A fellow blamer’s rapist remains at large
Here’s a little reminder to brighten your day: all humans are conditioned to despise women. A woman can be criticized, sentimentalized, brutalized, infantilized, minimized, empowerfulized, pedestalized, pornalized, and penalized, but she can never be humanized. The American legal system, as a matter of fact, effectively outlaws humanity for women. It does this in many ways, all of which define women in terms of male sexuality. One of the most insidious is its assertion that women are in a perpetual state of ‘consent’ unless they specify in front of 147 witnesses that they have withdrawn it (more on my radical notions about consent and women’s humanity here, and even more blamer contributions here). It is by this cunning method of ascribing to women the quality of unceasing availability that the future of rape as a cornerstone of human social order is secured.
Rape is the dominant culture’s most cherished method of controlling the female underclass, of moulding us into a self-replicating supply of fearful, impaired, coercible receptacles. Why else would rape trials be so notoriously torturous and humiliating for the victims? Why else would convictions be so notoriously difficult to obtain? It is by popular demand that, decades after American women were first deemed “liberated,” the countryside remains infested with unjailed rapists. These freely roaming terrorists are patriarchy’s enforcers. They’re the product of a culture of violence that luxuriates in the juridical presumption that all raped women are guilty unless proven otherwise.
I bring this up because I recently received a long, melancholy email from “spinster niece” X who, five years after her rapist went free, is still being punished for it. After moving to a new state, X has discovered that her rapist has relocated there as well. He hasn’t contacted her, so she doesn’t know if he is aware of her whereabouts or not. But she is gripped with fear and loathing all the same. Her email, a sort of stream-of-consciousness blurt excerpted unedited from her personal notes, reveals that she has spent no small amount of time thinking about the rapist and the untenable situation he has put her in. In this email, X profiles her rapist exhaustively. She wonders whether his relocation is a coincidence. She describes the physical attributes of his other victims. She ponders whether he currently possesses sufficient “type-dependent psychological motivation” to seek her out. She muses about sending a friend to spy on him, about involving the FBI, about setting up a sting, about a concealed-carry permit. Reasonably and understandably, she wants to do something that will prevent his raping her or somebody else again, but she doesn’t know what, short of buying a gun, this might entail. “I can’t,” she says, “let this go.” So she appealed to me for “logistical/tactical/strategic advising.”
Naturally I failed her. I’m just a cheap blowhard blogger, I told her, not to be confused with someone who actually knows stuff. I can do bromides, but practical advice? The business of day-to-day living with the long-term repercussions of rape without shooting somebody is way out of my league. So I’m doing what I always do when I don’t know what I’m doing: I’m passing the question on to the Blametariat. Help a sister out, girls. What do you do when your rapist goes free?