“Rape Culture” and Restraining Order Abuse

Posted on January 29, 2014


“During the early 1970s, feminists began to engage in consciousness-raising efforts to educate the public about the reality of rape. Until then, rape was rarely discussed or acknowledged: ‘Until the 1970s, most Americans assumed that rape, incest, and wife-beating rarely happened.’ The idea of rape culture was one result of these efforts.”

—Wikipedia, “Rape Culture

I think I’d heard the phrase rape culture before reading this Wikipedia entry, but I’d never really contemplated its offensiveness. According to this entry, “rape culture is a concept that links rape and sexual violence to the culture of a society…in which prevalent attitudes and practices normalize, excuse, tolerate, and even condone rape.” While I can accept that, prior to the 70s, people discounted the incidence rates of “rape, incest, and wife-beating,” I find the allegation that Americans as a social collective “excuse, tolerate, and even condone rape” or ever have to be facile and extremist.

I hear weekly if not daily from victims of second-wave feminist rhetoric and the influence it’s exercised over the past 30 years on social perceptions that translate to public policy. Today most Americans assume that the instrument born of 60s and 70s consciousness-raising efforts by equity feminists, the civil restraining order, is rarely abused. This falsehood is promulgated through the unconsciousness-raising efforts of radical feminist usurpers who’ve left proto-feminists like philosopher Christina Hoff Sommers asking, Who Stole Feminism?

Injustice, in the wake of the radical feminist movement, has merely performed an about-face.

Not un-ironically, more than one female respondent to this blog whose life has been trashed by false allegations legitimated through the medium of the restraining order has characterized her treatment by the state as “rape.”

Since it’s been projected that as many as 80% of the two to three million restraining orders issued each year by our courts, instruments that can completely dismantle their targets’ lives and are easily got by fraud, are based on frivolous or false allegations, users of the phrase rape culture—who have unquestionably contributed to the genesis of the “abuse industry”—should assess their own culpability in the manufacture of social injustice.

The Wikipedia entry I’ve cited explains rape culture includes behaviors like “victim-blaming” and “trivializing rape.” Considering that a significant proportion of restraining order abuses may be instances of victim-blaming, that is, of abusers’ (including violent abusers’) inducing the state to harass, humiliate, and drop the hammer on their victims; and considering that this abuse (characterized by some as “rape”) is arguably trivialized by its being categorically ignored or denied, a case arises for the reverse application of the phrase rape culture.

Acknowledging that restraining orders may be motivated by malice and do malice doesn’t somehow trivialize violence against women. I had occasion to talk with a victim of multiple rapes not long ago whose assailants were never held to account for their crimes. I certainly don’t discount either rape’s immediate trauma or the proximal trauma that results when its perpetrator gets off scot-free. Nor do I discount the claim by rape victims that perpetrators too often do walk even when victims are intrepid enough to report them, which may be only a small percentage of the time. Social justice, however, isn’t a zero-sum game played between men and women. Wrong is wrong, whoever its source or target. That’s what equity and equality denote. Since victims of restraining order abuse may be female, moreover, acknowledging the harms done by restraining orders does the opposite of trivializing violence against women. It’s denying that restraining orders are abused and abusive, rather, that trivializes violence against women.

It trivializes people and the value of their lives.

Copyright © 2014 RestrainingOrderAbuse.com