Saturday, November 29, 2008

Perception Of Male Powerlessness As Motive For Rape

Most of us who work to fight sexual violence have heard people claim that boys and men have no sexual power because boys and men want sex and girls and women are constantly denying these guys what they want and need.

For these people their perception of male powerlessness is ongoing which means that their need to do something to compensate for this perceived powerlessness is also ongoing. This can be rape or it can be rape denial because a girl or woman did something like flirt with her rapist prior to rape.

They talk about this male powerlessness without realizing that they are providing the motivation for most rapes between non-strangers. This motivation has nothing to do with horny men's loss of control or misunderstanding signals. They are also giving a motive for fraudulent criminal accusations against rape victims.

This idea that men have been robbed of their power explains why rapists deliberately wrestle power and control from all those girls and women they perceive as having too much power and too much control. That explains why some of these people see coercing girls and women into unwanted sex as not qualifying as rape.

Rape gets switched from an injustice against the rape victim to an act of righting the victim's injustice against the rapist.

Rape through coercion then becomes a way to level the perceived inequality. That explains why those who talk this way frame most rapes as reactive crimes and why they expect girls and women to be solely responsible for rape prevention. It also explains why so many people cling to anyone and anything that indicates to them that a large percentage of girls and women who report having been raped filed a fraudulent police report.

The problem with using rape (through physical force or coercion) to gain a balance of power is that it wasn't the girl or woman who robbed that boy or man of his power. And taking power from her won't give him any genuine power. He did it to himself by his thinking -- some of which came from what others told him -- and nothing he does to girls and women will fix that self-inflicted powerlessness.

The solution to the feeling of male powerlessness is to learn about mutuality and the difference between "hitting it" and a mutual sexual relationship with another human being.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:28 AM   0 comments links to this post


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