Thursday, September 28, 2006

A thought about rape and anger

So, I had a minor revelation today that I'd like to share.

Guys hate to talk about rape. No, that's not the revelation; that's a fact.

See, women have to spend a significant portion of their time worrying about rape, or at least aware of it. And a lot of guys, when hearing about that, start getting uncomfortable, and insisting that not all guys are like that, and how they, themselves, aren't like that.

It's hard to handle, to hear all of the anger, and suspicion; it's easy to go into denial. It's also easy to get angry.

And suddenly, it hit me. Who is the target of that anger?

The women who are making guys uncomfortable. The women who are all-too-aware of the danger rape represents. The women who, in numbers too horrifying to think about, have been raped.

See, no one seems to want to believe it, but one in four - or maybe more - is, in fact, a pretty accurate statistic.

And that refusal to believe it, and that refusal to understand it, leads to anger. Anger at the victims. Anger at the people who've been hurt by rape.

Not anger at the rapists. Anger at the victims.

Hey - you, Mr. Skeptical - don't believe me.

Really, don't. Just think about it as a hypothetical. Just think about how abominably unfair it would be to get angry at the victims for making us guys feel bad, rather than at the rapists, who did the damage that has directly led to this situation.

Imagine if your daughter, or sister, or wife, or mother - yes, I know, cheap shot, but god damn it, it happens, sometimes before they were mothers, sometimes after - was the victim of rape, and some guy was yelling at her to stop talking like guys are evil pigs and rapists, because that guy didn't like it.

How would you feel? You might understand how the guy was feeling... but you'd also have some gut-level understanding of how this woman feels as well. And you wouldn't want her getting yelled at, just because she's willing to talk about what rape is like, and how it's affected her life. Right?

But it happens. Because guys don't want to believe it's as widespread as it is. Because they'd rather yell at victims than get angry at the rapists.

Again, don't believe me, if you can't accept what I'm saying. Just think about it. If I was right - if you later find out that I'm not too far off the mark - just think of what kind of bullshit it would be if the victims got yelled at, when it's the rapists who deserve your anger.

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