Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Slut Walk Starts Discussions

Whether or not one thinks it is a good name, the name "Slut Walk" draws controversy which brings a lot of focus to the subject of rampant rape in many societies world wide.

Nothing a victim does makes someone rape her. The solution is for perpetrators not to victimize others. The solution is for men not to rape women.

Is it a male issue? Yes. It needs to be seen that way.

With due respect to the set of victims that do not fall into the definition of male against female rape, it is generally a discussion about why men rape women and what should be done about it.

In a theoretical way, to make my stance clear and as a kind of boiler plate against critics who don't read as carefully, I think a woman should be able to walk around nude and behaving seductively and not be raped.

I also think that as much as men should respect women, women should respect male nature. Aroused passions are a natural response to females. Women share the public space with men. That means that I do think women make a better civic choice when they dress and behave more modestly. A self respecting woman may enjoy her sexuality without making it a public display. This has nothing to do with the choices and actions of violent criminals.

Modesty is a value.

That said, no rape or assault is invited by how any woman may choose to dress. Rape is an attack from another person. It really should not matter how the victim behaves, when considering what causes the crime. Whether a woman's modesty or lack of it is socially acceptable is a different question with its own merits.

The way human beings evolved comes from a complex history of male and female partner choice, and possibly from a history of institutionalized rape, like the "Divine Right of Kings" to a first night with any subject's new bride. Military raids and conquests often if not always involved rape throughout history. It is a form of genetic propagation that does not involve female mate selection. Truly the kind of person who rapes may have been likely to reproduce his genes.

Rape existed before pornography, before modern law and society. The definition of rape even varies around the world and in people's personal perceptions.

I am not sure we know the cause of rape as well as we should. Some say it is violence and not sexual. My intuition is that in a society where people's social, family and sexual needs have a healthy way of being fulfilled perhaps rape perpetrators are only found among the extreme elements of society and maybe the mentally ill.

There is something to be said about practical advice. Some people will steal a car that is locked and secured in a garage. Others may steal a car because it is left unlocked and running at a convenience store. It is true that theft prevention efforts prevent some theft. Is it the fault of the victim of theft if their belongings were not secured or cared for? Not really, the thief is to blame for the theft. But it's hard to argue that we shouldn't study who gets raped where and when and try to prevent future suffering by advising people of what reduces their risk. This does not get at the root of the issue or solve the problem of the original criminal behavior.

We need to address the cause of male behavior and construct a society that is organized to reduce these behaviors to a minimum.

A society without rape is a society that loves, cares for and is concerned for both its men and women. It is a society where the needs and nature of each is respected. It is a society where traditional breeding rituals... the need to be able to "display the goods" and "show interest in the goods"...are natural and healthy ways of encouraging mate selection that are not condemned as "invitations to violent assault" as if anyone would desire that. I don't think repressing women's dress styles is the right goal or any kind of solution.

I do know that people should be able to live, love, partner consensually in peace and remain unmolested.