Violence - January 6, 2016
In a recent forum concerning violence, particularly rape, I was surprised by the weakness of the responses which were quite passive. Since the topic has deep emotional content this is perhaps surprising.
So where must we look to try to find out why so many women and children are victimized by rape and violence by men?
The purpose here is to point to the elements that are deeply embedded socially that have been and continue to be responsible for mind sets that are abhorrent to those of us with conscience in an effort to understand the underlying causes of an event that results in our deep concern. It is not enough to take the Abrahamic position that some kind of demonic activity is taking place. Even if there were such a thing it could not explain the regularity with which rape occurs. Neither does it explain why so little of rape is reported to authorities. Who in their right mind, male or female, would report rape? It is just as devastating for males as for females, and males report it far less often than females. Consequently the statistics for it are wholly unreliable. This article attempts to address the problem for women and children who are easily the most often victimized members of the World's population. In particular it looks at the effects of ancient dictates of Abrahamic and Dharmic religions.
There are religions that do not have such dictates and they are:
In our modern context (secular) it is not hard to follow the line that is most often used by defenders of rapists if and when they are charged and make it to a court of law. Staying with our modern context we must also make ourselves aware that because of what happens in a court of law many victims of rape are loathe to press charges because they already know the outcome, or believe they know the outcome.
If the woman is a virgin, the matters of how she presents herself publicly, that is to say how she is fashionable attired, her make up, and her behaviour; i.e. dancing, drinking alcohol, drug use, associations, etc. If a defendant can prove that her behaviour is promiscuous and if they can prove that she was goading the rapists or giving the rapist signals that indicated she was ready for him sexually she most certainly will not win her case. At least, superficially, this appears to be a fact.
On the other hand if there was considerable violence and actual physical harm done to her by being brutalized the rapist may not be able to defend themselves. Being raped by itself appears to have little consequence to the courts if significant harm cannot be proved.
Then there is the question of promiscuity in modern Western society. If the woman is not a virgin, but she has had one or more previous sexual encounters the chances of a rape conviction standing is limited by her own behaviours. At least, superficially, this appears to be a fact. No such standard is applied to men.
In other words the rape victim is always blamed for her own rape.
But this is not news and we need to dig deeper to find the root causes of rape and the stigma for women associated with rape. There is a cause, and that cause is easily identified particularly in any culture that has as a root religion any of the Abrahamic faiths, or Hinduism. Because Judaismi, as the root of all of Abrahamic religions, has specific rules about rape that are rooted in an animal husbandry culture, and those most ancient of texts are explicit concerning rape, rape victims, and the punishments to be meted out. These texts do not explicitly condone rape except by way of the consequences for the rapist and the victim.
Abrahamic religions and Hinduism by population
The above chart represents sixty-seven percent (67%) of the World's population that subscribe to a misogynistic religion! Judaism is insignificantly small as it is a religion that has strict racial requirements for admission and including it would only demonstrate the Jewish population of the world which is insignificantii.
In all cases the final arbiter of any rape is a man.
Rape among Christians, Muslims and Hindus is endemic because the consequences for the man are so abysmally weak and for the woman so painfully strong. In the first place Abrahamic religions, without exception place the woman in a weak position, she is not valued as a highly as a man. In Islam she is specified as being worth only half of what a man is worth, she is subject to the man's discretion in all matters and may not walk in public without a male family member escorting her; likewise in some sects of Judaism and some sects of Christianity. To find the real reason behind this one must turn to the bible and read what it says there. In Judaism(see endnote i) an unmarried woman that is raped is obliged to marry her rapist after a payment by the rapist of fifty shekels and providing her father gives permission. The man may not divorce her and must support her for the rest of his life whether married to her or not. Any other rape brings the penalty of death to the man, except that a man involved in battle with any enemy may rape whom he pleases without consequence. Rape is codified then, and because of exceptions is allowed. The princes of Europe used this codification to justify the rape of women they wanted to marry to force a marriage. In any society whatever the upper classes do is imitated by those lower down the economic scale of that particular society. The hard and fast rules of biblical injunction gave permission, it even 'required' it. For Muslims and Christians alike that choose to take 'fundamentalist' views rape became, and continues to be, a basic tenet of life as a devout person. Taken in context the prohibition that does not permit women to go out of the house makes sense for a culture that has an express permission for rape to occur, being alone and unprotected is a signal to males that she is available to any of them. In this case women are imprisoned by the laws that seek to improve male dominance.
