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Old 07-29-2003, 09:30 AM   #1
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"I Want a Twenty-Four Hour Truce During Which There Is No Rape"

http://www.nostatusquo.com/ACLU/dwor...ChaptIIIE.html

Andrea Dworkin, I admit, is a fairly radical feminist figure and I find a lot of her thought to be pretty far to the left. But I discovered this essay last year in a women's rhetoric class, and I cried the first time I read it. Twenty years after she first delivered this speech, she's still right--our society is complacent about rape in many ways, and there are no real efforts to try to stop potential rapists. All the onus is on women, when women make up the overwhelming majority of rape victims.

Notable excerpts:

It is easy to say, "Ah, the statistics, somebody writes them up one way and somebody writes them up another way." That's true. But I hear about the rapes one by one by one by one by one, which is also how they happen. Those statistics are not abstract to me. Every three minutes a woman is being raped. Every eighteen seconds a woman is being beaten. There is nothing abstract about it. It is happening right now as I am speaking...

I have heard in the last several years a great deal about the suffering of men over sexism. Of course, I have heard a great deal about the suffering of men all my life. Needless to say, I have read Hamlet. I have read King Lear. I am an educated woman. I know that men suffer. This is a new wrinkle. Implicit in the idea that this is a different kind of suffering is the claim, I think, that in part you are actually suffering because of something that you know happens to someone else. That would indeed be new.

But mostly your guilt, your suffering, reduces to: gee, we really feel so bad. Everything makes men feel so bad: what you do, what you don't do, what you want to do, what you don't want to want to do but are going to do anyway. I think most of your distress is: gee, we really feel so bad. And I'm sorry that you feel so bad--so uselessly and stupidly bad--because there is a way in which this really is your tragedy. And I don't mean because you can't cry. And I don't mean because there is no real intimacy in your lives. And I don't mean because the armor that you have to live with as men is stultifying: and I don't doubt that it is. But I don't mean any of that.

I mean that there is a relationship between the way that women are raped and your socialization to rape and the war machine that grinds you up and spits you out: the war machine that you go through just like that woman went through Larry Flynt's meat grinder on the cover of Hustler. You damn well better believe that you're involved in this tragedy and that it's your tragedy too...

What's involved in doing something about all of this? The men's movement seems to stay stuck on two points. The first is that men don't really feel very good about themselves. How could you? The second is that men come to me or to other feminists and say: "What you're saying about men isn't true. It isn't true of me. I don't feel that way. I'm opposed to all of this."

And I say: don't tell me. Tell the pornographers. Tell the pimps. Tell the warmakers. Tell the rape apologists and the rape celebrationists and the pro-rape ideologues. Tell the novelists who think that rape is wonderful. Tell Larry Flynt. Tell Hugh Hefner. There's no point in telling me. I'm only a woman. There's nothing I can do about it. These men presume to speak for you. They are in the public arena saying that they represent you. If they don't, then you had better let them know...

Say it to your friends who are doing it. And there are streets out there on which you can say these things loud and dear, so as to affect the actual institutions that maintain these abuses. You don't like pornography? I wish I could believe it's true. I will believe it when I see you on the streets. I will believe it when I see an organized political opposition. I will believe it when pimps go out of business because there are no more male consumers...

I want to talk to you about equality, what equality is and what it means. It isn't just an idea. It's not some insipid word that ends up being bullshit. It doesn't have anything at all to do with all those statements like: "Oh, that happens to men too." I name an abuse and I hear: "Oh, it happens to men too." That is not the equality we are struggling for. We could change our strategy and say: well, okay, we want equality; we'll stick something up the ass of a man every three minutes.

You've never heard that from the feminist movement, because for us equality has real dignity and importance--it's not some dumb word that can be twisted and made to look stupid as if it had no real meaning...

I want to see this men's movement make a commitment to ending rape because that is the only meaningful commitment to equality. It is astonishing that in all our worlds of feminism and antisexism we never talk seriously about ending rape. Ending it. Stopping it. No more. No more rape. In the back of our minds, are we holding on to its inevitability as the last preserve of the biological? Do we think that it is always going to exist no matter what we do? All of our political actions are lies if we don't make a commitment to ending the practice of rape. This commitment has to be political. It has to be serious. It has to be systematic. It has to be public. It can't be self-indulgent...

