Skip to content

Sexual Assault

by on October 9, 2018

SEXUAL ASSAULT

by Marco M. Pardi

Woman is condemned to a system under which the lawful rapes exceed the unlawful cases a million to one.” Margaret Sanger. Woman and the New Race. 1920

It’s like the weather. If it’s inevitable, just relax and enjoy it.” Clayton Williams. Texas Republican Gubernatorial Candidate commenting on rape. 1990.

All comments are sincerely appreciated and will receive a response.

——————————————————————————-

I’ve often said that when a person sits down to write about something it should be something he or she knows. I know about sexual assault, including rape, as a phenomenon. I know it occurs. I know it is almost always not sexual but rather an aggressive act of domination, including rape as an act against civilians in war. But I can’t put myself into the mindset of a rapist, or a person forcefully or even surreptitiously violating a woman’s private space. For that matter, I also can’t find the mindset of someone who uses prostitutes. I am certain I would be non-functional in either case.

The Me Too movement has gained explosive traction, as well it should. I confess to moments of memory search; am I deserving of accusation for some long ago act. Not only have I not found any (and I’m quick to find self-blame), I found myself revisiting a number of instances in which I was used, conned, and/or betrayed by women one would “bring home to meet the parents”. No matter. They have long been someone else’s problem. But having a daughter and two granddaughters (I know I seem to be leaving out my grandson but he’s no one to mess with) I feel even more strongly than I always have about sexual violation. For those who don’t know me, that’s saying a lot.

So, here’s another thing I’m certain of. I could never have been an investigator assigned to “kiddie porn” cases. For one thing I could not look at images to gather the evidence to bring a case. For another thing I’m pretty sure it would not have been long before I gathered locating, travel habits, etc. on a trafficker or perpetrator and quietly did a “Star Chamber” on him myself. The same goes for makers of “crush videos”, of small animals being stomped to death. My preferred therapy for the aforementioned perpetrators is to feed them feet first into an industrial wood chipper.

I’m aware of the clinical interpretations of pedophilia and the therapeutic models commonly in use. But I have never had confidence in therapies for this condition, even chemical castration. And the recidivism rate is so high I cannot justify release, no matter the time served or the therapies used. If I told you there was a 4 in 10 chance of a released pedophile living nearby coming after your child would you accept their release? Okay, 2 in 10? 1 in 10? If life imprisonment is not a satisfactory answer, perhaps a .22 Magnum hollow point to the base of the skull would put the issue to rest.

Speaking of which, during my first field assignment with the Centers for Disease Control I interviewed over a two year period literally thousands of STD (often now called STI) patients to elicit their sex contacts. Not much time passes before the interviews tend to sound alike. But I remember one to this day.

A man in his late twenties presented with co-incident syphilis and gonorrhea infections. At the time, what else he may have had was beyond our testing. As I was eliciting his contacts, prior to giving him his medications, he told me he was a cab driver for one of the several small cab companies in the city. He did not know his contacts because he routinely would cruise by bus stops and, when he saw a girl he fancied, would stop and ask her where she was going. Once he got that information he told her (them) he was on his way to pick up a fare “right near there” and she could ride with him for free. Once the girl was in the car he would quickly go in the general direction but would turn and drive a long way away from where the girl wanted to go. Spotting the rear of a strip mall or some other obscured place he would pull in and stop then tell the girl she could either provide a sexual service for him or she could get out and walk.

If true, and his story was consistent through several repetitions (by this time I had learned how to appear chummy and even envious of sexual “conquests” in order to elicit more contacts to be found and treated) I firmly concluded he was a sexual predator and indeed a serial rapist.

After his medication he apparently felt so admired that he gave me a card with his phone number should I need a cab ride “anytime”. I held on to that and I often considered calling him late one night to pick me up somewhere and then taking him “out of service”…… permanently. Of course, I never did that. But the fantasy was pleasing. And, without a victim, one of the girls, to press charges there was no point in notifying the police.

