June 30th, 2011

mourning

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Hermione not amused

Victim blaming is disgusting, regardless of the victim's age, sex, or gender.

I don't know why, because my brain just randomly pulls up topics at times for no apparent reason, but today I was thinking about rape, and victim blaming. As I thought about it, something startling came to mind. Something occurred to me that allows me to perfectly describe my feelings about victim blaming:

Imagine for a moment the common thing fictional child molesters say (real ones might say it too, I dunno; I've never seen one say it, but it wouldn't surprise me) when talking of their crimes, the "She was asking for it; didn't you see how she was dressed?" line. Remember the kind of shock, rage, and disgust that follows a statement like that; almost everyone has the same reaction, a horrified reaction like "HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY SAY THAT?" and a strong desire to beat the shit out of the person saying it. And if anybody else agreed with him, they'd be viewed with the same horror, and the people hearing it would say things like "You must be a child molester too" or "what a horrible parent" (depending on who's saying it) or similar things. You get the point; imply a child wanted to be raped, and OMG THE HORROR. Which is good. I feel the same way. I react with the same shock, rage, horror, and disgust to those statements.

So why is it that a rapist can say the same thing about an adult victim, and half the people who hear it agree with him? Myself, I have the same shock, horror, rage, and disgust regardless of the age, sex, sexual preference, or gender of the victim, whether the rapist or anyone else says it. But a lot of people don't share this. They blame the victim.

I do not understand this victim-blaming, not one little bit. Nobody wants to be raped, not really. "Rape fantasies" are just fantasies, role playing. Even those people who have rape fantasies don't want to be raped for real, any more than folks into torture role play want to be tortured for real. Real rape is violent, makes you feel powerless, often is done to you by a stranger or someone you don't like, and there is no safe word. It's a traumatic experience. Fantasy is one thing; role playing fantasy still involves consent. As long as there is a safe word, and both parties abide by the safe word, it is consenting. The moment someone's safe word is ignored, it becomes rape. If no safe word was pre-planned, then "No" is the default. Anyone hearing their partner say "No" should stop immediately; it is wrong to assume that No means yes. Sex may resume if consent is reaffirmed, and a safe word other than No should be decided upon if a person tends to say No when they don't really mean it. And even if a person is known to say No when they don't mean it, unless there is another safe word it should ALWAYS be assumed that No means No.

Rape IS a traumatic experience, a violent loss of control that can do a lot of damage, physical and psychological. I've never experienced it myself, thank goodness, but I have a strong empathic gift and can feel the victims' pain when they speak about it as though it were my own. And as if that weren't bad enough, when others don't believe the victim, it is a fresh trauma, equal in severity to the crime itself. And blaming the victim for the rape is even worse. In my opinion, if you blame a victim of a rape for being raped, you might as well be raping them all over again, because that's the kind of damage you're doing.

A rapist is a rapist regardless of the age, sex, or gender of the victim. Rape is a traumatic, violent experience regardless of age, sex, sexual preference, or gender of the victim. And blaming an adult victim of rape for being raped is just as nonsensical and disgusting as blaming a child for being raped.

That is all.

Crossposted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org
Hit Girl

Looking for suggestions for realistic genetic enhancements.

I have a story universe where humans have gone out amongst the stars and found lots of planets with life, but none with existing alien civilizations. They often undergo genetic engineering changes to adapt themselves to their new planets. This creates loads of different species of humans, including planets that still have the original Homo Sapiens Sapiens species.

A couple species went farther with this, and began doing genetic engineering over the course of thousands of years to give themselves enhancements. I already have a fair list of traits. The Mindeodeans, for one, have enhanced strength, stamina, immune systems, a high healing factor (rapid clotting of wounds; cuts heal in a matter of hours), the ability to regrow missing limbs, they have a 3000 year lifespan (females only ovulate once every 10 years to compensate), and their bones are titanium (a trait local to all Mindeodean animals). The Grelt, on the other hand, focused on intelligence. Their brains are larger and several times more complex than our own, they can multi-task very well, their corpus callosum is so thick with connections that the two hemispheres may as well be one, their brains are several times more active and have more connections than ours, they retain childlike brain plasticity well into their old age, and since the two species met, the Grelt have adopted a few of the Mindeodean traits for themselves (healing factor, lifespan, limb regrowth, stamina, and immune system). And the Mindeodeans are doing research into adopting some of the brain enhancements for their own species, too.

But the Mindeodean military is focusing on other traits, adding experimental traits to their soldiers which may eventually be voted on for introduction to the general populace. I don't have a definite list yet, as I need to decide which traits have already been adopted by the general populace, but my list of possibilities for the military-introduced traits include:

* Hold breath up to 2 hours (with normal metabolism)
* Slow down metabolism at will, even to a death-like state.
* Survive hard vacuum (certain insects on Earth can do this) for X time.
* Switching to a "conserve water" mode for duties/life in desert (another species of human already has this trait)
* Ability to feel magnetic north.

Also considering a few mental upgrades, especially since some of the mental enhancements the Grelt have can enhance reflexes and multi-tasking. That is fairly important for the Mindeodean military, as one way they have of keeping their soldiers from being killed is by having them pilot remote-controlled fighters. The better the brain, the more fighters they can control simultaneously.

But I'm really interested in more ideas for physical traits that can be added to benefit soldiers and/or the species in general. So if anyone has any suggestions they'd be willing to offer, I would appreciate it very much. (Hell, this would also give me ideas for enhancements to Lyria's soldiers, as well.)

Thanks in advance!

Crossposted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org