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Adventures in communications strategy.

Deirdre McQuade, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat for Prolife Activities, comments on a federal judge's decision to allow the emergency-contraception drug known as Plan B to be sold over the counter to women of any age:

Plan B does not prevent or treat any disease, but makes young adolescent girls more available to sexual predators. The court's action undermines parents' ability to protect their daughters from such exploitation and from the adverse effects of the drug itself.

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Barbara --I certainly am NOT denying that the actual violence of rape is a terrible crime in itself. I have not implied that having dinner with someone you don't like is equivalent of rape -- I'm implying exxatly the opposite, and asking *why* they aren't equivalent. What I'm question is WHY women resist penetration so strongly? They are not simply resisting violence. If they were simply afraid of violence they wouldn't resist. In other words, they are resisting for some other reason in the first place. That is what I'm questioning. All violence is wrong, and rape is wrong even *beyond* the violence usually involved. I'm asking why. I am not "tangling it up with sexual ethics". It is part and part of sexual ethics. Rape is not wrong simply because it is violent. What I'm trying to do is raise a question; what makes sexual intercourse a serious matter in some cases but non-serious in others? No, I don't think the question has been given sufficient attention. Just look at the hook-up culture. If young women thought about it more they might not allow themselves to be used so often as they are.Jim P. -- about hooking up. You seem not to be aware of what is common practice these days at least in American colleges. I haven't read Donna Freitas' book The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy, but what she has to say does concern me because of my fast-growing-up nieces. Her study corroborates what I've been thinking for a long time -- too often girls and young women are, in effect, allowing themselves to be used to their own disadvantage. It's time to start asking questions about it. I know Freitas isn't a social scientist, so her conclusions might not be valid. But her anecdotes are alarming. And yes, my own view isn't politically correct, but so what?

This has been addressed @ dotC before and I refer to this article that was offered up at the time:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/vatican-acts-overbosnian-rapes-birt...

I forgot to include the dotC link: http://www.commonwealmagazine.org/blog/?p=17094

Ann,When I was a kid I was sexually abused by a family member and now that I'm an adult, I have to try to figure out how the sex acts that spouses share and that for them mean love are the sex acts that in sexual abuse mean domination and harm. You seem to be saying that the acts are the same in rape and consensual sex, so what's the big deal. That could be said of sex abuse and consensual sex too. It's not the acts in themselves that matter, it's intent, it's the relationship between the people.

"Rape is not wrong simply because it is violent." I honestly am not sure what you mean by this. Rape is "special" in the sense that it is an act that is criminal based on context, unlike shooting someone, which is always criminal when it is done with knowledge. Many women DON'T resist being raped because the perpetrator credibly threatens greater harm if they resist. It depends on how they gauge their chances of being killed versus being able to get away (they might be much better off resisting or not, and they might not even really know and might be acting on pure instinct or they might be frozen with fear). Just like many women don't resist being robbed but others don't. In reading your whole comment, it seems as if you are saying that women are more likely to resist rape than other violent crimes, like mugging or purse snatching, because sex is more important than a purse or a watch, which validates your concern regarding hook up culture because it kind of proves that sex is not actually as trivial as young women make it out to be, or else they wouldn't resist penetration as strongly as they do. A sort of corollary to proving that God exists on the basis that "there are no atheists in foxholes."

" You seem to be saying that the acts are the same in rape and consensual sex, so whats the big deal."Crystal --I'm not saying there is no big deal. I'm saying that beyond the violence of rape there is a reason == or reasons -- why women resist it, and the reason(s) must not be trivial, and the evidence is that women resist it so strongly. In other words, sex is of itself not a trivial matter, and to treat it as trivial leads to unhappiness, for women anyway. No, I'm not saying it's trivial for all men, but there does seem to be that Darwinian thing about males being strongly inclined to spread there DNA widely. (This is really getting complicated.)No, I'm not going to go into what I think the answer(s) is. I'm just trying to provoke some consideration of the question. I will say that Donna Freitas seems way ahead of her time.

Barbara --I'm sorry, but I just don't know how to make the question clearer. I think it is one that is largely being ignored in the culture, but it needs to be raised.

Ann, I honestly don't think rape and responses to rape provide much insight into cultural attitudes on consensual sexual conduct. So yes, I do see what you were trying to do, but I found your analysis to be unenlightening on either rape or the hook-up culture. It also had the balefule effect of appearing to trivialize the crime of rape (for people who avowedly think sexual activity is a trivial event so what's the big deal?), even though I understand that is not what you were trying to do. You were trying to do the inverse, but there are too many variables for that kind of syllogistic logic to provide real insight.

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