- Feb 18, 2010
- United Kingdom
Of course you do.rob_simple said:Sorry, but I have no experience or understanding of being stabbed either. My point stands.
We could all be stabbed at any time. Most of us have no experience of the precise physical pain of being stabbed, so in that regard, yes, most of us are merely guessing what being stabbed actually feels like, but we can empathize with people who have been stabbed because we can imagine ourselves in that position. We can react to that experience with a kind of humanity, we can put ourselves in the position of the person being stabbed and think "ow, that would hurt!" Because, you know, most of us have had to think about it at one time or another.
Sometimes we might choose not to, sometimes stories are set up so that we're not meant to think too hard about the pain of people who have been stabbed, perhaps because we're watching an action movie in which half the characters are just obstacles to be blown away. However, that doesn't noticeably impact on our reaction to stabbing as a concept or the ability to empathize with victims. Note, for example, that the internet isn't full of people crying:
"We need more protection for people who get accused of stabbing!"
"You can't proove that anyone stabbed anyone else deliberately!"
"Stabbing someone shouldn't be such a big deal, it's just bad fighting etiquette!"
"Lol, well I certainly don't think it's my job not to carry a knife"
"People who get stabbed probably did something to provoke it."
"I lock my house when I go out, so it's only sensible that people should wear stab vests in the street at all times otherwise they're not taking precautions."
"Lol, [person] posted a blog post/youtube video/whatever about how people shouldn't have to worry about being stabbed. Let's send him/her lots of stabbing threats, and then post his/her address online and tell people to go stab him/her!"
"Anti-stabbing campaigners are devaluing the meaning of real stabbing."
"Stabbing statistics are totally inflated because the definition of stabbing is too broad, it should only count if you get stabbed by a stranger or with a certain degree of force because otherwise you can't tell"
For reasons which are actually kind of obvious, many men seem to have real trouble empathizing with anyone who has been raped. Furthermore, they seem to find it remarkably easy to project themselves into the position of the person who is actually doing the act, again, I suspect, for very obvious reasons.
There is an inadequate separation between the low-empathy rape-fantasies of some men, in which rape serves purely as either voyeurism, as code for humiliation, or as a cheap way of generating shock or motivation (particularly for the character who must defend or avenge "his" woman, as in this case) and popular attitudes, misconceptions and myths about rape which both facilitate it and make it very difficult to deal with when it does happen.