Skip to content

Rape Fantasies in my ‘Part of the World’

April 1, 2011

It’s hostile attacks that misrepresent what people say like this that gets Mu’min/Obsidian banned from commenting on this blog and others. However, there’s an interesting point to make in responding to this.

Since you are the cheerleading squad for religious and repressed women having rape fantasies – lets talk about what happens to raped women from the area of the world YOUR parents and grandparents are from.

I doubt they can afford the “luxary” of such a fantasy when the reality of such means they would get 60 lashes at best and beheaded at worst.

Mu’min

‘cheerleading squad’? What vicious libel. No. I do not recall actively encouraging anyone to have rape fantasies. At the same time, I don’t think they should remotely be treated as freakish either, especially since they appear to be possibly very common.

I stated they’re probably more common in women who would feel guilty about being sexually active.  Informing this statement is the literature on the subject and personal experience with being from ‘that part of the world’, where unlike Mu’min’s stereotyping views, there are different attitudes all across the Arab world, sectors of society, religious differences and different individual attitudes as well.

It’s rather offensive that he called it a ‘luxury’ to have these fantasies, as if there’s much of a choice. Perhaps he should go read the original study to understand how they use the word fantasies in their study. It includes experiences that are mind exercises for if a rape should happen especially to women who it has happened to before, not just mental imaginings that are pleasureable in the popular sense of ‘fantasy’.

The context in which I made the comment was speaking in a Western context rather than from my ‘part of the world’. I stand by the statement even more strongly in these areas.

Additional reasons for women expressing their sexuality mentally through violence in areas of sexual repression is because of the very phenomenon of his dark invocation of the consequences of being sexually open. Even kisses are banned on public television in more areas than you would predict. The main way in which sexual themes are talked about is via horror stories or warnings, which includes the media and private talks by other women. This seems to be true in what I have seen of Bollywood as well and my interaction with South Asian peers.

Warnings that sound just like the above by Mu’min. Warnings that are true. Warnings that are sometimes true. Warnings that are totally exaggerated. It doesn’t matter, these stories geared to suppress sexuality irrespective of reality are prevalent.

I once sat with a circle of middle-aged liberal Arab women, who watch Sex and the City. The most detailed discussion they ever had about sex was recalling stories of sexual assault. My proto-feminist mother once said to a male cousin of hers that she could deal with any man. His reaction to this was pinning her down, genuinely frightening her. He didn’t do anything to her, but told her: ‘This is how easily a man could rape you.’ This did not effect her indomitable will, but it did teach her a valuable lesson about understanding reality.

At the same time, that would have been the closest thing to sexual experience she would have had in her life up to that point if she upheld the social standards of sexual chastity expected from women. It is part of humanity to long for sexual experiences, and like food, we do what we can with the scraps we can get if we’re starved of it.

Because of the dual contexts of increased guilt about sexual openness and the prevalent way in which sex is portrayed to women by their peers and the media in a primarily fear-laden and violent way, women in the Middle East most probably experience their sexuality in conflicted fantasies of assault and rape.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. maurice permalink
    April 2, 2011 1:12 pm

    Yes. Our fried Obsidian seems to have morphed into a full-time provocateur and race-baiter. (Not that the HBD crowd doesn’t deserve a rhetorical kick in a balls once in a while.) It’s a shame, because when he wrote on game on the Roissy board a year or two ago, his posts were great, on-point and very smart, and I was generally his biggest defender on that board against racist cheap-shots. Until he turned around and started doling out his own racist cheap-shots most of the time.

    I think the point of the thread on which this comment was posted was about universal male-female polarities, dominant-submissive, and not specific to any culture. Although the form of sexual expression, activity and fantasy is of necessity directly influenced by a given individual’s cultural environment- even as its substance is based on something primal and universal. The cheap-shot referenced in the post had nothing to do with this and was entirely unwarranted.

