No One Asks The Dolphins

Homo sapiens is not, in fact, the only species that engages in rape. Drakes rape ducks, sometimes even to death, an antarctic fur seal has been observed trying to have sex with a king penguin. Whether this seal was an inexperienced young male, a predator, or was just being playful, we do not know. And this is the point. Unable to interview the victim, we have recourse to projecting the prejudices about our human neighbours with which we started.

The classic case is that dolphins go in for gang-banging, three or four males trapping a female and having their wicked way with her. On the other hand, I have also heard it said that it is hard for aquatic mammals to copulate, as there is nothing to push against except the seabed, where they cannot stay for long; and so intercourse must needs be a collaborative project in which other males band together to hold the lucky guy in place.

I have no idea which interpretation of cetacean behaviour is true; but then again, neither do the people who repeat the meme about the rapist dolphins to prove the inherent wickedness of the male gender. We can never know for sure whether what we are seeing is collaborative sex or rape, because we cannot interview the victim; nor are we sure what kind of behaviour on the part of the dolphin female would constitute consent or refusal thereof. But if female humans can fruitfully be informed by so-called research surveys that they have been raped, even when this comes as news to them, how much easier will it be to play the same trick on the female dolphins.

Posted on September 15, 2011 at 11:37 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: ON PC; OR "WHAT WOULD MS. GRUNDY SAY?", All Men Are Rapists?

3 Responses

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  1. Written by urban
    on September 15, 2011 at 17:26

    “neither do the people who repeat the meme about the rapist dolphins to prove the inherent wickedness of the male gender. ”

    This strikes me as a very dangerous argument for anyone to make. It could just as easily be interpreted to mean that human female notions of courtship, consent, and control over reproduction are pure fantasy, contra natura.

  2. Written by Hugo Grinebiter
    on September 15, 2011 at 18:58

    We meet this asymmetry in all reductionism and deconstructionism. For some funny reason, deconstructionists’ opinions have always been immune from deconstruction in terms of their own hidden agendas. I should quite like to help change that.

  3. Written by urban
    on September 15, 2011 at 20:40

    I think the best post-structuralists are too slippery to pin down easily, but all the shallow ideologues who latch onto deconstruction unreflexively in the service of a priori agendas do need to be exposed for what they are, emperors without clothes. Language as squid ink.

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