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Mon Sep 3, 2012, 12:54 PM

Ayn Rand's Fountainhead - Insight Into Paul Ryan's Understanding of Forcible Rape v. Kinky Sex?

Much of the focus on Paul Ryan and other Republicans' idolization of Ayn Rand has been on her work Atlas Shrugged. However, what is interesting is that her other well known work, the Fountainhead, has generally been ignored. In particular, no mention has been made about how the "hero," Howard Roark, would rape his antagonist/love interest, Domanique Falcon, and how she secretly enjoyed it. Indeed, the fact that she did not scream for help was proof of her implicit concent to Roark's abuse of her.

Yet, rather than being condemned, some folks describe this as erotic. For example, here is a review analyzing a sample rape scene to argue that despite the Domanique herself referring to Roark as "raping" her, the reviewer concludes that she really did consent. Is this what Republicans and Paul Ryan are referring to by focusing on forcible or legitimate rape?

http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=14

Ayn Rand writes, "She fought like an animal. But she made no sound. She did not call for help." (bottom of p. 216). She goes on: "He did it as an act of scorn. Not as love, but as defilement. And this made her lie still and submit. One gesture of tenderness from him - and she would have remained cold, untouched by the things done to her body. But the act of a master taking shameful, contemptuous possession of her was the kind of rapture she had wanted." Later, when Dominique wants to take a bath, she writes: "She turned the light on in the bathroom. She saw herself in a tall mirror. She saw the purple bruises left on her body by his mouth. She heard a moan muffled in her throat, not very loud. It was not the sight, but the sudden flash of knowledge. She knew she would not take a bath. She knew that she wanted to keep the feeling of his body, the traces of his body on hers, knowing also what such a desire implied."

In fact, after Roark leaves, Ayn Rand writes (middle of p. 219): "She could accept, thought Dominique, and come to forget in time everything that had happened to her, save one memory: that she had found pleasure in the thing which had happened, that he had known it, and more: that he had known it before he came to her and that he would not have come but for that knowledge. She had not given him the one answer that would have saved her: an answer of simple revulsion - she had found joy in her revulsion, in her terror and in his strength. That was the degradation she had wanted and she hated him for it." When Dominique is reading a letter from Alvah Scarret: "She read it and smiled. She thought, if they knew... those people... the old life and that awed reverence before her person. I've been raped... I've been raped by some red-headed hoodlum from a stone quarry... I, Dominique Francon... Through the fierce sense of humiliation, the words gave her the same kind of pleasure she had felt in his arms." Additionally, when Dominique goes to the quarry looking for Howard Roark and doesn't find him (bottom of p. 220), Ayn Rand writes: "She walked away. She would not ask for his name. It was her last chance of freedom." Finally, she had multiple scenes where Dominique would consider something a "win" (i.e., against Roark) and would then proceed to dominate him by being the more sexually forceful.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Mon Sep 3, 2012, 01:00 PM

1. People Bought This For the Masturbation, Sir, Everyone Knew So When It Was New

You are displaying what imprinted on Ryan as his dominant masturbatory image, and those things do not fade; it is what gets him hard to this day, what gets him hard tonight....

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 12:41 PM

9. Would like to see the media ask Ryan how often he reads the book so he can masturbate.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Mon Sep 3, 2012, 01:02 PM

2. Argh

My head, my head. I thought I had put all that atrocious writing out of it using an exorcist, therapy and yoga. (kidding--not about the bad writing part of course)

You do have a point, if that's the Republican standard for 'erotic'

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Mon Sep 3, 2012, 01:20 PM

3. That is sick. Rand sure had issues. No wonder psycho Ryan loves it.

 

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Mon Sep 3, 2012, 01:23 PM

4. They must have left that scene out of the movie...

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rocktivity

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Mon Sep 3, 2012, 02:10 PM

5. Actually, this is simply BDSM--it's not shocking, it's nothing new, and it's poorly written...

...but BDSM erotica is all it is. Clearly, Ayn there was into rape fantasies, which are a sub-set of BDSM. If you discuss this with those into BDSM, they will confirm that, no, the woman was not raped and, yes, it's a common erotic fantasy of some men and women to be "humiliated" and "forced" to have sex. This sort of rape/humilate erotic fantasy was also, oddly or not, pretty common and popular in the 1950--we see it all the time in old movies. The woman slaps the man, which doesn't mean "no" but "force me!" and then he forces himself on her, kissing her till she submits.

So. What's the problem with this? It's assumption that it's okay for a man to do this to any female. The women's liberation movement had to fight long and hard to make people understand that "no" means "no." This sort of erotica doesn't say "This one particular female character is into this..." but implies that all women are like this and all women want this. Especially women who are in control--i.e. not meekly feminine.

Thus, any woman with a job, with power, who is not meekly feminine wants this. Which very much gives Republicans the license they need to take away women's rights. The argument is that women secretly want men to control their lives. But men have to do it by force and prove they're worthy of being in command. It's the wet dream of every conservative, rabid capitalist, warmongering demigog and religious fanatic. They're not harming women (or those weak sorts that Ayn argues shouldn't have any rights either) when they take control and rule the world--by force and completely ignoring any morals but their own--they're actually doing what everyone secretly wants the to do by being a rapist and an asshole.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #5)

Mon Sep 3, 2012, 11:36 PM

6. I Read the Fountainhead and it did not look like...

...Ayn Rand was simply trying to write a trashy novel with BDSM sex scenes. The whole novel actally focuses on Howard Roark as a mouthpiece for Ayn Rand's political views, which is why it is disturbing that she has these rape references. Worse, the Domanique herself desribes herself as being raped, yet we are supposed to dismiss this as a harmless no means yes fantasy, particularly where the Fountainhead describes the Domanique as being visibly injured during the ordeal.

Even more disturbing is that Paul Ryan directed staff members to read the works of Ayn Rand as an inspiration for real world policy. Howard Roark's pages long soliliquies about individualism are not denoted as being meant for serious consideration as opposed to the rape references. I would agree with you that this is just a trashy novel that no one should worry about if you did not numerous Republicans citing the works of Ayn Rand as an inspiration. Unfortunately, many Republicans do cite Ayn Rand as a source of political inspiration.

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Response to TomCADem (Reply #6)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 11:37 AM

7. Just because the novel is a political piece of propaganda doesn't mean it's going to be free....

...of other things like, say, bad erotic fantasies and/or melodramatic romance. Read "The Klansman" sometime if you can stomach it. It has a bad romance in the middle of it. And this rape scene, which was the only thing that I was commenting on, is, is, is, is!--bad BDSM rape fantasy. It is, in fact, no worse than any other such scene from a thousand other books of that time and before where women routinely fell in love with their rapists and perpetuated that myth. As for what the rest of the book is...

It's a piece of political, social and cultural propaganda. What else is new? It's also a trashy novel. My point being, the rape scene isn't going to turn anyone into a Ryan except those who are like Ryan. Men who want to believe what that rape scene tells them, and take the book as gospel because it lets them do what they want to do. But is this any different from people who use the Bible to do the same thing? If not, why aren't we quoting how the Bible has men treat women and being equally "Shocked!" by that? Why aren't we calling the evangelicals sickos for what they must believe about women given what it says in the Bible?

I don't like Ayn Rand and I think the Fountainhead is no way to run a country, but I'm just asking--why are we looking at this rape scene as if it's anything shockingly strange and unique? It's no worse a way to view women than how the Bible views women, is it? And that book has certainly been handed out by politicians and others to staffers and others, with the insistence that they read it and live their life by it. Why is what Ryan is doing here any worse? Any more shocking?

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #7)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 11:42 AM

8. BDSM requires two consenting adults. Consent separates BDSM from rape and other crimes.

 

Dominique did not consent.

Even worse, Rand glorified what occurred and had Roarke and Dominique begin a regular relationship and marry after the event.

This is, I am sure, exactly what right wing men want to see to justify overpowering and raping women when they say 'no'.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #7)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 09:46 PM

11. My Point Is That The Book Does Not Clearly Delineate ...

... between the propaganda that she was earnestly advocating versus "BDSM rape fantasy" that she may or may not believe in. It appears that you are dismissing the rape as a harmless "BDSM rape fantasy" that the author was not seriously suggesting was appropriate versus Howard Roark's actions and statements as an idealized individualist. Finally, the fact that Ryan made Ayn Rand required reading makes her works fair game, including Ryan's own views on rape.

In other words, if some representative is into reading BDSM rape fantasies, it may not be relevant unless they are actively involved in efforts to legally re-define "rape." In other words, lets say the Fountainhead was some trashy BDSM rape fantasy novel and a Congressman was a fan of such literature. Normally, we may not care unless the representative on the leading edge of defining rape along with Todd Akin.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #5)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 12:46 PM

10. The woman in the book calls it rape. I tend to let women have their own authority to

 

define whether their sexual experience was rape or consensual.

Falcon calls it rape so its rape.

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