Monday, March 25, 2013

Entering Steubenville

The one thing Steubenville taught would be rapists is that they shouldn’t use the internet or social networks to publicize their exploits. Actually, what the two convicted football players were guilty of was not only rape but hubris. Theirs was really an act of post-modern rape to the extent that they sought to turn it into a media event, where their predecessors did anything to hide their acts. Some serial killers demonstrate the same need to not only commit crimes, but to call attention themselves and even taunt their pursuers. The one thing that the post-modern rapist and his predecessor have in common is the need to gain the complicity, silence and sometimes brainwashing of the victim into the belief that forced sex was consensual.  Here the Stockholm Syndrome comes into play. How many women or men who have been raped have ended up excusing an act by telling themselves they’d brought it on? It’s one way to get out of having to go through the unpleasant and frightening process of accusing someone of a crime—a process that, incidentally, requires some degree of belief in oneself, amidst the torrents of self doubt that can be brought to bear in any situation in which someone is fucking not only with you but your head. When Freud repudiated the seduction theory (the argument that hysteria and other symptoms were brought about by suppressed recollections of events that actually occurred), he opened up the whole world of incestuous and transgressive fantasy that’s at the heart of the Oedipus complex. But sometimes a predator really does take advantage of a situation, as was apparently the case with the inebriated girl in the Steubenville tragedy. The seduction isn’t a fantasy. It’s real.


  1. jylle benson-gaussMarch 25, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    For every rape that gets reported there is an unknown multitude of silent victims: the iceberg of sexual predation.
    A friend of mine proposes that the accepted statistics are upside-down; rather than one in ten women experiencing molestation or rape, the figure (based on her conversations with other women) should be nine of ten. There's no way to know for sure.
    Your blog today opens up an enormous conversation that reaches all the way to how each of us chooses to walk in the world; what kind of creature we choose to be, and why.

  2. i think rape also should also be redefined to include a whole host of activities in which people are literally or symbolically deprived of all their freedoms while being told that nothing unusual is happening--that it’s just business as usual. This is, by the way, how many atrocities have been effected.

  3. I agree!
    I often refer to hydrofracking as rape...what else can you call the act of penetration against an unwilling victim? The unwilling victims in this case being the landowners who consider themselves protectors of the land (since the land can't speak up on its own behalf--or if it can, we're not listening).
    The system is rigged so that if enough landowners in a parcel lease their mineral rights, the landowners who don't want to sign leases are forced to participate.
    The struggle of the unwilling victim, the outwitting an object's rational self-preservation to force one's will on another, these signature turn-ons to rape are all part of the psychology of fracking. And, of course, they use really, really big penises--I mean drills.


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