Men who are in prison for rape think it's the dumbest thing that ever happened... it's isn't just a miscarriage of justice; they were put in jail for something very little different from what most men do most of the time and call it sex. The only difference is they got caught. That view is nonremorseful and not rehabilitative. It may also be true. It seems to me that we have here a convergence between the rapists's view of what he has done and the victim's perspective on what was done to her. That is, for both, their ordinary experiences of heterosexual intercourse and the act of rape have something in common. Now this gets us into immense trouble, because that's exactly how judges and juries see it who refuse to convict men accused of rape. A rape victim has to prove that it was not intercourse. She has to show that there was force and that she resisted, because if there was sex, consent is inferred. Finders of fact look for "more force than usual during the preliminaries". Rape is defined by distinction from intercourse - not nonviolence, intercourse. They ask, does this event look more like fucking or like rape? But what is their standard for sex, and is this question asked from the women's point of view? The level of force is not adjudicated at her point of violation; it is adjudicated at the standard for the normal level of force. Who sets this standard?
Labelling is no longer a liberating political act but a necessity in order to gain entrance into the academic industrial complex and other discussions and spaces. For example, if so called radical or progressive people don’t hear enough buzz words (like feminist, anti-oppression, anti-racist, social justice, etc.) in your introduction, then you are deemed unworthy and not knowledgeable enough to speak with authority on issues that you have lived experience with. The criteria for identifying as a feminist by academic institutions, peer reviewed journals, national bodies, conferences, and other knowledge gatekeepers is very exclusive. It is based on academic theory instead of based on lived experiences or values. Name-dropping is so elitist! You're not a "real" feminist unless you can quote, or have read the following white women: (insert Women's Studies 101 readings).
First off, as has been well stated by many Indigenous Feminists before us, the idea of gender equality did not come from the suffragettes or other so-called "foremothers" of feminist theory. It should also be recognized that although we are still struggling for this thing called "gender equality," it is not actually a framed issue within the feminist realm, but a continuation of the larger tackling of colonialism. So this idea that women of colour all of a sudden realized "we are women," and magically joined the feminist fight actually re-colonizes people for who gender equality and other "feminist" notions is a remembered history and current reality since before Columbus. The mainstream feminist movement is supposed to have started in the early 1900s with women fighting for the right to vote. However, these white women deliberately excluded the struggles of working class women of color and participated in the policy of forced sterilization for Aboriginal women and women with disabilities. Furthermore, the idea that we all need to subscribe to the same theoretical understandings of history is marginalizing. We all have our own truths and histories to live.
Theologians are to look to the _beyond_-community–– _beyond_ nationality; skin-color, gender; sexual orientation, citizenship, religious affiliation––because God, the Divine, who is the primary frame of reference for theologians, is for, with, in, among those individual human beings. It is to reaffirm the sheer truth: No one is better or worse, superior or inferior than any other; and, 'Ich bin du, wenn Ich Ich bin' [I am you, when Iam I.]
now the question we must ask is...what kind of _practices_ [theology] motivates, what kind of _gaze_ onto others, the guest, the new arrivant, it offers us to carry with us; _not_ who my neighbors are _but_ to whom I am being a neighbor.
For as long as wimmin have had the temerity to experience feelings of anger, sadness, frustration, and deep resentment, patriarchal society has denied them these feelings, and, in fact, punished them heartily for feeling anything at all.
Who are theologians? What kind of self-identity could or should a theologian claim? Should a theologian be a defender or transmitter of Christian _tradition_? What if the _tradition_ itself carries a dark side, implicitly or explicitly, bounded by religious or cultural superiorism, ethnocentrism, homophobism, exclusive nationalism, sexism, racism, and so forth? What kind of _identity_ would then justify my rule as theologian? This question has been lingering in my mind throughout the time I have been working on cosmopolitan theology. it may sound simple, but for me the identity issue has been fundamental.