arm the women; chaos as moral vacuum; rape as strategy of war

02.03.2011 § 1 Comment

What happens in a moral vaccum?

so Here is an article is about how there was an earthquake and afterwards domestic violence intensifies dramatically. We think about this kind of thing a lot because it’s also what happens in ‘revolutions’ – revolution starts, and women get raped and beaten killed etc (by revolutionaries no less, obv).

Rape during wartime is  a strategy of war — It is proven that violence against women rises amidst disasters/war/etc. Not to mention the fact that wherever a military base makes its home–the economic sexual exploitation of women increases 700 percent. women’s bodies under patriarchy will always be the objects with which/on which to push forth an agenda or used to “entertain” troops or genocide by procreation…

How to subvert this dynamkic?
Arming the women is the answer/always a good idea.
Why does it happen?

nothing a: Maybe it has to do with the breaking down of social order, as in, the ensuing chaos invalidates the social contract or whatever that keeps men from raping women most of the time (of course, not all of the time, but to a relatively lesser frequency). maybe  men think they can get away with it because the already-thin pretense of punitive measures disappears entirely during a crisis of community/government/society?

nothing b: But this would assume that, inherently, men want to rape women, all the time, and that only social contracts or threat of punishment prevent it. Which is to say, it posits an essence to “man” – “he who rapes women”…

nothing a: we generally dont get down with gender essentialism here at the nothing. however, under patriarchy, women are subordinated to men, using methods of control like rape. the penchant for raping women is a tool to shore up male heterosexuality and dominance over women/not-men. this nothing would argue that for many/most not-men, rape is an ever-present threat; but there is something that prevents all men from raping all not-men all the time. so maybe we could posit that the fear of retribution/punishment (ie, from a government/community/society), or some sort of social contract is the preventative block?

nothing c: i def agree that it’s not bc government breaks down, or that abuse is ever really prevented by fear, but 1), yeah, duh frustration taken out on women, and 2) it could be about the destruction of common social space.

high levels of frustration + isolation facilitate a nice private arena for abuse/manipulation. preventing abuse doesn’t require a “government,” but it does require community. revolutions create community.

nothing d: but this argument presupposes that anyone who is oppressed or experiencing high levels of stress are more lkely to be abusive SIMPLY because they are not a part of what is “ideal” or considered “normal” in capitalism and patriarchy etc etc. !


Above all, let us not conclude, with Hobbes, that because man has no idea of goodness, he must be naturally wicked; that he is vicious because he does not know virtue; that he always refuses to do his fellow-creatures services which he does not think they have a right to demand; or that by virtue of the right he truly claims to everything he needs, he foolishly imagines himself the sole proprietor of the whole universe.

– Sum MAN

Really tho, earthquakes and revolutions are not moral vacuums. They reveal the starkness of a moral order. Men raping women is not what happens when social contracts lose their hold on people, its what happens to reproduce and reinforce the social contract.

Hence the gun, but also the need for alot of bullets.


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