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Is "marital rape" a semantic, media and ideological invention ?



   Why does a sexual gesture or act by coercion or surprise […] not create psychological traumas and shocks, or an infringement of human dignity? Why is it not so much the coercion or the surprise used in the sexual gesture or act, which necessarily creates trauma for the person, and as a result, justified moral and legal punishment, but one more of the very precise differentiating factors which, essentially fits into a "contextual, semantic and symbolic environment of a different type (mainly pattern d ) ", which will then give to the same type of act or behaviour a "completely different nature" and as a result psychological effects, but also emotions, an impression, a meaning and a social view which is necessarily radically different (from the social purpose) ? In consequence, to what extent is the article of the law on rape in France and in many other countries, illegal ?

   Other than patterns a and c, mentioned briefly here, two behavioural environments of a very different type will be dealt with separately: pattern b and d, to backup the initial theory which states that it is not so much the surprise which creates the trauma in a sexual gesture or act, but one or more of the differentiating factors. The difference between abuse or mistreatment in a couple of lovers and rape committed in the public sphere by a stranger, will be illustrated and provenIt should be noted that the four different kinds of "contextual, semantic or symbolic environments", are part of the symbolic Order, and that each of these makes up a two factors which form the "symbolic and fundamental central core": the social representations and the Collective unconsciousness on which the very nature of each pattern (or environment) depends and which underscores the whole. These two factors or the symbolic and fundamental central core are in fact considered separately in each pattern to highlight their key role: indeed, using manipulation techniques and for ideological and political ends, it is possible to manipulate the "social representations" factor and as a result the collective unconsciousness", and as a result introduce into minds, but without people being aware consciously or apparently affecting their sense of free will, and in an artificial and dishonest way, a change in the social model, a change in the nature of the patterns, or their updating, so that there is only one pattern to adopt and think about, pattern d: this is the ideology of "everyone is the same, or "everyone has the same worth" and it is this in particular, that feminists use to justify the unjustifiable!


I. The different contextual, semantic and symbolic environments :

a. The differentiating factors of pattern a or the archaic family pattern :

   - (the Private sphere in the way it is implied in social representations and the Collective unconsciousness: complicity, familiarity, intimacy, love and feelings of attachment, understanding, tolerance, immediacy in relations or contacts + parents versus children + the nature of a same type of behaviour which can differ + an evolving context + the dynamic and complex character of the subject: who can indeed evolve, adapt or even change opinion!) + [(the collective unconsciousness and social representations) considered separately] define what I call, in principle, pattern a or "the fundamentally archaic symbolic structure":

 pattern a defines a contextual, semantic and symbolic environment, creating a difference in the same type of given behaviour, act or attitude and therefore generally effects, emotions, impressions, meanings or even more judgements and punishments", and which we cannot compare or put on the same level, at least in principle, as the differentiating factors of pattern d.

b. The differentiating factors of pattern b :

   - (the Private sphere in the way that it is implied in social representations and the Collective unconsciousness: complicity, familiarity, intimacy, love and feelings of attachment, understanding, tolerance, immediacy in relations or contacts + husband or the wife + the fusion and union of bodies of a couple of lovers + the nature of a same type of behaviour which can differ + an evolving context + the dynamic and complex character of the subject: which can indeed evolve, adapt or even change opinion!) + [(the collective unconsciousness and social representations) considered separately] define what I call, in principle, pattern b:

 pattern b defines a contextual, semantic and symbolic environment creating a difference in the same type of given behaviour, act or attitude and therefore generally effects, emotions, impressions, meanings or even more judgements and punishments", and that we cannot compare or put on the same level, at least in principle, as the differentiating factors of pattern d.

c. The differentiating factors of pattern c, intermediary pattern :

   - (the Private sphere in the way it is implied in social representations and the Collective unconsciousness: complicity, familiarity, intimacy, love and feelings of attachment, understanding, tolerance, immediacy in relations or contacts + different sex partnerships or same sex partnerships + the closeness of the body, but to a lesser extent than in pattern b + the nature of a same type of behaviour which can differ + an evolving context + the dynamic and complex character of the subject: which can indeed evolve, adapt or even change opinion!) + [(the collective unconsciousness and social representations) considered separately] define what I call, in principle, pattern c , an intermediary pattern between b and d:

 intermediary pattern c defines a contextual, semantic and symbolic environment, creating a difference in the same type of given behaviour, act or attitude and therefore generally effects, emotions, impressions, meanings or even more judgments and punishments", and that we cannot compare or put on the same level, at least in principle, as the differentiating factors of pattern d: it is a kind of "intermediary area" which also makes the difference in nature.

