No Means Yes – Pt II

I’m aware that when blogging it’s impossible to fully discuss all aspects of any issue in a single blog post, lest I start churning out indigestible tomes. I’m equally aware that the chances of actually being understood without anyone hearing my tone of voice or seeing my body language are less than minuscule. Even otherwise my opinions aren’t the popular ones. Still, occasionally something warrants deeper consideration.

I wrote yesterday rather callously about the view of rape in our society and left out a pretty important bit.

That particular bit is the role that love plays in all of this. Always comes back to love, doesn’t it?

So I wrote yesterday about the choices we have available to us, men and women, and exercising the right to say “no.” By large the reason people do not say no– the reason that they don’t know what they want or the reason that they are afraid to say no– is that they do not believe they are worth it. That’s it. From that perspective, they really don’t have any other choices. Intellectually, they may have, but if they are utterly paralyzed by fear and emptiness, those choices effectively don’t exist. They’re victims.

So the question is when we are victimized in one instance, are we going to then continue to feel and act like victims for the rest of our lives?

We could. That’s one option. But not the option that leads to happiness.

Feeling unworthy and unlovable is the only reason people don’t say “no” clearly BUT it is also the only reason a person would ignore someone who says “no” clearly. In a word, it’s aaalmost the only reason anyone would ever rape someone (unless someone was a clinical psychopath).

Pretty strong claim, I know. But think about it. If someone was absolutely sure that they were worthwhile and lovable, if they were happy and their soul was enlarged with inner peace and a deep sense of connectedness to their fellow man, would such ever harm anyone? Would he ever rape, attack or even utter an unkind word? Unthinkable. Why? What other motivation could he possibly have? Just for funsies? Nah. People buy tickets to Six Flags or wear plastic leis to fake luaus for fun.

Nope. Lack of love. Cause of all the unproductive behaviors in the world. Not a thing to do with gender, historical precedent, or what have you. A lack of love breeds selfishness– which is to say, selfishness begets selfishness. At that point people are willing to do just about anything to stem the tide of agonizing emotional pain, anything that will allow them to momentarily feel a thrill of power or pleasure and they act out in all manner of ways.

So we have a choice. We can view the perpetrators of these crimes as horrible, evil people and feel personally victimized or collectively victimized as a gender (either one will do). We can add to the hate and anger in the world, thereby increasing the likelihood that this sort of thing will happen again and perpetuating the cycle of selfishness. That’s one option. It’s a convenient option, ensuring we have a moral basement. Worst case scenario we know we are at least better than these people.

Or we can add to the love in the world. We can treat people with compassion– significantly different than leniency. We can identify the ways in which we violate these same principles in our own lives and seek to rectify them, however innocuous they may seem in comparison.

I’m not suggesting that people aren’t responsible for their actions or that we shouldn’t hold that accountable. That would be a serious mistake. But coming at a person or an entire gender with vitriol dripping from our barred fangs is hardly a solution. All it does is perpetuate the problem and, most importantly, keep us isolated, suspicious, and alone. Far more important for us to have faith that there do exist people capable of loving us than stringing out the ones that aren’t.

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