[Trigger warning: This post mentions rape and rape threats quite many times – but it certainly does not defend either of those.]
In case you have read/seen/heard any news during the last year, you might have noticed that it seems like a trend amongst the (Finnish) far right nationalists to send rape threats. More often than not these threats are directed towards female politicians, feminists, and those who in general take a positive stance towards multiculturalism or helping refugees. Recently even President’s wife was threatened after the President dared to mention in his New Year’s speech that it is not right to throw Molotov’s cocktails at asylum seekers’ reception centers.
The line of reasoning usually seems to be like this: If one defends multiculturalism/immigration, one should suffer its consequences. That is, as the immigrants will – according to the common racist story – rape, one should be raped. If one gives this ‘argument’ an extremely charitable reading, then then it could be said to claim that through being raped those people will understand the problems they have created through their multicultural policies and thus, in the future, they might not make the same mistake again. While the populist right anticipates the bad effects of the multicultural policies, others do not somehow understand the worry. To make them see, they need first-hand experiences of the bad effects of their policies.
Even if one reads rape threats as an attempt at argumentation or discussion, it is obvious that the argumentation falls apart. If we assume that most politicians are adults who can understand the suffering of others – after all, the green-left seems to always mention the suffering of refugees – then there is no point in assuming that they themselves need to suffer to understand that there is something wrong with their policies. Thus, to avoid interpretations that their ‘rape wishes’ are actually misogynistic hate-speech mixed with racism, I hereby suggest that all the immigration critics from the neo-nazi side of the populist movement should make a little change their ‘rape-argumentation’. Instead of wishing that those who disagree with them should get raped “to make them understand”, they should say that “once I get raped, you’ll see that your policies were misguided”. To wish a rape upon yourself is a much better strategy as it does not aggressively threaten anyone but instead makes oneself an innocent victim that will have sympathy from everyone. This new ‘self-rape argument’ has also roughly the same information value as the threats but it does not come with the negative effects of causing harm to other people through hate-speech or harm to oneself by being revealed as a misogynistic idiot. In short, if you have been posting rape threats to anyone, stop doing that and instead hope that you’ll get raped yourself. After all, that does the same argumentative work much better.
Another option is to admit that you are just making threats and practicing hate-speech. Doing that, in turn, is not right.