Words Matter: Rape isn’t sex, and ISIS rapists aren’t husbands

ISIS burns their "wives" alive because they won't have sex with them. Not wives, not sex. It was rape. Conducted by brutal thugs. There is a difference and it matters.

0
5648

WASHINGTON, June 8, 2016 – Why did a major conservative news organization run a story with the headline, “Horror: 19 Women Burned Alive After They Refused to Sleep With ISIS Militants”? Did the author truly believe that the victims refused to “sleep with” ISIS fighters? In the story itself, the author uncritically accepts and repeats the ISIS claim that the women were burned alive for “refusing to have sex with their ISIS husbands.

Husbands? Really? Does anyone believe that the victims were “married” to the attackers? Later in the story, the author describes that to which the women were subjected as “sex slavery.” Sex slavery? Are you kidding? What these victims endured before their murder wasn’t sex. It was rape.

Words matter.

Words are a uniquely human construct that we use to express our thoughts, feelings and beliefs. We use them to capture and communicate our understandings of life, of love and of G-d. We join them to tell the truth and to lie.



ISIS unveils a new educational; mobile app for children


Words heal and wound. Words create and destroy. Words inspire and crush.

Words enlighten and debase. Words drive and record history. Words are power. And because words matter, their selection and use are motivated by interests.

The Obama administration has prohibited the use of the phrase “radical Islam,” hoping that the deliberate avoidance of those words will relieve the president of the responsibility to protect the U.S. against an existential threat.

Liberal politicians, hoping to win elections, eschew the term “liberal” in favor of the word “progressive,” recognizing that the word “liberal” conjures up negative connotations in the minds of voters whereas the word “progress” when examined in the abstract is viewed in a positive light.

And race-centric social engineers, mindful that most Americans oppose racism, refer to their efforts to engineer race-based outcomes in university admissions and employment as “diversity” or “affirmative action,” words that hint at inclusiveness and color-blindness, when in fact their policies and programs discriminate against individuals based not on the content of their character or ability but rather upon the color of their skin.

Every totalitarian government has understood that manipulating words affords moral and political cover for the regime. George Orwell’s terrifying novel “1984” reveals that governments will even invent a new language, riven through with euphemisms and fictions, in order to suppress the truth, numb the population and protect the regime.

In their wisdom, the founding fathers of the United States enshrined protections for a free press and for freedom of speech and association, in the hope that the media would ensure that an informed populace would be inoculated against the distortions and deceptions of such governments and hold them accountable.

But what happens when the media capitulates to the politically motivated use or prohibition of words?

Over the last three years, the radical Islamist organization ISIS has captured large parts of Iraq and Syria, butchering, raping and crucifying all those in its path who oppose its program. One of the most horrific practices in which ISIS has engaged is the systematic kidnapping of non-Muslim women and their subsequent sale to ISIS fighters as rape slaves. Official ISIS propaganda claims these rapists are “husbands” because ISIS imams perform sham marriage ceremonies to pretend that what follows is “sex” rather than rape. But usage of the word “husbands” to describe “rapists” and the word “sex” to describe “rape” is politically motivated and patently false.

The author of the article on ISIS and its burning of 19 female captives isn’t alone in the legal and moral confusion surrounding rape.


In terrorism’s war of words there have been some surprising comments


 

Many, possibly most, articles recounting the rape of women reference the crime as “sexual assault,” a euphemism ginned up to minimize the seriousness of the act and protect the sensibilities of readers. “Assault” is a legal term meaning the “imminent apprehension of a battery,” with “battery” defined as any unwanted touching, however slight.

When a rape occurs, the victim has been subjected to more than just the fear of a battery; she (most, but not all, victims are female) has been battered and physically violated in a manner designed to injure her physically, emotionally and spiritually. In truth, the phrase “sexual assault” to describe rape minimizes the seriousness of the offense, diminishes the pain and suffering experienced by victims and relieves the perpetrators of the moral and criminal opprobrium which by right attaches to their actions.

Moreover, the sloppy use of the word “sex” in connection with rape is offensive to victims. Sex is a consensual act in which intimate touching is welcomed; rape is by definition a nonconsensual invasion of another person.

Sex between consenting adults is a normal and natural part of the expression of love and intimacy. Rape is an evil act. Rapists are evil. Just as we wouldn’t call a beating delivered with chains and bats a “massage,” we shouldn’t confuse rape with sex.

Not all men are rapists, and not all women will be raped. Yet fear of rape is a universal part of the female experience. Sadly, as the recent case of a Stanford swimmer who raped an unconscious woman reveals, we don’t yet take rape seriously or punish the perpetrators accordingly or protect women sufficiently.

That the father of the rapist described his son’s crime as “20 minutes of action” and that the judge issued nothing more than a six-month prison sentence reveal something profoundly wrong with an American culture that regards the physical, emotional and spiritual violation of its women as of no greater consequence than driving with a revoked license, stealing an iPad or trespassing.

And so, perhaps, has this defect in our moral constitution made it easier to recycle ISIS lies through the medium of American journalists. Pretending that kidnapped women were killed for refusing to “sleep with” their “husbands” is a terrible insult to these women, to all rape victims, to all women and to the very concepts of what sex and marriage are.

ISIS fighters are rapists and murderers, plain and simple.

It’s high time we learn the difference between sex and rape and between husbands and rapists. The women captured by ISIS deserve as much. While we’re at it, we can stop pretending that there is no such thing as radical Islam and get to work wiping out ISIS.

Finally, we can use the lessons learned to start taking the crime of rape seriously and doing a much better job of protecting our wives, mothers, sisters and daughters.

Because words matter, and our women matter even more.

 

 

 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 Communities Digital News

• The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors or management of Communities Digital News.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities Digital News, LLC. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

Correspondingly, Communities Digital News, LLC uses its best efforts to operate in accordance with the Fair Use Doctrine under US Copyright Law and always tries to provide proper attribution. If you have reason to believe that any written material or image has been innocently infringed, please bring it to the immediate attention of CDN via the e-mail address or phone number listed on the Contact page so that it can be resolved expeditiously.

SHARE
Previous articleCalifornia slides deeper into the abyss following 2016 primary
Next articleIt’s time to pack up the Bernie Sanders revolution
Dr. William C. “Brute” Bradford, PhD (Northwestern), LLM (Harvard), is Attorney General of the Chiricahua Apache Nation, a former intelligence officer, and an academic with more than 30 published articles on strategy, national security, terrorism, the law of war, radical Islam, and Native American affairs. Dr. Bradford has presented his research worldwide to civilian and military audiences at universities, think tanks, and other public forums, and he is a frequent commentator in U.S. and foreign media. The existential threat of radical Islam, the financial instability of the U.S. political economy, and the erosion of traditional American moral values form the basis of his research, scholarship, and advocacy. He is married to his childhood sweetheart, Shoshana Bradford. He enjoys hunting, fishing, traveling, cooking, and singing. http://williamcbradford.com https://twitter.com/Brute_Bradford