attitude about "rape"

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Kathleen DeAnn Hazelton

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Nov 20, 1991, 11:33:18 PM11/20/91
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I don't recall clearly (since I only made it through ~20 pages before I
stopped reading, due to a general lack of interest in the characters), but
I thought Friday made a point of saying that someone without her training
would have had a lot more trouble with the whole experience.

Certainly that doesn't seem like something anyone could be trained to endure,
but, as has been said before, it is science Fiction.

--
Kathy Hazelton "But, that's not fair!"
"You say that so often. I wonder what your
kha...@owlnet.rice.edu basis for comparison is?" --Labyrinth

Pat Averbeck

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Nov 20, 1991, 5:27:56 PM11/20/91
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What I find interesting is that the males seem to respond objectively
(and I understand I am making a generalization) to the topic of rape in
Heinlein's books. The attitude of "oh sure, it happened; let's get on
with our lives" is so unrealistic. This is a traumatic event, one that
Heinlein could not sufficiently introduce into his characters nor one
with which some are allowing themselves to empathize. People cannot
'rationalize' rape for how can one rationalize domination. You may
describe the idea of being completely helpless, but you lose the feelings
that are a result of this aggressive act. Those who try to rationalize
rape and give stupid suggestions of "sit back and try to enjoy it" are
really missing the point. This is an emotional issue, in that the
after effects consist of a wide range of psychological problems for the
victom, and as such cannot simply be rationalized.

David P. Murphy

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Nov 15, 1991, 6:32:09 PM11/15/91
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>>[heinlein's] grasp of female psychology [...] was so deep that he once
>>had a main character profess that the way to get through being raped
>>was to "sit back and try to enjoy it", or somesuch. (Sorry,
>>exact quote unavailable--
>>
>>abg...@hardy.acs.washington.edu (Andrew Gross)

>I'm not sure of what your point is, here. Do you have any better advice
>for *anyone*, man or woman, who is being raped and can do nothing about
>it?
>
>130...@gmuvax2.gmu.edu (Bruce Feist)

{ note: the following is NOT a personal attack against mr. feist. }
{ i do NOT believe that he advocates the above attitude. }

whoa, time out here, bruce. i have no advice at all for anyone being raped,
but i am sure as hell not going to tell them to "try to enjoy it"! my gosh,
do you think it is emotionally possible for a woman to be shaken awake in
the middle of the night by a total stranger with a mask on and a knife/gun
in his hand, be forced to do things which we need not mention, and ENJOY IT?
i absolutely do not believe it. if for no other reason, she will most likely
be worrying about whether the criminal is going to kill her to remove any
witnesses (or for the heck of it, who knows). let me just make a list of
some other topics that might cross her mind; i'll spare you my comments:

1. what about my children?
(a) will they hear/see this?
(b) will he attack them? kill them? kidnap them?
2. what will my s.o. think?
3. will i get pregnant?
4. will i catch a venereal disease? AIDS???
(a) will i have to avoid sex with my s.o.?
5. will he physically damage me so that
(a) other men will consider me unattractive?
(b) i will be unable to bear children?
(c) i will be unable to have sex?
6. how did he get in? are there others with him?
7. will he steal some of my belongings, especially my cash?
8. will he do this again sometime?
9. i've heard that the cops give the victim a bad time . . .
10. THIS HURTS LIKE HELL!! I WISH HE'D STOP!!

i have no respect for any man who thinks that a woman should, or even could,
"enjoy" this vicious encounter; i doubt that you have truly tried to imagine
what it would be like to be helpless, dominated and *it* *is* *not* *a* *game*.
reading about it in a novel is extremely irritating and is sufficient
for me to conclude that the author either has no idea whatsoever of what
it's like to be a woman, or is portraying a character who is so loathsome
that he should be viewed on the same level as a child molester.

back to the original point: heinlein's characters, in my opinion,
are definitely too close for my personal taste, but he is not guilty of
a loose grasp of female psychology; he simply wrote of women who were of
strong enough emotional character that it was not such a decisive blow.
not very likely, but it is called "science fiction".

ok
dpm
--
mur...@npri6.npri.com
602 Cameron St.
Alexandria, VA 22314 The First Amendment:
(703) 683-9090 it's not just a good idea, it's the law.

Joseph R. Strickland

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Nov 20, 1991, 7:01:43 PM11/20/91
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In article <38...@npri6.npri.com>, mur...@npri6.npri.com (David P. Murphy) writes:
|>
|> >>[heinlein's] grasp of female psychology [...] was so deep that he once
|> >>had a main character profess that the way to get through being raped
|> >>was to "sit back and try to enjoy it", or somesuch. (Sorry,
|> >>exact quote unavailable--
|> >>
|> >>abg...@hardy.acs.washington.edu (Andrew Gross)
|>
|> >I'm not sure of what your point is, here. Do you have any better advice
|> >for *anyone*, man or woman, who is being raped and can do nothing about
|> >it?
|> >
|> >130...@gmuvax2.gmu.edu (Bruce Feist)
|>
|> { note: the following is NOT a personal attack against mr. feist. }
|> { i do NOT believe that he advocates the above attitude. }
|>

[lots of stuff on rape deleted]

I, too, have the feeling that BF was asking a rhetorical question. When a
politician here in TX said something like the "sit back and enjoy" garbage
he lost an election. At the time there was much discussion of the attitude
and the correct reverse analogy was given as follows:

When a beating is inevitable, sit back and enjoy it.

