I was flabbergasted when Trump said “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country.” (A)

There are some words that evoke dramatic imagery and should not be used casually. The recent passing of Elie Wiesel reminds us of the power of the word “holocaust.”

And “rape” is one of those words.

“The use of “rape” in such a casual way misrepresents the gravity of sexual assault. Rape is no laughing matter. In the United States, approximately 16 percent of women and three percent of men have been victims of attempted or completed rape. Fifteen percent of sexual assault victims are under 12. Sexual assault victims are three times more likely to suffer from depression and four times more likely to contemplate suicide than non-victims.” (B)

Rape evokes: sexual abuse on college campuses; Bill Cosby; sex trafficking; out-of-control professional athletes, Comfort Women, Spotlight…..

A new movie makes it very clear.  “The Innocents” begins at the end of World War II in Poland, December 1945. Serene, austere Benedictine nuns sing sweetly in the quiet stillness of morning—until a piercing scream echoes through the stone hallways, sending a chill. Turns out, it’s coming from an extremely pregnant, young nun who’s on the verge of giving birth—and she’s not alone…..As the Reverend Mother (Kulesza) and her right-hand woman Maria (Buzek) matter-of-factly explain it, Soviet soldiers invaded the convent and repeatedly raped the women as the war was ending.” (C)

A college student recently wrote: ” With that said, I urge all of you to stand up. Next time someone makes a joke, tell him or her that it isn’t funny. Next time someone uses rape as a substitute word, tell him or her that it isn’t OK. Stand up because chances are the person those jokes are really hurting is unable to do so—myself included. (D)

Health care providers take this seriously. For example, The Mount Sinai Hospital Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program’s mission is:  1. “To meet the needs of rape, sexual assault and domestic violence survivors by offering immediate crisis intervention in hospital emergency rooms. 2. To follow up with psychotherapy, counseling and information both for past and present survivors and their families and friends. 3. To educate the public and professionals regarding services and issues of sexual and domestic violence. (E)

Searching the internet I could not find a single reference that uses “rape” as an (academic) economic term.

Maybe Trump’s children will explain this to him. 

(A)   http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/01/politics/donald-trump-china-rape/

(B)   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/09/teen-slang-why-the-word-r_n_1194059.html

(C)   http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-innocents-2016

(D)   http://timesdelphic.com/2011/10/23/misuse-of-the-word-rape-is-a-problem

(E)    http://www.mountsinai.org/patient-care/service-areas/community-medicine/areas-of-care/sexual-assault-and-violence-intervention-program-savi/about-us

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