Sunday, June 15, 2014


Maya Angelou

When our learned teachers and erudite professors misjudge their research and misspeak their findings, it might be gracious to turn away quietly and whispering adieu, leave their company and quote Shakespeare in Julius Caesar “look on injustice with a serene countenance.”

Upon certain subjects I am able to hold my tongue and hope that time will right”
“wrongs. But there is one matter which calls me to adversarial attention. Too many sociologists and social scientists have declared that the act of rape is not a sexual act at all, but rather a need, a need to feel powerful. They further explain that the rapist is most often the victim of another who was seeking power, a person, who himself was a victim, et cetera ad nauseam. Possibly some small percentage of the motivation which impels a rapist on his savage rampage stems from the hunger for domination, but I am certain that the violator’s stimulus is (devastatingly) sexual.

The sounds of the premeditated rape, the grunts and gurgles, the sputtering and spitting, which commences when the predator spots and then targets the victim, is sexual. The stalking becomes, in the rapist’s mind, a private courtship, where the courted is unaware of her suitor, but the suitor is obsessed with the object of his desire. He follows, observes, and is the excited protagonist in his sexual drama.”

“The impulsive rape is no less sexual, merely less extenuated. The violator who stumbles upon his unprotected victim is sexually agitated by surprise. He experiences the same vulgar rush as the flasher, save that his pleasure is not satisfied with brief shock, he has a surge and moves on to the deeper, more terrifying, invasion.

I am concerned that the pundits, who wish to shape our thinking and, subsequently, our laws, too often make rape an acceptable and even explainable social occurrence. If rape is merely about the possession of power, the search for and the exercising of power, we must simply understand and even forgive the natural human action of sex in the extreme. I believe that profanity directed at the victim of rape or equally lugubrious declarations of eternal love dribbled into the terrified victim’s ear, have less to do with power than with sexual indulgence.

We must call the ravening act of rape, the bloody, heart-stopping, breath-snatching, bone-crushing act of violence, which it is.”

“The threat makes some female and male victims unable to open their front doors, unable to venture into streets in which they grew up, unable to trust other human beings and even themselves. Let us call it a violent unredeemable sexual act.

I remember a reaction by a male friend, when a macho fellow told him that miniskirts were driving him to thoughts of rape.

My friend asked, if a woman wore a micro mini and no underpants would the would-be rapist be able to control himself? He added, “What if her big brothers were standing by holding baseball bats?”

I am concerned that accepting the power theory trivializes and diminishes the raw ugliness of the act, and dulls the razor’s cruel edge of violation.”

# Excerpt From: “Letter to My Daughter.” Random House Publishing,2008

No comments:

Post a Comment