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Can we use of it to express violence by words and talks against another one or trying to impress him/her by advertisement against his/her own willing? Is it formal or informal?

For example:

Mona hates spiders and her ex boy friend sends her e mails of spiders' photos everyday.

Or when some of men try to talk to women in the streets against their willing or use of sexual statements in their talks with women who are not their girl friends or even friends, can we say they are trying to rape women's minds?

Does it sound rational and correct and can you use of it in your writing? If not which better phrase do you suggest?

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closed as not constructive by tchrist, FumbleFingers, Brian Hooper, Matt E. Эллен, Mitch Apr 24 '13 at 19:10

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I would strongly urge against it. Rape is a very strong word, with a lot of very loaded connotations. It can trigger a lot of negative emotions and connotations, and should be avoided except when dealing with actual rape, or trying to elicit a powerful reaction while acknowledging the pain it can cause. – Avner Shahar-Kashtan Feb 12 '13 at 13:09
mplungjan, Send it as an answer. – Persian Cat Feb 12 '13 at 13:12
Rape is already about the mind as well as the body. The idea that seeing some photographs of the subject of a phobia might have a "deeper and longer" impact than being raped, is pretty odious. – Jon Hanna Feb 12 '13 at 13:22
I got the image very well about twenty years ago. I'd quite like to get rid of it. Trust me, not only is Avnet's point about how people may take it valid, there are also some who wouldn't object to the phrase, but would find the sort of argument you made for it contemptible. Thread very carefully with any analogous use of rape as it's very easy to offend. – Jon Hanna Feb 12 '13 at 13:41
Ricky Gervais the comedian who shows pictures of people with facial disfigurements and then makes fun of them? I do not suggest you take him as a guide as to how not to offend people. Now, whether it should offend people, or whether it is justified in certain cases is another question. Risking offence is an authorial decision sometimes justified. Knowing it can cause offence allows you to make that decision. – Jon Hanna Feb 15 '13 at 14:52
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The informal but very rude to some is fucking with someone's mind where the derived expression is mindfuck

The expression is from the late '60s

My first introduction to the concept was from this movie Gaslight

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  1. It's extremely informal.
  2. It's used of very strong damage being done to someone's mind, drawing comparison with the trauma rape survivors experience. Emailing spiders wouldn't really cut it. Filling their room with several hundred bird-eating spiders while they slept might. Look at the sort of examples people are using the expression for on the TVTropes page that uses it as the name of a trope.
  3. It's very likely to upset or offend people.

Both the examples you give are of harassment, the first of a sustained campaign of harassment (the similar "trying to fuck with her mind" might be used), the second of casual sexual harassment. (Casual in this sense meaning that it's done without forethought and is treated lightly by the perpetrator). These are both serious offences, though generally not considered as serious as rape (one of the fears people suffering either sort may have, is that it could escalate to sexual assault or rape). Using rape in a way that stretches it beyond its current meaning must be done very carefully, or you can look like you take none of the acts described seriously.

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I've always taken it to mean that somebody has put a thought into somebody else's head surrepticiously. So, the thought may be very clear, as opposed to a mind-fuck, which would imply that your head was scrambled.

So you couldn't rape somebody's mind by trying to explain string theory, but you could give them a mind fuck.

The point being, the rape of the mind isn't necessarily associated with sex, which is a physical act (despite having mental consequences etc).

Personally, I would steer clear of it. Put it this way, if your daughter had been raped, would you like seeing the term being used in such a casual fashion?


If you want specific examples, I have often heard some of Jimmy Carr's jokes described as mind rape, but one example by Richard Herring immediately springs to mind. Unfortunately it is far to offensive to print here though.

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Thanks! Interesting post. @ – Persian Cat Feb 12 '13 at 13:40

Urban Dictionary (Sense 2) says:

when someone can convince and manipulate someone's thoughts and therefore their actions

'I mind raped Jaime into coming over when he shouldn't.'

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This meaning is not valid for something which I find for. – Persian Cat Feb 15 '13 at 14:35

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