Here you can substitute any other violent crime for "beating" and it makes
just as much sense. If you are able to enjoy it, that's when you begin
to doubt your integrity. Can you imagine Burt Reynolds giving that advice
to the character on his knees crying in _Deliverance_? That movie cured
me once and for all of any delusions of the healthy enjoyment of rape.

That is what I thought was the reason RAH had the _Friday_ rape scene. It
shows just how low her sense of self-worth was. She didn't even want to
get the nipple that was torn off fixed. The whole book was about
getting her from that point to some semblance of humanity (So I thought).
I didn't like the book, but it was because the humanization seemed to be
toward a stereotypical woman that only existed in RAHs mind. My idea of
a recovery would have had her ripping the balls off the guy who was
gentleman enough to let her piss in a pot after participating in a gang
rape with herself as star atraction, instead of greeting him as a
lost cousin at the end of the book.

--

Joe Strickland

Muffy Barkocy

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Nov 20, 1991, 12:13:15 PM11/20/91
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In article <38...@npri6.npri.com> mur...@npri6.npri.com (David P. Murphy) writes:
>>>[heinlein's] grasp of female psychology [...] was so deep that he once
>>>had a main character profess that the way to get through being raped
>>>was to "sit back and try to enjoy it", or somesuch. (Sorry,
>>>exact quote unavailable--
> [...] let me just make a list of

> some other topics that might cross her mind; i'll spare you my comments:
> [...]

10. THIS HURTS LIKE HELL!! I WISH HE'D STOP!!

I, also, find the scene in question *extremely* unlikely, but this last
item made me think a bit. In the earlier one, it was "I'm falling" - I
screamed because I was falling, not because of any thought process that
said that screaming would bring help. I have been physically attacked
(not rape) twice. In the more recent one, I was choked and my hand was
broken. My thoughts were basically (although not coherently) "I can't
breathe" and "My hand *really* hurts." I didn't *do* anything.

When I have talked about this to people, several of them have
recommended methods of stopping someone from choking you, and others have
discussed how they learned to think and react in violent situations,
rather than just be acted on. So, while I still find it very unlikely,
I believe that it would be *possible* for a woman to *learn* to think
calmly and control her reaction in this situation. In the book,
supposedly, Friday learned this in her training, so it isn't supposed to
be a "generic" reaction.

By the way, as I recall the book, her decision was to "pretend to enjoy
it," not to actually enjoy it. The idea being that if she seemed to be
enjoying it, they would stop, since they were doing it to torture her.

Muffy
--

Muffy Barkocy mu...@mica.berkeley.edu
~Little round planet/in a big universe/sometimes it looks blessed/
sometimes it looks cursed/Depends on what you look at, obviously/
But even more it depends on the way that you see~ - Bruce Cockburn

Jim Puckett

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Nov 21, 1991, 9:20:37 AM11/21/91
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Sorry. The idea of revenge and resentment being recovery is too foreign. In
fact, it may be the problem.

Erin Zhu

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Nov 21, 1991, 6:55:24 PM11/21/91
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In article <AVERBECK.91...@argus.math.orst.edu>
aver...@argus.math.orst.edu (Pat Averbeck) writes:

>What I find interesting is that the males seem to respond objectively
>(and I understand I am making a generalization) to the topic of rape in
>Heinlein's books.

One wonders about the content of the implied "while the females seem to
..." at the end.

> The attitude of "oh sure, it happened; let's get on
>with our lives" is so unrealistic.

And equally unrealistic and harmful is the attitude that "oh, you've
experience _such_ trauma, you fragile little character must be _all_
mangled up, your entire life is going to be just _terrible_ because of this
one event."

> This is a traumatic event, one that
>Heinlein could not sufficiently introduce into his characters nor one
>with which some are allowing themselves to empathize.

In _Friday_, Heinlein's character managed to think and eventually act
calmly to get herself out of the situation, rather than spend all her
energy resisting uselessly, or be reduced incoherent with the horror of
what's happening. Let me know if you can think of any better way for her to
act.

>People cannot
>'rationalize' rape for how can one rationalize domination.

People can and have rationalized domination and rape. I shall refrain from
offering historic evidence.

>You may
>describe the idea of being completely helpless, but you lose the feelings
>that are a result of this aggressive act.

What Friday was taught was a method of fighting that feeling of complete
helplessness, so she would eventually have a chance against that aggressive
act.

>Those who try to rationalize
>rape and give stupid suggestions of "sit back and try to enjoy it" are
>really missing the point.

The point is that there are better ways of dealing with rape when it's
inevitable than wallowing in the feeling of complete helplessness.

>This is an emotional issue, in that the
>after effects consist of a wide range of psychological problems for the
>victom, and as such cannot simply be rationalized.

It's also a pragmatic issue, one which many people must deal with daily,
and merely emphasizing the terror of the situation and the helpless
condition of the victim hardly serves any purpose in minimizing those
psychological problems.

--Erin

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