Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ten Things That are Probably Worse than Being Raped

A brief rundown of a few horrific crimes that, arguably, could be considered more heinous than sexual assault. 

Rape is unquestionably a disgusting, deplorable and unforgivable transgression. Without a doubt, those who commit the crime are wretched, miserable, contemptible excuses for human beings, and they deserve to be punished to the full extent of the law. If someone were to commit such a grotesque, inhuman act against someone I loved, I would enjoy nothing more than to pummel them to a pulp, and when violent sex criminals like Jeffrey Dahmer get clubbed to death in prison, I can't help but laugh a hearty, ironic chuckle. 

That said, I've always kind of felt a little iffy whenever people talk about sexual assault as being the paramount evil above all others. It's unmistakably terrible, but is it the absolute worst thing human beings can do to one another?

In 2010, the CDC claimed that one out of 12 women in the country experience rape at some point in their lives. Whether that's an undercount or an overcount, you're guess is as good as mine -- unlike statistics dealing with, say, homicide, there is a tremendous amount of ambiguity to consider.

To be frank, the discussion of rape in contemporary American culture has turned into a three-ring circus of absurd hyperbole, suspicious statistics and shameless identity-politicking. The actual facts about sexual assault in the U.S. have been tucked away in the attic, eschewed for a much more exciting discussion about an alleged patriarchal "rape culture" -- a one-sided pseudo "debate," of course, which always seems to leave out the thornier topics of false allegations, prison assaults, man-on-boy crimes and some very peculiar data on interracial rape

But the thing that really gets me about the whole rape discussion is the aura around the crime, that, for some reason, it's an absolutely unconscionable act that's more detestable than even the act of murder. The soft-hearted sentimentalist I am, I decided to take a day off to mull a couple of crimes and crime consequences that I would consider much more painful, sorrowful and contemptible than rape.

Put on a happy face folks ... it's time to get all sorts of morbid in this mother.


Having one’s pelvic orifices involuntarily invaded, no doubt, is a terrible thing to consider. That said, as disgusting and contemptible as it may be, the act itself eventually ends. Yeah, you can talk about the psychological trauma from the event lasting a lifetime, but as far as the bodily impact goes, unless you have something ruptured, get knocked up or acquire an STD, there’s not much of an aftermath. Being blinded, though, is something that is, in every sense of the term, irreversible. You’ll never again be able to see the faces of your loved ones, or even be cognizant of your own damn surroundings. It strips away your ability to even absorb the world around you for the remainder of your days, a fate that I would consider much worse than being sodomized for five to 10 minutes.


Rape is considered a terrible crime because it depowers the victim. It involves the individual’s foremost property -- their own bodies -- being coerced and used as nothing more than meat for someone else’s vicious pleasure. The exact same logical framework can be applied to those who are paralyzed by others, only it’s infinitely more depraved since it literally leaves the victim dead from the shoulders or pelvis down. Even after a horrendous sexual assault experience, one can presumably continue functioning like the average human being, doing basic things like walking and breathing. Alas, fortune isn’t so kind to paraplegics and quadriplegics, who are left as defenseless as an infant, unable to care for even their simplest bodily functions.


A rape victim, for the most part, doesn’t have any physical reminders of the actual crime a year afterwards. Someone who loses a leg or an arm in a violent attack or as the result of a violent attack, however, has no other option but to be reminded of said crime just by simply existing. Many, many rape victims will no doubt spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on counseling following their attacks, but their rehabilitative costs are relatively minute compared to the exorbitant physical therapy fees paid by amputees. The loss of self the victims of sexual attack experience is no doubt disheartening, but I find it unquestionable that both the psychological and crudely literal “loss of self” amputees experience is much, much more pronounced.


It’s a rarity in the United States, but commonplace throughout the Middle East and predominantly Muslim parts of Asia and Africa. Instead of being raped, indelibly unfortunate women are instead assailed by attackers carrying corrosive chemicals, who aspire to cosmetically disfigure them. It’s oftentimes a double whammy, since in addition to having their faces melted off by acid, the same victims are almost always permanently blinded in said attacks. Sexual assault is certainly a painful crime, but it it as excruciating as the sensation of feeling one’s skin liquefy down to the bone? That, I am highly skeptical about.


