Another rong word: “rape”

What was here…what isn’t any more…is a question i probably shouldn’t have asked.

Shouldn’t, because by asking it, i probably contributed to the very effect i was concerned with: the trivialisation of rape.

It began with the admission i had used the r-word in a context that reflected a kind of violence – against the trans community – but that following a question from a reader, i had qualms over my use of that word.

I then followed with reference to a piece on the topic, from the Salon, arguing that mostly, I agree with the sentiment expressed there and by a second piece, which it was critting, by Kira Cochrane in the Grauniad.

Then a lot more discursive material. I’m backing off from that.

There is absolutely no intent on my part to trivialise violence against women: there is realisation that i could be taken as doing that and therefore the answer is simple.

I won’t.

Apologies to anyone who was offended by any aspect of the debate: i will be a good deal more careful in future.

jane xx

6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    cathyanne said,

    i jane it is cathy anne daniels here hun how are things going in what you were doing for me

  2. 2

    Rape and rape culture are specific things that are tied in with societal power, exercise of control, and rule through fear. I think there are strong parallels in the things that you name – the outing of trans people is indeed about the things above – yet I would caution against using the word itself. In a rape culture rape is constantly trivialised, minimised, and twisted to use the reactions of those who are raped against them. Using the word “rape” is not the strengthening term that you think it is.

    • 3

      janefae said,

      i think that is very much the line i am getting – fairly forcefully, too🙂 – elsewhere.

      One comment i’ll throw in here – since the hottest condemnation of this so far has been along the lines of i’m setting out to provoke or offend.

      No. At any given moment i have half a dozen ideas floating in respect of posts, blogs, whatever. In between commercial stuff and stuff that goes on to this blog, i probably produce 3-5,000 words of output per day.

      I read the feedback…including the stuff that is critical. Sometimes i hold my hands up and go: yeah. Bad call. Sometimes i argue back.

      Sometimes – as here – i am genuinely unsure. I’ve encountered this topic under debate elsewhere and it therefore feels fair game to ask the question here. Not from the perspective of setting out to offend: but from the perspective of asking. And hoping… assuming… that others will provide me feedback that will help me in future.

      As i say, the consensus i am getting so far, albeit from one very particular segment of readers, is wholly negative. Which leaves me feeling i have got it wrong.

      I will keep listening. I’ll see what else gets thrown in.

      jane xx

  3. 4

    eclectic chicken said,

    sheesh…bloody word nazis
    (see what i did there? trivialised another one)

    a word is just a word… the map is not the territory etc

    if you stick your head too far up the pc collectves arse Jane you’ll end up not being able to talk sensibly at all

    ps is it ok to say i could murder a cup of tea?

  4. 5

    Alex said,

    My two-pennyworth. In place of “rape” I would use “violate”. People can draw their own inferences from that word, but rape is rape, too graphic, IMHO. Also, where gender issues are discussed I prefer not to see implied links to sexual issues, already too closely connected in the public’s eye, again IMHO.

    On a completely irrelevant note, thank you for using “First” and “Secondly” in the body of this post. Much appreciated.

  5. 6

    Liz Church said,

    Rape means to violate or despoil in addition to its meaning of forced sexual intercourse. Just lately, it seems that a number of victims of forced sexual intercourse have decided the word belongs exclusively to them. How dare anyone contradict this, er, pillage and despoliation of the language.


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