Thursday, February 22, 2007

Rape: An Act of Violence

As a man, I’m not able to understand how the fear of rape shapes the way a woman relates to her social environment, but I hope we can agree that not every man has been subjected to the level of psychological abuse that would predispose him to commit rape. Many would argue that it’s either the media’s overt sexuality or the Internet’s readily available hard-core pornography that somehow triggers a Jeckle/Hyde metamorphosis in the average male’s libido – Nonsense. Rape is not an act of the uncontrolled libido but a carefully planned act of violence committed on a target of opportunity. When viewed as such, it becomes clear that our efforts to reduce rape should focus on the primary locus of psychological abuse – the family. That Senator Clinton’s aphorism, “it takes a village to raise a child,” drew such strong condemnation from the right confirms its uncomfortable truth. What amount of parental malpractice is required to transform a young boy into a predator and how many more victims are we willing to sacrifice before addressing the abnormally high level of violence in our society?


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