Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Culture of Skepticism

From Twisty

Speaking of child rapists who freely roam the countryside, have you Brits wondered why it is that every time you turn around lately, some perv in your neighborhood is throwing an acquittal party?

Because rape convictions in the UK have plummeted to Taliban-level depths, that’s why! They’ve sunk from a 1977 high of 32% to a low of just 5.6% in 2007. Why? Hold on to your hats. It’s because nobody believes the women.

That’s right. According to The Guardian, when it comes to men brutally assaulting women, there festers in Britain a certain “culture of scepticism.”* Supporters of women’s continued oppression have successfully countered small gains in the number of rapes reported by propagating the notion that women are both congenitally insatiable and naturally perfidious. Because of the success of this bogus narrative, prosecutors, cops, and the citizenry are overwhelmingly convinced that a woman’s overriding impulse is to punch herself in the face a few times, chain herself in an underground bunker, and plead with innocent male passers-by to let her service them. Gentlemen that they are, the men reluctantly comply. Once her slutty objective is accomplished, the ‘victim’s’ natural feminine depravity kicks in, whereupon she compulsively makes a false rape accusation. It’s as simple as that!

Here the faint of heart should avert their eyes, because we now allude to the repellent story of just such a case. This particular atrocity, gothically dubbed the “Dungeon Rapes” to titillate pornsick media consumers, occurred in the US, but it perfectly illustrates the juridical savagery of this “culture of scepticism.”

To wit: Convicted child rapist builds secret underground bunker. Convicted child rapist serially abducts two 17-year-old girls, duct-tapes them in the bunker, savages them, and leaves them to suffocate to death in the airless room. At the trial, convicted child rapist claims the “sex” was “consensual.” He is acquitted on insufficient evidence, and, of course, “smiled as he was escorted from the court.”

The “sex” was “consensual.” The chicks were just sluts who wanted drugs. The convicted child rapist built his sleazy underground rape room for innocent romantic getaways. Why not?

The “culture of scepticism” would have us believe that this kind of prevaricating-slut scenario takes place in all but 5.6% of the 12,000 annual reported rapes in the UK.

Quoth The Guardian:

Rape is unique because in no other crimes were victims subject to such scrutiny in court or was the defendant so likely to claim the victim had consented to the attack. Between half and two-thirds of all cases are dropped before they come to court.

How is this possible?

Naturally, I have a theory which is mine. It has two parts. Here they are. But be forewarned. In Part 1 I’m going to go slightly Dworkin on your ass and blame it on porn. Specifically BDSM. Even so, please do not write in and lecture me on how ‘liberating’ your groovy BDSM ‘lifestyle’ is. Believe me, I’ve heard all the arguments, and believe me, they are all asinine. Please, just get some help.

But I digress.

To continue, this “culture of scepticism” crap actually makes perfect sense. Why shouldn’t juries believe that women enjoy abuse? The mainstreaming of sadomasochistic porn into the everyday onslaught of media imagery — advertising, fashion, TV shows, video games, garden-variety Hollywood movies, music videos, email spam, et al — has made the improbable equation, “sex + violent dominance = pleasure,” seem perfectly accurate and perfectly reasonable.

Note, if you don’t mind, that this thinking is insane. Pornography, particularly the S&M genus, is the graphic representation of the violent oppression of half the human race. It degrades the whole species because it has normalized the fetishization of suffering to the extent that convicted child rapists may, with the blessing of a jury of their peers, routinely saunter away smiling after brutalizing teenagers in their goddam underground bunkers.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If women were not systemically oppressed, pornography could not exist. In a post-patriarchal society, free of the degrading paradigm of dominance and submission, pictures of people fucking would have all the prurient allure of a podiatrist appointment. It is the rape-based degradation to which consumers of pornography respond, dum-dum!

But I digress.

The remaining part of my theory is that the populus is so desperately invested in patriarchy that they are unwilling, even in the interest of justice, to part with one of its primary cornerstones: the slut class. Patriarchy depends on the slut class to serve as the receptacle for its pornsick incontinence. A slut class naturally implies a good-girl class, from whose virginal ranks the privileged male selects his unpaid housekeeper/fetus incubator/childcare worker. It naturally follows that if you go around convicting rapists, you diminish the she-was-asking-for-it slut class, which in turn, as distinctions between the two become more and more nebulous, diminishes the good-girl class. See, convicting rapists has the undesirable side effect of making women a bit more human.

You know, if I were a little more on the ball this morning, I might dip a querulous toe into the argument that society will never stand for the eradication of rape. Such success as capitalism enjoys is largely based on the wide availability of unpaid domestic labor created out of the sex class. Which sex class could not exist if women were not rapeable. Can you dig it? The global economy would collapse without rape.

Have a nice day.

I can see where porn/BDSM/Rape fantasies may certainly lead to the culture of skepticism - but do they necessarily cause a culture of Rape? I know of fully sex-positive, woman-loving people in the arena that are all for Rape fantasies and BDSM because they make a very clear distinction on the line of consent being the difference between alternative sex and violent degradation. Among them: Tristan Taormino, and Dan Savage. Is the line of consent still too hard of a concept for people to grasp? Are we not advanced that far as society yet? Is there a way to surpass the culture of skepticism and still incorporate BDSM and Rape fantasies into willing participant's sex lives?