I’d like to comment on where this column takes me. I don’t go straight to the aftermath of this crime and the “rounding-up” of men, I mean, I’m not all that interested in the separatism that you hypothesize would follow. I’m interested in the at-first strange notion of rounding up men for 20 miles around and putting them in prison when one man rapes a woman. I apologize if these thoughts are pretty tentative.
If a woman is raped by a stranger (meaning the authorities can’t immediately get the criminal off the streets and can’t identify the criminal), it can be said, thinking outside the system, that a crime against the CLASS of women has been committed, not just a crime against an individual. This is because every woman and girl for 20 miles (to use your cutoff) is injured by the crime. All women are once again confined. They already live in a society where their freedom to exist outside their homes is always under attack. Women have been kept from public life, the street, public spaces, anywhere but the family-hole, from time immemorial, and fear of rape has been one of the most effective tools keeping them confined.
It needs to be emphasized that women raped by strangers are in most senses of the word, randomly selected. The rapist may simply find an opportunity, a moment alone with a girl walking down a street. He may have some fetish about black hair. He may not like women who wear red shirts. He may be angry at losing his job. It doesn’t matter. The crime has a random quality, looked at from a larger perspective.
So this rape affects a highly vulnerable population, puts them into renewed fear, and restricts their freedom. If the individual rapist is not caught, none of these women can feel safe. It is the equivalent of all women for 20 miles being rounded up and put in prison, is what I’m getting at. This is the true scope of the crime, and the true set of victims.
So just to embellish your thought-experiment a little, let us say that this is a society which is not male-supremacist – and which fully understands the that such a crime is a crime against a class. Let us say that the punishment must be commensurate with the crime. What should this punishment be?
If it is to be commensurate, it must also treat men as a class. I believe this is where some of your words lead. It’s a revolutionary thought.
In short, men for twenty miles around should suffer the same fear of rape, restrictions on their movements, and fear of being attacked at any moment. This could (logically, but only as a thought-exercise) be accomplished by putting them in literal prisons, not that different from the metaphorical prison women still live in.
But I see a way to make this punishment better-focused and more realistic than rounding up all the men. That is, the authorities should attempt to identify the perpetrator, and if they can’,t they should RANDOMLY arrest a single male in the area. The punishment is then exactly as awful as a the original crime. All men for twenty miles around are placed in fear of being confined and raped (in prison), not knowing which of them will become the scapegoat for their class.
Savage, isn’t it? As savage as the crime, and the effect of women in the area.
One of the problems with trying to step outside the beliefsystem is that there are no words for doing so. For instance, I can’t think of an analogy here to make these thoughts simple. I can say, rape is like burning a cross on a lawn, having the effect of injuring all local African-Americans. Or I could try to analogize tribal warfare, like the Tutsis and Hutus, or kulaks vs serfs, etc etc.
But crime in U.S. jurisprudence is still considered a crime of an individual – there is no legal concept I know of that addresses joint culpability as I try to talk about it here. Maybe others can think better than I can on this point. I suppose that what I’m suggesting, following along with your words, is that the idea of a “class” crime could enter jurisprudence, and used carefully to describe certain crimes by one class against another, with the punishment directed against the entire offending class. A very few violent felonies, such as rape, with its eternal history of use as a tool of social control of a class by another class, would be eligible for inclusion.
tix8770, femonade 5 Comments
[10/22/2014 8:45:15 PM]
Fundie Index: 3
Submitted By: skybison