Even if you have an arm or leg amputated, you can reasonably obtain a realistic looking prosthetic -- pending you have the health insurance coverage, of course. Hell, if you wear long sleeves or blue jeans, some people wouldn’t even know you lost a limb. That said, if you have a part of your face ripped off, odds are, that’s something you’re probably not going to be able to hide from the masses. It’s more or less the same argument as being chemically disfigured, albeit with a tighter focus on sensory loss -- imagine what it must feel like to have your lips pared from your mouth, or your ears severed, or your nose sliced off (yet again, common crimes in parts of the world where hardcore Islamists tend to make their beds.) On a superficial level, the public at large never knows whether someone has experienced sexual assault simply by looking at them, which is something you definitely can't say about those with knife wound scars and eye patches.


A long time ago, I had a chat with an ER physician. I asked him what the worst thing he ever saw was, and he didn’t even hesitate with his response. He told me about a kid who had been incinerated in an automobile crash, leaving third degree burns on well over 90 percent of his body. Even after being administered a huge dose of morphine, he said the unfortunate lad continued to scream like the life was being squeezed out of him. The kid spent the next five years undergoing reparative surgeries, with even light wind gusts causing such extraordinary pain that he would break out into blood-curdling screaming sessions, sometimes for hours on end. If that wasn’t enough, he lost nearly all of vision and tactile sensations, leaving him in a state of partial paralysis for the rest of his life.


I do not deny that rape victims experience extreme personality changes after their attacks. That said, the aftermath of their experiences usually don’t deprive them of their entire identity the same way those who experience severe brain damage do. As horrific as rape may be, the idea of having your whole memory knocked out of you -- additionally leaving you in a permanent infantile state for the remainder of your life -- seems all the more tragic and terrifying.


It's probably an odd duck selection for most people, but I imagine the physical toll  slow, intentional starvation takes on the human mind and body is likely a lot more severe than that of a sexual assault. Try reading about the plight of the Irish during the Great Famine, or the tales of transatlantic slaves or especially the ghoulish, systematic slaughter by starvation in Ukraine  sometime; personally, I'd prefer a savage sodomizing to slowly succumbing to malnutrition any day of the week.


There was a dude at a warehouse outside of Atlanta who got capped in a mass shooting about a year ago. Since then, he's experienced a good two dozen plus surgeries, which I can only imagine results in absurd, unyielding pain 24 hours a day. If the actual injury-related pain wouldn't be enough for you, there's also the loss of mobility and motor function, not to mention the simple ability to take care of one's self. Then, there's the financial toll, a big, fat, spiteful slap in the face after already facing near-death. And on top of that, the never-ending thoughts about being a burden on your loved ones. It's a never-ending, all-encompassing hell, the kind of life that has to be exponentially worse than those lived by victims of even the most heinous sexual attacks.


And lastly, we come to the big one, the ultimate crime against humanity. I'm sorry folks, but there's simply no way I could ever consider even the most horrific act of rape to be worse than actually killing another human being. At least after a sexual assault, there's the reality of tomorrow, that the pain will stop and some semblance of normal life can be attained. Alas, if you are murdered, well ... that's it. No more future, no more thoughts, no more potential. You go from being a person to a thing, a carcass, a bag of organs and bones with no identity and no personality. Existence comes to a screeching standstill, reality as you perceived it simply vanishes. Murder deprives you not only of your own consciousness, but your impact on the world around you. But that's not the hard part. The hard part, you see, is the fact that long after your expiration, the agony of your killing will absolutely torment your loved ones. It will drive your wife to madness, your kids into absolute crippling sorrow and destroy your parents marriage, simply because you're no longer around. I've spoken to rape victims, and I've spoken to the families of murder victims, and it's a no-contest; the pain on the faces of the murder victim families was much deeper. They remain frozen inside a perpetual crime, a moment that never, ever leaves their consciousness. Rape victims have a tomorrow, but the murdered do not. What in the name of God could ever be worse than that?

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