But, as we’ve recently been reminded, sexual assault is probably the least reported crime in America today. The men who have, and still are criticizing Dr. Ford for not coming forward years ago are either stunningly ignorant or are counting on the ignorance of others. So why do the victims not come forward? I certainly can’t say I know all the reasons, but apparently chief among them is fear of being disbelieved. Along with this is our cultural habit of victimizing the person further by interrogating him or her about their entire sexual history, leading to shaming and ostracism from family and friends. Even today there are people who say, “She invited it” by her choice of clothing.

However, if there is merit – and I think there is – in the position that rape/sexual assault is a crime of domination, not overwhelming sexual urge, then clothing has absolutely nothing to do with it. In twenty two years of teaching college, especially in the warm South, I saw some rather amazing ensembles…or parts of ensembles. Never once did it cross my mind that the young woman was trolling for sex.

To me, sexual assault, the forcing of sex or a sexual contact of some sort on another person is an act of aggression having more to do with the category fixed in the mind of the perpetrator: Woman, or child (male or female) = Victim. I find it obvious that the “treatment” or “therapy” must first be to render the perpetrator utterly and permanently incapable of further aggression. And, given the rate of success with current therapies, I lean strongly toward the position that anything short of rendering the perpetrator permanently incapable will not work.

What do you think?

 

 

Advertisements

From → Uncategorized

16 Comments
  1. #MeToo and Thank You.

  2. Thank you, Candice. We would like to read more about how you are doing.

  3. An addendum: Another reader privately asked what is the relationship between the Catholic priesthood and pedophilia. My response: I’ve known several priests and, to my knowledge, only one was possibly a pedophile. However, the general public overlooks a unique element in Catholicism. I’m not current on the theology, but when I was growing up we were taught that “impure thought, word, or deed” was a mortal sin. It could land you in the fires of Hell forever. Couple that with the requirement that one should go to confession “to be in a state of grace” before going to the required Mass and, when you have an entire parochial school of prepubescent and pubescent boys and girls confidentially telling a priest all their little erotic fantasies it is a magnet to a priest with tendencies toward pedophilia. Some people say allowing priests to marry would preclude all these problems. But obviously, we know marriage is not preventive of extra-marital sexuality in any form.

  4. Rape; just the word is enough to make me sick to my stomach. The very thought terrifies me. To be sexually assaulted has always been one of my greatest fears, and while the possibility may lessen with age, it doesn’t go away. Rape isn’t about desire, it’s about hurting someone in the worst possible way. Death takes only a moment, and leaves peace behind in its wake. The kind of personal and emotional damage that sexual assault leaves behind lasts forever.

    The television show FBI last night stated that 1 in 5 women has experienced rape; I am fortunate to be able to say I am not one of them, at least not forcibly. I’d venture to say that number would be higher if it included unwilling sex with a life partner. They used to say that it was a husband’s right to have sex with his wife, and her “marital duty” to acquiesce, whether she wanted to or not. They used to say not to fight back when being forced because it would cause your attacker to hurt you worse, but if you did not fight back it was considered consent. They used to say that it was the woman’s fault for looking, dressing, or acting a certain way, and that men just couldn’t help themselves. Here’s my question: at what point will we finally be able to take the “used to” out of those statements and not have it still be true?

    • Thank you, Rose, for the clear and articulate statement on rape, particularly “unforced marital duty”. I think it will take a very strong and honest effort of self examination to undo the myths that drive current thinking and behavior. In fact, the marital submission is still a fundamental part of the Southern Baptist dogma. So, I don’t see it changing any time soon.

