October 07, 2007

Rape is not the Flu

Sexual assault is no caused by a bacteria or prion. Rape is not a virus, with gang rape being a more virulent strain of a virus.

Rape is an act of power, control and brutality. It is not an epidemic, and attempting to call it such strips away the fact that it is caused by a brutal act of will. It is not an unfriendly act of nature, a microbe following what it is designed to do, and using language that portrays it is such is inexcusable.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at October 7, 2007 07:42 AM
American Heritage Dictionary ep·i·dem·ic       (ep'i-dem'ik)  

1. An outbreak of a contagious disease that spreads rapidly and widely.
2. A rapid spread, growth, or development: an unemployment epidemic.

Sometimes words have more than one meaning.

Posted by: nunaim at October 7, 2007 07:59 AM

Funny that the nytimes didn't see fit to note all the past sexual assaults by UN troops. Guess they didn't want to disparage their own "country's" armed forces.

At the end of the day, this is a report from the NY Times and the UN. What possible reason do you have to believe that there is any truth at all in this article?

Posted by: iconoclast at October 7, 2007 11:35 AM

Obviously, the use of the word "epidemic" is grammatically correct, nunaim. That's not the point; if you read the article, CY is right about how it is written in a somewhat off-putting neutrality. Writing about how they "don't know why so many rapes are happening" as if they weren't perpetrated by individuals. It's subtle to be sure, but one cannot deny how much weaker the reporting sounds because of it.

Posted by: K-Det at October 7, 2007 11:48 AM

Iconoclast, clearly the NY Times believes Orwell's statement that everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others. The UN is obviously in the "more equal" category at the Times.

Posted by: C-C-G at October 7, 2007 02:09 PM

Indeed, that whole line "We don't know why these rapes are happening" kinda makes it seem like a disease. If we only we could determine how these woman are contracting rape perhaps we could do something about it. Perhaps it is caused by some insect or something in the water.

I'm not a sociologist so I have a pretty good idea what is causing this 'epidemic'. Take a bunch of children and raise them in regimented enviroment where everything is rrelated to violence and as they reach puberty reinforce the violent tendencies by equating sex with violence and you get some nasty viscous killers who will tend to rape people. Nothing new or ground breaking about the technique, been used off and on as far back as history has gone on (remember the Spartan training regime anyone, care to examine the original training programs for the Janissaries?). Hmm, I wonder if anyone has been creating these type of culture of violence armies anywhere recently.

Posted by: Mix at October 7, 2007 02:39 PM

I blame global warming, Mix.

Posted by: iconoclast at October 7, 2007 03:47 PM

I would think 'mayhem' would be a better descriptor.

Posted by: PETN Sandwich at October 7, 2007 03:52 PM

I blame Bush.

By liberating the Iraqis and showing them the way to democracy, he's given third world people everywhere the idea that they shouldn't be raped by their totalitarian leaders or the oh-so-caring UN representatives.

(only partly tongue-in-cheek... you figure out which parts)

Posted by: C-C-G at October 7, 2007 04:17 PM

You are not alone on that Iconoclast, but I cannot accept that. GW may be responsible for violence (although I put more emphasis on corrupt politicians) but not the increased incidence of women contracting rape.

Of course I'm not a sociologist, so what do I know besides reality? I'm sure a sociologist can clearly demonstrate how GW, Bush or perhaps even Milton Friedman's death caused the increase in rapes after an examination of 15 fruit flies and a pen cap.

(I am a little tough on sociologists. There are some useful parts to sociology and excellent sociologists, but too many of them draw unwarrented and outrageous conclusions from miniscule data sets which have no relevance to the conclusions they twist from them. The general trend is the poorer the science the more attention it recieves, and this gives the field a poorer reputation than it truely deserves.)

Posted by: mix at October 7, 2007 05:36 PM

Actually, Mix, I can get ya a PhD in Sociology right now.

If something is bad, blame it on a Republican or conservative policy or politician.

If something is good, credit it to a Democrat or liberal policy or politician.

To see if something is good or bad, look at who is promoting it. If a Democrat or liberal promotes it, it is good. If a Republican or conservative promotes it, it is bad.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Posted by: C-C-G at October 7, 2007 06:10 PM


sorry, i forgot the \sarcasm tag. GW has as much effect on those violent rapes in the Congo as does the fruit flies...absolutely none.

Posted by: iconoclast at October 7, 2007 11:11 PM

Sean Connery: "I'll take The Rapist for $500!"

Trebeck: "Thats 'Therapist' Mr. Connery...."

Posted by: Lorne Michaels at October 7, 2007 11:38 PM