I think that most people accept that rape has little to do with sex and a lot to do with power and anger.
In this time when Rape is on the front pages of the news, I want to add a few cents of my own thinking to the mix. For I think that I see a context that might help us make some progress.
It starts with the question of where does Patriarchy, and so this anger, come from? If we can see the roots of this pattern, then we can see how to get at the source.
If we can see that Patriarchy is not an eternal human and male attribute. Then we can have hope.
So where does Patriarchy come from? It comes from the adoption of Agriculture back 10,000 years ago. Only then, did the idea of property enter human culture. Who owns the land and the flocks becomes central. Who inherits comes next. With no legal system. Might becomes right. Do I know if this is my real son becomes a crucial idea. Women have to be controlled. Women and children become property too. Property becomes the central idea of status.
In Agriculture, the key issue is control. You have to defend your property. You have to push back at nature. Nature fights mono culture. Men have to be put in charge of nature who has to be controlled. Men have to control the very symbol of nature - women and the miracle that takes place in their bodies when life is created.
The Adam and Eve story is the story of the transition from Hunter Gathering to Farming:
3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
This is a new story that is only at most 10,000 years old. This is not our story as a species nor is it the story of women or men.
It is only at the advent of agriculture that the idea of "Property" and so Control emerged. For all the millions of years of humans being hunter gatherers and so very mobile, the concept of property could not exist. When hunting and gathering, you had to work WITH nature too. So the concept of CONTROL did not exist either. All the forces lined up against humans were too great. We had to cooperate. We needed the skills and knowledge of all the tribe.
For nearly all of human history, the Gods were in everything. Every tree, every animal. Even the inanimate had gods in them. Stones, winds, rivers, mountains all had energy that had to be taken into account. Nothing was separate. The ancestors live on eternally in other forms. The children yet unborn lived in dreams. Men and women lived in separate cultures but were deeply connected. Children were the children of all. It would be hard to imagine monogamy in such a culture. How then could one person own another or have plans for another? It would make no sense.
And then, very recently, after millions of years of living like this. we started to grow things.
With early agriculture, more like gardening, the Goddess remained supreme. At this time land was inherited via the female line. At this time the King must die. A man would be selected and would be King for a year. At the right time he would willingly be sacrificed for the fertility of his tribe. In the time of horticulture, women ruled. There was a I guess a Matriarchy.
But over time, it became easier to steal land and call yourself King forever. We see this transition in the transition of the Gods. The Sun started to dominate the Moon.
Male gods appeared like Zeus. These were jealous gods. They had wives but they were the boss. And then the idea of the ONE God appeared and this male and dominating God became the embodiment of the new culture. He forbade all other gods, especially the female. The only remnant being Mary. Mary is the ghost of the Goddess.
So if I am right, then what?
We are starting to see a new culture emerging where owning property is no longer the central status issue for some. More and more young do not own cars or even have a licence. Few can afford to own a home. More and more systems are emerging that allow us to share the use of things.
This is very new but it harkens back to most of human culture. It harkens back to who we really are.
Most importantly, the new food system that is based on small plots with plants and animals living as they should means that owning lots of land will no longer be the core food model. Instead we will see more and more people grow food in small natural units in the scale of a large network.
BUT! As more and more men are displaced by the failure of the old system, they have to blame someone. Who else but those women who are doing so much better than they. They have to be shown who is really boss! I fear that the transition will be hard. As more and more men hold onto the old and so fail to be part of the new, they will lash out.
This is surely why Tea Partiers want to control women's bodies?
I think that in the end, it will be societies that move swiftly to the network model that will find that the terrible wound of male domination will heal first and permanently. The food system is the key. It birthed Patriarchy. It will take us home to a world where men and women rejoice in the other.
I will not live to see this day but I think my grand kids will.