Rape Is Not Really About Sex: The Rape Spectrum

I’d always heard that rape is not really about sex; it’s about power. But one thing I’ve learned from relentlessly studying my own experience being gang-raped last year, is that rape need not actually involve any physical violence, necessarily, nor even any sort of physical contact at all. If you’ve never actually been raped yourself, this is probably going to sound completely nuts indeed, but it’s actually possible to rape someone merely by looking at them.

If this sounds impossible to you I would guess that it’s because you are misinformed about rape in the same way that autism researchers used to be misinformed about autism, because they didn’t realize that autism is best conceptualized as a spectrum of disorders, with great variability being observed across the entire population of autistic people, and all of these blending more or less seamlessly into the general population.

I suspect rape is like that — best conceptualized as a spectrum, with some cases of rape being perhaps more obviously examples of rape than others, but all of them recognizable as rape nonetheless — most especially by the survivors.

 

 

 

Autism: Best Excuse Ever

I love being autistic! It’s really the perfect excuse for everything!

–Whew! Sorry about all the farts. It’s this new anxiety medication I’m taking because I’m autistic.

–Whoops! Didn’t mean to grab your pussy like that. I guess autism made me misunderstand President Trump when I listened to that recording of him saying ‘grab’em by the pussy!’

–Your honor, the defendant is autistic, and thus cannot be held accountable for the collapse of civilization that ensued when every autistic person on the planet believed his bullshit about autism being the best excuse ever.

Now, we autistic people are just terrible at figuring out what everybody else is thinking, but I’m going to go way, way, way out on a limb here and randomly guess that you are just furious at me for calling bullshit on the idea that autistic people really have two kinds of problems: those that are “really” caused by autism, and those that are caused by a lack of that special kind of abuse that you seem so good at providing.

Well, I call bullshit! Come on, folks. Who do you think your kidding with that? Clearly you’re just envious, right? Or — whoops! — did  the autistic guy misread that?

Oh, come on, just admit it! Really, who wouldn’t want the perfect excuse for absolutely every possible situation in which a good excuse is sorely needed? Certainly not just those of us who constantly need one to survive, right? I mean, doesn’t everyone get to use the ramps and automatic doors that have been installed for folks in wheelchairs? Why should only autistic people be liberated from the burdens of personal responsibility?

Look, face it, you’re just envious because I get to do whatever I feel like doing and if anybody complains — BOOM! — out comes the “A” card, my personal licence-to-weird. Yup, you are positively ready to puke because I get to indulge all of my whims and desires, like getting fired from yet another job; or forgetting to give my daughter her seizure medication because I’m fucked up in the head because I got fired from yet another job; or botching up the new job I finally found because, yup, I’m still fucked up in the head because I got fired from yet another job!

Ahhhhh, this is living. Yes, autism — best excuse ever.

 

 

America’s First Mentally-Ill President

I doubt I’m the first to observe this, but it just occurred to me that in the same way that Obama was our first black President, Donald Trump is our first mentally-ill President.

Now, I do realize this coin has two sides. Heads: he’s completely unhinged and armed with nuclear bombs. Tails: now even we crazies can aspire to political careers!

Yeah, yeah, I know. The guy makes my skin crawl, but the silver lining to that cloud is that the moment Trump entered the Oval Office, he completely abolished this bizarre and pathologically confused pseudo-distinction between so-called “appropriate” and “inappropriate” behavior of which neuro-typicals are so proud, and which keeps so many of us with psychiatric disabilities unemployed, lonely and off in the shadows where we won’t offend anybody.

Thank you, Mr. Trump. You disgust me, but you’ve made the world a lot safer for your crazy-brethren, provided you don’t kill everybody with your nuclear bombs.

 

 

 

 

A Disgusting, Horrifying Thought-Experiment for Ethics Students and Chainsaw Aficionados

Trigger Warning

The following is a disgusting, horrifying thought experiment with great potential value for the advancement of ethical philosophy, in my opinion (at least for now, and until I encounter the sort of evidence that could change my mind) that far outweighs the discomfort of the fear and nausea it may well induce. Be that as it may, read the following at your own risk.

Seriously, This Is About Gang-Rape.

