Monday, August 17, 2009

Blaming men as a class for rape is morally grotesque

A commentator on a thread at Glenn Sacks' site about the rape of women in war (the thread is closed) posted the following comment that merits comment:

"Instead of making up things to get yourselves angry about, why don’t you address male violence that leads to men raping women and girls and boys and men. Men have used rape as a form of control of women forever, and I guess now they’re doing it to men and boys. You rarely see women raping men. Why is that?"

Do you see what she did? She seemed to discuss "men" in general, as a class, instead of making clear that it's just men who rape. Her comment fairly implies that all adults possessing the Y-chromosome have used rape as a form of control over women as a class.

She likely would deny that this was her intention, but the fact is, this comment borrows a page from the radical feminist playbook that holds men as a class responsible for using rape as a form of control over women.


The inane caterwauling that tries to fasten communal guilt on all men for the misconduct of a tiny percentage of men is nothing less than the yipping yapping death howl of radical gender feminism. It is tiresome, and morally vapid.

It is lost on these people that it is absurdly sexist to condemn an entire gender based on the malefactions of a few of its members. In any other context, we have words for that sort of thing -- "bigotry" comes to mind.

Let's get it out there: we are opposed to rape. We are opposed to men who rape. Yes, men rape more than women, and, gee, maybe that's because they have penises (and under the common law, only a penis-bearing human could legally commit rape), and because they are biologically more aggressive and have a greater sex drive.

I don't see many women inventing things, rescuing people or fighting wars that women support and that benefit women, either. Hmm. Maybe -- could it be? -- men and women are different? No, no, no -- in that commentator's world, they can't be -- men have been socialized to do evil and to keep women from doing all the great things men do, that's all.

Um, right.

In any event, there's a widespread movement among even less radical feminists to suggest that innocent men have a greater responsibility to prevent rape than innocent women.

The fact is, I can't stop anyone from raping except me. The so-called hypermasculine culture we live in does not promote rape, contrary to the radical feminist metanarriatve. Studies show rape declines when porn use goes up (note I am opposed to porn for other reasons). Singling out young men who do not rape as being responsible to stop rape, while excusing young women who consciously put themselves in situations where rape is more likely to occur, is asymmetrical gender blaming.

Newsflash: rapists are responsible for rape. Period. Not innocent women -- even the multitude who drink and purposefully arouse men; and not innocent men, even the multitude who like to be aroused by women. The fact is, women have greater ability to stop rape than innocent men do by not putting themselves in harm's way. But even suggesting that is deemed "victim blaming."

If people like the commentator really wanted to stop rape, they would tell women not to put themselves in situations where rape occurs instead of blaming innocent people for the sins of the guilty.