William K. Wolfrum's Blog

APRIL 20, 2010 12:47PM

Rape is Rape - it is not a clever political metaphor

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It is astounding that in the Year 2010, so many people still treat the word rape as if it’s a clever description from everything from taxes to actions at sporting events. The pictured cartoon made the rounds on the heels of the passage of health care reform. At seemingly all levels in the world of politics, many consider “rape” to be a true conversational gem:

  • “President Obama feeds people poison, giving them the idea that they are entitled to take from the wealthier who have lived and worked in a democracy that understand that capitalism is the only truth that keeps a nation healthy…[Obama uses] a socialistic, Marxist teaching, and with it he rapes this nation…” — Actor Jon Voight.
  • “The spectacle of a far leftist president literally forcing socialized medicine down the throat of an unwilling center-right America is reminiscent, perhaps more than any other contemporary metaphor, of date rape.” — David Kupelian, WorldNetDaily

  • “Do you people in the White House, do you people in the media, do you ever stop to consider that you have an intelligent, informed electorate who simply doesn’t like being raped, and being raped is what is happening to people in this country by their government. No other way to put this.” – Radio Entertainer Rush Limbaugh

  • “Get ready to get gang-raped again, folks.” – Limbaugh.
  • “This Country is being raped.” — Robin of Berkeley, American Thinker.
  • “People in New York, you’re being raped by your government — raped.” – Glenn Beck, on his radio show.
  • “Yes, America is being raped, pillaged and plundered every day by the very people who have been elected to run the country.” – James H. Lilley.

  • Obama is raping America. Obama is raping our values.” – Radio Entertainer Michael Savage.

oabama statue of liberty rapeIt is no coincidence that the majority of writers or talkers above is male. Men have had a long and grotesque history of trivializing rape and attempting to take their own ownership of the word. Often times for men, “rape” is just a powerful word, with no true reality. It is part of the “Rape Culture” in which we live. In Melissa McEwan’s powerful post “Rape Culture 101,” she gives a thorough examination of how “rape” has been taken away from its only true meaning – the act of rape, by a rapist, on a rape victim.

Rape culture is 1 in 33 men being sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. Rape culture is encouraging men to use the language of rape to establish dominance over one another (“I’ll make you my bitch”). Rape culture is making rape a ubiquitous part of male-exclusive bonding. Rape culture is ignoring the cavernous need for men’s prison reform in part because the threat of being raped in prison is considered an acceptable deterrent to committing crime, and the threat only works if actual men are actually being raped.

Rape culture is 1 in 6 women being sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. Rape culture is not even talking about the reality that many women are sexually assaulted multiple times in their lives. Rape culture is the way in which the constant threat of sexual assault affects women’s daily movements.

There are more than 250,000 cases of sexual abuse each year in the United States. Rape is rampant in prisons and in the U.S. military.

Rape is “A criminal offense defined in most states as forcible sexual relations with a person against that person’s will.”

Rape is not a clever way to describe political opinions. It is not a verb to be used to garner shock value. Randomly using the word rape does not make one a “gonzo” writer.

Rape is rape. If you need a better description, ask an actual rape victim. And then decide if paying taxes equates to this heinous act.

--WKW

Originally posted at Alan Colmes' Liberaland

Author tags:

faminism, rape culture

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You're so right. I feel the same way when people wash out the stain in the word Nazi through mis- and over-use. Misusig rape is a slap to women who have suffered; throwing Nazi about as a label for those whose politics we dislike is a slap to those who died.