"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Rape Version of "Suicide By Cop"

You know, most people are familiar with "suicide by cop", wherein someone with mental problems sets themselves up as a danger to others, hoping that the cops will kill them. They aren't personally able to pull the trigger on themselves, so they goad others into killing them.
Family and friends called the sheriff's department when Dillon, who doctors said had a total break with reality and a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal driving limit, started firing a gun in the house....Dillon's lawyers Richard Lubin and Jonathan Kaplan said recordings of the negotiations between deputies and Dillon reveal he repeatedly begged them to kill him.
Given the recent events, I wonder if there may not be a similar "rape by bystander" motivation, wherein someone with self-destructive tendencies sets themselves up in a dangerous situation in the hopes that a bystander will act in a degrading way towards them, thus giving them the satisfaction of "independent" confirmation that they should be treated badly. Take the example of the Turner case:
Turner’s victim was unconscious when police found her, and she had no recollection of the assault. Her blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit for driving. 
The victim's own statements about the events that night, even in the opening paragraph, indicates she had low self-esteem and a fairly lousy personal body image. She tries to imply both that she was an experienced drinker AND that she "accidentally" got to a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit, which is an interesting juxtaposition from a self-image point of view. She clearly went to a party where she had no friends, felt out of place. Events proved that even her own sister was, at best, not keeping track of her welfare or her drunken state. This is how she ended up in a sexual encounter with a random stranger behind a dumpster in an alley by a frat house, so drunk that she can't even remember if she attempted to give consent before she passed out, as the drunken man insisted she did.

None of this, of course, justifies the rape, anymore than it would be justified for police to deliberately kill a known suicidal victim. We already know sado-masochistic pursuits are popular among those with low self-esteem:
some....want to be beaten because they have low self-esteem and think they deserve it. They are forlorn, absent and unresponsive during and after a scene, in this case, S & M ceases to be play and becomes pathological.
We also know that being a rape victim can generate interest some people may find appealing.

Just as the majority of cop shootings are justified, so the majority of rape claims are valid. But not every shooting, not every rape claim, is as black-and-white as the involved parties claim. Is there such a thing as "rape by bystander"? It does not seem unreasonable to say that there is.

4 comments:

R Tod Kelly said...

I'm unsure what the upside of such hypothesizing might be.

There are actually many detailed pathologies that lead people to make self-destructive decisions and/or partake in masochistic behavior. So this isn't a particularly revolutionary thought that you're having here. That some people go so far as to consciously fantasize about being raped, let alone do so unconsciously, is pretty well documented.

But that being said, to publicly approach a sexual assault case with the question, "I wonder if the victim was asking for it deep down inside," takes us to troubling and unfortunate places. What was gong on inside the unconscious mind of a victim of sexual assault at the time of the crime would, I think, be the concern of the victim and whatever mental health expert they might be working with -- but I'm unsure under what circumstances it should be mine, unless we really are trying to ascertain if the assault was in some way justified.

If a man were raped, would the question of whether or not he had ever had homosexual fantasies be a relevant question?

If a child were raped, would asking to what degree the child was asking for it deep down inside be an appropriate thing for us to ponder?

Tom Van Dyke said...

If a child were raped, would asking to what degree the child was asking for it deep down inside be an appropriate thing for us to ponder?

FTR, it's axiomatic that a child cannot give consent in any meaningful way.

That this poor girl sought to be a victim subconsciously seems quite possible. Perhaps not even subconsciously. There are "bug chasers"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bugchasing

and reports of a new fashion among the decadent, a sort of "bug roulette."

https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/the-sex-roulette-parties-where-one-guest-is-secretly-hiv-positive


Nothing human is alien to me, but a lot of it sure gives me the willies.

R Tod Kelly said...

"Nothing human is alien to me, but a lot of it sure gives me the willies."

On that, we are most assuredly agreed.

Tom Van Dyke said...

=:-O