual violence. There are other forms of gendered violence too, and all those forms of violence are wrong. The difference with sexual violence is the huge amount of stigma it carries, particularly because of the notion that the "purity" of a woman is "defiled" or "dishonoured." The other unique thing about sexual violence is, due to that particular stigma and judgment attached to it, women have to live in fear of it. If we want to get anywhere with this social problem, I think it's imperative to not talk about rape in terms of purity or honour or pride. We need to talk about it as straight up gender based violence. Otherwise we really risk reinforcing the cultural stigma of "pure" and "impure" women and the sexist notions that are attached to it. To me, it's impossible to have any notion of female freedom that isn't fundamentally respectful of the sexual (education and) choices of women. If a woman wants to have sex, it's her business and she isn't any less pure because of it. The main thing is that her consent and her sense of safety is paramount. And safety isn't just physical. It's also not having to worry about whether people will try to shame you or think you're a sl*t and so on. What might be safe for me sexually might not be safe for another woman and vice versa.

I think if we move away from talking about rape in the kinds of moral terms that are grounded in sexism, and different, more progressive moral terms (being against gender based violence, for example), we will be able to resolve some of the contradictions in our thoughts about what the "revenge" for rape should look like.


Edited by --arti-- - 12 March 2013 at 10:40pm

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moomin4455

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Posted: 13 March 2013 at 12:16am | IP Logged
Originally posted by TheTruth

Originally posted by moomin4455

If you castrate a man, you take away the ability for that man to be sexually aroused. There are some men who cannot have sex in any other way other than being violent towards women and they are known repeat sex offenders. In those cases I think castration is perfect -take away the sexual urges and you take away the need for sex. Same with paedophiles: there are repeat child sex offenders who cannot control themselves around children - shouldn't they be castrated?

If it is barbaric, then isn't forcing a woman (or a man) or a child to have sex not barbaric? There are some men who cannot be reconditioned or 'saved'.

I really hope that you are talking out of emotions and not logic since I do not see any logic in your post.

With your train of thoughts, for some anti-social  elements, we as a society should stoop to their level and become uncivilized. I do still believe though that you are just being emotional like I would grill a person's face who hurts my loved ones... but then there is reality.

There are laws that are put in place for each crime by much more qualified people. We must adhere to it. This should never prohibit us from fantasizing about punishments such as castration for rapists and plucking out one's eyes for eve-teasing and cutting of one's hands for indecent touching of girl etc.
We are civil society for a reason.
 
 

Ideally we should not allow ourselves to be affected by the level of the other person but things are seldom ideal. Some people and situations do tend to bring out the worst in us.  Could be contagious!

The laws get modified all the time. We have the parliament as the highest law making body in the country, which gets elected by the people. No qualification prescribed yet to get elected to this law making body. The punishments mentioned are after all a part of the legal framework in some other country. Each society would like to believe that they are a civil and just society.

I think its more about the objective. Punishment as a means of retribution, as a deterrent or as a transformation of the convicted. It would also have to depend on the feasibility taking stock of the resources the country has in hand.

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