d. The differentiating factors of pattern d :

   - (the Public sphere in the way it is implied in social representations and the Collective unconsciousness: restraint, moderation, reserve, distance, politeness, barrier or bodily border, the stranger in the street + stranger as much as "existential questions": worry, fear of dying: "Is he going to kill me", fear of being tortured etc., + the separation and the rejection of the unknown body, and pushing away the stranger + a necessary context of terror) + [(the collective unconsciousness and social representations) considered separately] make up pattern d:

 pattern d defines a "contextual, semantic and symbolic environment," creating necessarily trauma and legal convictionsit has a radically and profoundly different nature than patterns a and c and even more than pattern b.

II. Pattern b and pattern d: two completely different environments.

   There are several variations or extensions of patterns b and d, or of these two main types of contextual, semantic and symbolic environments: lets us add additional differentiating factors in pattern b, which give us:

  • 1st arrangement of combining the differentiating factors, based on pattern b :

- (the differentiating elements of pattern b) + (the addition of the differentiating elements of coercion or surprise in a sexual act or gesture):

   Cf. the example below of a sexual gesture by coercion or surprise of the French actor Gérard Depardieu, and which can generally be used as an example for the intermediary pattern c (between b and d), and the example, as a witness, of the anal penetration by "surprise" between the young lovers on the beach at Ouistreham: the "surprise" of the anal penetration which caused no trauma for the young man and should not lead to any moral or legal punishment. In theory, at least, as this is not the case with the wording and the definition of the article of law on rape in a certain number of countries: "Any act of sexual penetration, of any nature whatsoever,[... ] committed on another person, [... ] by coercion [... ] or surprise is rape". Hence my expression of "outside the Law", in other words, which violates the Law to the basis of human laws: the law which forbids incest, here in its symbolic form. The universal Law stipulated the respect, by maternal, parental or state authority, of a bodily space which is your own and which depends on your subjectivity. [... ]

    1er example : "A few years ago, in the 1990s, but that's not important, I was on holiday in Normandy. Sitting on the side of a seawall on the beach at Lyon-sur-mer, I was happily looking at the sea, but also a couple of young lovers lying on the beach, just a few metres from me. After a while, the girlfriend of the young man penetrated by "surprise" the young man's anus with her finger, and she stayed there for several moments; but she hadn't warned him. Yet he wasn't "traumatised", as far as I know, quite the reverse, laughter, fun and playful words continued to emanate from this couple. They both got up and went to swim together in the sea!" Clearly there are contexts which are more or less favourable to such an act or gesture, but if you read the article of law on rape, the current definition and wording would nevertheless consider today that sexual penetration by 'surprise' as rape! By reading the article of law, we have moved into the realms of totally absurdity. With the effect of campaigns to condition public opinion, would we dare to perform the same surprise anal penetration today?


   2nd example with the sexual gesture by "coercion" and "surprise" of the French actor, G. Depardieu, is valid for patterns b and c

   Your friend (female or male) puts their hands on your genital organs by "surprise" and "coercion", as in the case of the French actor Gérard Depardieu who put his hands on the genital organs of the actor Jean Carnet during a famous scene when shooting a film: everyone giggled in the studios, including the director and the actor Jean Carnet himself, who could obviously not "take him to court" for this bad joke"; a bad joke which one could with "the same logic and manipulation qualify one day as "serious sexual harassment!"

