(Not that I really need to say this, but serious Trigger Warning.)
Okay, so I'm working on a piece that's a (long) comment to Jennifer Zimmerman's wonderful article "What Feminists Should Know About Birth Rape” and I'm toddling along just fine , but now I've butted up against the profile of a medical rapist; there isn't one. Yet.
Profiling, while not an exact science, does help those that look for, arrest and incarcerate perpetrators so they are able to help the rest of us avoid these animals. Profiling also helps therapists and rape counselors so they can help rape victims find their way in the world again.
For me, when I was raped and went to therapy, it was extremely helpful to understand the profile of my rapist. First, for him, it was a crime of opportunity... not (that we could tell) a serial rapist, but one that delighted in a very drunk and very vulnerable teenager. When we move into the categorization, he (and his friends) fell into the Power Assertive type of rapist.
"Power-assertive rapist: Athletic, has a 'macho' image of himself. More often than not, this is the type who commits date rapes. He typically meets his victim in a bar or nightclub. Instead of targeting a specific victim, he looks for an opportunity to get a woman alone with him, perhaps with an offer of a ride home or an invitation back to his place."
And "This offender may have self-esteem problems and rapes the victim in order to prove to himself that he is a man."
In therapy, my therapist described this man (and his friends) as having low self-esteem and they raped in order to (spiritually) grab the strong sense of self the woman had/owned... that he came with shit, deposited the shit into the woman, left with her power and she was left with his shit -literally and figuratively. This helped me so much to find a way to take back my power from these assholes (understatement).
So, while I have the absolute belief in birth rape as an action of violence against women and I will include the legal definitions of rape from different sources that validate medical rape, there are absolute contradictions when trying to put birth rape into the general rape category.
Do we need new words/terms for medical rape (as many have suggested all along)? Perhaps creating a profile of a medical/obstetric rapist would be helpful in creating a universal definition of what birth rape is.
I've defended the use of the term "birth rape" for years, but I hadn't taken a look into the general rapist definitions/profiles in years (for whatever reason). Now I'm not quite sure what to think or do about the comment piece. The first 3/4 of it is defending the term and now, as I delve into the legal definitions and profiling, my piece has taken a decided turn to the opposite viewpoint.
Do I keep going and let the post be ambiguous or, worse, schizophrenic? Or do I stop and re-group, taking time to think about what I really believe about the term? As you can tell, I don't know what I think anymore! Should I just set it aside until I have an answer? Or is the ambiguity okay and be incorporated into the finished product.