Rape Fantasies in my ‘Part of the World’
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.
‘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.