The paper makes a reflection on the reality of rape in society and how proper language is necessary to change societal beliefs, attitudes, and notions towards rape. Inappropriate use of language makes rape seem like a vice which cannot be stopped, and which labels every woman rapable, yet rape is not a fixed reality of women’s lives, it can be stopped, and women should not be defined by the terms of their violability. The inappropriate use of language gives power to men to rape because women are seen as the property of men, and so rape continues to take place.
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The writer is thus calling for the adoption of a better language that will be successful in fighting rape. This is seen in this phrase,’ “A feminist politics which would fight rape cannot exist without developing a language about rape” (Mui & Murphy, 2002, p431). Feminists have been using improper language like “persuade” to stop men from committing rape, which is tantamount to begging them to stop the vice. This has instead made men aware of the vice and instead committed it more as seen in the phrase, “When men discovered that they could rape, they proceeded to do it,” (Mui & Murphy, 2002,p 432). Use of improper language portrays women as weak and disposable to rape and thus fighting the vice is impossible. “With masculine culture in its designation of rape as a fate words than, or tantamount to, death; the apocalyptic tone which it adopts and the metaphysical status which it assigns to rape implies that rape can only be feared or legally repaired, not fought,” (Mui & Murphy, 2002, p432).
I want to say that rape can be fought if the proper tactics are enforced and if it is portrayed well without any forms of discrimination. In fact, rape will not be fought if there is any form of discrimination of whatsoever manner. The writer agrees that such situations have been observed of rape discriminatory. She says, “When the rapist is white [they] exhibit significantly lower rates on conviction than interracial rape cases, and much higher rates of conviction when the rapist is Afro-American. Raped Afra-Americans often do not obtain convictions even in the face of overwhelming evidence of brutalization.” (Mui & Murphy, 2002, p432)
Rape cannot be used as a tool to discriminate or to punish others because of race differences. Doing this will not help fight this vice but it will become something acceptable, and for avenging. As the writer says, “we can avoid the self-defeating pitfalls by regarding rape not as a fact to be accepted or opposed, tried or avenged but as a process to be analyzed and undermined as it occurs,” (Mui & Murphy, 2002, p433). Rape should never be accepted as a fact but should be undermined in every society.
It is also ideally that misconceptions about women are reduced. For example, the misconception that women are docile and polite and so they should give whatever is demanded of them. The other is that, men hold all the power while women should be victims. These are just but a few of the misconceptions, which are reducing the efforts of fighting rape. Rape itself is another tool being used to depower women. “Rape is one of culture’s many modes of feminizing women,” (Mui & Murphy, 2002, p435). For long, rape has been fuelled by notion that a woman’s body is the property of a man, which very offensive. This is seen when the writer says, “rape cultures sees female sexuality as a property which only men can truly own, which women often hoard, which can thus justifiably be wrestled from us, and which women themselves merely hold in trust for a lawful owner.” (Mui & Murphy, 2002, p440) Ideally, rape can be fought by changing the attitudes, beliefs and notions held by our society. If this is not done, political feminists will be fighting a loosing battle.
Mui, C.L. & Murphy, J. S. (2002). Gender struggles: Practical approaches to contemporary feminism. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield.