Sans Sugarcoating: Why Rape Has Nothing To Do With Sex?!

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Written by Mariem ELTagoury

Control your sons not your daughters!
Control your sons not your daughters!

Since the famous rape incident, and other rape and harassments that occurred that day but weren’t covered by the media, which occurred on Sunday 8/6 during the public celebrations for the presidential inauguration in Tahrir square, several of my friends have suggested I write about rape & harassment. I wasn’t quite enthusiastic about the idea, partially because what’s there to say has been told thousands of times, all what’s left in my opinion is to implement and work on the problem and I’d already written about the topic last November. What made me change my mind though was the media rush which proved to me that there’s still a lot to be said, and many to be educated about rape and harassment crimes.

In the past week we’ve heard quite a lot of tweets and social media feedback from people all over the country angry – finally – about the brutal rape attack on the mother of two; but so many voices proved that we’re a generation away from understanding harassment and rape, let alone solving it. If there’s anything that’ll end these crimes soon I’m putting my bets on the strict rule of law rather social reforms anytime soon. Why? Because everyone blabbering, even if out of good will, is connecting rape to sex!

Statements by famous people like;“If he can’t control it then he should chop it”, Mona Zaki, “denial of sexual relations is the reason behind sexual harassment, the solution would be to legalizing prostitution”, Inas ELDeghedy, “in Egypt sexual harassment is prominent because our women are chaste”, Sheikh Ali Gomaa; have been in circulation for the past week, along with hashtags like #شغل_دماغك_قبل_تستستيرونك (use your brain before you testosterone) #الإخصاء_هو_الحل (castration is the solution); and the famous “excuse” that sexual harassment and rape is due to men’s sexual desires that are not met due to the late marriage age, and economic limitations to marriage. Even the first Egyptian movie that discussed sexual harassment openly back in 2010 suggested that married men resort to sexual harassment when they couldn’t fulfill sexual desire from their wives.

Allow me to blow your mind and tell you that the truth is the connection between rape and sexual desire is a myth! In the modern world where crime is a science in its own right; rape is officially a crime of violence and power.

A survivor; to watch the video click here
A survivor; to watch the video click here

In the past years developed countries have taken the long stride to study rape crime, and the psychology and mind map of rapists. Throughout the years rapists have been categorized into different types and mentalities according to their acts and crime patterns.

Between 1958 and 1960 Dr. Menachiam Amir, a criminologist, and the National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice in the United States studied rape & rapists in Philadelphia; labeling rapists as “criminal and psychiatric”. 

Some years later theories and categories have changed. According to the Centre for Sex Offender Management  in the USA, which follows a typology developed by Nicholas Groth in 1979, his theories while not connecting rape directly to violence was more focused on the connection between rapists and their desire for power (still no sex there);

“Rape is associated with very aggressive though not necessarily physically violent behavior on the part of the perpetrator. He attacks, threatens, and uses hostility and/or physical force to intimidate and overpower his victim. (…) When an individual commits rape, he is interested in overpowering and possessing complete control and dominance over his victim. Victims are often viewed by the rapists as weak and easily dominated.”

 Dr Nicholas Categorises Rapists into three types: Anger Rapists, Power Rapists, Sadistic Rapists. For more information about these types you can read more here.

No to Harassment!
No to Harassment!

But all these are focusing on the west; what about us?! In truth, very little research has been done on rape in the east but Jill Filipovic of The Guardian wrote about rape in India & Bolivia (our cousins in geography and religion).

In 2013, this was written after the famous gang rape of a girl in India riding the bus:

“(…)walk with your keys in your hand, take cabs at night, don’t accept drinks from strangers, be careful what you wear, don’t walk alone after dark. When women are the victims of rape, there’s an immediate assessment of what she did wrong and which of her perceived mistakes made her vulnerable to an assailant. (…) Rapists don’t rape because they can’t “get” sex elsewhere. Rapists don’t rape because they’re uncontrollably turned on by the sight of some cleavage, or a midriff, or red lipstick, or an ankle. They rape because they’re misogynist sadists, and they flourish in places where misogyny is justified as tradition and maleness comes with a presumption of violence.(…)”

Sounds more like home now? To read the whole article click here.

In fact, when researchers came to study sexual desires in rapists their findings were quite interesting; in short, proving that rapists do not have normal desires as regular men. Theories published by Daniel Goleman for the New York Times about the mind map of rapists included;

« Using a device called a “penile plethysmograph” researchers can precisely measure the blood flow to a man’s genitals as he views or listens to sexual scenes. By systematically varying the content of those scenes, researchers can detect exactly which details make the scene more or less arousing.(…)

“Ordinarily violence inhibits sexual arousal in men,” Dr. Barbaree said. “A blood flow loss of 50 percent means a man would not be able to penetrate a woman.”

(…)But that was not true for men who had been convicted of rape. And in about 10 percent of rapists — including those with large numbers of victims — the arousal was markedly stronger to the rape scene than to consenting sex, Dr. Barbaree said. (…)»

To conclude, rape isn’t about men who can’t meet their sexual desires in a conservative society – stating the obvious here, just because prostitution is illegal doesn’t mean it’s not a rich available market – or about how desirable women are on the streets to the extent that men can’t resist the temptation! If it was how desirable the women are then why are 88 & 95 year old poor women being raped and killed?

NEVER BOTHER ANY WOMAN AGAIN!
NEVER BOTHER ANY WOMAN AGAIN!

Let’s face it until our society stops blaming women, men’s sexual desire, and lack of ethics and/or religion; and starts facing the fact that rape is a crime by psychologically unstable men who crave violence and power and start our own crime research within our community and culture, there’s no telling when this will stop; because if you can’t face the factual reasons, you can’t find a solution. We’ll just be kept in dark swatting flies by the sound of their wings; the chances of catching a fly under these circumstances are pretty low.

For further reading about rape, rapists and their myths:

What is the psychology of rape?

Sexual Assault Myths

Rape Myths 

What do you think?

What in your opinion is the reason behind rape? What do you think of these theories? Is there anything you think that should be put into consideration when considering solutions for rape? Let us know in the comments!

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