THE SABINE WOMAN

(and why they are relevant today)

My hands shake as I sit to write this  blog.  Not such a big deal because, of late, my hands begin to shake at the earliest sign of anxiety, a characteristic of my nature exaggerated by the aging process. (And incidentally, or as I usually state, as an aside, it seems the aging process begins to speed up perceptibly as it continues on its path.)

I am a person who is not used to being wrong.  Intellectually speaking, I guess.  This truth is being adjusted as I age.  One reason is that  I have found that I actually dis remember events of my past.  I have had to concur with the  third party present to reaffirm my remembrance of a momentous family occasion because lately I doubt my perception.  In that case I remembered the incident correctly and the youngest member of the three people involved was guilty of totally dis remembering — or actually blocking—the event, a quite momentous event in retrospect that should be correctly recorded for posterity.

The second reason is that I am well aware that my actual memory fails me completely— lately, more and more often.  This is a common occurrence–especially involving the use of short-term memory in relation to caffeine ingestion (or so I recall. . .) but I have found it lately to become a little scary since it may occur when I link to something and when the link opens, I have forgotten why I chose that link.  This situation is easily corrected, and, in peer discussion groups, I have been advised it has not yet reached the pathological state. Rest assured, I freely admit now that I am going to use cut and paste in this post  Or, perhaps, my new favorite, the snipping tool.

There has been on on-going discussion on-line during which an author named John Scalzi commented on a post by a woman.  Other female commentors talked about how they  felt it should be women that spoke out for women when they are bothered by comments people make that disturb them.  Others replied that sure that was a good idea but Mr. Scalzi stood up for us so that can be an also good thing.  And it went on.  At one point it reached back to an article in Ms. Magazine in which the use of the term rape, which is an emotional trigger (more on that further along) for many women  was elaborated on.
The gist of the article and all the following posts was that it was unpleasant when sports figures say , “We are going to rape the Broncos” or some such similar casual usage of the word “rape”.  So I linked around and commented here and there and at one point I was sort of surprised that one commentor included the word “punked” in the discussion, because the real (actual?) meaning of the word punked is forcible rape of a male by a male, anally, in a prison setting.  Now, as an aside, I know at least seven people, personally, that have served time in “the big house” by which I mean it was a PRISON not the local village lock up.  (I myself served a few hours in a local village lock up with the door ajar and my eighteen months old daughter on my lap, but that is hardly relevant here, wouldn’t you say?)

Now, one of the convicted felons I am referring to actually had his term extended because he “shanked” a person, killing him, for attempting to relate to his personage in a sexual manner.  I have NEVER in my many years heard the term ‘punked’ used in the way the commentor stated was its “real” meaning.  So, maybe that is a judgement call, or a disremembering call, or a geography call.  Nevertheless.  I stand with that statement.  In the number of years I have lived, reading widely, I may say actually reading more than your every day John Doe but, there again. . .

So, it was stated that the “actual” use of the word ‘rape’ was forcible sexual intercourse.  NO. WRONG. The actual meaning is from a Latin word “raptio” which means to carry off.  Herein I paste a Wikipedia entry.  I don’t feel like going to the parlor to fetch the Webster’s which is perhaps a more credible source or at least a source with a more credible cache’.

WIKIPEDIA:

Which see, I guess, because the snip is a little pale.  Oh, wait a sec on that!  Let me try, actual cut and paste:

The Rape of the Sabine Women is an episode in the legendary history of Rome, traditionally said to have taken place in 750 BC,[1] in which the first generation of Roman men acquired wives for themselves from the neighboring Sabine families. The English word “rape” is a conventional translation of Latin raptio, which in this context means “abduction” rather than its prevalent modern meaning in English language of sexual violation. Recounted by Livy and Plutarch (Parallel Lives II, 15 and 19), it provided a subject for Renaissance and post-Renaissance works of art that combined a suitably inspiring example of the hardihood and courage of ancient Romans with the opportunity to depict multiple figures, including heroically semi-nude figures, in intensely passionate struggle. Comparable themes from Classical Antiquity are the Battle of the Lapiths and Centaurs and the theme of Amazonomachy, the battle of Theseus with the Amazons. A comparable opportunity drawn from Christian scripture was the Massacre of the Innocents.
Oh, well.  I guess that is a little better.

Nevertheless, it bears out my contention which was based on a three-year study of Classical Latin.  (Way back when.)

I so enjoyed that.  My original response was not at all political in intent, but to my dismay, I discovered I was in fact reading material on a site that is widely regarded as “feminist”.  My bad.  And the admin of the site took my remarks to be contradictory, when in fact they were meant only for purposes of clarification or explanation, or to caution against the casual misuse of a word.

I need to explain.  I am a female.  I have many feminine attributes.  I am heterosexual. (I think.)  When I was in my prime, having red hair, green eyes, an enviable—if somewhat too full-busted—figure, I freely boast, that I was the subject of some admiration.  I was employed in a position where I dealt with the public on an almost constant basis, and was able to afford very lovely clothes, something I bring up probably because I remember that so distantly removed period in my life with such nostalgia.  Anyway, to get back to the subject at hand (I apologize for my numerous references to my personal experience, but it is the only experience I have.)  an older male, quite handsome in a distinguished, white-haired way, who was fond of me, was one day discussing something about cars and I made a reply that caused him to state, “Oh.  I bet you are one of those die-hard feminists”  I replied, “Oh, no.  Not at all.  It is so much easier to get someone else to do things for me.”

So there you have it—the preceding discourse from an empty-headed ninny with the most shallow standards whose IQ at age eleven was stated to be 152.  Yes, I know that is a meaningless number, especially, personally, at my age.  But some people consider it an actual standard of measurement.

And, in conclusion, I am adding more of my personal take on things in general.  I am so sick of hearing people refer to emotional triggers and cautioning writers against using any word that may be considered an emotional trigger.  Here is the deal:  Face your fear and it will disappear.  I don’t even mind it any more if people talk about stillborn babies or infidelity.  I am likely to add my two cents.

Once again, I am guilty of posting in the late hours of the day, so I will retweet for all you guys again tomorrow.  Thanks for stopping by.

The source of the included illustration is Google which presented for public view a reproduction of the painting The Rape of the Sabine Women by Peter Paul Rubens.

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