Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/12/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Rape is also a man's issue.

We live in an amazing country during a wondrous time. We delight in how modern we are with the internet, swift transportation, the best medical care in history, and so on. We pride ourselves on how allegedly progressive we are as a society, with our races integrated, our women allowed to vote, hold office, and share top spots in every discipline. America is a wondrous country, so why are we still sometimes such barbarians when it comes to our treatment of women? 

Women are routinely victimized in America because our culture still permits, and even encourages such barbarism.

Women are routinely victimized in America because our culture still permits, and even encourages such barbarism.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/12/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: rape, rates, crime, statistics, morality, behavior, objectivifaction, women


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - We are fixated on the news from India, as several men who gang-raped and murdered a woman on a New Delhi bus face trial for their infamous crime. However, we know, perhaps subtly, that rape is also an issue in our own country.

Discussing rape in America is still too often an unpopular proposition. Last fall, as many as five Republican politicians mentioned rape in their speeches, and all were swiftly vilified and condemned for remarks which were widely regarded as insensitive towards women. The remarks were,at times,  ill advised, unscientific, and grossly insensitive.

Were we too harsh on them? Are women just too sensitive? Was this just an opportunistic strike by the left against good, moral men?

The fact is women have a right to be sensitive on this issue. We have a genuine problem with rape and it must be addressed. According to essayist Rebecca Solnit, a rape is reported in the United States about every 6.2 minutes. That's going to place a burden on any 911 and police response system, not to mention medical facilities and the amount of investigation and prosecution that must also follow. The price tag for these crimes likely ranges well into the billions of dollars annually, and that's just the law enforcement and medical costs incurred by the epidemic.

We'd be entirely shallow if we only examined this from a fiscal perspective. What matters more is the emotional devastation that results from these crimes. Rape is a deeply traumatizing, intimate crime. It strikes at the core of the person and compromises their sense of safety, well being, and overall health. It can even kill. Whether by suicide or by added violence, about a thousand women in the US die each year after falling victim to some kind of sex crime.

Solnit estimates that one in five women will be raped at some point in their lifetimes, and nine out of 10 rapes will go unreported.

This means a little baby girl, born today, has a 20 percent chance of being raped during her lifetime. Yet, she has only a 1 in 10 chance of reporting the crime to the authorities. She has less chance than that of seeing justice done to her attacker. Finally, the odds that her attacker will be dealt a full measure of justice are even slimmer than that. This means that perhaps 95 percent or worse, of all rapists escape justice and are free to strike again.

What's behind this? the exsitence of Misogyny for one. Despite the advances we have made to women's equality and rights, we sometimes still treat women as second-class citizens in many respects. Women can still earn less than men, can be more likely to be victims rather than victimizers, and live in a society where they are still too often treated as sexual objects.

Our society actively encourages and facilitates sexual objectification via liberal use of contraceptives, immodest fashions, and a pervasive culture of machismo, where women are objects of desire to be conquered, rather than coequal partners in society. Our popular media is no help, reinforcing the sexual status of women through ads which appeal to men based on sexual appeal. Even the books on our shelves appeal to sex to sell.

Let's not construe this as blaming women however. Even if a woman dresses provocatively; or even if a women wears nothing, it is still not an invitation to rape. Also, it should not be assumed that most rapes are the result of women binge drinking at college parties while committing the mistake of dressing poorly amongst men raging with testosterone.

The vast majority of rapes involve ordinary women going about everyday business. Rape happens in homes, during dates, and at work. A few even happen in public. Last year, women have been notoriously raped in parks, and even on buses.

Certainly, some of the victims have been promiscuous women, but these are a very narrow minority - but so what? Let's be clear, even in the throes of passion, if a woman says no, or stop, then it is rape. Even if a relationship is established, it can still be rape.

Any time a person is compelled against their will to participate in any sexual activity, it is rape, no other circumstances apply, period.

Understand that victims range from old women to young children, some virtually babies. Recent headlines have told lurid tales of young girls being gang raped by fellow teenagers.

Even men and boys have been occasionally victimized. Yes, men suffer from rape too.

This is a sickness which pervades our country. It is a civil rights issue. Yes, it is a women's issue, but it's a man's issue as well. Every woman raped has a father, and many have husbands. How can a man say he enjoys a free society when half of its population are subject to victimization?

There are plenty of sick people out there who will perpetrate sexual crimes against others, however, the vast majority of sex criminals are not insane. They know entirely well the difference between right and wrong. They have impulse control and can behave as civilized human beings. The problem is we live in a society that grants license, then fails to punish the wrongdoers.

From as young as the teenage years, and perhaps a bit earlier, young men and boys are taught that sexual conquests are glorious. Our media reinforces this. There's little shame now attached to Swimsuit Issues and internet pornography. Conversely, women are taught this is normal, acceptable behavior, that boys will be boys.

We cannot, nor should we attempt to legislate all morality. However, we must do more to change our culture. The change begins at home, how parents raise their children. Children can be taught respect by managing what they are exposed to and providing a moral context for what they see. This is best done by modeling on behalf of the parents.

