My. My. My. How things have changed for the better, or the worse, depending upon your point of view. “Women Who Want To Be Raped” is an article from Quick magazine, the Feb. 1965 issue. It’s typical of the offerings in men’s magazine of its era. Misogynic or not? You be the judge. All I can say is WOW!!!
The woman who screams “rape” has often lured the man into the act or at least offered a minimum of resistance. But public sentiment is on her side, and she will usually win her case.
It’s after midnight when the woman gets off the bus and walked slowly down the dimly-lit street. The stores are closed and only a tavern on the corner is still open for business. She goes inside, sits down at a table, and orders a beer.
The bartender, who when later questioned by the police will say that she didn’t look like the type who usually comes in his place, especially at that time of the night. She gives the appearance of a neatly-dressed modest spinster. “Like a school teacher or a librarian—you know what I mean.”
She leaves the bar after about half an hour and a few minutes later one of the customers follows her out. The next morning, the newspaper in the small community carries the headline, “WOMAN RAPED BY SEX FIEND”. The woman, Martha X., is a secretary in a local insurance office, a spinster in her thirties with a reputation for blameless morality. The town is up in arms, and there are many who say that lynching is too good for the rapist.
While the headline refers to him as a sex fiend, he is actually a construction worker of average intelligence who has no previous police or psychiatric record. He admits that he had been drinking heavily, and does not deny that he committed the crime. However, he insists that the woman had offered little resistance. Nevertheless, he is sentenced to twenty-five years in prison.
Why such a harsh sentence? Was it justified? Where there mitigating circumstance? Well, let’s look closer at the case, objectively.
When Martha X. was taken to the hospital, she was in a state of shock, or so it appeared. She was examined by the hospital psychiatrist as well as the resident doctor.
The psychiatrist in question isn’t satisfied with the obvious conclusion that here is a helpless innocent victim, assaulted by a lust-crazed beast.
Like many psychiatrists, he has reason to believe that there are women who invite rape, who actually want to be assaulted although their desires are usually subconscious. His testimony to this effect is disregarded by the police, but as he continues to study the case of Martha X., he is increasingly certain that she is such a woman.
Why should a woman want to be made the victim of rape? According to Ludwig Eldelberg, M.D., a prominent psychiatrist, who is Chief of the Psychiatric Clinic of Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, and President of the Psychoanalytical Association of New York, the urge to be raped is buried in the minds of many women as a result of faulty sex education and various traumatic experiences with sex in early childhood.
For example, many girls are taught that sex is evil, and that no descent woman enjoys it. “Those who want to be raped regard sex as something wrong and by accepting the humiliations attached to its execution try to rid themselves of guilt, and possible punishment,” says Dr. Eldelberg in his book, “The Dark Urge”.
While the act of rape touched off a wave of anger and indignation in most communities, with demands that the rapist be imprisoned or lynched, there are certain medico-legal authorities who are not even willing to concede that rape as such is possible “by one man alone on an adult woman of good health and vigor.”
In his book “Medical Jurisprudence”, Beck states that “The consummation of a rape, by which is meant a complete, full, and entire coition which is made without any consent or permission of the woman, seems impossible unless some very extraordinary circumstances occur. For a woman always possesses sufficient power by drawing back her limbs and by the force of her hands to prevent the insertion of the penis while she can keep her resolution entire.”
In most states, however, the law takes a less extreme point of view and a man can be convicted of rape when a woman makes little or no resistance. Even in the cases where the woman goes willingly to a man’s apartment or hotel room, drinks with him, and shows him every encouragement, she can still charge him with rape if he forces his attentions on her later in the evening.
Since the penalties for rape are so severe, it is important that the degree of the victim’s resistance should be clearly established. In eleven states the penalty for rape may be death or life imprisonment, and in seventeen other states, life may be imposed in rape cases. In two states, terms of up to ninety-nine years may be given.
Obviously, the woman who claims to have been raped when she actually lured the man into the act or at least offered a minimum of resistance is as guilty as her assailant, but because public sentiment is on her side, she will eventually win her case.
According to Frank S. Caprio, M.D. and Donald Brenner, L.L.B., “There are many instances where a defendant is accused of rape and the facts reveal that rape did not really take place. In some cases, court records show that women make formal complaint of being raped but upon further investigation it is proven that they had lied and were merely expressing vindictiveness toward men who had jilted them.
