Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Here, Hold my Beer and Watch This!

Stymied by not wanting to write yet another ho-hum replay of the Iliad.

Finally one book led to another led to another led to "Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones"(UPennPress). And there it is:

"Predatory, parasitic, retaliatory, and expansionist modes of warfare virtually exhaust the known practices of warfare in antiquity, regardless of how intermingled in their modes historical incidents of warfare have been. Insofar as organized sexual violence against women and girls is integral to the first three modes, and prominent in the fourth, it follows that the violent subjugation of women and girls through sexual assault and torment has been an integral and important part of Western warfare over the two millennia from the Bronze Age to late antiquity."

Not to mention more recently: Tanzania, Bangladesh, Bosnia, China, Vietnam...

While modern feminists and psychologists beat the 'rape is never about sex' drum, some researchers simply don't believe it. After all, if rape isn't about sex, then why are the overwhelming number of women who are assaulted in any way raped at all? And yet they are. Even if it's true that rape in war is somehow different from more ordinary, daily rape all over the world, it is still rape that prevails in uncontrolled conquests: even if the women are later killed, they are raped first.

This discussion is far larger that a blog space will accommodate and than any reader would want to stick with, and my thoughts are still jelling. But at the base, as a writer, here is my issue: how to keep overheated modern readers' sympathies firmly with a rapist, and his rapists friends and fellows?

This is gonna be a wild ride. As so many Americans headed directly for disaster say, "Here, hold my beer and watch this!"