Look, this is about gang-rape. The scary clown picture above and the reference in the title to chainsaw owners was merely meant to be suggestive. Still, gang-rape is nasty business. If you continue reading beyond this point, please don’t say I didn’t warn you. This will get gross.

Still with me? OK, here goes:

A Kinder, Gentler Gang-Rape

The basic idea here is that gang-rape needn’t be violent. It might indeed be gentle — very, very gentle. As a thought-experiment, suppose a high school football team ODs on testosterone, loses its collective mind, and decides to teach a little lesson in “manliness” to the only male cheerleader on the cheer leading squad. Suppose they get all chummy with him after Friday night’s game, invite him to join them for a just-the-guys party out by the lake, get him drunk till he passes out and then take turns raping him in the anus, one by one.

Only suppose they do it very, very gently and politely, so as not to cause any injury, or to give the guy any diseases, and of course because he’s a guy, pregnancy is impossible. Maybe they all wear sterile, heavily lubricated gloves — the non-latex kind in case the guy is allergic (hey, these rapists have manners) — and suppose they each use only a well-lubricated pinky finger, inserted ever so smoothly and gently into the guy’s anus, over and over, one after the other, till everybody’s had the opportunity to get his hands dirty (so to speak), all of them grinning and snickering the whole time because, well, boys will be boys and all that.

Also, suppose they make a video of the whole thing, and after they have carefully cleaned up the cheerleader, and he wakens, they show him the video so that he knows that he just got gang-raped by an entire football team, and then they delete the video, so that there is no publicly verifiable physical evidence that any of it happened.

Now, of course it goes without asking, but for the sake of completion I’m going to ask it any way: even though such a gang-rape is physically harmless, is there any doubt in your mind that it wasn’t really a gang-rape?

I’ll assume you are human and that you gave the correct answer, which is “no, I have no doubt whatsoever, gentle or not, such an event is every bit as much a gang-rape as it would be if they put him in the hospital, gave him HIV, and somehow managed to get him pregnant with baby ducks.”

Rape is Rape, Gentle or Not

The point I’m trying to establish here is that gang-rape is still gang-rape, even if it causes no physical injury, disease, or pregnancy. And of course, the same goes for any kind of rape. Rape is rape, gentle or not.

I Was Gang-Raped by MetLife Employees: Another Open Letter to the People of Earth

Dear Earthling,

I think you should know that I was gang-raped by roughly a dozen employees of the so-called Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, a.k.a. MetLife, my former employer.

I’m guessing you’ll find it super important that I’m using the term gang-rape here in a purely figurative sense. I too would have thought as much, back before I got gang-raped, and especially before I spent months obsessing about the ordeal and trying to figure out what to do about it. But I have recently reached the other side of all that insanity, and I’m happy to announce that when considered from this new perspective, the real differences between literal and figurative gang-rape are simply not such a big deal.

Please don’t misunderstand me here. Of course an old-school gang-rape in the literal sense could be and even most often is worse — even much, much worse. But I can easily imagine cases in which the rapists might take extreme precautions against physical injury, disease, and pregnancy (perhaps by using gloved and lubricated fingers to gently rape a man’s anus) , which would in no sense change the fundamental nature of the crime, nor mitigate the ensuing psychological consequences. To my view, such a physically gentle, injury- , disease- and pregnancy-free crime would be no less a gang-rape than, say, the infamous football-team-beneath-the-bleachers variety.

In my own case, the perpetrators indeed took extreme measures to prevent physical injury, disease, and pregnancy — but I really couldn’t care less about any of that. These individuals nevertheless gang-raped me, in my opinion (for now, at least, and until I encounter the sort of evidence that might change my mind). Much of what I have written in this blog documents my sincere and enthusiastic attempts to find some other way to describe the experience[1], but after months of trying, I have utterly failed to find any other way to put it that doesn’t cause a serious misunderstanding between me and anyone I might wish to tell: you, for example.

Please know that I am fully prepared to endure and respond effectively to any skepticism or objections you or anyone else may have with respect to what I’m claiming here. Especially if you are one of the perpetrators, or a MetLife employee or officer, or a member of the company’s governing board, or a stockholder, or really anybody at all with a stake big or small in denying what these MetLife employees did to me, I am ready for all of you. So please, don’t be shy about expressing yourself or sharing your thoughts and concerns with me.