The things the men's movement has wanted are things worth having. Intimacy is worth having. Tenderness is worth having. Cooperation is worth having. A real emotional life is worth having. But you can't have them in a world with rape. Ending homophobia is worth doing. But you can't do it in a world with rape. Rape stands in the way of each and every one of those things you say you want. And by rape you know what I mean...

And I want one day of respite, one day off, one day in which no new bodies are piled up, one day in which no new agony is added to the old, and I am asking you to give it to me. And how could I ask you for less--it is so little. And how could you offer me less: it is so little. Even in wars, there are days of truce. Go and organize a truce. Stop your side for one day. I want a twenty-four-hour truce during which there is no rape.

I dare you to try it. I demand that you try it. I don't mind begging you to try it. What else could you possibly be here to do? What else could this movement possibly mean? What else could matter so much?

And on that day, that day of truce, that day when not one woman is raped, we will begin the real practice of equality, because we can't begin it before that day. Before that day it means nothing because it is nothing: it is not real; it is not true. But on that day it becomes real. And then, instead of rape we will for the first time in our lives--both men and women--begin to experience freedom. If you have a conception of freedom that includes the existence of rape, you are wrong. You cannot change what you say you want to change. For myself, I want to experience just one day of real freedom before I die. I leave you here to do that for me and for the women whom you say you love.
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Old 07-29-2003, 10:51 AM   #2
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Wow. Thank you.

Everyone knows someone who has been raped. Look around at the women you know. One in four have been raped (I believe that is the current stat, down from one in three). This statistic has been proven to be true, more or less, in all of my changing circles of friends for 20 years.
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Old 07-29-2003, 01:12 PM   #3
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The majority of my closest friends are women and I would have to say that unfortunately with them the percentage is higher. It saddens me and enrages me at the same time. My heart goes out to all these women and men that have to deal with rape.

But there's no single cause for this, so what are we to do?

But while we're at it let's put a truce on molestation and the organizations covering them up, men and women who use and abuse their sexuallity as a weapon, the people who cry wolf and throw false rape accusations out there, the government poking their heads behind the closed doors of consenting adults, and the so many other things that are destroying the intamacy that sex once was.
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Old 07-29-2003, 01:40 PM   #4
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Re: "I Want a Twenty-Four Hour Truce During Which There Is No Rape"

Quote:
Originally posted by paxetaurora

And on that day, that day of truce, that day when not one woman is raped, we will begin the real practice of equality, because we can't begin it before that day. Before that day it means nothing because it is nothing: it is not real; it is not true. But on that day it becomes real. And then, instead of rape we will for the first time in our lives--both men and women--begin to experience freedom. If you have a conception of freedom that includes the existence of rape, you are wrong. You cannot change what you say you want to change. For myself, I want to experience just one day of real freedom before I die. I leave you here to do that for me and for the women whom you say you love.
[/B]
I thought this paragraph was terrific. What a revolutionary thought and action to put into motion- start with one day of freedom for women, freedom for families and people who love women. Every three minutes.. it's sickening, it's enraging, it's saddening.

I know three girls who were raped. Two by the same guy (they dated him consecutively), who ruined their reputation in college after he was dumped/or dumped.

It'd be interesting to see what people really think about rape. Was she asking for? Was she dressed a certain way, did she say something provocative? Was she alone at night, did she take a guy back to her room on the 2nd date...?

When I was in college we read an exercise which detailed a woman flirting at a bar, dancing, drinking, enjoying herself.. goes upstairs with a guy but is aware enough to tell him to stop, yet he rapes her. We had to split up into categories afterward- "the girl was 100% right" "the guy was "100% right".. "the situation was 50-50" You'd be surprised at some of the answers that came out of this.
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Old 07-29-2003, 01:41 PM   #5
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How about instead of just calling for a "truce" we call for a legal system which actually punishes those men who think women are nothing more than their punchbags.

