September 3, 2014
Here's Part Two of my interview with Hypocrite Reader's Michael Kinnucan. Combined, this is easily one of my favourite interviews, and my thanks to Michael and the rest at HR for all the work. In Part Two, I take on sex trafficking, rape culture, and more. An excerpt:
But I'd like to go back to rape culture for a minute. I think one of my problems with that concept is that it makes rape into, not a systemic issue, not an issue that's specifically contextualized. Rapes are so different, it's so circumstantial, in other words. The rape that occurs in a country that is being occupied by invaders, for instance, is rather different from the rape that occurs when a woman is walking alone at night. Those are very different instances of rape. It's not that one is less traumatic than the other, just that they're very different. And there are very different systemic issues at play. When we talk about rape culture, we erase all those differences, and we make it very difficult, we make it impossible, to really think about what engenders rape. The rape that is a pure and blatant expression of political power, in countries and at times when rape is actually a tool for exerting power and coercion and creating mass terror, rape is a tool of terror, a political tool. That's a rather different situation than the one in which women are raped because they are vulnerable at night. And when we talk about rape culture it turns it into—it's almost as if we are all living under this geodesic dome where rape just permeates our DNA and our consciousness in a rather diffuse and undifferentiated way. And I find that really troubling. Because I want us to think about the politics, the geopolitics of rape. I want us to be able to think about rape as political terror. And I want us also to think about rape as individual terror. I want us to think about rape as it happens situationally, not as "rape culture." Which to me is useless and counterproductive, and actually counters the kinds of effects that many feminists claim that they want, which is to engender a greater discussion of rape. I think it does the opposite, it creates an undifferentiated, apolitical attitude towards rape.