|Prisoners Against Rape|
by Larry Cannon, William Fuller
Feminist Alliance Against Rape Newsletter Sep/Oct 1974
RAPE, like all other crimes, arises out of our social environment, from ideas we learn from our relations with institutions and from people as we grow into adults. In other words, RAPE is culturally America, that is, RAPE is the product of the racist and repressive ills tied into the American way of life which is ingrained into the masses
from the cradle.
" ... Have we, perhaps, been focusing our attention on the wrong part of
the problem - on the offender and his mental condition instead of on the
conditions that produced him. "1
Society in general, and individuals in particular, believe that dehumanizing tactics such as castration, prison, and the like would prevent RAPE. This is a total myth. It attacks only the effect. The cause is still at large with the potentiality to strike any woman as would a cold. For centuries men in untold numbers were castrated for the crime of RAPE. The crime RAPE still prevails. Many individuals think that prisons, more time, more convictions are the answer. They are not. These places have only created the conditions for another form of forceful RAPE - forceful homosexuality.
The social forces and dynamics of RAPE are incorporated into this society like a patent (a point the finger mentality) attached to women. Women are a sex symbol produced by the establishment's education and politics. The mass media, such as sex movies and feminine social norms have an exclusive right to discriminate against women in job opportunities and other social areas. The sexism involved is contaminated with judeo-christian-code sex morality ethics that supposedly govern the safe keeping and satisfying
of their husband's sexual pleasures at whim (on command) because he is the provider of the family. These imposed stereotype social roles have long been the driving force of control over women and have contributed greatly to the myths of male superiority simply because they suppress a woman's social development.
The average male from a very early age is socially indoctrinated to view women as docile, passive, sex symbols, personal property; that is, a means to an end and any customs or laws to justify this end are accepted as necessary " ... and thy desire shall be to they husband and he shall rule over them ... " to promote male dominance which carries on a continuous struggle between sexes, such as:
and the list in inherent contradictions is unending.
We view homosexual RAPE similar to that of women because they emanate from the same social conditions. Racism, sexism, myths, chauvinism, also create homosexual attacks. Social values must be restructured to meet black, white, gay people on the basis of human beings with equal status. That is equal in the sense that no limits are placed on an individual or group's potentials because of descent, sex, etc. Orthodox men mentality generally view women and homosexuals as sado-masochist with a MS Marquis de Sade type sexual orientation, mysterious creatures (Freaks who can't resist) who their masculinity just overwhelms. The average terms used in typical male conversations are: bitch, slut, fag, wench, gal, queer, whore, broad, parasite, tomboy. This is not just language in the rawest form, it serves to reinforce the degradation of these individuals and helps deve¬lop stereotype myths.
We have never heard, or read, or seen a woman attorney general, secretary of state, or a woman president, or a woman on the Supreme Court here in America. Why? Because male supremacy systematically suppresses their development through another form of RAPE - the RAPE of their political, social, and economical potential.
He do not subscribe to the theory of born criminals (bad seeds). "For it's not the consciousness of PERSONS that determine their being, but on the contrary, it's their social being that determines their consciousness."
We do however, assume full responsibility as the effect, but disclaim any legitimate invention of its causes. RAPE is a social imposed germ that we became victimized by and so being afflicted, we acted out our malfunctioned impressions and false attitudes on women. He were culturally, socially, and economically deprived of a proper education in sexual values, norms, and understanding - as such, we took our tensions, frustrations, and hang-ups out on women through the act of RAPE.
In taking deep retrospection on our past behavior, we were severely victimized by society's neglect, indifference, and apathy, generated by man on man and women's exploitation, engineered by a well-propelled class strata and repressive racist institutions in education, living conditions, politics, economics, and social under-privileged status. Statistics can verify that these problems exist. Statistics can also verify that RAPE is as old as prostitution - it existed long before Fuller, Cannon and their predecessors
came on the scene.
Why wasn't this crime rendered extinct like confederate money? Why was slavery institutionalized in American society, then rendered extinct? Wasn't it a social custom? We could go on and on in describing extinct social norms from language to child-rearing. Why hasn't this society applied itself to RAPE in a similar vain? Because crime, that is, certain crime has a monopoly on dividends and RAPE is a major source of political and economical revenue or capital. It is a great "law and order" slogan. It's an asset to man's rule and male supremacy as opposed to a liability.
RAPE is a critical issue that is perhaps never distinctly absent in society's forum of discussion. We must explore the RAPE syndrome with an in-depth national conference on the causes and effects of this grotesque, startling germ in our society. The application of scientific research regarding RAPE as practiced by those who specialize in this syndrome need a broad network of public exposure to RADICALLY encounter this problem by systematically creating symposiums on RAPE to program arguments and penetrating moral, psychological, religious, political, economical and cultural avenues in combatting this dreaded disease.
We invariably believe through our analysis that capitalism vis-a-vis private property control a wide margin of male orientated attacks on women and we further contend that men are accustomed to moralize their position of superiority by societies inverted norms that give them priority over women.
We sharply feel that adequate public exposure regarding the politics of RAPE will reveal that RAPE has its bases in male chauvinism and organized monopoly on a male dominated society.
We are not concerned with the theatrics of conventional protest when some misguided human beings get caught up in the main stream of this offense, but rather ways and means of safe-guarding both men and women before the fact, to prevent its occurrence.
The complexity of RAPE is not so perplexing as to be devoid of a meaningful remedy if the general public is willing to expand its resources into utilizing broad based treatment centers where the victims can mobilize encounter sessions, centered around our theory.
We feel that medical personnel trained in RADICAL theory can isolate the symptoms and that the symptoms will begin to deteriorate and eliminate major components of the cause. RAPE is a social disease and requires a social antidote. Prison tends to enhance perversions rather than control or arrest it. We do not subscribe to the theory of tranquilizers or drugs. We do however, propose sex education. Well 'disciplined political education.
A constant influx of RADICAL persuasion consistently applied with an indefinite time period, will necessarily alter the conviction of the average RAPIST - seeking sexual adventure with an unstable attitude toward women and sex. Our research tends to locate the major auspices of this syndrome to dwell in deformed fantasies and stereotyped conceptions regarding women. And necessarily is patterned after society's norms governing male dominance - and the treatment of women as things or instruments of contempt and social degradation.
Prisoners Against Rape was conceived as a necessary community based program to effectively deal with the RAPE epidemic concerning the general public and women in particular. This project is concerned solely with the political environment aspects of RAPE which has been greatly ignored by community leaders from all facets of society. We intend to combat some essential avenues of RAPE from a political perspective as former RAPISTS who have experienced and know the intricate behavior patterns that induced us to participate in these activities, hence we are about total involvement in helping to alleviate the causes which create the effect (social conditions). Our project is fundamentally concerned with attacking the historical, political, social, and economical ingredients that produced RAPE from a social criminal perspective. We will work with anyone, black, white, gay who is interested in assisting us in this.
Standing on the principle and conviction that RAPE is not only illegal, but a chronic social, political and economical handicap, we Prisoners Against Rape who are ourselves incarcerated for RAPE, have set out to expose ourselves to the public with a meaningful solution to this crisis that effects one-third or more of American women, alone. This is a rough estimation based on conservative figures.
After exhausting our mentalities in personal hindsight on what motivated us to commit the act of RAPE, we are prepared to explain the mechanics of our mental functions
at the time - not as a moral redress of grievances with regard to regret and remor5e per se. But rather we are committed to help prevent the causes that induced us to perpetrate these offenses.
We believe that RAPE is like a cancer, it spreads and grows into the community with the speed of a passionate thought, consuming any innocent woman, because she happens to be a victim of circumstances beyond her control.
We view RAPE as you in society would view cancer. We consider it an epidemic which must be constrained as every man is a potential RAPIST. Incarceration may checkmate it, but not necessarily prevent the symptoms. As society carries this epidemic in its cultural social and political institutions like all other crimes.
1 David L. Bazelon, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.