Sunday, 29 May 2011

Rape - Ritual resistance.

The word itself causes the well known knee jerk response. Recently there were several assault rapes in the course of a few nights in Oslo. This received massive media attention and girls all over town got a microphone shoved in their faces with the following question: Are you afraid? Fuelling the fire of fear and contributing to the mass hysteria. Men used Twitter, Facebook and commercial media to proclaim that they were taking a stand against rape, to prove their evolution from primal to intellectual man. Some even claimed that rape was all men's responsibility. To make things even more heated, the police published a research report on rape, documenting that women subjected to rape consistently had very high levels of intoxication. They linked this to a party culture, a more experimental sexuality among younger people, and urged girls to take precautions.

This enraged feminists, and the same old mantra "Rape is never the girl's fault" conjured up a storm of debates, blogs and in social media in general. The message was clear: Girls can go anywhere, wear whatever, and be as intoxicated as they please. The police report was, in their eyes, in fact suppressing women. Limiting women from free speech, free movement and free dress code if you will.

The interesting side of this is a related to the concept of "ritual resistance". Catherine Bell's "Ritual theory ritual practice" is a fitting book for this subject. Through the use of internalized rituals of resistance the feminists are attempting to alter the load bearing structures of our consensual reality matrix. This is a thought that lends itself to postmodern ideology and indeed philosophically back to Schopenhauer. What I mean by that is that the feminists are trying to exorcise the patriarchal cultural structures of fear, on an individual level. They are doing this by using techniques well known from fascism and religion: preaching and coercing. I want to point out that I am not talking about the radical feminists. I am talking about the standard feminists, who, on a subconscious level, have unwittingly adopted some of the radical feminists' ideas - such as phallogocentrism. The rapist is a symbol of suppression, the very manifestion of the oppressive patriachy. And the feminists strongly believe that their ideology will A: protect them from harm, B: exorcise, by numbers, danger, and C: by subjecting their follower to danger, provide evidence that their analysis is true. Simply put: They are "commanding" girls to place themselves in dangerous situations, using them as feminists suicide bombers if you will, to win the fight against the oppressor: The rapist, the man.

I want to make clear that feminists are not placing other women and themselves at risk knowingly. This is, as mentioned, a post modern and intellectual narrative. No amount of intellectualism will protect you from penetration. A feminist manifesto will not protect you from the realities of violence, and raising your fist in the air, post rape, proclaming "I went where I wanted, and I proved my point" will not reduce the impact of the  assault. This is important: feminist ideology must be adjusted according to the realities.

Personally I see it as harmful to override intuition. Humans have natural reactions to potentially dangerous situations. The media, and feminists in specific, are coercing girls to override this vital instinct. I counter those feminists by saying: do not place yourself in locations and/or situations your intuition tells you to stay away from. An antelope will not tell itself to get it's act together on the Serengeti once it senses a lion. The antelope will run to safety. If we as humans don't learn from our experiences, we will place ourselves in harm's way over and over again. Placing oneself, and/or others in harm, is highly irrational and will never alone eliminate the scource of danger and/or fear.

A rapist is an individual, with his (or her) personal and mental problems. Rape is not about sex, it is about exercising power, about trauma, about frustration, violence and anger. I want to draw a parallell to serial killers who, interestingly, have evolved from primal murder to existential murder: "The only thing I ever wanted was to kill god." The serial killer is, by his actions, trying to punish socity as a whole, not realizing that society consists of individuals. These feminists are using the same technique: By declaring a war on rapists. Not realizing that rapists are indeed individuals and not, as mentioned, the manifistation of patriarchal oppression.
This is also an interesting point to make, when the fight against victimizing women is the very core of feminist ideology.

Teaching women self defence, educating  the young about dangers of alcohol and focusing on communication and how to stand up to peer pressure would be a praised project. I want to point out that according to the police rapport 12,9 % were assault rapes, while 33,3 % were party related rapes and 100% of the rape cases reported involved alcohol. That is the reality and those are the facts we need to relate to. In a modern society there will be violence. As long as we have class society and class seperation, there will be violence. As long as the lingering trauma caused by colonialism affects the world, there will be violence. You would not tell the women in Rwanda, during the genocide, "you have the right to go to the marked in spite of those guys with machetes". Adjust to danger. Even though I aplaude actions such as groups following girls home at night, and even the well known "Take back the night"-actions, none of those will end rape, or help the individual suffering from mental disorders and/or trauma.

Human society breeds violence and we as humans must adjust accordingly, not by becoming paralyzed by the reality of violence, but by adapting to it, learning from it and through constant vigilance be better equipped to face the modern and dangerous world.


  1. Men såvidt jeg vet er det jo nettopp feministene i SU og RU som arrangerer selvforsvarskurs og lignende? Var det ikke det du ønsket da?

  2. Noen grupper tilbyr dette, det er et godt tiltak, og det er der fokus, blandt annet, bør være.