I have been struggling to find time to write about this adequately. Since the time may never present itself… I will write about it INadequately, if I must.
As a victim, it’s really easy for me to imagine all rapists dead. Quite frankly, the world would be a better place. A part of me even believes that death may be too good for them. This thought, however, is borne of emotion–often, but not always irrational. When the activist and academic in me stops to consider the implications of “kill the rapist”, she is left partially paralysed. I mean, if we can’t wield pitchforks and scream; chant; call for their deaths then, really, what do we have? And the truthful answer is: nothing. Yet. We have nothing. Just plenty to build. Anyway I digress.
The unfortunate truth about rape is that it is notoriously difficult to prove. A death penalty will not be an adequate deterrent if the conviction rates remain low. Men will simply continue to be “nice men” deemed too up-standing to ever rape and escape “punishment” that way. As they do now.
If it hasn’t become clear yet: I’m not one for punitive solutions. I want to build a society in which rape doesn’t occur rather than one in which rapists are punished severely. I’m not sure to what degree a rape victim finds more peace when the person that has raped her is punished. I imagine it isn’t much to speak of. That woman has still been raped. And I would rather that didn’t happen to anyone at all.
I think, while the phrase “kill the rapist” brings comfort and sympathy to victims and provides some mental reprieve from that feeling of alone-ness–in actuality–it achieves nothing apart from rage followed by non-action. To me, that is the worst form of sympathy. Sympathy by words alone. Not comforting at all, actually.
As I’ve also said before–punishing men for raping will not ensure that women are no longer violated, it’ll just mean the violation is translated to another form. Punishment changes nothing. In a world where jails are a dime a dozen and rehabilitation is zero to none, we really can’t afford to cling to punishment as a means to unravel social ills. We have to be able to do better. Think better. Know better. Be better.
(This is not coming forth as eloquently as I would like but… such as life. You understand. If not… ask me questions. ♥).
Basically: don’t kill the rapist. Find out why he rapes and address THAT.