Such cases are relatively easy to dismiss, because the woman has a conscious reason for charging the man with rape, and under forceful cross-examination she can easily be made to admit her motivation.
It is in those cases where the desire for rape is unconscious, where the woman, herself, doesn’t realize that she aroused the need to rape her in the man for her own twisted psychological reasons, that he is least able to defend himself in court.
Again, according to Captio and Brenner, “Some women … are masochistic by nature, preferring to feel that they have been forced into having relations, a desire which makes the act seem more erotic for them. They will even resist deliberately, hoping the man will persist and force them into submission.”
That many women are secretly fascinated by the fantasy of rape, if not by the reality, is proved by the unusual popularity among female audiences recently of movies featuring rape as the theme. As movie censorship grows less and less strict, rape scenes that formerly could only have been hinted at are now shown in great detail. Such movies as, “Anatomy of a Murder”, “Peyton Place”, “A Streetcar Named Desire”, “Last Train From Gun Hill”, “By Love Possessed”, “The Virgin Spring”, “Hud”, and “The Outrage”, all feature scenes dealing with rape as an essential part of the plot. Except for a few isolated protests, these pictures have been popular with female audiences.
As long as women confine their rape fantasies to movies or novels they are harmless, but in many cases these fantasies take over in real life, and the woman actually imagines that she has been raped by a man, and furthermore, she manages to convince the police, the judge, and the jury that her fantasy is fact.
Teenage girls are particularly apt to bring such charges against men, perhaps because of their own confusion and mental turmoil following an unfortunate and disturbing introduction to the idea of sexual intercourse.
Evelyn G., a fourteen-year-old girl was given an unusually strict upbringing by her mother, who warned her against letting a man touch or kiss her. The mother implied that even the slightest physical contact with a man could have ruinous results. Evelyn was terrified and at the same time, fascinated by the idea of sex. Since she was not allowed to date or to join in the after-school social activities of her friends, she had too much time to brood and daydream about the subject of sex. Her mother’s endless lectures and warnings only served to simulate her imagination.
Since both parents worked, Evelyn was left alone at home in the afternoons, and she was in the habit of answering the door clad only in shorts and a halter, or a housecoat. The grocery boy who made deliveries to the apartment testified that several times she asked him into the kitchen and had indicated by her looks and the tone of her voice that she would be receptive to his advances. He ignored these implied invitations until the afternoon when she came to the door wearing only a bath towel. He wanted to leave the groceries at the door but she insisted that he should come inside.
On this occasion, temptation proved too much, and he put his arms around her and tried to kiss her. She immediately became hysterical and when the neighbors arrived, she insisted that the boy had rape her. A medical examination disproved her accusation in this case. She was still a virgin and there weren’t any marks of a struggle on her body.
In the case where the girl is not a virgin, the accused would have had a more difficult time proving his innocence, especially if she believed strongly enough in her own fantasy, and had a sympathetic jury.
Of course, the accused male does have some defense against the girl who only imagined the incident. In New York State, for example, “No conviction can be had for rape or defilement upon the testimony of the female defied, unsupported by other evidence”. Her testimony must be supported by “signs and marks of a struggle, physical evidence of sexual intercourse, proof of outcry, proof of immediate complaint, the defendant’s presence at the scene of the crime or flight therefrom, etc”.
However, in many other states, a man could be convicted of rape only on the unsupported testimony of the woman, if her story is believed by the judge and jury. It is impossible to know how many innocent men have been imprisoned or executed on the word of a psychotic or mentally-disturbed female. In certain cases, public sentiment against the accused rapist runs so high that he is lynched before he has a chance to come to trial.
There is still a tendency on the part of many courts to discount or discredit the testimony of psychiatrists, saying that it is only theoretical, and that it is therefore not valid evidence in a court of law, where the jury must deal with cold, hard facts. While it is true that a psychiatrists will occasionally go rather far afield in his theorizing, in an attempt to save a mentally unbalanced defendant from a conviction, in the case of rape, it is essential that the supposed victim should be carefully questioned by a competent psychiatrist to discover whether her own behavior, unconscious or otherwise, played a part in the crime. Research has proved that there are women who want to be raped and who will do everything possible to make it happen. No man should be made to pay with his freedom, his reputation, or his life, for their dark and twisted needs.