Sunday, June 6, 2010

Feministing's irresponsible rape post

The gender-divisive purveyors of lock-the-doors, hide-the-daughters rape hysteria, who systematically foment wildly irrational fears about rape, with their Chicken Little fables and made-up statistics, and who encourage young women to see sexual predation oozing from every male zipper, are at it again. 

A writer named "Ann" from has conjured up some good old-fashioned stardust feminist wishfulness in a post about rape that is almost unspeakably irresponsible, not to mention flat-out wrong.  Don't trust me, read it for yourself here.

"Ann" writes about a new survey dealing with first-time sex.  She cites the report of the survey that includes the following:
Among females aged 18-24 whose first sex was before age 20, 10% "really didn't want it to happen at the time", 47% had mixed feelings, and 43% "really wanted it to happen at the time". This varied depending on the age at first sex. For those who had 1st sex at 14 years or younger, 18% really didn't want it to happen, compared with 8% among those whose first sex was at age 18 or 19. On the other hand, more than a quarter of females aged 18-24 whose first sex was at age 14 or younger (29%) really wanted it to happen at the time. First sex with an older partner was associated with much higher percents of females reporting "really didn't want it to happen". Among those whose first partners were 3 or more years older, 19% reported that they didn't really want it to happen at the time, compared with 5% among those whose first partners were the same age or younger.
(The bold type was supplied by "Ann") 

Misinformation is the engine that drives the so-called "rape culture," and irrational rape hysteria and false rape claims are its noxious emissions.  "Ann's" take on the report of this survey is rife with error.

"I keep staring at those figures in boldface above -- the young women who did not get to set the terms of their first time," she concludes, without a scrap of evidence that the women "did not get to set the terms."

Then she muses:  "I wonder if CDC researchers can explain exactly what the difference is between 'really didn't want it to happen' and rape?"

Personally, I wonder if "Ann" can explain exactly what is her basis for conflating a young woman's subjective wants and desires with rape

Then, "Ann's" coup de grace: "Because 'really didn't want it to happen' is just another way of saying 'nonconsensual,' which is the defining quality of sexual assault."

On and on she blathers, one erroneous assertion cascades atop the next until they collapse upon one another to form a sort of Rorschach inkblot of unmistakable misandry.

It is astounding that it is necessary to repeat the most fundamental concepts about this serious issue. But the well-oiled feminist machine keeps manufacturing faulty information: whether a woman "really wanted it to happen" furnishes no guidance whatsoever as to whether a rape occurred.  If a woman willingly manifests assent to sex via her outward words or conduct, it is not rape. Whether she secretly "wanted" to have sex, or secretly did not "want" to have sex, is completely beside the point. The relevant inquiry focuses solely on her outward manifestations of assent. 

Put more bluntly: a woman’s secret, undisclosed intentions, desires or whims, and her ex post facto, false and belated, after-the-fact hissy fits of regrets, are of no import; all that matters are her external, objective manifestations of assent at the time of the act. Consent is any manifestation of assent to enter into sexual relations. It can be expressed by conduct as well as words, and it can be shown from all the surrounding circumstances, including the parties' prior course of conduct.

The test is whether a reasonable person in the position of the male would understand that consent has been given.  Some states credit the male's subjective good faith belief that consent was present even though such belief wasn't "reasonable."

Women agree to have sex all the time even though they are secretly conflicted about it, or even secretly don't want to.  Despite all of feminism's twisting and pounding, that's not rape.  By the same token, sometimes rape occurs even though the woman "really wanted" to have sex but said no for other reasons.  To suggest that a male is permitted to ignore a woman's outward manifestations in the latter instance because he "knows" that she secretly "really wants it" is not reasonable, and feminists like "Ann" would be the last to accept that.  Well, "Ann," it has to work both ways.

Please understand, those aren't my rules, that's the law.  To assert that the standard should be that rape occurs when a woman subjectively doesn't want or is conflicted about having sex, regardless of her outward manifestations of assent, furnishes no guidance whatsoever to the male as to what constitutes "rape" at the time of the act.  Men would either need to become mind readers or endure lengthy prison sentences. Rape would occur whenever a woman says it occurred.  Rape wouldn't be governed by any objective standard but by some free-floating, moving target of a woman's subjective and secret whim.  Is that fair, under any possible scenario?  The question scarcely survives its statement.  The fact that feminists are not at all troubled by the implications of "Ann's" post -- due process be damned! -- tells us all we need to know about their notions of gender equity. 

The standard suggested by "Ann" is especially pernicious given that it has now been proven by objective evidence that women experience greater after-the-fact remorse than men about one-night stands.  If "Ann" wanted to assist young women -- instead of inviting them to invent rape from whole cloth by feeding them with misinformation -- she would teach them that after-the-fact regret about one-night stands is a common, indeed natural, feeling for women. This would encourage young women to think twice before engaging in such encounters. 

And while we're on the subject of misandry, "Ann" doesn't bother to mention to percentage of boys in the survey who "really didn't want" first time sex to happen at that time.  I assume she doesn't mention it because, under "Ann's" logic, that would mean that 4.8 percent of the boys surveyed were "raped" by young women.  Heaven forbid that a feminist should urge young men to cry "rape" for unwanted sex with young women -- that would upset the preferred metannarative.  The fact that "Ann's" post has precisely zero concern for the boys is another bright-line indicator of feminism's regard for gender equity.

But the fact is, unwanted sex for either gender is not necessarily rape.  Persons in a committed relationship do things for each other with regularity out of love and sometimes, perhaps often, when they "really didn't want to do it." This can occur because a couple's sex drives are not in sync and often because she's more interested in fostering a long-term relationship than having a momentary sexual experience.

Sometimes -- as unbelievable as this might seem -- it's the male who "doesn't really want to have sex," but does.  When a woman is trying to get pregnant, her partner often has sex out of obligation even when it's not especially convenient, and often when he "didn't really want to do it."  Has he been raped since he gave in to her verbal desires?  No sane person would suggest that, but by this inane feminist standard, that is the only logical conclusion.

"Ann's" post beats the same old mind-numbing tom-tom of vile feminist slanders of the entire male gender.  It is the sort of post that contributes, for example, to the despicable prevarication that our college campuses are cisterns of male predatory sexual misconduct.

False rape claims thrive in a culture that actively encourages young women to manufacture rape out of whole cloth by transmogrifying garden variety consensual intercourse into sexual assault.  I represented a young man who was falsely accused of rape where this very thing occurred. Feminists do a disservice to actual rape victims with posts' like "Ann's" because it trivializes rape to include among its victims women who acted willing to have sex but cried "rape" anyway.

People like "Ann" are the problem.