Finally, as a rule, no matter who we are, no matter what problems we have or ordeals we endure, somewhere out there someone else has it worse — much worse. I am quite certain, for example, that you in particular, whoever you are, at some point in your life, were quite possibly really gang-raped in a way that by comparison makes my own ordeal look like a nice back massage.

If you are such a gang-rape survivor, or indeed anybody else who has had a rougher go of things than I have in Life, and this due to any reason at all; please know that any advantages afforded me by my obviously much lower martyr-status — for example, those resources (financial or otherwise) that I have come to control by virtue of the fact that I am a college-educated white man of middle-class upbringing living in a world that was mostly designed by and expressly built for guys like me (or at least, the ones who aren’t autistic) — I wish to assure you that I am wholeheartedly committed to applying those advantages to the task of making the world safer for you and for everyone that matters to you.

If you have any suggestions for how best to do that, I would love to know about them.

Thanks for reading this.

Sincerely,

The Walrus


[1] For an example of such an attempt and general overview of the events in question, see An Open Letter to A Certain EEOC Deputy District Director.

The U.S. Constitution is displayed with a brown gavel on it

Civil Rights Don’t Get ‘Violated’; They Get Raped

violate_definition_490x300

“Rape” is one common dictionary definition for the word “violate”. Image Credit: Merriam-Webster online dictionary.

I have learned a great deal from my numerous misadventures with “Batman” and his “Justice League Gang” . Perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned is that this linguistic convention of using a word like violated to describe what happens when someone “breaks” or “disobeys” a Civil Rights Law is ethically dubious — possibly cruel.

Civil Rights don’t get “violated”; they get raped.

In my opinion, to describe a Civil Rights crime with any sort of neutral, or objective, or “politically correct” word like violation is to risk minimizing or invalidating the trauma suffered by the victim.

Even if that victim was not really sexually assaulted, an act of Civil Rights rape can be psychologically traumatic, which for the victim is also a kind of rape — psychological rape. And I’m really not sure this is some sort of figurative interpretation of rape. Consider that rape is commonly held to be about power, not sex, suggesting that a lack of sexually related physical contact need not necessarily disqualify a given event as an example of rape. Also, however important may be the actual physical trauma of sexual assault, in the long run it is the psychological trauma that matters most. Bodies heal much more quickly than minds. Long after the stitches are removed, the STD’s are treated, and any unwanted fetus is aborted, the mind is probably still oozing pus.

The next time you catch yourself or someone else talking about a given Civil Rights “violation”, I invite you to consider that what actually happened was a Civil Rights rape.

 

Why You Really Must Stop Talking About Your Civil Rights!

Warning! Whenever you talk about “your Civil Rights” you are walking straight into a trap. Please do not ever talk about “your Civil Rights”!

Please remember: it’s we the people, not “he”, nor “she”, nor “me” the people. Thus, the idea that “you” have Civil Rights or that “I” or “they” have Civil Rights is perfectly meaningless. Either we all have Civil Rights, or none of us does.

They are our Civil Rights. Please, please make sure you use the correct pronoun when speaking or writing or even thinking about our Civil Rights.

This is not just about good grammar or logical semantics. No, the stakes are much, much higher. The moment you or anybody starts talking about “your Civil Rights” or “my Civil Rights”, etc. you are essentially walking down a dangerous road that will eventually lead you directly into an anarchic nightmare — a place where if you, personally — YES YOU, THERE, THE ONE READING THESE WORDS NOW — are not personally willing to take the Law into your own hands; if you, personally, are not ready to be murdered by another person or to murder another person yourself in order to protect these things you are so casually referring to as “your Civil Rights”; then really you have absolutely no Civil Rights at all.

Please, please do not ever talk about “your Civil Rights”. They are our Civil Rights, and it’s only if we all see them as our Civil Rights that any of us has any reasonable chance of safely enjoying them within the context of a healthy, modern, liberal democracy.

The alternative is blood-feud, internecine warfare — anarchy.