How about a criminal justice system which doesn't give laughable sentences of six months, eighteen months, two years to men convicted of rape.

How about ending the humiliating practice of allowing rapists to question their victims in court. How about instead of expecting women to prove that they said no, we expect men to prove that they said yes. (After all, if a woman is unconscious she can't say no but she's certainly not saying yes either.)

Why do we talk about educating young women about "avoiding rape"? Why do we pretend that we can just tell girls not to wear short skirts and not to drink too much and that'll magically protect them from rapists. Why don't we talk about educating young men about preventing rape?

Less than 10% of rapists are ever even charged with a crime. Even fewer are ever tried and sentenced for their crime. Maybe if we had a legal system which took this horrible crime more seriously and ensured those who commit it are tried and punished severely we'd see a meaningful decrease in the frequency of this crime.

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Old 07-29-2003, 01:49 PM   #6
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Fizzing, you are exactly right. One of my closest college friends was raped on a date and had a child as the result. She's brave and strong and elected to raise her son on her own, but her entire life has been dramatically changed and not by her choice. And to make matters worse she can't take the bastard to court because she is afraid that it would be her word against his - she doesn't want to have to go through the emotional experience not to mention the possibility that if the court decided he wasn't at fault he might even gain parental rights. Ugh. Oh and she can't get any welfare help from the government due to some legalities dealing with her decision not to pursue the matter in court. So yeah, I have some strong feelings about this subject.
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Old 07-29-2003, 01:57 PM   #7
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FizzingWhizzbees:

I don't think that it is any helpful to put these people just in jail, they nead psychotherapy, this is a sick behaviour and has to be cured, i don't think that just sitting xxx-years in jail changes anything. And they shouldn't be let out before a comitee of doctors thinks that these people are ok again

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Old 07-29-2003, 02:13 PM   #8
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Sula,
Your friend must be an amazing person to be strong enough to have decided to raise her child by herself. And it's disgraceful that she can't take the person who raped her to court...I can't imagine any other crime where a person would be unable to have the criminal prosecuted for fear that they wouldn't be belived.

Klaus,
Rapists may or may not need psychological treatment for any psychiatric disorders they suffer from - if they suffer from a psychiatric illness then of course they should be given treatment. However I don't see people suggesting that murderers or thieves ought to simply be given psychotherapy and then released back into society so I think it's wrong to suggest that for rapists.

Of course I think prison should be about rehabilitation and not only about punishment, but I think that if a person commits a crime as horrendous as rape then it's not unreasonable to suggest that they should receive a lengthy prison sentence. Imprisoning criminals is also about protecting others from them so in that respect I agree with you that rapists shouldn't be released until there is good reason to believe they won't commit the crime again.
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Old 07-29-2003, 02:47 PM   #9
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FizzingWhizzbees:

I didn't suggest psychotherapy instead of Jail but additional to it.
If you just lock them behind doors for several years there are verry view who change to better. If you help them (psychotherapy for rapists, maybe learning a job for burglars etc) they might become less dangerours for our society.

So i guess we think pretty much the same way (rehabilitation instead of punishment) that's why i thougt instead of more punishment, give them the chance to change and a flexible time of punishment. (People where the psychotherapists don't think that they changed should be longer imprisoned then people where they think that they have changed)

It is easy to just ask for more punishment - in the end it's like in the US were more people are imprisoned than in college

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Old 07-29-2003, 05:52 PM   #10
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i just read the book "lucky"

it's a true story about a woman who is raped at the end of her freshman year in college.


it's very graphic, i almost threw up.


but i would suggest it, especially to men.
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Old 07-29-2003, 06:20 PM   #11
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I just found a statistic about imprisoned people in the US compared to Germany:

USA: 1 Imprisoned per 143 Citizens
Germany: 1 Imprisoned per 1.357 Citizens

In the US numbers the Prisons from Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, US-Samoa, Guam, Mariana Islands are not included.
Emigration- and Customs- or Military- Imprisoned aren't included either.
Prisons in Indian reservates are excluded also. Same to Youthprisons.
(In the German statistics all these cases are included)
In the last years more and more people get imprisoned in the US also the FBI crime index got lower.

