Re: reply to Pinsker on rape

Eve Pinsker (U56728@UICVM.BITNET)
Sun, 15 Jan 1995 21:07:45 CST

On Sun, 15 Jan 1995 18:56:20 CST Rob Quinlan said:
>I agree with Eve Pinsker that notions of gender relations are definitely
>important in cases of rape. I guess that somehow on some level these
>notions are symbolic. But that doesn't make rape a symbolic act. I wasn't
>clear about that and about the sexual nature of rape. Rape is a sexual
>act in that it requires sexual arousal on the part of rapist.
. . .
>I also think that in wartime some otherwise normal men will commit rape,. . .
>of being caught, (3) they are psychologically "bonded" to other members of
>the squad who may be more willing to initiate rape, and (4) because there is
>high risk of dying in ground combat.

If you grant the points in the last paragraph, Rob, you have to admit that
it's nonsense to argue that rape in the context of war is a sexual act and
not a symbolic one, or vice versa -- sexual arousal in humans, whether tied to
violence or not, usually does involve symbols "on some level." Psychological
"bonding" to squadron members certainly involves symbols. Erections may
occasionally be involuntary reflexes, but utilizing them in the act of rape
(or in consensual sex, for that matter) certainly is not. If the symbolic
environment -- squadron bonding, dehumanizing the enemy population,etc. --
facilitates sexual arousal and its use as a weapon, then, again, you can
hardly maintain this distinction you are insisting on between sexuality and
symbolism. Eve Pinsker (
>Rob Quinlan