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.