    Sort of on-point, but broader: I read a very interesting piece today, in which the startling point was made that repression in the home in “(a certain) part of the world” is directly related to political repression. What an astounding insight, even as it generalizes and exaggerates. If a young boy, in a certain socioeconomic class in a certain set of countries (not all by any means), comes home and sees his mother beaten or disrespected on a regular basis- he not only internalizes the disrespect of women- he internalizes an unequal social stratification– the principle that it’s OK so to discriminate– and also the reflexive use of force by the incumbent power (father/state) , and the lack of a countervailing voice, is the natural order of things.

    I hasten to stress that this kind of thing, in the political sphere, is precisely what is currently being rebelled against across said region, and (obviously) present company excepted in every way. And yet- as a thesis, it can explain a fair bit of the stagnation in recent decades. A society that doesn’t use the brains, energy and talent of 50% of its population is not going to compete well in the 21st century.

    Further thoughts welcome.

  2. April 2, 2011 10:10 pm

    Maurice…”this kind of thing, in the political sphere, is precisely what is currently being rebelled against across said region”…let us hope so. But it is possible that in some cases the intent is to preserve the dominance hierarchy but merely to change who is on top.

    “A society that doesn’t use the brains, energy and talent of 50% of its population is not going to compete well in the 21st century”…Ralph Peters, the former Army intelligence officer who is now an extremely prolific writer, has made a similar argument…here, for example.

  3. April 2, 2011 10:20 pm

    I read a very interesting piece today
    May I have a link please?

    Certainly the domestic order may reflect the desired political order, yet it’s only a minority that decide what the political order is… that minority being whoever’s in charge of brutal force by virtue of inheritance, violence or radicalism. It’d be very interesting to examine the family environments of these guys.

    A ‘fathers-knows-best’ patriarchal state would certainly make sense to many Arabs as it is reflected in the domestic patterns, as well as the idea of rejecting equality including with reference to gender as it is understood by cultural marxism.

    I do reject the idea however that the majority of individuals would still not desire a fair, transparent and just patriarch-state… who whilst he could make mistakes and has many powers, still errs on the side of mercy and doles out more generosity than punishment.

    A society that doesn’t use the brains, energy and talent of 50% of its population is not going to compete well in the 21st century
    I don’t think women have lesser opportunities than men in terms of education, perhaps even allowing variabilities across class. The full potential of women as economically active however is not tapped into, since the average woman would prefer full to part-time family life to full working life.

    I can’t be sure what’s happening across all sectors in all Arab nations, but I generally don’t think brains/energy/talent are being totally underexploited, just directed to domestic issues and what would be considered traditionally female professions.

  4. maurice permalink
    April 3, 2011 12:08 am

    The article was an op-ed in the WSJ of an interview with Bernard Lewis, in Saturday’s paper. So it’s behind a pay wall. I’ll see if I can find a ‘free’ copy. And yes, @DF, the 50%-of-talent argument is not new, but I had never seen it linked explicitly to the political order before.

    also, in first sentence of above comment: frieNd not fried. typo.

  5. April 3, 2011 11:56 am

    Bhetti,
    I once listened to a social “researcher” report her findings that 73% of medical students self-reported they had not showered the previous week, and 68% had not brushed their teeth in two weeks. They seemed to have had lots of fun with her survey.

    You discredit yourself to quote this piece. Where to start?

    Q: Who were the study group? They were an ill-defined undergrad age group of girls who received RESEARCH credits for taking an online survey in a research lab. What subgroup were they culled from? Bar skanks? midday chapel attendees? into. to general psychology course?

    Q:Where was it published? Journal of sex Research seems to be an online self-published, non peer-reviewed association quarterly. Are their no more reputable journals than this?

    Q: what are the inherent limitations to self-reporting?.
    Q: Why was the survey instrument not published in the “paper”?
    Q: The log specifically fished for history of aggression. What result biases would you expect?
    Q: The authors lack any credentials. Are these undergrad students themselves.?
    ETC., etc. etc.

