Article entitled ‘Why Feminists Enjoy Rape Fantasies’ by Michael Kowalik
Kowalik is a philosopher working in the field of normativity, meta-ethics, value theory and economic reasoning.
It is interesting that Kowalik references exclusively psychological and psychiatric research to advance his arguments and to transfer that research into a philosophical and societal model.
It is disconcerting that he does not have qualifications in the psychological, psychiatric or psychoanalytic fields to be addressing this subject matter and I feel he is therefore not totally equipped to transfer the information into this supposed model nor does he have the appropriate analytical skills required to address the research findings.
I find that he is actually exposing himself as misogynistic. The law relating to rape is built on the misogynistic assumption that women want to be forced into sex.
Is it wish-fulfilment on Kowalik’s part to write an article on ‘Why Feminists Enjoy Rape Fantasies’? He is, after all, putting feminists back in their ‘place’ so to speak.
Several issues must be clarified in relation to this article. The very title ‘Why Feminists Enjoy Rape Fantasies’ implies that all feminists enjoy rape fantasies. That notion is ridiculous.
Secondly, he bases his assumptions and models on several research papers relating to women and rape fantasies. The papers are not specifically referring to feminists and rape fantasies.
The fact that he has made the transference from ‘women’ to ‘feminists’ is an interesting projection on his part.
Kowalik further fails to address the fact that according to Bivona and Critelli in their research paper ‘Rape Fantasies’, ‘current literature on the content of rape fantasies is incomplete and contradictory. There is agreement that mental imagery of realistic violent rape is almost never an erotic experience (Bond and Mosher 1986) and that nearly all women have no interest in acting out a realistic fantasy of rape (Gold et al, 1991).
Bivona and Critelli further state that ‘non-consent was feigned or token in three quarters of cases, the self-characters level of consent changed during the fantasy, from resistant to willing in 77% of cases.’
They further demonstrate that there are three types of rape fantasy: erotic, aversive and erotic-aversive. Aversive rape fantasies make up only a small proportion of the overall occurrence of rape fantasies. By definition these fantasies produced no sexual arousal for the fantasiser.
The differentiation between types of rape fantasies is critical to an understanding of why women indulge in such fantasies. Kowalik refers to no such differentiation because it doesn’t support his theory.
Another apparent error on his part is that he supplies no definition of rape whatsoever. As Catherine A. MacKinnon states ‘Rape is generally defined in Western Countries as sexual intercourse by force or without consent or both. Consent is often found in situations where considerable force was used, building into law the misogynistic assumption that women want to be forced into sex!
I feel it also weakens Kowalik’s argument to not address the fact that quite a few men indulge in rape fantasies and that these fantasies are coercive. He has not indulged in analysing data relating to male rape fantasies.
Kowalik states ‘I evaluate the hypothesis that escalation of the feminist rhetoric is an unconscious compensatory response of the female psyche to the conflict between the Enlightenment ideal of human equality irrespective of gender and the primordial domination/submission schema of sexual reproduction that pervades the animal world (Janicke 2016; Terranova 2016).
How dangerous and manipulative is the above? Yes, Kowalik, we are all involved in compensatory responses because we are all so conflicted! Actually all feminists are desperate for a return to the domination/submission schema of sexual reproduction so take us back one hundred years where you will feel comfortable with your own rhetoric.
I can’t believe that such an eminently qualified philosopher could engage in such rubbish except to engage his won primordial desires and fantasies.
Germaine Greer has addressed the issue of rape fantasies in her small book ‘Germaine Greer On Rape’. She says simply that rape fantasies are just that ‘fantasies’: a fantastic product of the imagination. According to Critelli and Bivona in many of the rape fantasies they have documented the self-character is approached by an attractive, dominant male who is overcome with a desire for her. Her desire is actually to be overtaken. Rape in reality is nothing like this. It is non-consensual, and often coercive.
Kowalik refers to Freud and Jung and says that neither reported dreams or fantasies that involved eroticised rape and that its current prevalence is a relatively new phenomenon, correlated with female empowerment, sexual tolerance and the rise of feminism. Thus he refers this back to his theoretical argument and purports that this information supports the argument.
There is no evidence to support his claim that the current prevalence of rape fantasies is a relatively new phenomenon. No woman would reveal to Freud or Jung a rape fantasy! In that age it was unthinkable to reveal such information. It was restrictive and oppressive, sexist and subjugating.
Kowalik’s desire to link rape fantasies with subjugation and the inherent subconscious ‘so-called’ desire on the part of feminists for subjugation is beyond the realms of the imagination.
I suggest he stick to philosophy and curb his desire for theoretical arguments based on research papers addressing ‘fantasies’.
Perhaps he should write a work of fiction and more profitably engage his own out-of-control imagination?