  5. Well, Rose really said all so thoroughly that I can only agree ! However, if I could add something to the unwilling sex with a life partner, it would be that if we , women, are not willing to have sex with our spouses, then it would be only fair if we talked with our husbands and gave them permission to find sex with more willing partners. Not that this would be a solution, since I can see how many problems woud follow suit, but just trying to be `fair`…in theory 🙂 . What I mean is … I don`t like `forcing` in any expression. by men or women. As I woud not like to be forced into unwilling sex, I would not want him to be forced (by me!) into a sexless life. I know this can be a very controversial proposition (and I dont like it a bit !), but after all marriage is about living together, having sex and possibly kids, hopefully with some Love to bind it all 🙂 ! (it goes without saying I am not talking about the case of domestic violence)

    • FOAL, thank you so much for posting this thoughtful reply. I had not fully explored the domestic rape aspect you both developed. Years ago I knew some married couples who tried to engage me and my then wife in “wife swapping” (even the term betrays the gender bias in the behavior). I wanted no part of it, and was deeply offended. Then I began to examine my motives and wonder if I saw my wife as property. Still, I wanted no part of it, property or no property. I can only imagine that granting permission for extra-marital sex spells the eventual end of the marriage. Of course, the sexless option isn’t a good one either.

      • Yes, Marco, exactly, this could hardly be a practical solution (and unfotunately I don`t have one). Just trying to see things in perspective, both from a male and female standpoint. But again, it is only trying to be`fair` in theory. In practice, very few marriages might last . I know mine wouldn`t, as that is something I could never put up with. Maybe there is a deeper root problem that should be addressed here , but it could vary from person to person , so am afraid it is beyond the powers of my little mind 🙂 . (again, I am not referring to DV cases. That for me goes beyond the `marriage` thing. It is pure violence and it should be condemned as such. Anything based on violence is not a true thing.)

      • I did not mean to endorse a sexless marriage, but rather one in which the sexual act only occurs when both participants are in compliance. Seduction is acceptable; coercion is not. Certainly, anything violent or forced in nature is absolutely abhorrent.

      • Rose, yes, as I said , I agree with all you spoke about. Here in Japan (but I dont think it is the only country), I have several friends who do not feel like having sex, and even when they are not forced (by the way, many Japanese women are much stronger than men !!! as far as `will` is concerned 🙂 ), it ends up with huge marital problems. Husbands tend to come back home later and later and spending money elsewhere. I was just trying to find an alternative to wives refusing sex , and honestly it is so difficult to find one that doesn`t disrupt the marriage itself. Of course unless the man either accepts willingly (very very rare), or doesn`t have a sexual drive either. And as you rightly say and i totally agree, nothing based on violence has any value and it truly is `absolutely abhorrent`, anything , not only sex 🙂 .

  6. Thanks, Rose. Didn’t think you did. During the years I was single I had a iive-in situation which, in my view, was solely for business. But she wanted constant sex and I did not. Pretty tense at times.

    • Sometimes we forget that it isn’t always the female who gets caught up in these uncomfortable situations. Whether out of necessity, or affection for our partner, we do things that we’d rather not. It isn’t assault, but that doesn’t mean it makes us happy.

  7. Absolutely!

  8. Julie permalink

    I agree Marco, i never understand the concept of rape – engaging sex with domination and violence, the complete opposite of what sexual intimacy is about. I also have little faith that these persons could be rehabilitated – I feel they need to be locked up for life. Some of the positives of social media with the “me too” movement – id like to think that us humans are progressing. I am currently traveling through Spain and learning about some of the history going back in medieval times which is horrific – gives perspective and how far we have come.

    • Julie. Thank you so much for taking time to comment while you are traveling. I agree, though I am less willing to afford the perpetrators continued life unless that life is a daily misery. After all, they have sentenced their victims to lives of misery.

      Yes, thanks to Spain we have lost the vast majority of the written history of the indigenous peoples here in the Americas. Their brutality in cultural genocide through mission schools lives on in the truncated understanding the survivors have of their own cultures.

      Safe travels! Marco

  9. Julie permalink

    Motorcycling around Spain and having a couple of hours downtime before dinner – catching up on your blog, always look forward to your next entry 😃

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: