Thursday, April 21, 2011

rape me

disclaimer: this post is not intended to offend. just an insight.

a while ago, a female friend told me about how she was having issues with this friend who uses the word "rape" very casually in conversation. i didn't comment back then, but somehow, my initial reaction was that she was being overly-sensitive. after all, in today's lingo, curse-words aren't really meant to be taken literally, and quite a few abuses that nobody seems to take undue offense to would have been extremely offensive if they were.

which got me thinking aloud on twitter:
i'm afraid to use the word "rape" in female company for fear of causing an outrage. this is not good.

guess my thoughts at that point were focused on two philosophies of cursing (yesh, i do have such philosophies):
  1. anything not directed at a person isn't offensive

  2. once something is designated a curse-word, it is not to be taken literally, unless there is no other plausible meaning

thankfully, a friend reacted to my tweet with something that got me thinking:
  • the word "rape" is not a curse-word

  • rape implies violent damaging sexual abuse. and i'm ashamed to say, with the exception of the sexual part, my usage of the word does imply the other three. so maybe i'm not sticking to principle #2 myself

conclusion: "rape" is not a curse word. and i will never use it as one. i hope you're convinced too.

3 comments:

Magali said...

I'm afraid to say that I would probably take offense too. I don't see why people use the word rape so casually, there is nothing casual about it.
Check out this tweet by Ranjit. Sums it up for me: http://twitter.com/#!/qtfan/status/57809007758413826

suzannamichael said...

Thanks Kris for writing this..I've had the exact same conversation wth one of my super geek friends and he too got me definitions of it but only to justify his use of the term...
my point point being in whatever connotation one takes the liberty of using the term RAPE its not justified unless actually referring to the gruesome act itself...
Casual Using of it to simply sarcastically or humorously describe any other form of exploitative condition or insult is simply not justified..Rape is ugly and derogative and the use of it as a careless term would be completely irresponsible...
phew that was quite a venting... nice work Kris..I like how u were honest abt using the term and choosing to refrain from it :)

~j~ said...

I've been thinking of this for a while now. And I hate how "rape" has been reduced to a casual four-letter word to be thrown around with utter disdain. Watching Jodie Foster's The Accused as a teenager really shook me. I couldn't sleep for days on end with the rape scene floating in my mind.

What irritates me more is when women use the word casually. I wish people were a little judicious with their choice of words. If someone feels 'raped' by work or anything like that, maybe he/she deserves it.

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