   In fact, if you made the same gestures or "committed" the same act by surprise and coercion in the street with a strange man or woman, touching the genital organs as did the French actor Gérard Depardieu on the shoot, can you not feel, can you not see that this same "sexual" gesture by coercion or surprise [... ] implies other social representations, another collective unconsciousness, other flavours, impressions or personal judgments, proven psychological consequences or even a trauma and justified moral and legal punishment? Can you not feel, can you not see that it is the nature of an identical "act, gesture, behaviour or attitude" which differs because of a "different contextual, semantic and symbolic environment", radically changing your individual perception or the social perception of the person and his behaviour (or the social purpose, as we say in social psychology)", changing your impressions, judgements and convictions, the meanings applied to this identical act? And to say that in the example of the French actor Gérard Depardieu, that it was not a couple of lovers, but simply friends, means that we are already in the "intermediary zone" between the stranger in the street (public sphere, distance, reserve, restraint, separation of body) and the husband and wife couple (private sphere, complicity, intimacy, familiarity, union and fusion of bodies.. ): the pattern c. And yet it's already very different!

    Comment: Adding these two differentiating factors in fact always gives us "a contextual, semantic and symbolic environment which makes a difference to the nature in the same given type of behaviour and act", and therefore the effects, emotions, feelings and meanings, and which does not imply negative judgments as a result! But it implies legal convictions in theory and in practice, in the wording and the definition of the article of the law on rape in France and in many other countries, an article which is illegal. It is not therefore so much the surprise or coercion which makes a sexual act or gesture traumatising, as one or more of the very precise differentiating factors. But which ones, and where does one mainly find them?


  • 2nd arrangement of combining the differentiating factors, based on pattern b :

   (the differentiating factors of pattern b) + (the addition of the differentiating factors of insistence + coercion "without physical violence"): "I didn't want to, but since I didn't clearly say so, or I hadn't been sufficiently clear, I just let it happen", "I didn't want to, but I did not say so firmly, so I just let it happen", "I didn't want to, and I said so firmly. But his/her insistence made me change my mind, and I enjoyed making love".

   In addition, to the differentiating factor "coercion" without physical violence, we add the differentiating factor insistence, which again gives us a "contextual, semantic and symbolic environment which produces a different nature (compared with pattern d) in the "same type of given act and behaviour" and gives effects, emotions, feelings and meanings. But each person still retains their subjectivity!

    example : "Granted, I didn't really want to have sex, but it was my husband (or my wife) after all, and since I know him/her well, I was not traumatised. And then why not give him pleasure after all? Why should I always think about me?"


The reverse is also valid.

   Indeed, shouldn't love transcend its own narcissism, personal interest and egocentrism, by giving oneself a little to the other in self sacrifice? The lovers are not traumatised when they don't want to make love in these examples; however the article of the law on rape does not allow this or rather in theory in its wording and definition, hence the concept of illegal. We cannot fail to make the connection with the following example: "It's my child or my husband who manipulated me to get any toy, a present or a favour and that is not the same as a trader, shopkeeper or an ordinary man. It's not the same, so I turn a blind eye. It's love after all! We are now coming to the next example: an abuse or infringement of human dignity in the couple.

  • 3rd arrangement of mixing differentiating factors based on pattern b: abuse, mistreatment and the infringement of human dignity in the couple;

    (the differentiating elements of pattern b) + the addition of three differentiating elements: coercion, malice + repetition): the 'structure' of the 
    contextual, semantic and symbolic environment which makes a difference in the type of effect, sensations or impressions (pattern b) is sufficiently modified in depth to be able to change the social perception of the social purpose (person and behaviour); but we should nevertheless continue to use the terms abuse, mistreatment and infringement on human dignity, since they take into account the different nature of pattern b compared with pattern d, by translating the "couple dimension". the dynamic and subjectivity of each person" and an "evolving context" enabling a "normal and healthy interplay" in relations between adults. Furthermore, the terms abuse, mistreatment and infringement of dignity make the difference with the stranger in the street (Public sphere), cf. the significant example which is given below of a rape committed by a stranger in the public sphere, the public sphere does not necessarily mean the street, but what it does necessarily imply in the social representations and collective unconsciousness, and for a rational mind is : distance, reserve, barrier, border, restraint, danger, concern, malice, stranger, use of a lethal weapon, etc. Remember that there is no legal loophole for such abuses, contrary to the arguments used by feminists. Everyone still has their subjectivity: leave or complain!


  • 4th arrangement of mixing differentiating factors based on pattern d: rape; pattern d, a structure that is by nature traumatising;

   - (the differentiating factors which make up pattern d): the "structure" of the contextual, semantic and symbolic environment is total by nature and the psychological consequences are both proven, inevitable and indisputable, and the moral and legal punishments are justified and necessary! cf. the example of rape below. Reminder of pattern d: the Public sphere in the way it is implied in the social representations and collective unconsciousness, and for a rational mind: restraint, moderation, reserve, distance, stranger, worry, fear of death, separation and rejection of a unknown body and pushing the rapist away, terror context, abduction or illegal detention etc. make up pattern d or "a contextual, semantic and symbolic environment which here necessarily makes a difference: trauma and legal convictions. In theory and in fact, it is indeed much more serious: "And yes, it's not the same!". Hence the need to keep the words which make the difference !

    example of rape in the Public sphere: "I was raped four months ago. In the middle of the night, I was woken by the sound of someone next to my bedroom. Someone began to walk slowly towards me [... ] and suddenly I understood. I screamed and I fought, but there were two of them. One of them held my legs, while the other put his hand over my mouth and held a knife to my throat saying: "Shut up, slut or I'll kill you." I have never been so afraid and helpless. They both raped me, one brutally [... ]. We have never slept another night in the flat, we were too frightened. I play over and over again in my mind the moment when they entered my bedroom [... ]"

   As we can observe, the surprise in this contextual, semantic and symbolic environment, does not have the same "meaning" or flavour as that of the young lovers on the beach: it is therefore not so much the surprise and the coercion in itself of the sexual gesture or relation or a penetration of a sexual nature which creates the trauma, but one of several very precise differentiating factors, including setting it in a different contextual, semantic and symbolic environment: pattern d, but also the structure and the relationship ( between the different factors which make all the difference: the malice, the danger, the death threat with a knife, the fear of dying and the terror: "Is he going to kill me?", "Is he going to torture me? What will he do with me after he has raped me?" etc., the stranger, the use of physical force, differentiating elements which we don't see with the couple, or very exceptionally: cf. then the 3rd arrangement which leads to abuse, and even less in literary dictionaries! And what's more since when do the exceptions make the rules, standards and laws in a given society? Since when should the exceptions weaken or invalidate the general rules, standards or laws which have been clearly established over time, and create new ones? In the name of ideology, and through the intervention or manoeuvre of a "balance of power, abuse of power, manipulation techniques and combined influences", it is possible!

   Moreover, it is not so much the use of physical force alone which is enough to create the trauma, but its structure within the differentiating factors of "danger", "malice", "death threat" and finally "stranger", furthermore, it is the differentiating factors which characterise the very nature of the Public sphere the way it is implied in social representations and the collective unconsciousness as fundamental differentiator (cf. pattern d) compared to the private sphere (cf. pattern b); at least before the social representations have been manipulated, or attempted to be manipulated (and in consequence the collective unconsciousness) by Pavlovian physical conditioning and a number of classic manipulation and psychological techniques and combined influences together of: confusion, sophism, submission to authority etc.

   Hence the interest to retain the expressions of infringement of human dignity and partner abuse, to take account of both the "normal boundaries which concerns your subjectivity and your bodily space" or pattern b, and its variations, and not to transgress the universal Law, but to also retain a hierarchy in the levels of violence. Not every violent act is punishable or deserve punishment, otherwise we would all be in prison! These examples demonstrate and deconstruct the myth of "marital rape", a purely semantic, ideological and media invention and construction, just like the concepts of gay parenting and especially the gay family!

   This theoretical model, albeit slightly imperfect, has at least the merit of highlighting the fact that the law on rape in France and in many other countries is illegal, and moreover it is not the only article of the law which poses a problem, by violating the bodily and psychological space which belongs to you:

     we can therefore assert that the article of law on rape in France, and as a result in many other countries cannot be applied in practice in the law, for anyone who defends a certain idea of respecting the legislation, the law and Republican values; we can also assert that rape within a couple or 'marital rape', an inappropriate expression due to the normal boundaries and the margin which exists between patterns b and d and with these additional differentiating factors, but abuses, abuses which have always been taken into consideration elsewhere in France in the former law concerning human dignity and housing conditions and which should be taken into account in all countries; finally we can assert that it is one more semantic, media-hyped and ideological invention, just like the expressions "gay parenting and gay family", etc.


E. Jourdain, Extracts from "A forced sexual act in a married couple is not rape"









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