Rape...

Rape has been on my mind a lot lately, and I've been dancing around posting about this.  There are so many things that could be said about the subject, but I primarily want to talk about my reaction to people, stories, and things I've read.  To sum it up in a neat sentence...I experience extreme fits of rage when confronted with the horrors we
inflict on others, particularly men on women in the form of rape. And I do mean extreme anger.  It's my reaction I want to focus on, but to do that, we need to go back to what triggers this anger.
I've always considered rape one of the worst forms of torture and, at one point, used to think I'd rather die than face that.  Looking back I realize my feelings on this may have always been abnormally strong.  I say abnormally because I don't often hear women near me express as much outrage as I feel. This particular post was triggered by a series of occurances in nonchronological order.
 
(1) A recently acquired acquaintance (male) seems to have a penchant for making rape jokes.  I don't find this funny and am actually disturbed by it.  I am left without a way to respond.  If I actually thought he himself were a threat, I would do something about it.  The problem is that I think he's basically a nice guy with a few weird personality quirks.
 
(2) I also don't know why I subject myself to Law and Order Special Victims Unit...it always pisses me off.
 
(3) Then there was the book, The Natashas, about the new sex trade. Particularly disturbing were reports in the book of abuses perpetrated by the U.S. military, UN workers, police, etc.
 
(4) A good friend of my boss was raped about 6 weeks ago and the roommate of the daughter of the president of my organization was, too. 
I felt so much pain for these women...too much considering I didn't even know them.  I still have trouble shaking my boss's friend from my mind.
 
(5) An article in Ms. Magazine, "Not Women Anymore...", was the straw that broke the camel's back.  The article detailed the rape of millions of women in the Congo as a weapon of war.  It talked of gang rapes of women...mothers, daughters, children.  Of rape that destroyed their internal organs because they were often raped with objects like bayonets, branches, etc.  It also referenced this as a trend as it recalled Rwanda and now the Darfur.
 
I read this last article on a metro ride home and was so enraged that the site of the men on the train made me physically ill.  I wanted them to hurt the way these women had just because their gender.  And this
acquaintance...if I had seen him at that moment, I probably would have punched him.  I've never punched someone in my entire life, but I was pretty enraged. I feel like I should end with some big psychoanalysis on why this brings out so much anger in me and why men rape; however, typing all of this and dredging up these emotiond has drained me.  I'll leave all of this 
as something to ponder.