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Archive for January 7th, 2015

Think about it

Posted by Pepper on January 7, 2015

I am talking about the usage of the word ‘rape’. I’ve given it a lot of thought. Do most of you even know that the original meaning of the word was; ‘destroy or strip of possession’. Or like Wiki says, “to snatch, to grab, to carry off”. It is only in recent times that the word become synonymous with forced intercourse or sexual assault.

Have a look at the etymology on wiki. I’ve pasted it below for the sake of convenience.

Etymology of term

The term rape originates in the Latin rapere (supine stem raptum), “to snatch, to grab, to carry off”.[21][22] Since the 14th century, the term has come to mean “to seize and take away by force”.[1] In Roman law the carrying off of a woman by force, with or without intercourse, constituted “raptus”.[22] In Medieval English law the same term could refer to either kidnapping or rape in the modern sense of “sexual violation”.[21] The original meaning of “carry off by force” is still found in some phrases, such as “rape and pillage” or in titles, such as the story of the Rape of the Sabine Women or the poem The Rape of the Lock, which is about the theft of a lock of hair.

Here is another link that says the same thing.

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And now, we as a society have begun to condemn, criticize and hate people who use the word ‘rape’ in its original form. The other day, I heard somebody say, “It was so cold, the strong wind was raping me”. The girl who made that statement was condemned by one and all. She was called insensitive and inhuman for using the word so callously. Everybody hated her for her supposedly inconsiderate words. She was made to feel very ashamed.

But it set me thinking. We have started associating that word ONLY with sexual assault and anybody who uses it keeping its original meaning in mind is a monster. Why? In my ideal world, I would reclaim the original meaning and context and STOP associating the word with sexual violation. Instead, we choose to affiliate the word only with sexual violation and assault and want to forget about its original meaning. Hmm..

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