"Expert at rape"

An interesting reply by Jayadvaita Svami to a controversial point with an
equally interesting commenting from a Mataji.


"Expert at rape"
Submitted by jswami on May 26, 2007 - 9:39am.

    Commenting on a verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam (4.25.41), in which a young
woman accepts the sexual advances of a king, Srila Prabhupada says, “A man
is always famous for his aggression toward a beautiful woman, and such
aggression is sometimes considered rape. Although rape is not legally
allowed, it is a fact that a woman likes a man who is very expert at rape.”

    Understandably, this comment has raised questions. What is Srila
Prabhupada saying? In 1999 a woman in the Hare Krishna community wrote me
about this. Here is the reply I gave.


Thank you for your letter, regarding Srila Prabhupada’s comments about rape
in the purport to 4.25.41. You have asked for some further explanation.

Clearly, Srila Prabhupada does not intend to say that what women really want
is, for example, to be mugged and violated in Central Park.

When you look at the translation and purport for Text 42 and consider the
two purports together, you can get a better understanding of Srila
Prabhupada’s point.

In essence: The male wants to conquer, and the female wants to be conquered.
A woman does not want to be sheepishly asked her hand by a bashful,
weak-kneed Milquetoast. She wants to be pursued and won, to be fought over
by strong and eager suitors, to be “swept off her feet.”

In that sense, a man is attractive to a woman when he is bold, strong,
valorous, assertive, aggressive, “manly,” and so on.

Hollywood knows this, and so we have box-office stars like Sylvester
Stallone, Arnold Schwarznegger (or however he spells his name), et al.

When I lived in San Diego, I used to frequent a used-book shop which (apart
from the books I was looking for) had rows and rows of what the book trade
calls “romances”—novels for whom the intended readers are obviously women.
These books are not high literature; they are formulaic. But they sell like
mad. And even from the covers, the formula is obvious: Whatever the details
of the story line, the woman is won, conquered, overpowered, possessed by a
strong, powerful man.

I don’t mean to say that women have no taste for higher literature. My point
is simply that Hollywood and the book trade are tapping into primal
psychological veins, where the blood—you can bet your millions on it—is sure
to be flowing. The film producers and book publishers know the heart of
their audience.

Of course, “rape” carries with it images of guns, bruises, and brutal
thugs—hardly what any woman hopes for. But the essential feature—a man who
is strong and aggressive—is sexually attractive.

The ultimate attractive male, of course, is Krishna Himself. He carried off
Rukmini Devi, snatching her like a lion from the clutches of the jackal
Sisupala. Krishna married Satya after defeating seven bulls. Krishna married
Lakshmana by carrying her off at her svayamvara ceremony, “in the same way
that Garuda snatched the jar of nectar from the hands of the demigods.” And
Krishna married sixteen thousand other wives after rescuing them from the
demon Bhaumasura.

The rapists and romantic heroes of the material world are nothing but
perverted reflections of Krishna. Krishna is the real object of love for all
living entities. As long as we continue in material consciousness,
identifying with our material bodies, as male and female, and forgetting
Krishna, we have to continue forever as the cheaters and the cheaters—the
rapists and the raped—in this miserable material world. And therefore our
real business is to develop our dormant love for Krishna.

I hope this answers your question. Hare Krishna.

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The etymology of "rape"
Submitted by Tulasipriya on June 1, 2007 - 11:41pm.

Thank you for posting that essay. In settling the issue for myself, I had
years ago undertaken some research on the word “rape” and its origins,
intending to write an essay on it. As usual, I let myself get distracted by
other things, but now that I’ve read this I may take it up again.

I thought it might interest you and others to know what I discovered. The
etymology of the word “rape” is exactly as you’ve expressed it in your
essay: “to seize, abduct, carry off by force.” The word “rapid” is derived
from the same Anglo French and Latin roots, “raper” and “rapere.”

From the Online Etymology Dictionary:

    rape (v.)
    c.1386, “seize prey, take by force,” from Anglo-Fr. raper, O.Fr. raper
“to seize, abduct,” a legal term, from L. rapere “seize, carry off by force,
abduct” (see rapid). L. rapere was used for “sexual violation,” but only
very rarely; the usual L. word being stuprum, lit. “disgrace.” Sense of
“sexual violation or ravishing of a woman” first recorded in Eng. as a noun,
1481 (the noun sense of “taking anything — including a woman — away by
force” is from c.1400). The verb in this sense is from 1577. Rapist is from

Also, simple common sense would imply that if a woman likes a man who is
“expert at rape,” your average thug in Central Park or some dark alley is
not what is being referred to. Expertise is obviously not required to commit
rape in that sense.

I once tried to explain this to a certain devotee of a feminist bent, but
she just gave me a doubtful look, as if to say I was juggling words and
trying to justify the indefensible. Although the purport may have used to
justify exploitation and sexual abuse of women, that abuse was due to
misunderstanding Prabhupada’s words, not the words themselves.

There are online versions of a couple of old dictionaries offering archaic
definitions of words. I’ve used it more than once to clarify something SP
said that didn’t immediately make sense to me. Since the definitions in
these dictionaries were likely to have been in use at the time SP was in his
student phase of life, it seems reasonable to assume that they would shed
light on terms he used that may have been out of vogue or changed by the
time he came to America. The dictionaries can be found by entering the word
to be defined at this site:


This site is a portal to numerous and varied dictionaries. It has Webster’s
1828 Dictionary and Webster’s 1913 Revised unabridged. These dictionaries
have been posted by Christian groups who feel that language has degraded
over time, co-opted by secular interests. I even found the word “fruitive”