Thursday, June 16

How often ... seriously?

How often do we have to go through this, gentlemen? How often do we have to point out that neither social position nor clothing nor anything else ever make rape ‘normal’ or ‘legal’ or ‘right’? And how often do we have to point out that rape isn’t about sex, but about domination and humiliation?

Two reasons for this post. First of all, Mr. Strauss-Khan and Mr. Kachelmann. In addition the reaction to an article about the most dangerous countries for women to be in. The guys first, though.

How is it, gentlemen, that every second newspaper treats the alleged rape Mr. Strauss-Khan committed on a maid in a hotel as a case of extra-marital sex? Mr. Schwarzenegger had some extra-marital sex ten years ago, that much is for sure. The result is walking around today and his wife has left him because of it (though nobody can tell me she didn’t know about it). The thing about extra-marital sex, gentlemen, is this: it’s consent. Both people agree to have sex, even though they’re not married to each other (and might both be married to someone else). This might fall under the headings of ‘amoral’ for you, depending on your own take on morals. It is not illegal, however. Mr. Strauss-Khan coerced a woman into having sex with him, using not his physical power, but that of his position (as a customer of the hotel). Maybe he did use some physical power, too. The point, gentlemen, is this: is was not consenting. This makes it illegal. You see the difference? Or do you want me to spell it out again? Well, here it goes: Extra-marital sex = consent sexual encounter between two adult persons. Rape = non-consenting sex between two people (not necessarily both adult). Extra-marital sex = fun some might consider immoral. Rape = act of violence, always to be considered immoral.

Now, most of you might not have followed the case of Mr. Kachelmann, a former weather anchor here in Germany (and in Switzerland, too). Mr. Kachelmann has been accused of having raped one of his former girlfriends and has been found not guilty last week. Not because there was no doubt he didn’t do it, but because they couldn’t proof he did do it without any doubt. I don’t know if he did it or not, but after the trial, there’s one thing every woman will remember: if you get raped, better not go to the police, because the trial against your violator will be worse than the rape. What kind of message is that to send out?

The second thing that annoyed me? There was an article in one of the online newspapers I read daily about the five most dangerous countries for a woman to live. Apart from a bad medical situation, violence is a very important point for determining how dangerous a place is, obviously. Most of the five countries (all except one) are current war zones, either ‘normal’ war or civil war.

Why do I point that out? Because a lot of those armies see rape as a weapon. Yes, their soldiers do not rape women, because they, individually, ‘want to’, but because their commanders say they ‘have to’. It’s a weapon of war – an act of violence.

Yet one of the comments for the article states the whole statistics is ‘useless’, because it’s not important. I’m pretty sure the comment comes from a guy who never even though about what violence against women can mean. And about how much more dangerous it is to be a woman in these countries (as opposed to being a man, which is also dangerous).

As long as any statistics about the lives of women on this world is seen as ‘useless’ and a ‘waste of time’, you all have a lot to learn, gentlemen.

So, to get back to the question, how long will it take for you all to get it (including that police officer in Toronto going on about women dressed sexy being responsible for being raped)? How often do we have to go through this again, gentlemen?