There’s a difference between “normal” and “natural”. There are natural impulses to violence and many other vices that “normal” people filter out for the sake of living in a safe, peaceful and civilized society.
Rape is not as a sexual act, but an affirmation of power. It may be as natural as any other affirmation of power like winning a fight or even a football game. But it’s clearly a lower function, and normal men sublimate it into other competitive endeavors that are more socially acceptable.
I will go out on a limb and say that the nearly physiological impulse to rape is unique to men, as a byproduct of their natural drive to seek dominance. Women who rape, I would submit, do so at a purely psychological level, without the physiological reinforcement that I think men have.
[quote author=“katydidnt”]. . .
I would say that breathing, sleeping, eating, defecating are more natural than rape…everyone living does these things, male and female. In the case of rape mostly males do this and very few women and more specifically, most men do not rape. SO if most of the population DO NOT rape, how can it be considered so natural?
Katydidn’t, I think I understand your point and of course agree. But what could be more natural than what occurs in nature? Rapists are rare these days, but what about thousands of years ago? Care to guess at how many people were rapists then?
When I read that bit I certainly didn’t think that Sam was meaning anything more than there was probably some evolutionary success that managed to pass on rapist’s genes in the human population. What I mean is that hundreds of thousands of years ago, even in the most primitive of societies no doubt familial bonds were stronger than anything else, but there is no doubt that if certain males were prone to rape as many women as they could, then the chances of their genes passing on were better than the average, socially bonding male’s genes. Of course the rapist would also be high on the “target of murder” agenda of the bonded community, and that being the case no doubt the success his genes being dominant would be controlled.
It’s also interesting that rape is highly esteemed in the Old Testament, especially in the spoils of war . . . and that is still evident in recent battlegrounds like Rwanda and Yugoslavia. If war can be called natural, then rape goes into the same envelope.
On a related angle, I find it weird and uncomprehensible that a man can get an erection while brutalizing another human being. And even more unpalatable is the thought that the assaulting male can (and usually does) have an orgasm (or ejaculate) while in the midst of this mindless attack on another. I do realize that rape is more about power and control, but ultimately if the man can get sexually aroused to the point of climax, something extra weird and inhuman is going on. Are these brutal actions the physical expression of the raping gene? How much of this madness is due the physiological and how much to psychological? Does anyone know if there are studies on the relationship between sexual arousal and ruthless brutality? I guess I just don’t understand how a man can get an erection while beating the life out of someone, and yet it happens constantly in much of the world, America included.
Rape is non-consensual sex. Forcible sex may be consensual. Non-forcible sex may lack consent.
Rape requires that the victim have a socially recognized right of refusal.
Slaves and concubines could not be raped. They had no right of refusal. Many societies view marriage as forfeiting the right of refusal.
Adultery can be viewed as violating the husband’s right of refusal for his wife. Take note that the 10 Commandments prohibited adultery, but not rape.
That’s a weird blip in the 10 Commandment morality, “Take note that the 10 Commandments prohibited adultery, but not rape.” (Joad)
Maybe it’s in this sense that the Old Testament considered what we now call rape to be an acceptable human behaviour? Certainly the priorities of those people were entirely opposed to ours today, so I wonder what can compel a contemporary person to still cling to those ancient codes?
In Old Testament times, rape wasn’t considered acceptable. It was considered impossible. It wasn’t a sexual crime, it was a property crime.
Rape was a crime against the husband, father or brother. We still see the lingering effects of that in the “Honor Killings’ in parts of the world that are Islamic extremists. The victim of rape is damaged and is destroyed.
I think the main contention here was Sam’s choice of language. If rape is something natural simply because we see it exists in the world, then murder is also natural. Then why then, is there “not anything more natural than murder” ? And why is there “not anything more natural than child molestation” ? That happens all over the world too.
No, it is natural not to rape. Rapist are an abnormality, albeit a naturally occcuring abnormality. (They were not artificially radiated into existence)
But Sam wrote that there is” nothing MORE natural” than rape, as if rape is our natural state that we must all resist in order to live in a civil society, and something we all are inclined naturally to do, more natural than eating, sleeping, breathing, etc. And that is grossly untrue.
Very poor choice of language.
And yes, saying something is natural, DOES imply that it is good, no matter if it isn’t technically true. “No blame on them, it was only natural. etc”
I don’t believe Sam advocates rape, clearly, but his choice of language was very poor.