Something was brought home to me in sharp relief this weekend. I was talking to a family member about a prominent rape case that is currently in the Irish media. I was appalled by the behaviour of the individuals involved and the legitimisation of their actions by the defense counsel and segments of the media. Much to my surprise and consternation this family member spoke along a similar vein of victim blaming and shaming. To say I was shocked is an understatement. It is one thing to observe opinions such as this in the media and relegate them to the stupidity of the educated foolery of people who are accustomed to hearing themselves speak. Trolls, in other words.
The argument went as this: she shouldn’t have been there, she should have known, men are wired differently than women, there were two people involved, as well as alcohol. My anger burned and I could not collect my thoughts enough to form a coherent response. For me, the situation was thrown into sharp focus; I am not to trust a man in any kind of social situation where there is alcohol involved. It does not render him evil, rather it removes his inhibitions to the point where his natural violence is free to flow, as it were. In describing this as a violent crime, I was met with a stark refutation. Yet as a female, it is impossible to describe rape in anything other than the most soul destroying terms. Having never been the victim of sexual violence, I can only imagine the horror of such a situation, but imagine it I can and in listening to the lady’s testimony in the case referred to, I am struck with a ferocious sense of rage and an almost uncheckable desire to visit similar violence upon the perpetrators. To me, listening to her, and the kind of reception she is getting on the witness stand, my feeling is that a bullet in the brain would be far more effective than taking this man to court. If this were in my hands that would certainly be preferable to me.
However, that is not the way of the world, and perhaps with good reason. There would be a serious depletion in the male population if this was the approved course of action for such reprobates. Although, admittedly, there may also be a resultant drop in war mongering if females were the dominant gender, so it would probably balance out. I realise this kind of talk is not appropriate and I do not in actuality condone violence, even against men such as these. I am speaking like this merely to illuminate the feeling that such a violation evinces in women. For men, it seems to be no big deal, laughable almost. Texts in the morning, sexts in the evening, disseminating images all day long. But to us it is not a joke. Leaving aside the possibility of grievous bodily harm; injuries, STD’s, pregnancy; and solely focusing on the emotional impact of such an evening’s work I am lost for adequate words to describe such an experience. I can only postulate that it is devastating and to enunciate that it is not the fault of the female but rather the absolute lack of empathy in the male, and as such these sorts of “men” if you could call them that, are to be pitied, rather than hated. This does nothing to remove the burden that anyone who has gone through this has to bear, but it is my way of adding my voice to the chorus calling these bastards what they really are, scum and scum they are.
Most commentary appendages the idea that it was not meant in the way the female took it, that these were decent men (read dumb fucks) who didn’t know what they were doing and they would defo take it back if they could (cause it’s ruining their lives) but to do this ignores the billions of women who live with the threat of having rape inflicted upon them and the consequent fear this evokes. There have been times in my own life when I was in a situation or walked into a room, and for a split second feared that it might have been a bad idea, that I am not safe in my own building, my own apartment, my own room. And but for the grace of God and the individuals involved I could have been the one shattered on the floor.
I personally think the male half of the population can do better and hopefully not have to force a woman to relinquish her body, for in that there can be no love, for either party and if its pleasure you’re after…….well, use your imagination. My guess is that it is all about control, domination, power and the feeling of being powerless, the feeling of being so cut off and adrift in the world that you must impose your will upon another person and for that briefest of seconds you can feel like you are the master of the universe. But, alas, what goes up must come down and hitting the floor with a bang comes for everyone.
So, in conclusion, prison sentence or no prison sentence, karma’s a bitch and if it doesn’t get you, time will. So, what will you say on your last day on earth, as you look to the dark death of sky for an answer; I’m sorry? Will you mean it? Do you care? Can you face your maker knowing what you’ve done to your fellow human beings? Or face the emptiness of nothingness knowing the life you’ve lived, for all the atheists out there? Do you think of these things now, should you? And can you look into the eyes of the women in your life and say you’ve really served them, that you’ve really honoured them, that you’ve done right by them, as a man of this world, that you’ve done enough to merit the title?
Because I know when the final judgement comes to call that the hearts of those who have been wronged are clear. It is the perpetrators who need to worry and seek forgiveness, because everything is mapped. Every cartographer knows that each star in the sky has its own place and nothing goes unrecorded, nothing goes unnoticed, either by God or the universal energy we call Life. Everything has its reason and for a season you may be fine, but think on it and know, in the moment you are falling asleep, something is watching and……….bí cúramach, lads.