Monthly Archives: January 2011

Rape Fantasies & Why We Have Them

Much to the delight of men, women have rape fantasies.     In evo psych arguments it comes up as evidence that rape is natural and women are naturally submissive.  When it comes up in more liberal and feminist circles, it’s in defense of BDSM, pornography, or “roleplaying.”  The explanations of why women have these fantasies are male-centric, and usually just amount to some kind of justification for men’s messed up sexuality.  I haven’t seen women’s rape fantasies taken on from a radical feminist perspective, so I’m going to do that.

To start, we have to look at how rape (and sex, for that matter) is framed in our culture.   Some examples: “He couldn’t control himself”, “he couldn’t help himself”, “he was just so horny”, “she provoked him wearing that skirt/top/sweater.”  There’s always disbelievers when an attractive woman says she has been raped, but people will disbelieve an unattractive woman even more.  In the popular narrative, rape is about sex and desire, and an act of passion.  It happens when a man wants to fuck a woman and she doesn’t want to let him.

The measure of force a man is willing to take in pursing a woman is said to be a direct measure of how much he loves and desires her.  Following this worldview to its logical endpoint, rape becomes the ultimate expression of desire and attraction.

Is it any wonder, then, that so many women have rape fantasies?  Who doesn’t want to be incredibly desirable?

This is only amplified by the effect of the media, which tells us that we’re ugly and undesirable, especially when compared to that girl.  Most women feel hideous, and are expected (and do) to appreciate any attention from men, with more appreciation being required the less conventionally attractive we are.  I suspect that the less conventionally attractive a woman is, or the uglier she feels, the more likely she is to have rape fantasies.  With nearly all of us having some insecurity about our bodies and our desirability, its no wonder lots of us fantasize about being raped-which in our culture, means being desired by men.

I have to credit Twilight with me putting the pieces together.  (I know, what the hell?)  It’s always seemed there are more fans of Jacob than Edward, for whatever reason.  My lover wondered frequently why Jacob’s fans say that he “loves Bella more,” when he clearly is manipulative creep with a rapist mentality, and thought liking someone so obviously dangerous was stupid.   I got quite pissed, because he essentially was calling women “stupid” for feeling insecure and wanting to be wanted, which is completely understandable.

On a personal note, I used to have them myself, and even though I only let myself think of healthier things now, I can’t deny that sometimes they seem more appealing than my partner always asking what I’d like.  The thing is, even though I hated being touched without asking or after I said no, it still made me feel desired.  I think I would feel more desired if control were taken from me, even knowing what it means.  A part of me simply doesn’t care if I’m objectified, because I want to be wanted.

Stating the Obvious: I don’t blame women who have rape fantasies at all, even if they  seek to “roleplay” them with their partner or feed them privately with romance novels.  I do, however, blame anyone who goes along with “roleplaying” as a rapist.

By Any Other Name: Mail-Order Brides and Sex Trafficking

I’m sorry for disappearing again.  The influx of trolls wasn’t that bad-only one comment really hurt, because it said I deserved it in a certain way.   I always felt that the only thing that would pull me away again would be being hurt again, and guess what?  That happened in a way.

My period hadn’t come for 80-something days, so I went the gynecologist to try to figure out if this was normal for someone coming off of the pill and maybe check my hormone levels.  I made it clear from the start I didn’t want a pap smear, and she didn’t say I had to have one, until I was already on the exam table.  I still said I didn’t want to but she said I had to, and I guess I froze up from there.  I haven’t felt that violated in years.  It feels stupid because it’s just an exam and they all say it doesn’t/shouldn’t hurt, but it did.  I felt, and still feel, like I was raped again. 

I’m not sure how to label it or anything-that word feels too extreme, maybe.  Just feels like it shouldn’t have happened, because I thought I wasn’t as “weak” as I was before, when I didn’t fight back.  But I still froze up, and didn’t fight really. 

I avoided radical feminist stuff for months-I didn’t read a single book or article.  I didn’t even talk about radfem issues, unless it was blatantly shoved in my face.  I can’t really explain why, I guess, but I think it maybe just felt pointless in a way, since I thought I was stronger for it and, look what happened?  I still let myself get hurt.  I knew the medical establishment was shit, yet I still let it win.  It’s not really the same, but I imagine it might be how Dworkin felt after she was raped the last time.  Knowing so much about the issues makes it worse for me.

Anyways, I figured I’d share the one thing I did write during this space: my term paper for Global Feminism.  It isn’t as radical or angry as I felt about the issue, because college (and liberal feminism) discourages that sort of thinking, but the approach I think couldn’t come from anywhere but radical feminism.  I started with the idea that marriage is basically prostitution, and you can see where it goes from there.    Warning: It’s loooong.  And by the way, I got an A.

        The “mail-order bride” industry, as it is known, has grown significantly since the advent of the internet and represents many of the forces of globalization.  Estimates on the number of marriages orchestrated by mail-order bride agencies vary and many suffer from methodological problems, but generally report around a few thousand marriages a year in the United States.   Concerns have frequently been raised about the exploitation involved in mail-order marriages, resulting in media and scholarly attention to the issue.  Reading the literature, it becomes apparent that there are connections between the mail-order bride industry and human trafficking.  Some of these connections are concrete, such as the use of mail-order bride services for recruiting victims, while other connections lie in the forces behind the trades and the people involved with it.

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