Sad myth of women's rape `fantasies'

... and another article that's not so upbeat. This is Patricia Graham's
column, also from today's The Province.

Sad myth of women's rape `fantasies'

It was such a tiny little news item, you might have missed it. And it came out
of Florida, a sunny place but certainly not the centre of enlightenment, so
you might have been tempted to dismiss it.

There was this man, you see, an escaped convict, and he broke into a
woman's home in the middle of the night. She woke up, and there he was,
sitting on top of her. He had a knife in one hand, and his other hand was on
her throat.

He wanted sex. She co-operated. Smart woman. Apparently she even suggested
a certain sexual manoeuvre. Maybe this saved her life.

After being "satisfied," the man left. The woman called an emergency
telephone number. Her calls are on tape. She was hysterical, sobbing.

"I can't believe this is happening," she said over and over.

Well, the man was caught. He was charged with burglary, assault, escape
and rape.

He was convicted of just about everything, except the rape. Why? Because
the defence was that the woman had sex with the man to live out a fantasy of
her own. The sex was "something she did to him."

My oh my. What a lucky woman, eh?

The odd thing is, since this was such a fabulously lived out fantasy, that
the woman didn't come into court and describe just how wonderful it all was.

I mean, wouldn't that have made the picture complete, her sitting in the
witness box, top few buttons undone, looking sexy and dishevelled,
breathlessly describing to the predominantly male courtroom just what a
fabulous sexual experience it had all been? Wouldn't that be part of the
fantasy too?

Where _do_ some men get the idea that women fantasize about being raped?
Where _do_ they get the notion that, even if they have such fantasies -- and
I'm not sure they really do -- it's soemthing they would really want to happen
in real life?

Where do some men get the idea we're all dying to be take by force? Many
of us are, in fact, dying _from_ being taken by force, but that's a different
thing, isn't it?

Where in heaven's name would a man get the idea that sex with a knife at
her throat is something a woman did to _him_? How could a man imagine that sex
forced by threat of death is something _anyone_ would consent to except to
save her life, or perhaps her children's lives?

I believe the rape fantasy is bogus. I've yet to meet a woman who admits
to it. And I have this theory, that if women _do_ fantasize about rape it is
_not_ because they are fantasizing about _being_ raped. They are fantasizing
about raping. They are fantasizing about the male in the scenario, not the
female.

The fantasy, in other words, is about power. Rape, after all, is about
power. Naturally, then, the fantasy -- if it exists at all -- is also about
power.

It's just a theory, and one that is, I admit, pretty distasteful to
explore. But somehow I feel we owe it to that poor woman in Florida to talk
about it.

It is a sad, sad world that needs to be told that sex with a burglar, at
knifepoint, in mortal fear of death, is no one's idea of a good time.


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