So.. this is one of the reasons why i think simply more punishment isn't the best answer. Only verry few people care about high when commiting a crime - or do you think they expect to be caught?

And Government "companies" like the US Air Force have to rethink the way they handle women who accuse their collegues of sexual harassment or assault

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Protecting Female Cadets

Over the last year, the American public has been hearing horror stories from current and former cadets about sexual assaults at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Dozens of women have charged that they were raped or sexually harassed or humiliated, often by upperclassmen. Most kept silent until recently for fear of losing their dreams of being Air Force officers. In recent months, to their credit, Air Force Secretary James Roche, the Pentagon and several members of Congress have been urgently investigating these accusations. The superintendent and three other top officers at the academy have been replaced. Secretary Roche has come up with changes designed to make the academy's procedures more in line with those of the regular Air Force and break up a secretive culture clearly intended to make female cadets feel that they do not belong.

Acknowledging such systemic problems is the first step toward relieving them. Still, the Pentagon brass needs to take a harder look at how all its military academies deal with sexual assault issues. There is a need for more standardized training of officers and students to help them recognize the behavior that is demeaning or even criminal.

The Board of Visitors at the Air Force Academy needs to become more a board of directors than a board of cheerleaders. And the Pentagon must make certain that the academy does not fall back into a climate of permissiveness once the news media and Washington move on.

The most difficult aspect for the Pentagon concerns a victim's right to confidentiality. In the military, a commander needs to know whether a sexual predator is in the ranks and to determine how accusations against such soldiers should be prosecuted. Given the trauma suffered by young female cadets who were drummed out of the service when they accused someone of sexual harassment or assault, the military is going to have to find a way to give these young people the assurance of confidentiality, at least in the early stages of a case. Without such protection, victims may decide that their only real recourse is silence. As the Air Force Academy has learned painfully in recent months, that doesn't work.
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Old 07-29-2003, 07:33 PM   #12
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Lilly;

Why would you recommend it 'especially' to men?

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Old 07-29-2003, 11:32 PM   #13
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I've wanted to read that book too. The Lovely Bones was quite good.
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Old 07-29-2003, 11:55 PM   #14
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Look rapists are just as bad as murderers.

When i see a rapist thrown in jail for 6 months -2 years it makes me sick. These are the scum of the earth. The worst of the worst. They dont deserve a chance to be let go in a few years. Maybe a few decades. What i hate about rapists is they always blame the victim. They deny deny deny. They dont live up to what they did. They know that they can possibly get off because its basiclly their word againist the victims. rapist are usually repeat offenders. They have a urge to do these sorts of things. They dont stop at one person, they have gotten away with it, why stop?

Why these people are being let go is beyond me. They need to be stopped and we need to start making examples of people being convicted in the future. Give them sentances for 20 years. And dont let them out. Make every potential rapist know that if i dont have the full consent of the other person then i shouldnt go ahead with sex.

Another thing, what i always see is how so many people asume its a woman getting raped. It may be that they are being raped at higher numbers but that doesnt mean it doesnt happen to men. Men are less likely to admit that they have been raped. They know that the backlash is far greater then that of a woman. (not saying its not a bad experience for a woman). I was raped. I am a man. It makes no difference if you are male or female only what had happened to you. I have never told anyone i know that i was raped, exept another friend that was also raped.

Rapist are pieces of shit. I'd like to kill the person who did it to me, but i have enough sense that I would end up being the one in jail!
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Old 07-30-2003, 12:31 AM   #15
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i knew someone would latch onto that

Quote:
Originally posted by Anthony
Lilly;

Why would you recommend it 'especially' to men?

Ant.

to show a woman's perspective on what it is to be raped.


not that men aren't raped or that all men are evil or anything like that. but i think that they don't always understand it as well as a woman does.


that's poorly articulated.


it's the same thing as if men read a book that's graphic about childbirth - something they CANT understand explained so vividly that they can't help but relate.

does that make more sense?
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