Christian Relaunch

Gynaic Encroachments

For background to this topic, review the material about Family in the Creation section of this Creed.

Gynaic harm (from Greek gyne, "woman") is harm of a kind that can only occur if a woman is involved.

Agynaic harms are those that are not gynaic. (It would be possible to distinguish further, between kinds that cannot involve a woman and those that may or may not involve a woman, but this latter distinction is not relevant here.)

A gynaic encroachment is one that risks such harm.

Gynarpazic Aggression (GA)

Gynarpazic aggression is when a man impinges on a woman, without her king's consent.

"Gynarpazic" is from gyne ("woman") and harpazo ("seize", "attack").

The woman is the casualty. Her king is the victim.

GA usually involves the mating instinct, but not always.

Every GA is either venereal or cool, depending on whether it is prompted by genital arousal.

Every GA is either consensual or unilateral, depending on whether the casualty colludes.

Every GA is an aggression by the assailant, but in consensual cases there is also frowardness by the woman.

Collusion may begin before the aggression (prior collusion) or during it (posterior collusion).

If collusion occurs it may or may not be a venereal response to the aggressor.


As with any other encroachment, the gravity is judged by assessing the harms done, intended or knowably risked.

If no harm at all were risked there would be no aggression.

A single GA may do only agynaic harm, only (or at least predominantly) gynaic harm, or both. What makes GAs worthy of separate study is the risk of gynaic harm, but to understand this properly it is good to consider all GAs. This entails considering certain kinds of agynaic harm.

Detention is when the assailant keeps the casualty away from where her king wants her. The longer, the graver.

"Keeps", that is, by whatever means, whether force, persuasion or mere invitation.

A momentary detention may be called a distraction.

Detention is agynaic. It is involved in almost every GA, and in most of the mildest cases is the only harm. In such cases the casualty is merely distracted, and the encroachment consists only in the "theft" of her time. For instance, an example an assailant might merely, in passing, greet a woman against her king's known wishes. The casualty and her king may be insulted, but an insult neither constitutes an encroachment nor aggravates one.

External injuries range from the very mild to the very grave.

External injury is agynaic. It can arise in many ways, most obviously in using force against the casualty.

Hymenotomy, Infection, Internal injury and Impregnation are always grave when they occur, but the degrees of risk of their occurrence vary.

These harms can only arise if the GA involves rape.

"Rape" also derives from harpazo, but I use it in roughly the sense it bore in English for most of the last 200 years.

Inflicted Female Arousal (IFA) is when the assailant induces genital arousal in the casualty.

The harm of IFA is that arousal tends to engage the mating instinct. This prompts venery, in this case illicit venery, and the worst case is that the casualty acts accordingly. But even if she refuses, her future venery will to some extent be spoiled.

Every GA risks IFA, for a man singling out a woman, for whatever motive and in whatever circumstances, may inadvertantly arouse her, with or without her collusion. But two factors aggravate this risk.

(1) The assailant may cooly and deliberately intend IFA, as imagined by Laclos in Les Liaisons Dangereuses and by Kierkegard in Seducer's Diary (in Either-Or).

(2) The assailant may himself act venereally. Arousal tends to beget arousal. Even if he intends it not, as when a flasher hopes to shock rather than arouse, or is indifferent to the response, there is a risk. And if (as is usual in such cases) he does intend it, so that both factors apply, as in unauthorised wooing, the risk is greater.

Elopement is when the assailant forms a marriage with the casualty.

Elopement can only occur in consensual cases, and usually involves IFA.

Risk Factors

That is, things that are not themselves harms but may lead to the harms listed above.

Unilaterality is neither a harm nor a risk factor.

Remember the aggression is against the casualty's king. Her collusion cannot mitigate, so her witholding it cannot aggravate. If anything, all else equal, a consensual GA is probably graver, for the assailant has seduced as well as harmed the casualty.

Venereality is not a harm, but it is a risk factor, though it may be mitigable by coversion.

Venereality, that is, in the assailant.

In encroachments generally, if we know what was done we can assess the harm, and motive is irrelevant. For instance hatred, though always harmful, is not in itself an encroachment, and my breaking your window in hatred does little more harm than breaking it for some other reason. You know what harm I did without knowing why I did it. Similarly with lust. Two GAs, one of them venereal, are equally grave if the assailant's actions are the same in both.

