Feb. 5th, 2006

flewellyn: (Default)
Through [livejournal.com profile] pope_guilty, I found this blog entry, in which the author writes about his past arguments against enacting hate-crime legislation, and how he has now found convincing counterarguments which have put him squarely in the "yes, enact these laws" camp. It's a great read, and heartening to see: it's not every day someone will publically admit that they were wrong, and change their minds, AND provide the reasoning behind doing so. Good stuff.

One thing he wrote (which I agreed with) was that, under the definition of hate crime that he was using, rape was thus a hate crime. This is a good realization.

But...one of his commenters did not understand it, and replied thus:

I disagree with your construction of rape as a hate crime, because it happens regardless of gender (male-male, female-female, female-male.) It's a crime of power and domination, not hate. Perhaps self-hate... but I kind of get your point.

Umm...yeah. Where to start with this? The "it's a crime of power and domination, not hate" bit? Or the "it happens" bit, as if rape were some sort of natural event that just...oh...happens, like the weather? I had to respond.

So, in the interest of A) preserving my writings on the subject where I'll be able to find them, and B) sharing my wisdom and brilliance (yeah right) with you all, I have reproduced my response below, under the horizontal rule.




I disagree with your construction of rape as a hate crime, because it happens regardless of gender (male-male, female-female, female-male.) It's a crime of power and domination, not hate. Perhaps self-hate... but I kind of get your point.

Ah, but, since 95% of rapes reported are male perpetrator, female victim, AND rape constitutes an attack on the woman because she is a woman, I would say it definitely qualifies as a hate crime.

Men who are raped are almost always raped by other men, such as in prison settings. The lingo for this is "making him my bitch", which is a term that misogynists also use to refer to women. So...the rape of the male serves to devalue him by making him "play the woman". The viewpoint here is that women are less important, less valuable, and thus things to be used.

It is true that men can be raped outside of prison, and sometimes even by women. I myself know two men who were raped by women. However, I know hundreds of women who were raped by men. This is anecdotal, but it is borne out by the actual crime statistics: men can be raped, but they need not fear it the way women are forced to. Rape is thus a crime overwhelmingly directed at women, as a group, and qualifies as a hate crime.

Historically, and today, women have been the group of people most hated, most reviled, most oppressed, and most devalued in the world. This occurs across cultures, religions, and ethnic groups. Even minorities who have been oppressed themselves often oppress the women in their group (ask Sandra Cisneros, for instance, about how Latina women are treated by Latino men). If this doesn't make violence against women a hate crime...there is no meaning to the term.

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flewellyn

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