Re: Emerging rape thread

Lief M. Hendrickson (hendrick@NOSC.MIL)
Mon, 16 Jan 1995 22:04:19 PST

On Jan 16, Harriet Whitehead stated:

>I second Eve on these points, though I don't see that you have to go as
>far afield as Micronesia to argue them. Rob's posting seems remarkably
>naieve. Rape of whatever type, wherever it occurs, sends at least the
>minimal message to all women to be fearful of men and of public life and
>public space (where men seem to abound)...
Far from being naive, Rob's posting addresses aspects
of the issue which Harriet may not fully understand.
I'm not sure how to regard her above statement about "all women".
Does "all women to be fearful of men" really go along with
what Eve was saying? Eve spoke about a man named Gerhardt, from
Lehwhetik. She said "the general advice about such men was to
avoid them, once they had been identified." Note the "such men".
I don't think Eve was saying that Gerhardt epitomized all men as
being potential rapists.

Fear of rape is the basis of the message Harriet refers to. Try
applying the fear aspect to another situation such as getting
robbed. If you get robbed by someone of a certain ethnic
background, are you then to fear all members of that group? It's
certainly plausible that all members of that group might want
money (and therefore your money also), but the reason one of the
group transferred his desire for money to robbery does not apply
to all the group.

>Speaking of theoretical agendas, if one wants to buy into the
>sociobiological argument cited, it seems one would have to then concede
>that rape is part of the normal sexual repertory of all men, not simply
>something that emerges among the desparate, since it would serve the
>fitness of any man to spread his genes around by whatever means come to hand.
There's an attempt to be fatuous here, but it's really just shows
confusion about meaning. Rape, by definition, is abnormal so one
couldn't "concede" that it is normal- which makes the above
sentence meaningless.