It is his actions towards her that do harm, not the motive as such. If he were able to conceal his motive from her, they would constitute no aggravation. This may be an unlikely case, but its possibility illustrates an important principle.

But if the casualty is aware of the assailant's motive, the risk of IFA rises, and it may be hard to avoid this. If the assailant's venery leads him to act differently, however subtly, there is risk of corresponding response.

Rape in not itself a harm, but it is a risk factor, though it may be mitigable by precautions.

In the mildest rapes, the assailant establishes that he is uninfected and the casualty broken, internally robust, habitually unchaste and currently infertile; overcomes any physical resistance without brute force; ensures lubrication; and dismisses her quickly. In such a case, the harm consists of a residual risk of internal injury or infection. (Any coupling entails such a risk, but in legitimate marriage it is regarded as acceptable, and is probably lower.) I estimate such a case as being about as grave as a case of minor bruising. Fay Weldon notoriously pointed out something like this. She presumably spoke as a proud stray and robust libertinette, to whom one more man, welcome or not, makes little difference, and most of her denigrators presumably shared her general viewpoint so had no grounds to contest her point. However, a chaster woman is less likely to be capable of such sang-froid, so there would be risk of IFA.

If any of the above precautions fails, the case is graver.


The most noteworthy of the possible modes of response are retribution, restitution and adaptation.

Retribution may take any form including slaying.

Castration may be worth considering, as it may deter others as well as defending against repeat aggression.

Additionally, if the casualty colluded it is generally wise to discipline her.

Restitution consists primarily of restoring the casualty to her king, but may also involve compensation.

I assume that she has meanwhile remained with the assailant, consensually or otherwise.

Adaptation may consist of legitimation, or merely of foregoing.

Legitimation is transferring the casualty for marriage to the assailant, whether or not elopement has occurred.

"If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her ... then the man ... shall give to the father ... fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife."

Deuteronomy 22:28-29. (Compensation and legitimation. Not applicable in all cases. Pros and cons below.)

Foregoing is not pursuing retribution and restitution, while retaining the right to do so in future. (Forgiveness is another matter, to which I hope at some point to give more thought, in this context and more widely.)

The specific character of this kind of encroachment comes out in the question of when to legitimate. Legitimation is an obvious adaptation, but may amount to rewarding aggression. I have no formula, but the following factors spring to mind.

For legitimation are the following.

* Hymenotomy.

* Impregnation.

* IFA.

* Elopement.

* Mutual attraction of assailant and casualty.

Against legitimation are the following factors.

* Detention.

* External injury.

* The casualty is already married.

* Revulsion on the part of the casualty.

Arousal Inflicted by a Woman on a Woman.

A woman cannot encroach on a man, except her own king. If a woman (W1, a subject of M1), induces venery in another woman (W2, a subject of M2), it is M1 who encroaches on M2.

If W1 acts within M1's consent, M1's encroachment is wilful.

If W1 acts without M1's consent, M1's encroachment is inadvertant, though if there is an element of negligence on M1's part it may still be culpable. Further, in this case there is also another encroachment, W1's frowardness toward M1.

If W1 is a stray she does wrong but there is no encroachment.

Runaway Bride

This is when a bride shirks (i.e. refuses to enter) marriage with her groom.

Her king (whether groom or giver-in-marriage) may counteract by disciplining her, or adapt by transferring her (back to her giver-for-marriage, or to another).

Runaway Wife

This is when a wife divorces (deserts, that is, desists from married behaviour with) her husband.

He should seek resumption, but if she persists he needs to adapt. He may take another wife. He may keep her as his subject (with or without hoping that she will resume the marriage) or transfer her.

When Christ declared "What God has joined together, let no man separate", he forbad us to bring about the end of a marriage, but not to recognise that such an end has occurred. This is not permission for a deserter to persist, but for a deserted husband to move on (or, if a deserted wife's deserter has transferred her, for her new king to move her on).

Choices are often inconsistent, and among humans being married can be less clear-cut than among animals; sometimes the question is not whether a pair are married but how much they are married. A man may need to judge whether his wife has erred so far that the marriage should be regarded as ended (or never begun, though that is another topic).

Returning Wife

This is when a wife divorces her husband, is succeeded, then repents.

It may be proper to take her back and maintain both marriages.

Where wickedness is involved, as in the present case, cases of proper polygyny are less rare than they would be in an unspoiled world.

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