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This essay is a very belated response to a " part 1 " published in February 2015. The gist of that essay was a response to a corre...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


In this essay I cited this Heideggerian morsel:

"'How we find ourselves' expresses the fact that we are thrown into a 'world' already there before us -- this is most evident in the radical sense of Birth. Hence, one is literally 'thrown into a world' beyond one's control -- but this 'world' is not merely a particular environment -- it has its place in history: one is, broadly speaking, thrown into a historical moment."

I didn't return to this point at the conclusion of Part 4 of the "fake-rape" series, but I will here because I think Heidegger's general concept of being "thrown into a world beyond one's control" applies very well to the topic of fictional rape.

No world is entirely beyond all control, of course. If I say that I want to promote freedom in the arts, I'm trying to influence others to my point of view, which is at least a limited form of controlling others. And if a feminist ideologue claims that my defenses of sex and/or violence are an attempt to validate male privilege, that too is an attempt to control one aspect of the world.

Obviously, I think that the latter interpretation only holds if one disregards the facts of nature I discussed in the above SWEPT AWAY essay. I'm aware, of course, that there are individuals who have used "facts" to validate repressive viewpoints. I will briefly re-quote Dave Sim on "male-female difference," though I examined his perspective in more detail here:

For a man to win an LPGA tournament would be humiliating for the man. It would be like entering a children’s T-ball tournament and really tearing up the base-paths and smacking some major home runs. There isn’t enough money in the world to overcome the resulting humiliation of knowingly competing against…(pay attention, “ladies”)…
…inherently, self-evidently, inferior beings. -- Dave Sim, CEREBUS 293.

It would be easy for an ideologue to look at what I've written here and to assume that I, by speaking of such aspects "male-female difference" as strength-weight comparisons, am trying to validate fantasies in which males are inherently superior.  This is not the case, however.  Gender difference is a fact that influences many fictional scenarios-- whether Doctor Light tries to rape a woman rather than a man, whether serial killers with mommy problems choose to assault females or males. However, in my philosophy, the fact of male-female difference does not determine the status of either gender, either in fiction or reality.

My borrowed Heideggerian metaphor of "throwness" merely means that one must accept some facets of reality as having a non-ideological level of influence. Most women are "thrown" into a world in which, 99% of the time, the men they encounter are both bigger and stronger. This does not determine their status as one of inherent inferiority. But it does influence any attempt they make toward self-determination. To disregard the way the world often works, or to claim that it is a creation of "male privilege" or "rape culture," remains a fundamental dishonesty.

And now-- back to the boring literary analyses!!

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