    When reading “research”, esp. in the social sciences, it is helpful to assume junk. Read the methodology thoroughly and the results last.

  6. Rhen permalink
    April 3, 2011 3:36 pm

    JZ may well be right about flaws in the “study”//a lot of social science research really is junk. But there’s evidence of other kinds about these fantasies, for instance in the sales of certain kinds of romance novels and movies. And not just romance novels. Quite a few women have commented about how hot they find the rape scene in The Fountainhead, for instance.

    Bhetti’s point that a sexually repressed upbringing would lead to these kinds of fantasies makes sense-fantasizing about sex in which she is a willing participant would make a girl raised this way feel even more guilty than the forced-participation kind would. But raising girls to feel guilty about sex has become a LOT less common in the US & Europe, and the fantasies SEEM to be continuing among a high %, it would be interesting to know whether or not they’ve become less common over decades, but probably be impossible. It would also be interesting to know how common these fantasies are in countries known for their sexual liberalism, such as Sweden.

  7. April 3, 2011 4:25 pm

    jz: I read through the whole paper and I’m aware of its flaws including the leading question bias it introduced. I feel that them reporting on frequency helps ameliorate that. I say myself above to read through the whole study, which quotes estimates from other papers. I didn’t say it was as high as it said (though knowing women, I don’t discount it), and when I originally quoted the study at someone having access only to the abstract, I told them to note the sample was undergrads for one thing.

    However, there’re other studies and there’s experiences with real girls too. If a paper tells you the sky is blue, you don’t question it too much, but might argue just how blue it really is. It has a lot of very valid points to make, especially in the continuum it evaluates.

  8. Firepower permalink
    April 4, 2011 3:35 pm

    lol
    can’t we all
    just get along!

  9. April 17, 2011 12:25 am

    It is part of humanity to long for sexual experiences, and like food, we do what we can with the scraps we can get if we’re starved of it.

    Unless I’m missing something, I can’t imagine a woman so starved for sex that the experience of rape would be welcomed by her on any level. My understanding is that it’s an experience completely unwanted.

    I can understand the idea of the man removing the burden of consenting from the woman and how that could be arousing, as it somehow gives her permission to participate, but it’s still something she *wanted* to do.

    I think “Rape” fantasy is a term tossed around too easily. Fantasizing about a man I’m attracted to being forceful and dominant is not the same as “fantasizing” about some creeper making me do something I don’t want to do whatsoever.

  10. April 17, 2011 12:33 am

    Because of the dual contexts of increased guilt about sexual openness and the prevalent way in which sex is portrayed to women by their peers and the media in a primarily fear-laden and violent way, women in the Middle East most probably experience their sexuality in conflicted fantasies of assault and rape.

    I can also see how in these cases women could assume sex and violence come as one package and try to adapt to it. I think women from any sort of super conservative background have the tendency to have strong conflicting feelings about sex.

  11. April 18, 2011 2:38 pm

    I tend to think clear non consent should be defined as rape. There’s probably very good reasons for not consenting, even if she might be attracted to him, which in an IRL situation could be quite devastating despite finding the man in question sexually attractive.

    But to delineate the differences, the study distinguishes between types of mental rape experiences as aversive (fearful/unpleasant), aversive/erotic (mixed) and erotic (pleasurable). Even though they use the word ‘fantasies’, they don’t mean they’re positive mental experiences.

  12. James in DC permalink
    May 5, 2011 2:03 am

    They’ve been kissing in Bollywood films for some time now.

    “I once sat with a circle of middle-aged liberal Arab women, who watch Sex and the City. The most detailed discussion they ever had about sex was recalling stories of sexual assault.”

    That’s sad.

    “My proto-feminist mother once said to a male cousin of hers that she could deal with any man. His reaction to this was pinning her down”

    That’s even sadder.

    No wonder all the Arab chix I meet are so effed up in the head.

Trackbacks

  1. Linkage is Good for You: The Last Edition?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 80 other followers

%d bloggers like this: