Rape Without Rapists?


I am fortunate enough to have dozens of extremely thoughtful
friends. Some of them were kind enough to share their thoughts via Facebook
about the recent rise in attention paid to the GOP platform position that
abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape, incest and maternal health
concerns. Public statements by GOP Senatorial candidates Todd Akin and Richard
Mourdock have pushed the issue of pregnancy via rape into the national
spotlight. Something I’ve noticed and struggled with is that virtually none of
the public discourse I’ve heard about women’s choices actually talks about the initial
decision maker in this scenario: the rapist.  


In some ways, this whole debate is representative of the
broader dysfunction of our society. I have yet to hear important political
conversation about challenging America's rape culture. Everyone says rape is
bad then continues on to their talking points. No one's talking about how we
can ensure that sex is chosen, pregnancies are deliberate and all babies are


Instead of focusing on how to deal with the aftermath of
sexual violence, why don't we spend time and energy training our young people
to understand sex, abhor sexual violence and value others as themselves? That simply
isn’t happening. My goodness, who decided that sexual assault can't even be as demonized
in our culture as cigarettes?


Ultimately, I would love Akin and Mourdock's accidental
statements of belief to start a national conversation about sexual violence but
I have little hope that will happen. Instead, we will probably just keep
focusing on what we expect from the women who are victimized by rape. After
all, that's a lot easier than acknowledging that there are perpetrators of
sexual assault around us every day and our culture basically ignores them. It's as though we simply expect there will be a certain amount of rape in America. How awful. 







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