Mothers should dress modestly and men should refrain from misogynistic behavior and commentary.

Our society must make it easier for women to report rapes. Statutes of limitations should be extended and women should be familiarized with resources at their disposal. We must also remove the stigma of victimization, and place it upon the perpetrator where it belongs.

Finally, we need to clean up our airwaves and bookshelves, best accomplished by refusing to partake of anything that objectifies women to generate interest.

Whatever happens, we need to try something. One rape is one too many. One rape every 6.2 minutes is an unimaginable tragedy that cries out to the heavens for justice. We ignore those cries at our own peril, and the peril of our daughters.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.



Comments


More U.S.

FILTHY LUCHRE: Surprising amount of microbes found thriving on dollar bills Watch

Image of According to a new study -- you really shouldn't put your money where your mouth is!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

You really shouldn't put your money where your mouth is: Dollar bills are awash with all manner of microbes that can cause illness. Truly, a recent study gives new meaning to the term "filthy rich." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Researchers at New York ... continue reading


NO PLACE TO GO: More than 1.6 million Americans do not have indoor plumbing Watch

Image of The proportion of U.S. homes lacking complete plumbing has dropped dramatically, falling to about one-third in 1950 and one-sixth in 1960.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two things make a house a home: a toilet and a telephone. With cheap, readily available cell phones, may take their calls mobile. But when it comes to washing your hair, or even finding a place to answer the call of nature . many Americans are not so lucky. It's been ... continue reading


Alabama Supreme Court Recognizes Child in the Womb Has Fundamental Rights

Image of The Alabama Supreme Court

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Because a human life with a full genetic endowment comes into existence at the moment of conception, the self-evident truth that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights encompasses the moment of conception. Legal ... continue reading


Help Make the Story of the Serial Killer/Abortionist Kermit Gosnell Into a Movie Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

In 1852, the great abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass was invited to speak on the Fourth of July and delivered the now famous speech entitled What to the Slave is the Fourth of July. Here is a stirring quote from that famous speech: 'For it is not light that ... continue reading


Their Eyes Were Opened: Walk With Jesus on the Road to Emmaus Watch

Image of On the Road to Emmaus: In the light of the encounter with the Lord in the breaking of the bread, their eyes were opened. So it is meant to be with each one of us. The Holy Eucharist is more than a commemoration; it is an invitation into communion with the Living God - right now because Jesus Christ is Risen from the dead and walks with us on the road of life.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We are those disciples on the road to Emmaus, living our lives in the real world, walking along with Jesus who is always there accompanying us on the road, whether we recognize Him or not. He listens to us, and understands us, because he became like us, in "all ... continue reading


Made for Beauty: Liturgy and Music

Image of

By Deal W. Hudson

Some might flinch at my use of the word "satisfying" to describe a liturgy, but I used it deliberately because I want to think aloud about the fact that we were made for beauty as much as we were made for goodness and truth.  To be satisfied by the shape, ... continue reading


'COME AND TAKE IT' Texas AG blasts BLM scheming to seize state land, threatens fight Watch

Image of Texans are rallying against the federal government and its habitual overreach.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A major land war between the Bureau of Land Management and the state of Texas is brewing as Texas lawmakers push back against the feds plan to seize 90,000 acres of land along the Texas/Oklahoma border. AUSTIN, TEXAS (Catholic Online) - The Bureau of Land Management ... continue reading


SHOCKING NEW TWIST: Autistic boy defends teenage girls who filmed his sexual assault Watch

Image of The parents of the victim are insistent that they want their son's abuser, 17-year-old Lauren A. Bush to be tried as an adult.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Abused beyond belief by two teenage girls, who filmed their despicable activities with their cellphones, a 16-year-old autistic boy now says he doesn't want to press charges against them - concerned that it would damage their - "friendship?" LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Time to Live the Easter Way of Life Watch

Image of Easter is more than a Day; it is a way of living our lives in Jesus Christ. Darkness has been scattered by the Light which broke forth from that empty tomb. That Light is meant to infuse our daily lives with the radiance of Resurrected love.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The early Christians lived their lives in the Lord, for the sake of the world. They exhibited a holy boldness; because they internalized the faith they professed and allowed it to transform every aspect of their lives. They experienced the transforming power of ... continue reading


50,000-strong OK Militia declares they will resist federal takeover attempts Watch

Image of The Oklahoma Militia is ready to defend property against unlawful federal seizure.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An Oklahoma militia which claims the allegiance of 50,000 members has sided with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy in his recent clash against the feds. Although the standoff appears to be over, and is not likely to resume, the militia says it is ready to defend the rights ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:11-26
11 Everyone came running towards them in great ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 8:2, 5, 6-7, 8-9
2 even through the mouths of children, or of babes in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:35-48
35 Then they told their story of what had happened on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 24th, 2014 Image

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen
April 24: Franciscan Capuchin martyr. He was born Mark Rey is Sigmaringen, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter