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Marian Perera
09-28-2008, 04:12 PM
This is the scenario (in a medieval fantasy).

My protagonist, Jarec, commanded a platoon of soldiers during a war. They overran a small but very well-dug-in village, lost several of their own troops but defeated the villagers. Jarec questioned three captives (two men and a girl), turned them over to his troops and went to help finish burying his fallen soldiers, some of whom had been good friends. By the time he'd finished, said a prayer and drunk a flask in their memory, he was tired, grieving and furious at the enemy land for doing that to them.

He went back to the clearing where his men were gathered, only to find that they had killed the two male survivors and stripped the girl. They saw him and made way for him; as the senior officer, he obviously had first crack at her.

This is the part where I falter, since I'm really not certain of what would pass through a normal man's mind at that point which would make him commit rape. Sexual attraction, since the girl is pretty? But given that this is a crime of power, would he even notice that? Would it be more of a "she's the enemy, let's show her who's really in charge here" reaction? Would that be enough for a man to have an erection?

I know rapists often depersonalize their victims, but I'm not sure how to work that into the story. Especially since Jarec has never sexually assaulted a woman before and he probably wouldn't do so now if not for all these circumstances coming together : the girl being an enemy, partially responsible for his soldiers' deaths, his surviving men cheering him on, etc. Plus, he's the protagonist - he regrets it later (especially after the girl's countrymen capture him and put him through hell for what he did). I'm really in a bind here and this is one topic I'm afraid to Google.

Any suggestions or advice are much appreciated!

Ol' Fashioned Girl
09-28-2008, 04:23 PM
Here's a link that might help. (http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=100366784) It's about the Psychology of Rape.

And here's a good one on the History of Rape (http://140.119.186.100/2002freng/rape/rapehis.htm).

Linda Adams
09-28-2008, 04:30 PM
I was just looking in the crime section of my library, and they do have some books on the subject. Also try profiling as an alternate topic. I was reading Special Agent: My Life on the Front Lines as a Woman in the FBI, and she addressed the issue of profiling. I think she mentioned three types of personalities for this type of crime. Serial killer books will also give you an idea of how to depersonalize victims (and there's lots of info on crime sites about them).

Marian Perera
09-28-2008, 04:35 PM
Wow, that was a quick reply, OFG! Thanks for the links. And I think I saw a book with that title in the local library, Linda, so I'll look into it tomorrow (library's closed today).

I was wondering if a man who rapes a woman for the first time (and is unlikely to have done so under different circumstances) would be as likely to depersonalize her as, say, a serial rapist. I'd assumed that their mindsets would be different. Any thoughts on that?

mscelina
09-28-2008, 04:37 PM
You might want to run with the rage angle. You said he's tired and grieving, yes? And furious at the country that killed his friends?

At the moment, he has three members of that country under his power. If he uses his rage to blunt his emotions (helped by the flask, of course) then he wouldn't know if she was pretty or ugly, old or young. She would just be the enemy. What better way to subjugate the country than by using a woman as proxy? Now later, when he regrets what he's done, he might notice that she's pretty or quiet or too young and that would enhance his guilt and put it into perspective for him. But if he's in the emotional condition you described above, I don't think he'd even really see her as anything other than a target for his rage.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
09-28-2008, 05:06 PM
Be careful, too, about trying to project modern views of rape against those of other times. There's a whole 'nother set of thoughts, beliefs, feelings, cultural mores, etc. that you're dealing with in another time period.

Marian Perera
09-28-2008, 05:59 PM
Be careful, too, about trying to project modern views of rape against those of other times. There's a whole 'nother set of thoughts, beliefs, feelings, cultural mores, etc. that you're dealing with in another time period.

Good point. Jarec doesn't really feel guilty (as opposed to feeling bitter that he's been captured and tortured) until he comes face to face with the girl's father about a year later and learns that the girl died in childbirth. That's the first time he thinks of her as a person - and realizes that the child may have been his own.

RJK
09-28-2008, 09:21 PM
Ol Fashioned Girl made the most important point. You are dealing with a time when women were considered property. There was little difference between rape and arranged marriages. This was a time when the nobles deflowered the virgins before their wedding night. I'm guessing these girls weren't willing participants.

I think the only way you would get any emotion at all would be if the soldier had a daughter who looked a lot like the girl he was about to rape. Probably not even then.

FinbarReilly
09-30-2008, 05:57 AM
1) Old Fashioned Girl hit it on the head. Whereas now soldiers committing rape would be court-martialed and then prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, back then it was considered part of the reason to go on campaign. In some cases, it was the way that Daddy met Mommy (I'm not trying to romanticize it, justtrying to point out thatit had different connotations in eras past).

2) RJK: You may want to consider that even today arranged marriages aren't considered by all to be the equivalent of rape. There are some that actually prefer arranged marriages because someone actually makes sure that the two are compatible ahead of time. I appreciate that in a lot of cases it isn't the greatest solutions, but I'm not sure calling it the equivalent of rape is okay...

FR

Marian Perera
09-30-2008, 01:26 PM
You might want to run with the rage angle. You said he's tired and grieving, yes? And furious at the country that killed his friends?

Thanks, mscelina, that was very specific advice! And so realistic it makes me nervous. I like the idea of the guy taking out everything he feels against the one safe target he has. Just curious, though: would a (normal) man still be able to get aroused under these circumstances?

Marian Perera
09-30-2008, 01:31 PM
1) Old Fashioned Girl hit it on the head. Whereas now soldiers committing rape would be court-martialed and then prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, back then it was considered part of the reason to go on campaign.

Good point. Especially when committed by victorious soldiers against a captive woman, it wouldn't have been wrong or shocking to the soldiers. In fact, that's going in the scene: when the girl's countrymen capture Jarec, he doesn't express remorse or shame of any kind at what he's done to her because to him that's a distinctly peripheral and unimportant event. That's one reason they torture him.

Thanks very much for the inspiration!

Phoebe H
09-30-2008, 01:35 PM
The best book that I have read on this subject was The Dark Side of Man (http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Side-Man-Tracing-Violence/dp/073820076X) by Michael Ghiglieri. It's pretty intense, as you might expect from a book whose sections are Murder, Rape, War, and Genocide. But very good. I think I learned more about politics from this particular book, than any other.

RJK
09-30-2008, 07:19 PM
To answer Queen's question. I consider myself a 'Normal' 21st century man. The answer is NO, I would not be aroused under those circomstances. I must, however, qualify that with that fact that I'm not a fired up 20-year-old soldier.

If you look at it another way. There are strict laws against this kind of conduct from today's soldiers. There would be no reason for the law if some small portion of the male soldier population hadn't commited the act. Ergo, they must have gotten aroused. You can't complete the act if you're not.

Some guys get excited over the Sears catalog.

kuwisdelu
09-30-2008, 07:30 PM
Depends what kind of guy Jarec is.

Under this kind of circumstance, especially if it's not something he'd normally do otherwise, rape does not necessarily have to be about power at all.

But you really have to think about your character. Not what "would a rapist think" but "what would Jarec think?" Is he tired of war and wants the soft, feminine comforts of a woman's flesh? Does he simply enjoy the idea of a girl being tied up for him, and decides he wants her? Is he thinking of subjugating the enemy and seeks to humiliate her through ravaging her and assert his dominance? Is he happy his men secured him such a nice prize, and see himself as the deserving winner of such a hedonistic reward? Is he apprehensive, but knows he must do it to keep his men's respect, and find himself strangely enjoying it nonetheless?

FinbarReilly
09-30-2008, 09:27 PM
Something worth noting is that his men would probably not have killed the two guys that were captured. They would have most probably left there fate to Jarec, especially as they would have been captured without a reason (they wold have been killed on the battlefield or allowed to escape).

If you are looking for someone to feel his anger, it would have been them, or one of his subordinates (who are pretty much made for the punishment). The woman would have been seen as just something to relieve sexual tension.

As a side note, he also would not have been held as responsible for her rape as you would probably have liked. He may have had to pay some sort of fine (a lot of society's had some variation of weregeld), but unless she died or was irreparably damaged, the family would have just seen it as her lot. Unfortunately, rape served an actually useful purpose back then; it kept small villages from genetic inbreeding (one of the reasons that peasant stock was stronger than noble stock).

It's a jerk point, but, if you are trying for historical authenticity, you need to realize that historical beliefs are radically different than they are today, and definitely don't jibe with our sensibilities. Dealing with rape is definitely one of those areas where we have come forward by light years...

FR

Marian Perera
09-30-2008, 10:51 PM
Something worth noting is that his men would probably not have killed the two guys that were captured. They would have most probably left there fate to Jarec...

I was thinking through the way I'd structured this scene - Jarec turning the two guys over to his men, helping dig the graves, getting more and more angry and finally taking it out on the girl - and I was hoping this made his anger more understandable to the reader, as opposed to him being sadistic enough to kill unarmed prisoners right away in cold blood. Though considering that his troops in enemy land, it's not as though they could do a lot else with the prisoners.


As a side note, he also would not have been held as responsible for her rape as you would probably have liked. He may have had to pay some sort of fine (a lot of society's had some variation of weregeld), but unless she died or was irreparably damaged, the family would have just seen it as her lot.

Good point, though the reason he's tortured is that he and the girl come from two separate lands that are at war, and their two races view each other as little better than animals. I have little doubt that if the girl was raped by a man of her own race, the repercussions would not have been so severe. At least any children resulting from the rape would not be half-breeds.

Marian Perera
09-30-2008, 10:59 PM
But you really have to think about your character. Not what "would a rapist think" but "what would Jarec think?"

I'm really glad you phrased it that way. I was trying to think along the lines of "what would a normal man do" or "what would a rapist do", but it's more productive to think of what Jarec would do. And I think he just snaps at the end. He's had the responsibility of command for a long time, he's dealing with his mission, his men, the enemy, his own fear and homesickness and resentment. It all builds up to a head while he's digging the graves, and at that point all he needs is a target, any target, preferably an enemy but anything will do.

Once he's done with the girl, he's both relieved to feel better but a little embarrassed that he sank to the level of public sex among his cheering men, since he's never done that before. Truth be told, some of his men thought he was just a little too superior and fastidious, and the public sex would be a good way to remind him that he was only a man with a man's needs. It worked, too, though they don't get to laugh about it for too long before the girl's countrymen attack in force and kill most of them.

I greatly appreciate all the thinking (and writing) you've helped me to do. :)

ideagirl
10-01-2008, 02:21 AM
This is the part where I falter, since I'm really not certain of what would pass through a normal man's mind at that point which would make him commit rape.

Nothing, because aside from date rape (in which arguably it's possible for a man to rationalize that this is somehow an okay part of dating or courtship), mentally healthy men--I assume that's what you mean by "normal"--do not commit rape. There is no way for a mentally healthy man to rationalize, "It's okay for me to walk up to this terrified woman who is a complete stranger to me and make her have sex with me."

Of course, I'm thinking in modern terms. But it still stands to reason; raping someone who is obviously terrified and unwilling is such an enormous failure of basic human compassion that something messed up has to be going on. I think that may be why you're faltering: you can't think of what would motivate a mentally healthy man to forcibly rape a terrified stranger, because there is nothing that would motivate a mentally healthy man to do that. In other words, to make your soldier character do that, you have to let him be the kind of person who would do that--i.e., NOT a mentally healthy man.

At the very least you have to let him be temporarily not mentally healthy: maybe severely traumatized by the war, maybe also drunk and/or on some kind of mood/mind-altering drugs, maybe caught up in some mass hysteria like what caused the genocide in Rwanda. And if you make him permanently not mentally healthy, I'm not saying you have to figure out which mental illness he has--I'm not saying he has to be diagnosable with some mental illness, but I am saying he has to be, excuse the language, fvcked up.

Since you say he regrets it later, though, it sounds like he was only temporarily not right in the head. You might want to google the Rwanda genocide and perhaps the rapes during the Serbia/Bosnia (ex-Yugoslavia) war, to see if you can find anything on what was going through people's heads.


Sexual attraction, since the girl is pretty?

That's probably not even relevant--people rape little old ladies, after all. For that matter, people rape farm animals! I doubt they stand there among the sheep thinking, hmm, this sheep is way prettier than that one...


But given that this is a crime of power, would he even notice that? Would it be more of a "she's the enemy, let's show her who's really in charge here" reaction? Would that be enough for a man to have an erection?

Honey, practically anything is enough for a man to have an erection. :D That's a whole separate question. The situation doesn't even need to be sexual or involve nudity at all.

ideagirl
10-01-2008, 02:31 AM
I was wondering if a man who rapes a woman for the first time (and is unlikely to have done so under different circumstances) would be as likely to depersonalize her as, say, a serial rapist. I'd assumed that their mindsets would be different. Any thoughts on that?

If he's thinking of her as "the Enemy" (a representative of the opposing side in the war), and attacking her for what her countrymen did, then he's depersonalizing her.

I don't think it's possible to commit rape without objectifying the victim, which is certainly a type of depersonalization. But I also don't think it's a binary question--that is, your options aren't limited to either he does or doesn't depersonalize her. He has to depersonalize her at least to some extent in order to be capable of doing that.

But, especially since he regrets it later, you could mix the overall depersonalization with one, or maximum two, small moments just before, during or after the attack in which he sees her as a person--then that moment comes back to him later and haunts him, triggering his regret. For example, he could notice her facial expression at some point before/during/after the attack, remember later exactly what she looked like and what emotion that expression conveyed, and feel shame, and sympathy for her. Or he could notice, say, that she was wearing a necklace with a locket that had a name engraved on it, and fixate on that detail when he thinks about it later: was that her husband's or fiance's name? Did he give her the locket? What did she tell him after the attack, how did it affect them?--and again, feel overwhelming sympathy and shame.

ideagirl
10-01-2008, 02:38 AM
Ol Fashioned Girl made the most important point. You are dealing with a time when women were considered property. There was little difference between rape and arranged marriages.

CHILDREN (male or female) were considered property. Betrothing a three-year-old boy to some girl he's never met, and making the kids get married in their teens, was not uncommon at all among aristocratic parents. They traded their kids like cattle, for the social and/or economic advantage of the family as a whole. I'm not saying women were equal, but don't project the practices of later periods such as the Victorian era (when it was common for much older men to more or less impose themselves on much younger women--e.g., men would sometimes announce to their young female wards that they were going to marry as soon as the ward was of age), on the Middle Ages.

FinbarReilly
10-01-2008, 03:05 AM
Going into the dreaded jerk mode:

Quit confusing modern social mores with social mores with those from another era.

Today's soldiers are paid by the government and there is an enforced honor code. Also, today's men wouldn't even seriously think of raping women (this isn't to say that there isn't talk of it, or that it doesn't happen, just that rape is seen as Something You Don't Do). In other words, a soldier raping a woman, much less in a group scene, can expect a short trip to Fort Leavenworth (or equivalent for the particular army).

Medieval soldiers are an entirely different thing. Unlike modern soldiers, they were paid by pillage, had no enforced code beyond making sure that the job got done, and worse of a reputation than any army of today (mercs were even worse). Worse, career soldiers were rare (attrition rates, if nothing else), and most soldiers did it explicitly because of the pillage and, well, it was something to do while the crops grew (most soldiers were, after all, farmboys who only went on one or two campaigns usually in order to make a serious profit before having enough of it).

Because of this, they were expected to take what they could, and that included whatever women were in the area. Not only were the women a way to keep their own women safe from the privations of the soldiers, but they were a way to reward the soldiers. Also, it was a way to send a message to the enemy ("You can't protect your dearest, how are you going to protect yourself?"). And, of course, there was the benefit of protection from inbreeding.

In essence, rape was a part of the normal male's wiring (to a degree), and was considered something that happened as part of war. Keep in mind that the right of the first night was still around, and that sex was seen as a reasonably powerful weapon, and not just for the men.

Yeah, the past was a bit barbaric....

FR

ideagirl
10-02-2008, 01:52 AM
Medieval soldiers are an entirely different thing. Unlike modern soldiers, they were paid by pillage, had no enforced code beyond making sure that the job got done, and worse of a reputation than any army of today (mercs were even worse). Worse, career soldiers were rare (attrition rates, if nothing else), and most soldiers did it explicitly because of the pillage and, well, it was something to do while the crops grew (most soldiers were, after all, farmboys who only went on one or two campaigns usually in order to make a serious profit before having enough of it).

Ok, my knowledge base is medieval France rather than medieval Europe (I assume we're talking about Europe) in general, but based on what I know about medieval France, that's not an accurate depiction. It wasn't a bunch of disorganized farmboys paid by pillage; soldiers were vassals fighting at the direction of a common lord, and generally if they went off somewhere to fight, the purpose was not to pillage (i.e. steal stuff) but to increase the land holdings of their lord and/or to whack "heretics" and/or Muslims ("coincidentally" taking their land in the process, thus increasing the land held by their lord). The point of increasing their lord's holdings was to increase the wealth/power of their own kingdom, making their kingdom less vulnerable to attack. When I say common lord or kingdom I'm using the terms generically, the point being that Head Honcho #1 ruled a given area of land and commanded various other, lower-ranked members of the nobility, and those members commanded successively lower-ranked vassals, theoretically all the way down to serfs, if the war was such that participation by serfs was necessary--which it generally wasn't, and in any event you needed to keep serfs home to take care of the crops, livestock and such.

What you're describing sounds more like vikings than like medieval soldiers. Vikings sailed from point A to point B, stole everything they could find at point B, set fire to buildings, kidnapped women (and, I believe, sometimes men or kids, for slaves), and sailed back to point A. Muslim pirates did likewise along the shores of the Mediterranean. But that's a very different MO than normal medieval soldiers.

I have no doubt that rape has been pretty rampant in wartime. (Just look at the Rape of Nanking or what Soviet soldiers did in WWII Germany). BUT, that does not mean that a mentally healthy man in any kind of normal state of mind would do it. My point was that the OP needed to put him in some kind of messed-up state of mind: extreme trauma, battle frenzy, whatever.

Adipocere
10-02-2008, 03:01 AM
Here are my thoughts (long winded as usual),

No matter what the era, raping any woman has always been wrong, regardless of wether or not she was considered property or otherwise.
During the middle ages in particular, women were judged almost exclusively by their moral and religious virtues. If that woman survived and did indeed return to her family, she would likely not tell anyone about the actual rape. She would be considered a disgrace and be sent packing to a convent, especially if found pregnant. Why would her father ever mention it to anyone?

It was probably very common back then, especially during wartime, that women were raped as part of the "loot" invading soldiers expected.
On the otherhand, however, after a village or town was invaded, the soldiers would actually capture women to take as wives. Nobody, even these days, wants a mate with an unsavory past. Also, to consider, is that many villages and such were captured in effots to expand territory and would give soldiers land grants as part of the contract. The motivation was not anger or slaughter and rape, but to make resource productive subjects of the area.

So the point of all this is that, in my opinion, any soldier who raped a woman would probably have had the tendancy and desire to do it all along. In the long run, you need to consider why your character would even care afterwards, let alone feel guilty, especially if he gave his men the premission to do it in the first place or wanted first crack at her.
As for soldiers who would not be likely to rape but do it when it is "acceptable", like in your case, there would probably be things about the woman herself. Perhaps a language barrier, racial, or religious differences to help dehumanize her.
Also, I dont think being drunk is a convincing motivation, unless he is using it as some kind of sick justification. Booze only lowers your inhibitions towards doing things you would already be willing to do.
Furthermore, if your character is in command of these men, he has probably made it clear before the attack has even taken place what his men are allowed to do. He's either given the ok or said no and if he's around they aren't going to disobey.
As far as the rage motivation is concerned, wouldn't just killing a bunch of men be enough? Why would a simple peasant woman provoke so much rage simply for being an "enemy". I don't really find that believable. What did she do to him personally? He needs a better reason to target her in particular.
Eitherway, I think you need to deal with your characters overall fundamental morality and if he does rape her probably accept that maybe he is a bigger jerk then you wish him to be. I think it will be hard to find a convincing motivation in an otherwise good man.
On the other hand, this is a fantasy work, so really you can do anything with him you wish and be able to get away with it!

On a side note- This situation still goes on frequently in the modern era. The movie Casualties of War is actually entirely based on this subject, I think it is also a true story if I remember correctly. It takes place in Vietnam and stars Michael J. Fox and is actually an excellent film. I think you would find it extremely helpful because it portrays the soldiers involved in the raping as being everything from inhuman monsters, to reluctant participants, and even the guy who refused and suffered greatly as a result. It is very revealing to the different ways war-traumatized men react to rape. You should seriously consider renting it, but be prepared that it is also very disturbing.

<jeez that was long, sorry>

I have to disagree with Finbar on almost everything (sorry).
"Medieval soldiers are an entirely different thing. Unlike modern soldiers, they were paid by pillage, had no enforced code beyond making sure that the job got done, and worse of a reputation than any army of today (mercs were even worse). Worse, career soldiers were rare (attrition rates, if nothing else), and most soldiers did it explicitly because of the pillage and, well, it was something to do while the crops grew (most soldiers were, after all, farmboys who only went on one or two campaigns usually in order to make a serious profit before having enough of it)."
I would like to point out that in the mid to late middle ages, soldiers were almost exclusively aristocrats, not farmboys (though this may not be true in Scandinavian societies). It was a very heirarchial society, and while peasants did participate in defending their lords holdings at home or local rebellions, they rarely were ever sent into war abroad. They were simple people, uneducated, untrained and had virtually no prospects of social climbing and was actually illegal for them to own land. Hence the term "serf". Not only was social class a reason to keep peasants out of war, but also back then you had to have enough finincal resources to own your own armor and weapons and to afford training. That was rarely ever provided for soldiers, and completely prevented peasants from taking part in war. Eventually that began to change, but then you are getting into a period probably much later than you are writing about.

Marian Perera
10-02-2008, 03:39 AM
Thanks for the feedback, Adipocere. Lots to think about!


No matter what the era, raping any woman has always been wrong, regardless of wether or not she was considered property or otherwise.

I'm not entirely sure about this, because it opens up the question of whether it was wrong according to the people of that era or wrong according to us, people of another era. For instance, I thought marital rape was only recently recognized as a crime. But that's a whole 'nother issue, so I won't go into it any further.


In the long run, you need to consider why your character would even care afterwards, let alone feel guilty, especially if he gave his men the premission to do it in the first place or wanted first crack at her.

He didn't actually want first crack at her, but his men expected it of him. He felt guilty later on when he learned that the girl had become pregnant and died in childbirth.


As for soldiers who would not be likely to rape but do it when it is "acceptable", like in your case, there would probably be things about the woman herself.

Yes, that's in the story as well. The girl belongs to another race which his people consider subhuman (it operates in reverse as well, so her people consider his race little better than animals).


Furthermore, if your character is in command of these men, he has probably made it clear before the attack has even taken place what his men are allowed to do. He's either given the ok or said no and if he's around they aren't going to disobey.

That's a good point. I wonder if I could mention that he's relatively new to command, which is one reason he doesn't make it explicit whether they're allowed to rape captive women or not.


As far as the rage motivation is concerned, wouldn't just killing a bunch of men be enough? Why would a simple peasant woman provoke so much rage simply for being an "enemy".

I'm thinking that since the villagers were dug in and fighting to the bitter end, the girl would have been part of that last-ditch defense. Maybe she wields a weapon of some kind, like a bow. She's therefore partly responsible for the deaths or injuries of his men.


Eitherway, I think you need to deal with your characters overall fundamental morality and if he does rape her probably accept that maybe he is a bigger jerk then you wish him to be. I think it will be hard to find a convincing motivation in an otherwise good man.
On the other hand, this is a fantasy work, so really you can do anything with him you wish and be able to get away with it!

I haven't come across too many protagonists who committed rape and still managed to redeem themselves and be sympathetic, so I decided to try it with this story. I don't know if it'll work, but I'll give it my best shot. I think I'll also try to show that this isn't entirely similar to modern-day rape because my protagonist doesn't even think of the girl as "human" at first. Her race is considered subnormal, so I hope that will help make the crime more understandable.

Marian Perera
10-02-2008, 03:50 AM
But it still stands to reason; raping someone who is obviously terrified and unwilling is such an enormous failure of basic human compassion that something messed up has to be going on. I think that may be why you're faltering: you can't think of what would motivate a mentally healthy man to forcibly rape a terrified stranger, because there is nothing that would motivate a mentally healthy man to do that.

You've expressed it very well. You're right; I was finding it very hard to reconcile the rape (which happened three years before the story proper starts) with the protagonist's character and personality, but your post helped a lot in that regard. I was also worried I wouldn't be able to write the rape scene properly, but I'm getting over that.


At the very least you have to let him be temporarily not mentally healthy...

I think I can do that. He can be temporarily not mentally stable but still responsible for his actions while in that state. And one of the points I'd like to make is that it's possible for a person to be genuinely remorseful and to redeem himself even after committing a crime as serious as rape.

PattiTheWicked
10-02-2008, 04:10 AM
You may want to read about the case of Lieutenant Calley and the massacre at My Lai in Vietnam. A number of the murdered female villagers were also raped by the American soldiers. What's important in this case is that every one of the soldiers who participated was a "normal, nice guy" until the events at My Lai. Interviews with a lot of the men involved are available online.

While rape is never, ever excusable or tolerable, war and violence tends to change people's perception of what they will and won't do.

ideagirl
10-02-2008, 05:21 AM
While rape is never, ever excusable or tolerable, war and violence tends to change people's perception of what they will and won't do.

Part of it is probably what you might call "crowd frenzy." People as groups can be much more dangerous than any individual one of them would even think of being alone. Lynching crowds, for example--they lynched people AS CROWDS; I think that part of how that works is, if the people you're with are acting like something's ok, it becomes much easier to rationalize than it would be by yourself.

FinbarReilly
10-02-2008, 05:32 AM
1) Victims: She would have been likely treated as damaged goods or sent to a nunnery if she had been previously unmarried, or her husband or relatives would have helped hide the problem, especially if there was a pregnancy involved. It's interesting to note how many novice nuns had virgin births in the Middle Ages....(And yeah, I'm aware that not only rape victims joined a nunnery.)

I would agree that Casualties of War is a great movie; however, it doesn't apply to the thread at hand. Ironically, I would go with Eric the Viking; although the movie isn't highly realistic, it's depiction of rape in medieval war was.

2) Rapists: Is it any wonder that "victor" has a root in common with "victim"? It's neat to say that the man had to be temporarily insane or planning it ahead of time, but it shows more ignorance of the mores of the time and inability to look at it from someone else's shoes.

To assume that it wasn't linked to the moment or that it wasn't part of the looting, is to ignore our own past. As writers, we need to realize that not every age is as progressive as we are, and that we don't have anything to learn from the past. I'm not saying that Jarec can't be a more progressive type, I'm just saying that you need to realize that rape is hardly ever as simple as it seems, and that you need to get out of the mode that rape is about power or revenge, and that sometimes it's just about sex.

Putting it another way: As it would have been assumed that she had plenty of time to get out of the way of the army, and it wasn't exactly a surprise what happened to women caught by an army, the soldiers would have seen it as a form of consent. From their perspetive, they wouldn't have seen it as rape. Especially if she didn't offer a ransom of some sort...

3) Soldiers: Obligatory: HAH!

a) The origin of a given soldier depended on the the place and era. Also, it depends on if we are discussing mercenaries or actual soldiers. And it also depends on who is sponsoring the soldiers.

Soldiers were more likely to be middle class (usually younger sons trying to prove themselves) or farmers who were trying to better themselves. Generally, the later you go into the Medieval era, the more likely you are to find farmboys than those in the middle class (the soldier had to buy his armor at the beginning, so he needed to come from a family with money or his own; however, as the nation began paying the soldiers the more likely the soldier would have been given equipment so as to standardize equipment and make it cheaper).

It should also be noted that at the beginning nobles didn't like farmers running away to join the army, especially as they returned home. Something about revolts. However, as it became more expensive to buy mercs, and the middle class became more important, they had to draw the soldiers from somewhere, and you didn't need farmers the entire year.

However, that doesn't apply as much to mercenary troops, especially where it was seen as a rite of passage. Especially if the mercs were from areas with little natural resources. In which case you would be given your equipmeny some male relative and off you would go. It should be noted that mercs were more likely to rape, but only because they were used where it made more economic sense; hiring a companies of mercs for a siege or garrison duty didn't make much sense, but sending them out on a mission or to raze a small village did.

In essence, it's more likely a merc would rape someone simply because regular infantry troops were used in mass movements.

4) Pillaging: Originally, the pay rate of soldiers sucked. They could count on food and some seasonings (such as salt), but no actual pay. They were paid by allowing them to pillage whatever was at their objective, or on the way there. There were exceptions, but generally pillaging was considered a great way to pay your troops; not only did it mean that you didn't have to pay them, but that you made your target pay them for you. And, of course, it was also a great morale booster, especially when your soldiers were from poor beginnings.

5) Adipocere: I'm not really sure where you are getting that I'm assuming that medieval armies had no training, or were just a rabble (although I would love to see an argument where you would show that they were as disciplined as today's armies). I'm really not understanding how an army had a choice between pillaging and taking the land; why exactly couldn't they do both? In fact, historically, most armies did acquire land while pillaging.

And nobles? As front line infantry? Hardly. Although the youngest son might be near the front line, he would have at least a basic commission (in other words, he would be a low-ranking officer). However, those under his command would not have been aristocrats; even younger sons were still too important to have armies made of them.

In essence, you would have the lower ranks made up of whoever the nobles could get to fight, and they usually grabbed farmers because they didn't need them during the summer (the women could take care of the fields), as well as middle class kids wanting away from the family or wanting to prove themselves. It's worth noting that the military was one of the few ways a non-noble could rise to that rank; if that's the case, then why would there be nobles in the front ranks?

The enlisted and non-commissioned officers would typically be non-aristocrat; the officers would usually be nobles who started off at the rank allowed by title and birth rank. Note that I'm not saying that there weren't any nobles in the army; they just didn't make up the majority, or even more than a very vocal minority....

FR

Dommo
10-02-2008, 07:14 AM
I agree with finbar.

In england in particular, most of your footsoldiers were made up primarily of yoeman(or free land holders). Considering how crappy the pay was and how cash strapped the kingdoms were, pillaging was pretty much how you paid your men. In fact, threatening to rape a captured daughter of a noble, was a common way to ransom(which might net the ransoming commoner, enough money to become a noble himself, even after he had to split it with the commanding nobility).

Rape in the context of the time, was a tool that was widely used. It was used to spread fear, as well as to lay blood claims on territory. What you ladies need to understand, is that until the 19th century, women were considered PROPERTY that was no more useful than as currency for business transactions(e.g. used in marriages to secure land, etc.), and for child rearing. I'm not saying that there weren't exceptions(the smarter nobility understood this, and often used women as spies for example), but if you look at the way that women are treated in Afghanistan and the like, that's pretty much how the whole world was.

Don't get the idea that I'm condoning rape, but honestly at the time(middle ages) it was a legitimate and widely done thing. Nobles claimed the virginity of other men's wives on their wedding nights, and soldiers raped and pillaged when they conquered. In the first case it was actually allowed by law, and in the second case it was allowed for the sake of boosting morale and instilling fear in the enemy.

Adipocere
10-02-2008, 07:34 AM
Queen-

Yeah, your explanations of what I mentioned does clear more up. Also it is certianly true that in the middle-ages especially, powerful kingdoms/empires/nations etc regularly Considered people of other races, religions and languages to be far inferior even going so far as not considering them human and posessing no souls. That was true even in more modern times, like black slavery in the US.

But you really should rent Casualties of War, you will find it very relevant to your issue.

I hope you didn't think that I was being critical of you. I really hope your book works out and I do wish you the best of luck!

Adipocere
10-02-2008, 08:23 AM
Finbar-
I see what you're saying and where you are coming from. The whole culture of the European middle ages was very complex.
Warfare, social class, soldiers and situations differed widley from nation to nation (I use the term nation loosely)
I admit that I am basing what I said in my original post basically on the British regions, which is generally the cultural setting used in most fantasy novels based on medieval times, both made up worlds or more historical settings. Also, what I said is information that I have gleaned from a lot of reading about the middle ages from the perspective of countries I am interested in, but in this case England.
You are right that high ranking nobles headed the troops and that rank in the campaigns decreased as the soldiers' role became more dangerous. However, it is still true that during the period of knights (one of the most popular fantasy settings), soldiers had to supply their own armor which was expensive and simply talented or low ranking soldiers had to be sponsered by higer ranking people. Most knights were sponsored as well because they could not afford the equipment. Serfs and peasants simply did not have the ability to to aquire their own armor among everything else going against them. And a middle class really only began to rise up later.
Also it is true that pillaging was often a payment and part of the contract for soldiers, but this was more true in the earlier parts of the middle ages, and again more often true for some cultures more than others. Also, serfs could earn their freedom by joining armies, but this went back and forth through the middle ages. It was not something necessarily true for the whole era.

Dommo- I totally disagree about the nature of rape. While I agree that women were property and currency, I still think there was more respect for them then just being a warm vagina to be enjoyed by any man who passed by. The troubadors spread the idea of courtly love and praise for virtious women all over Europe, it was insanely popular and something the nobility became obsessed with, particularly knights. Considering that Knights and Lords were physically on the battlefield during battles, they very well may have set standards for the behavior of their soldiers concerning treatment of women, at the very least to uphold their own sense of honor. I'm not saying this is some kind of truth, but it was a cultural phenomenon.

Every detail of medieval warfare, politics and society depends on the time period in question. The middle ages was not just some stagnant, unevolving black hole in time that lasted for hundreds of years.

Really it is almost ridiculious to try to generalize anything about the middle ages...it constitutes a truely vast period of time and many different cultures.

Dommo
10-02-2008, 08:43 AM
I'm not saying the ideas of chivalry didn't exist in the middle ages, I'm just saying that in a lot of situations they weren't applied. Sure there was still love that existed, but women were not really looked at in anyway as equals by men. The church propagated this as well through the concepts of original sin and by other means. But while nobles may well have promoted courtly love, they didn't act on it that's for sure. It wasn't uncommon for a noble to have multiple bastard children, as well as a bunch of mistresses.

Knights and Lords may have been on the battlefield, but they knew that their success or failure was dependent on being able to keep the morale of their forces up. Thus while they may well have preached "honorable behavior" they typically didn't enforce it when they just conquered a town. The last thing a noble needed was for their army to turn on them(as often they weren't paid except by plunder). On occasion you did have nobles that actually enforced some standards on their men, but typically nobles were reluctant to do anything that cause an army to lose morale.

The whole romanticizing of the middle ages needs to stop. It wasn't a good a time in general, to be a human being(especially if you were a serf). It was called the dark ages for a reason, and it's because it was a time of savagery and ignorance. Courtly love, doesn't really reflect on the reality of the time period. Unless you were at the top of the power pyramid, life was rough, and even at the top life was still short and often violent. If you want an idea what the middle ages were like, look at a place like Darfur, or the Congo.

Don't get the idea that love didn't exist, because it did, a lot of men did genuinely love their wives and treated women decently. What I am saying, is that the harsh realities of the world made behavior that we consider horrible, to be if not acceptable, at least tolerated.

Dommo
10-02-2008, 08:55 AM
One thing I would note, is that the romans were a lot more forgiving on the populace of the nations they invaded. Because they often had a real logistical infrastructure, they often didn't loot or pillage the nations they were at war with as severely(which in the middle ages was non-existant). However, the romans even with their more disciplined and restrained notions would still periodically do some pretty awful things to some cities(carthage comes to mind immediately).

Adipocere
10-02-2008, 09:33 AM
[quote=Dommo;2810223]
The whole romanticizing of the middle ages needs to stop. It wasn't a good a time in general, to be a human being(especially if you were a serf). It was called the dark ages for a reason, and it's because it was a time of savagery and ignorance. Courtly love, doesn't really reflect on the reality of the time period. Unless you were at the top of the power pyramid, life was rough, and even at the top life was still short and often violent. If you want an idea what the middle ages were like, look at a place like Darfur, or the Congo.
/quote]

I agree that the ideals of courtly love were not necessarily applied in reality. As far as men haveing mistresses and bastards and such...since when is that rape??? Men still have mistresses and "bastards", and they are not rapists.
I do not romanticize the middle ages. I was only making a point. Don't you think that the idea of the middle ages as being some kind of unhabitable living hell is also a negative form of romanticization? A sterotype?
Just because in our time the typical life of a Medieval person seems horrible doesn't mean that everyone who lived then felt that way too. People have always had the ability find happiness and meaning in life, even in bad circumstances, otherwise why would we still be here today? Humans are not just programed to reproduce like robots, a lot of other factors are involved in evolution.
As far as early death for most of the population, that is entirely relative. Thirty years was considered a normal lifespan. People had no reason expect to live any longer, even though some did. Americans now expect to live about 70 years. It is very unusual to live much longer. Who knows, in 50 years our lifespan may reach an average of 150 years. Do you and I feel like we are being cheated of our natural lives when we die at 70? No...there is no reason to even imagine that we might live past 100.
And the term Dark Ages is dated and historians don't use it in serious discussion. It has long been recognized that it was a difficult period but that term applied to the result of the fall of the glorious Roman Empire and "classical" learning. There was still progress and literature, civilization and culture during that time. People were not "savage". They were not covered in fur, liveing in caves, sporting loincloths and grunting at each other. They may have been more ignorant, but they were just as physically modern and potentially intelligent as we are today. (I'm not trying to sound like a jerk, but Anthropologists hate the term savage or primitive to describe cultures)
It was not as though history froze or all civilization completely regressed only to suddenly re-emerge about 200 years ago.

FinbarReilly
10-02-2008, 11:59 AM
Armor: Regular soldiers didn't really have armor past a helmet; the armor most soldiers had would be the equivalent of leather armor. The problem wasn't necessarily the expense; there was the time involved, and that metal was too rare to be used by everyone.

There's also several tactical issues. Your average knight didn't have to carry his armor around; the average soldier would. You try carrying forty+ pounds of armor around; I'll bet you would get tired real quick.

Also, you wouldn't be able to harry the opponent in any kind of metal armor (read: shoot and move, shoot again and move again, repeat as needed); you simply can't run very far in metal armor. Also, look up what happened to the 400 knights at Agincourt; given the weather in Europe, I don't think that having your entire force in metal armor would be a great thing.

Bottom Line: Yes, a soldier did have to provide their own equipment. However, they usually already had their own weapons (bows were pretty common, swords and helmets were reasonably priced, and the uniforms could be made by Mom), and relatively few of the soldiers involved had anything resembling actual armor. I appreciate the common image of medieval warfare was the knight, but there were damn few of them in actual use.

Casulaties of War: Yes, it's a great movie. However, it represents how soldiers in a relatively modern war treated women, and I would point out that the three of guys were court-martialed and sent to Fort Leavenworth. Also, note that they had to sneak around. The same applies to the My Lai massacre. In other words: Rape bad. Get caught and you will get a jail sentence.

A much better representation of the MEDIEVAL mindset is Erik the Viking, where the group of Vikings is pillaging the village. Admittedly, it is taken to an extreme for comedic purposes, but it's far more accurate of what happened.

It should be noted that, unlike modern warfare, it's really hard for an approaching army to sneak up on another army, and that most civilians would have the chance to run before the guys with swords showed up. Again, I go to Erik the Viking, which shows the problem pretty good. And the same applies to foot soldiers; the army would be slowed by what the soldiers had to carry, it was noisy, and it was easy to outrun. It wasn't like the modern military that's sneaky, highly mobile, and hard to follow.

Botttom Line: If I'm exploring MODERN concepts of soldiers raping women, Casualties of War is a great movie. But it in no way represents the MEDIEVAL concept of soldiers raping women, and has no real bearing on this discussion.

Respect of Women: It really depends on how far into the Medieval era we're discussing. Until we hit the Renaissance, women may not have been soldiers, but they did help in the defense of the castle. In fact, the lady of the castle was just as capable of leading the defense as the lord and any ofhis sons. Think of this in tactical terms; if you needed to defend your family home, what matters more: Can the person help, or that the person has boobs? Of course, this means that you have women in a position where soldiers that are pillaging everything and don't really consider the defending force worthy of respect.

However, as castles became outdated, thanks to cannons, chivalry became more important. Also, "soldier" became an actual career (whereas before war was limited to the summer months because you needed to get people home for harvest, it became year-round (only limited by our supply lines)). The sad upshot of this is that women became less respected as time went on, but it was unlikely that women women would be around and that pillaging would be allowed (they were paid better by now).

So it really depends on which time period we're talking about...

[By now, the OP is probably going: I liked medieval fantasy better when I could use modern morality:D. Damn Finbar to hell! Hell I tell you!]

FR

FinbarReilly
10-02-2008, 12:26 PM
As far as men haveing mistresses and bastards and such...since when is that rape???
We're not talking as the result of a tryst back home; we're talking about the effects of a battlefield interaction, which was usually not consensual.


I do not romanticize the middle ages. I was only making a point. Don't you think that the idea of the middle ages as being some kind of unhabitable living hell is also a negative form of romanticization? A sterotype?
Just because in our time the typical life of a Medieval person seems horrible doesn't mean that everyone who lived then felt that way too.
The problem is that we need to approach the medieval not from our perspective, but from the perspective of someone from the medieval era. Only in the modern world do we consider the effects of being desensitized to the effects of violence; that's because only in this era can we see a childhood where the kid wouldn't see someone die right in front of him.

I'm not saying that the medieval life was hell; I'm just saying that it has been romanticized a bit more than we think, and that we need to stop looking at it from our perspective. It's sort of like looking at slavery from today's perspective; now, we agree that slavery is horrible, and that it deserves to be a crime. Back even just two centuries ago, we need to keep in mind that it was a valued part of the economy. In the early part of the 19th century, abolitionists were seen as people who wanted to bring Society down by the ears rather than forward-seeing people with a legitimate perspective.

Just something to consider...


And the term Dark Ages is dated and historians don't use it in serious discussion.
Er...Relevance? You'll note that you are the first to mention that term. Just thought that I'd point it out...


(I'm not trying to sound like a jerk, but Anthropologists hate the term savage or primitive to describe cultures)
But this isn't an anthropological discussion board; we need those terms to stress the relative levels of historical cultures. I have no problem saying that the medieval world is savage compared to today's world, and that things were more primitive back then. But then again, I know why they wore those silly neck thingies...Show me a place in Europe where they still wear them for the same reason, and I'll agree that "savage" and "primitive" are unacceptable terms.

FR

Adipocere
10-02-2008, 08:19 PM
Er...Relevance? You'll note that you are the first to mention that term. Just thought that I'd point it out...

I call shenanigans! I re-read all my posts. I never once refered to it as the Dark Ages. I was quoting you. :)




But this isn't an anthropological discussion board; we need those terms to stress the relative levels of historical cultures. I have no problem saying that the medieval world is savage compared to today's world, and that things were more primitive back then. But then again, I know why they wore those silly neck thingies...Show me a place in Europe where they still wear them for the same reason, and I'll agree that "savage" and "primitive" are unacceptable terms.
FR

Nor is this a Medieval Warfare discussion board. This is only a single thread that completely deteriorated into an argument between three writers about a subject in history that I can bet none of us are college professors specializing in. (but hell I might be wrong! I am new)

Synonyms of Savage: "Syn: Ferocious; wild; uncultivated; untamed; untaught; uncivilized; unpolished; rude; brutish; brutal; heathenish; barbarous; cruel; inhuman; fierce; pitiless; merciless; unmerciful; atrocious."

Synonyms of Primative: 1. Not derived from something else: original, primary, prime.
2. Of or being an irreducible element: basic, elemental, elementary, essential, fundamental, ultimate, underlying.
3. Of, existing, or occurring in a distant period: ancient, antediluvian, early.
4. Exhibiting lack of education or knowledge: backward, benighted, ignorant, unenlightened.
5. Lacking expert, careful craftsmanship: crude, raw, rough, rude, unpolished.
6. Of or relating to early stages in the evolution of human culture: primeval. Not civilized: barbarian, barbaric, barbarous, rude, savage, uncivilized, uncultivated, uncultured, wild. Archaic uncivil.

Strong words aren't they? Do you really feel that the terms savage and primitive are approperate for for the middle ages? People throw those words around and don't really understand their meaning. As far as using them to describle people and cultures that we cannot relate to, modern or antique, refer back to "primitive" #4.

Just wanted to make the point.

Man, I'm sure after reading this thread, Queen = :e2thud:

Marian Perera
10-02-2008, 08:31 PM
QoS is all, "Uh, okayyy..." <backs out of thread to let the knowledgeable people duke it out amongst themselves, relieved they held off until she got what she wanted about the original topic>

FinbarReilly
10-02-2008, 10:05 PM
I call shenanigans! I re-read all my posts. I never once refered to it as the Dark Ages. I was quoting you. :)
Hah! I also call shenanigans! It was Dommo who first used it. My apologies nonetheless.


Nor is this a Medieval Warfare discussion board. This is only a single thread that completely deteriorated into an argument between three writers about a subject in history that I can bet none of us are college professors specializing in. (but hell I might be wrong! I am new)
a) Actually, I think is exactly what the OP asked for; after all, it's important to look at the medieval era as it was, and not as we would have liked it, and to especially look at how they actually thought rather than how we would have in their place.

b) We may not be medieval professors, but we are the second best thing. And I'm having fun seeing just how much I can remember...


Synonyms of Savage: "Syn: Ferocious; wild; uncultivated; untamed; untaught; uncivilized; unpolished; rude; brutish; brutal; heathenish; barbarous; cruel; inhuman; fierce; pitiless; merciless; unmerciful; atrocious."
Uncultivated works, as does unpolished. Brutal definitely works, as does cruel, fierce, merciless, and unmerciful. And atrocious would also be a good one.


Synonyms of Primative:
3. Of, existing, or occurring in a distant period: ancient, antediluvian, early.
Just look at their plumbing, medical, and manufacturing skills compared to what we would consider the basic level of today.


4. Exhibiting lack of education or knowledge: backward, benighted, ignorant, unenlightened.
The best example here would be farming. After all, They needed 99.99% of the populace farming just to produce a slight surplus in order to feed the remainder. And that percentage wouldn't go up until the Industrial Revolution hit.


5. Lacking expert, careful craftsmanship: crude, raw, rough, rude, unpolished.
Yeah; this would characterize just about any manufacturing process of the medieval era.


Do you really feel that the terms savage and primitive are approperate for for the middle ages?
Well, yeah. Compared to today, they are savage and primitive. Just look at how they prevented the plague from happening to the Pope, and that they got it right more due to luck than anything else. Just consider how badly thet screwed up the concept of indoor plumbing, something that they actually discarded for the most part.

Man, I'm sure after reading this thread, Queen = :e2thud:
Well, she asked for it. So :tongue

FR

FinbarReilly
10-02-2008, 10:06 PM
QoS is all, "Uh, okayyy..." <backs out of thread to let the knowledgeable people duke it out amongst themselves, relieved they held off until she got what she wanted about the original topic>
Sorry. And I bet Jarec is all sorts of messed up now....heh...

FR

Marian Perera
10-03-2008, 03:03 AM
Sorry. And I bet Jarec is all sorts of messed up now....heh...

No problem. I got what I wanted, so you guys go ahead.

And yes, Jarec is so messed up, even years later. In fact, now I think I'm walking a new line - trying to make him remorseful for the crime and tormented by it, without turning him into an ambulatory sack of angst.

Phoebe H
10-03-2008, 05:01 AM
Armor: Regular soldiers didn't really have armor past a helmet; the armor most soldiers had would be the equivalent of leather armor. The problem wasn't necessarily the expense; there was the time involved, and that metal was too rare to be used by everyone.

There's also several tactical issues. Your average knight didn't have to carry his armor around; the average soldier would. You try carrying forty+ pounds of armor around; I'll bet you would get tired real quick.

Yes. It's better to be able to move than to have armor. Helmets, boots, and gloves (and shields where they made sense), and everything else is optional. And as someone who has done hard manual labor wearing ~30 pounds of armor, it definitely takes conditioning.



Respect of Women: It really depends on how far into the Medieval era we're discussing. Until we hit the Renaissance, women may not have been soldiers, but they did help in the defense of the castle. In fact, the lady of the castle was just as capable of leading the defense as the lord and any ofhis sons. Think of this in tactical terms; if you needed to defend your family home, what matters more: Can the person help, or that the person has boobs? Of course, this means that you have women in a position where soldiers that are pillaging everything and don't really consider the defending force worthy of respect.

Actually, it needs to be said that women served as soldiers in the field to a greater extent than most people are aware. It was forbidden by the church -- but the reason the church needed to forbid it was because it happened often enough to be an issue. Which is not to disagree with your general points at all, but I'd weight the objectification a little more to 'because they're the enemy' than just because 'they are women'.

roncouch
10-04-2008, 09:34 PM
Queen,

Men, when sexually aroused, tend to put conscience aside. I doubt there is significant primal difference between your medieval character and most young males of today. As someone pointed out, young men are easily aroused, and given the set of circumstances described, can fully understand the rape scene. So, yes, men, including your book's main man, are fully capable of doing some pretty gross things.

Ron

FinbarReilly
10-04-2008, 10:47 PM
Queen,

Men, when sexually aroused, tend to put conscience aside.
Er...No. Had you written "people" in general, I would have agreed with you; after all, women show the same lack of conscience, but we tend to ignore that because their sexuality tends to be ignored.

But, by using "men" alone in the context of a thread where we are discussing rape, you are implying that men are ruled by their genitalia more than their brain. The problem is that, even allowing for the flow of blood to other sections, most men do tend to let their brain rule the situation unless there is an intense emotional reaction.

Also, it requires the man being reasonably safe. He has to know that not only his reaction is normal, but is also protected against retribution.

This is probably were the difference between today's war and yesterday's war has the greatest gulf. Not only was it semi-acceptable to rape a woman, but it was considered normal and there was no retribution from those around them. Also, it required a major emotional investment that required an equal emotional divestment.

In today's war, even though there is still an emotional investment, a more intellectual approach is required (rifles require more brains to use than swords, and tactics are more interesting than just "rush and retreat when called"). Also, it's not as acceptable to rape as it used to be, and the soldier has to worry about potential retribution. Not to say that it doesn't happen, but I would point out that it does happen a lot less.

Sorry...just get annoyed when men are made out to be villains just be virtue of being men...I wonder if women will be under the same microscope if more served on the front line...

FR

roncouch
10-05-2008, 12:34 AM
Er...No. Had you written "people" in general, I would have agreed with you; after all, women show the same lack of conscience, but we tend to ignore that because their sexuality tends to be ignored.

But, by using "men" alone in the context of a thread where we are discussing rape, you are implying that men are ruled by their genitalia more than their brain. The problem is that, even allowing for the flow of blood to other sections, most men do tend to let their brain rule the situation unless there is an intense emotional reaction.

Sorry...just get annoyed when men are made out to be villains just be virtue of being men...I wonder if women will be under the same microscope if more served on the front line...

FR

FR,
You missed the thread's question posed by QOS which asked what would motivate her character to commit rape. I do feel most young men, in a aroused state, do tend to think with an appendage that has no brain:)

FinbarReilly
10-05-2008, 03:08 AM
FR,
You missed the thread's question posed by QOS which asked what would motivate her character to commit rape. I do feel most young men, in a aroused state, do tend to think with an appendage that has no brain:)
Actually, the answer has been answered quite well (to be part of the men, show that he is a man, as emotional release, as release of sexual tension), and note that we don't disagree.

I'm just a bit worried that you are presenting US GUYS in a SEXIST ONE-DIMENSIONAL fashion, that we are just interested in getting laid and nothing else matters more than getting laid. I'd like to think that, after a number of centuries, humans have evolved somewhat at least. At the very least, I'd like to think that women are just as screwed up as guys when it comes to sex.

Note that I'm not saying that blood flowing to the wrong head never happens, just that there's sometimes more to it than just a little blood filling up part of the body, and that, especially as writers, we need to explore that a bit, especially when it comes to the symbology of the situation...

FR

roncouch
10-05-2008, 03:29 AM
I'm just a bit worried that you are presenting US GUYS in a SEXIST ONE-DIMENSIONAL fashion, that we are just interested in getting laid and nothing else matters more than getting laid. I'd like to think that, after a number of centuries, humans have evolved somewhat at least. At the very least, I'd like to think that women are just as screwed up as guys when it comes to sex.

FR

FR, Would never present men as one-dimensional (well, maybe sometimes) and think we have more in common than not. Thanks for your response.

Ron

Marian Perera
10-05-2008, 03:52 AM
As someone pointed out, young men are easily aroused, and given the set of circumstances described, can fully understand the rape scene. So, yes, men, including your book's main man, are fully capable of doing some pretty gross things.

I think that makes me feel better. In a weird kind of way. It's just that rape is major. I could have the character killing a dozen people and that would go down better than rape. Plus, I haven't read too many other books which feature a main character who committed rape, so I didn't have much to analyze to see how other writers handled it.

FinbarReilly
10-05-2008, 05:21 AM
FR, Would never present men as one-dimensional (well, maybe sometimes) and think we have more in common than not. Thanks for your response.

Ron
Thanks for yours, and sorry if I over-reacted. I'm so going to have a scene where a woman rapes a man at this point....

FR

TsukiRyoko
10-05-2008, 05:27 AM
In a situation like this, I'd imagine it'd be a case of a twisted power show.

Marian Perera
10-05-2008, 05:50 AM
I'm so going to have a scene where a woman rapes a man at this point....

Johanna Lindsey, Prisoner of My Desire.

FinbarReilly
10-05-2008, 06:38 AM
Burning City, Jerry Pournelle for you then....

And I know it happens; I've read a few accounts of men that were raped by women...I just don't see it happening a lot in fiction...

FR