The best feelings in the world

What is the best feelings in the world?

A couple of weeks ago I talked about one of the best feelings in the world. It is to genuinely feel happy for other people.

Another best feelings in the world, in my opinion, is a heartfelt hug. I didn’t notice the lasting impression and blissful sensation of a heartfelt hug until later in my life.

It was early 2013, I was in my late twenties when I first realized that this is one of the best feelings in the world.

Misplaced Compassion

Laura Parrott-Parry in In Others’ Words raised a very important subject on her post, Law of the Wild. She talked about the guilt-feeling of rape victims. It seems that a lot of victims are putting blame on themselves, at least partially. Yes, you got it right. The victim is blaming themselves and they mean it. “Down to the very core of who they are.”

This is, to say the very least, problematic. Or downright insane, to be absolutely blunt.

But what’s going on in the victims’ mind are way more complicated than what other people may comprehend. This is not to endorse the victims’ self-blaming. Nor to let rapists get away feeling less guilty.

What I want to add to the discussion is the tendency of victims to cling on to a sort of misplaced compassion. It might stem from the very beginning, since their earlier encounters with the rapist. Being victims or victim-t0-be, and STILL empathize the rapist. Trying to understand the rapist. Where did they come from. What were their tragedy. Why did they misbehave. And then everything else was justified but the inability of the victim to avoid what happened.

You may or may not be surprised to find out that a lot of rapist does not seem violent. Quite the contrary, they appear caring (or overly caring). They know how to carry themselves. They looked like a harmless, kind-loving type of person. They approach gently but with full measure. The truth is, they know how to mentally and emotionally manipulate the victim.

That, my friend, is part of the abusive act.

How come someone so caring and friendly commit rape? How come someone with whom the victim had already maintain emotional attachment commit rape? This is not how rape should look like, is it? The same person who the victim accept with full embrace for their nice attention, is also the person who made the victim helplessly scared to their marrow.

So scared it’s difficult to have full consciousness intact. So scared it felt choking to let go the nice parts and accept it as it is. So scared it took them years to call it rape because they feel reluctant to offend the rapist.

Troubled is an appropriate word to describe what was happening to the victims’ emotion and mind. Feeling guilty as a victim? Feeling compassion to the rapist? And you still expected them to defend themselves? To be capable of avoiding what happened in first place?

Get yourself together.

When the victim asked, “was it me?”, that’s when we should declare with no doubt, “of course not.” When the victim has to feel detached to their own trauma and analyze, “What is force? How does being forced look like?”, a question pondered in order to see themselves fit to the meticulous classification standard and harsh judgment posed by society in general, that is when we should not forgive ourselves as a collective who are supposed to do way better than this.

That is why we, as a collective, should not accept rape or any kind of abuse at all, for once and for all. To tolerate is not what we do to crime.


I could provide an example. When I was in Jakarta, I went to a mall to buy a new phone charger at night. I hired a taxi-motor to get back home. My place was supposed to be only 10 or 15 minutes max from the mall.

Apparently, the taxi-motor driver was evil. He brought me round and round the area not following my direction. He seemed to be unable to communicate and having some sort of mental deficiency. He couldn’t respond to me unleashing my furious desperation. Instead, he was mumbling, looking right and left. Finally, I said stop and immediately got a cab.

I was shocked of what had just happened. I couldn’t believe that i trust a fake taxi-motor service. I was terrified to imagine what could have happened.

The worst part was when I got an unbelievable realization revealed before me:

After knowing he brought me not straight to my home, I still tried to give him a chance, thought positively of him. “Maybe he’s just unaware of the route. His harmful intention might be something i just made up in my head.” This was why I didn’t get down the minute I felt threatened. I still thought of not wanting to be rude to him because I pitied him who looked like someone with mental deficiency.

At this point, don’t say it was my own fault or that I was supposed to know better. Don’t ask what was wrong with me nor expect me to ask myself the same question. Just don’t.

The courtesy of not wanting to be rude overpowered the instinct to defend oneself when threatened. And, pity? Who pity who? Who was the victim here? Who was to blame?

If that is not troubled, I don’t know what is.

He abused my trust. He potentially harmed me. He shouldn’t offer taxi-motor service in first place because he’s clearly incapable. Yet I still chose to be considerate of his feelings. I know that i can defend myself in that situation. But to have someone, to whom i was trying to be nice to and not offend, mistreated me, was a super alarming experience.


In The Perks of being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky indicated that whatever the whatever, the decision to commit rape or to control that evilness is in the hands of the rapist. In Jhumpa Lahiri’s short story, Only Goodness, the protagonist felt the blame of clearly another persons mistake and wrongdoing. She felt she had contributed to that mistake, which made her reluctant to set boundaries to define right from wrong, while clearly the other person is the one who is supposed to be able to control his act.

The self-blaming put risk to innocent people.

So, how did the victim get to that place, where they got all blurred and confused?

That, my friend, is why rapist a criminal.

My wild guess, perhaps the misplaced-compassion syndrome is more prevalent than what we would be prepared to admit.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Companionable.”

currently reading …

today i read a passage by mark curtis, "complicity in a million deaths" (2003), about britains role on the slaughter of a million indonesian peasants during the annihilation of indonesian communist party, 1965. it's inside a book titled "tell me no lies" edited by john pilger. below is the foreword (written by the editor) of curtis passage. i consider this an important and courageous piece of work. not like most information provided by todays mass media that has been transforming itself into not more than a disgusting "corong penguasa" (penguasa means not only the government but also filthy stinking rich "evil, bloodsucker" corporate owner). indonesian people should know about this information, not only being blind-folded by "objectively fake" corong penguasa. enjoy your reading 🙂

***

in 1967, richard nixon said of indonesia: 'with its 100 million people and its 300-mile arc of islands containing the world's richest hoard of natural resources, indonesia is the greatest prize in south-east asia.' thirty years later, the world bank described the dictatorship of general suharto as 'a model pupil of globalisation'.

as you fly into jakarta, tha capital, you see a city ringed by vast walled and guarded compounds. these are known as export processing zones, or EPZs, and enclose hundreds of factories that make products for foreign corporations: the 'designer-look' clothes that people buy in a british high street or a shopping mall in america and australia. posing as a london fashion buyer, i was given a tour of one such factory, which made clothes for the gap company, based in san fransisco. i found more than a thousand mostly young women working, battery-style, under the glare of strip lighting, in temperatures that reach 40 degrees centigrade. the only air-conditioning was upstairs where the taiwanese bosses were. what struck me was the claustrophobia, the sheer frenzy of the production and a fatigue and sadness that were like a presence. the faces were silent, the eyes downcast; limbs moved robotically. the women had no choice about the hours they had to work for little more than a dollar a day, including a notorious 'long-shift': thirty-six hours without going home. and these are the 'lucky ones': in the 'model pupil of globalisation', 36 million people had no work.

suharto's seizure of power in 1965-66 was critical to indonesia's conversion to world bank model pupil. his onslaught on the popular movements that supported the deposed president sukarno led to what the cia called 'the greatest massacre of the second half of the twentieth century'. up to a million people were slaughtered. military equipment, logistics, intelligence and propaganda were secretly supplied by the united states and britain. royal navy warships escorted suharto's troop carriers. none of this was reported at the time.

moreover, according to cia operations officers i interviewed, the suharto terror provided another 'mode'-for the american-backed overthrow of salvador allende in chile seven years later, and for 'operation phoenix' in vietnam, whose american-run death squads assassinated up to 50,000 people. at this time of writing, a similar campaign is planned to combat the resistance in american-occupied iraq.

thus, nixon's 'greatest prize' was won, and its booty handed out in the most spectacular fashion. in 1967, the time-life corporation sponsored an extraordinary conference in geneva which, in the course of three days, designed the 'globalisation' – corporate takeover – of the world's fifth largest nation. all the corporate giants of the west were represented: the major oil companies and banks, general motors, imperial chemical industries, british leyland, british american tobacco, american express, siemens, goodyear, the international paper corporation, US steel. they were lead by arguably the most powerful capitalist in the world, david rockefeller. across the table were suharto's men, known as the 'berkeley mafia', as several had enjoyed US government scholarships at the university of california in berkeley. they were eager to comply; the spoils would be divided with the new dictatorship they represented.

on the second day of the conference, the entire indonesian economy was carved up, sector by sector. one room was allotted to mining, another to services, others to light industry, forestry, banking and finance. the freeport company got a mountain of copper in west papua. an american and european consortium got west papua's nickel. the giant alcoa company got the biggest slice of indonesian bauxite. a group of american, japanese, and french companies got the tropical forests of sumatra, west papua and kalimantan. a foreign investment law, hurried on to the statuses by suharto, made this plunder tax free. real, and secret, control of the indonesian economy passed to the international governmental group on indonesia (iggi), whose principal members were the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia, and the international monetary fund and the world bank. 'the profit potential,' celebrated a wall street investors' report, 'fairly staggers the imagination.'

the then british foreign secretary, michael stewart, spoke of the 'great potential opportunities to british exporters'. a foreign office report lauded the 'potentially rich market' now that the economy has been brought under control'. other euphemisms for mass slaughter abounded.

…continued tomorrow with curtis passage

***

i also bought three other books yesterday. i'm so happy to read and especially buy books again, after previously "puasa beli buku" for a long period of time. why can't i abandon my desire to own (a.k.a. buy) books which is interesting for me, regardless the price? how can i afford them? 😛 at least i'm glad they hadn't disappointed me … yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cover of indonesian edition:

 

Buku_krakatauBuku_indonesia_merdeka_kareCover Buku Orang Indonesia Orang Prancis

Read and post comments

|

Send to a friend