Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Truth About Rape

One of the great things about blogging is the ability to tackle explicit subjects shunned in even the most modern mainstream media. As a former police officer, as well as a husband, brother and father, I have something very explicit, but very important, to say to women who have been raped.

This is taboo to discuss, but so be it: Many women fail to report rape because they feel complicit in the crime. The reason? During the rape her body reacted sexually – the vagina produced the usual secretions to ease penetration, the clitoris was stimulated and maybe she even achieved orgasm.

Let’s set the record straight: your body reacted on a purely physical level, and the production of vaginal secretions and related signs of sexual arousal does NOT mean that you liked it, really wanted it or asked for it. And it most definitely does not mean that you encouraged your own rape. Ever.

In the City of God, St. Augustine crafts his own consolatio, an attempt to assuage the suffering of women raped in the sack of Rome. He wrote that women raped in Rome’s fall do not lose their chastity which is a virtue in the soul and does not depend on how others use the body. Even if the body responded mechanically, that does not matter if the soul withheld consent.

Rape is not a crime against a vagina; it is a crime against a person. That crime is not defined by the normal anatomical reactions of masses of nerve endings or other physiological reactions to the sex act. Rape is an assault against a person’s will and dignity; against their will, because the act did not involve a choice on their part, and against their dignity because the act treated them as an object, not a person.

Now you know.

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