And the imitators take full advantage of this essential weakness in the Abrahamic religions.
The Hindu religion has some rules which are so vague and presumptive as to be useless, rape on the Indian subcontinent is rampant; as it is in the Near East. Dalit1 women are particularly subject to rape as the courts view the event of a Dalit woman being raped as impossible since the offender would be 'polluted' by physical contact. There is plenty of information concerning this occurrence; sentence is sometimes passed on Dalit women to be raped and subsequently paraded nude around the village as punishment by unelected Village Councils! All this continues in spite of the caste system being abolished and the ability of Village Councils to illegally impose such sentences. Dalit families are forced to leave their villages when this occurs.
Muslim men in some national settings are permitted to take women prisoners and make them slaves, rape occurs frequently and the men so concerned pray before and after raping the women saying that the rape enhances their spiritual status. There is no prohibition against rape in the Qu`ran, all rape depends entirely on secular law to be resolved. Typically, in an Islamic fundamentalist society, a rapist will receive a hundred lashes and the victim will be stoned to death. So much for Abrahamic justice. Please be aware that this is happening in fundamentalist and extremist Islamic countries and not all Muslims condone this any more than all Christians condone rape, however, Christians are not any better in dealing with the victims of rape and violence.
The problem then is not with our secular laws, the problem is with the embedded religious points of view our respective cultures have based on writings and religious premises promulgated a long time ago by a people whose livelihood was somewhat harsher. There really is no reason that Judaisms Old Testament is read and studied by Christians and Muslims in spite of what they say. All of the rules and regulations were meant for Jews and not for Gentiles. This is explicit in the bible itself. The prophets of Christianity and Islam have perverted these writings for themselves and give the sayings of Jesus as evidence for their edicts.
Jesus did not preach to Gentiles, he forbade his disciples to do so. All text to the contrary is a perversion. He did exhort his Jewish followers to obey 'The Law," but he did not express an opinion to, or concerning Gentiles.
Rape then is a direct result of the anti-woman religious edicts found in a book whose content is totally misogynistic, from blaming Eve for the fall all the way through to 'Paul' and his perversion of the teachings of Jesus (Yeshuah Ben Yusef). In addition the vague and presumptive directives found in the basis of Hindu religions is also likewise responsible for rape in the Indian sub-continent.
In this brief writing I have not touched on the rape and physical abuse of children, an event that occurs to both sexes. Children are, for the most part, not considered developed enough to be persons in their own right when in fact they are. Not only are children not protected from sexual abuse, violence and enslavement; society is not protected from the violence committed by children. As the age when children are considered mature enough to understand the consequences of their actions rises, more and more 'children' commit atrocious acts of violence themselves. In another age they would have been considered as responsible for their actions as an adult. How can responsibility be taught when a person (a child is a person) is exempted from their responsibility by laws that do little to give them credit for their actions. This makes children especially vulnerable as they do not have the necessary codification for behaviour that is appropriate. Should they do so they would be able to give evidence for themselves in a trial. As it stands their evidence is reputed to be unreliable because "they are only children." Something worth thinking about to help them protect themselves.
The topic is large and the amount of work that needs to be done to eradicate such vile activities is also large. These activities occur in families where they are hidden; in the workplace, where they are often glossed over, or a payment is made to silence would be complainants; and in churches, temples, mosques, and synagogues, where religious expediency dominates and help is often useless unless adequate counselling by professional persons is used. Most of those that minister to the needs of their congregations are not equipped to deal with these issues, they are trained to deal with spiritual issues and rape and violence are not spiritual issues. Although the acts may create metaphysical harm!
Society must stop blaming the victims and provide much more adequate punishment to violators.
I had some trepidation about publishing this post, but the content and the reason for writing the post did not leave me. I decided it was better to publish and take my lumps than to hide it and therefore not shine a light on a topic that I realize will be sensitive for many and even offensive to some. Rape and violence have plagued humanity for millenia and the reasons are clear and are rooted in ancient customs that do not apply to modern societies. We have modernized ourselves with things, what we have failed to do is modernize our thoughts and ideas to match our distinctive and creative cultural edifices and philosophies.
i. [Deuteronomy 22:28]↩
ii. [0.22% of world population]↩
iii. [Formerly referred to as Untouchables]↩