Monday, June 7, 2010

More hypocrisy when it comes to use of the term "rape"

Kristen Stewart, one of the young "Twilight" stars, came under fire, and was forced to apologize, when she compared being pursued by paparazzi with being "raped." 

"The remark instantly caused a stir on the Internet from fans and critics alike, some calling for an immediate apology while others resorted to the useless notion of a boycott. Fringe organizations materialized out of the woodwork on their high horses, capitalizing on the moment and hurrying to justify their existence."  Source

The rape of women is treated with all the solemnity of a national disaster; the rape of males is treated with all the solemnity of a punchline. The blog Toy Soldiers is the leading chronicler of the abuse of males, a subject largely ignored, and for anyone interested in human rights, it is well worth reading. But to illustrate the lighthearted treatment afforded the rape of males, we note in passing that there's even a board game called Don't Drop The Soap,where the goal is to fight your way through various prison hazards to achieve parole, all the while trying to avoid "being cornered" (a code word for "raped") in the prison shower. The game was created a couple of years ago by John Sebelius. Some groups complained, but the mother of the game's creator, Kathleen Sebelius, defended it game as a lighthearted spoof for entertainment only.  For Ms. Sebelius, now Health and Human Services Secretary, condoning misandry is nothing new:  "As a proponent of women's equality, in her younger years she used to wear a t-shirt that said, 'When God made men, he was just kidding.'" (Feminists will jump on me and say that was meant to be lighthearted, too. Question: if feminists just want to be "funny," why not wear a shirt with a Groucho Marx comment on it, instead of a male bashing comment?  Hmm, maybe their real goal is to male bash?  Of course, if Ms. Sebelius' son had seen her wearing it when he was young, he might not have gotten the "joke." After all, one must wonder where he acquired his pronounced sensitivity to members of his own gender.)

In any event, while use of the word "rape" evokes guffaws when it refers to male victims, it would be grossly dishonest to pretend that we reserve the word "rape" for non-consensual, invasive male-to-female intercourse.  We don't.  It is, in fact, politically acceptable to use the word to refer to any purported male "violation" of a female, which acts fall on the so-called "rape continuum," a spectrum of purported male misconduct that includes consensual sex "with reservations," male use of porn (even though there is a correlation between the increased use of porn consumption and the decrease of rape), the purported "objectification" of women, dirty jokes, and, really -- let's be candid -- anything else that bothers women about men. 

Catherine Comins, well-known on this site, was assistant dean of student life at Vassar when she gave her infamous interview to Time Magazine. She said she "also sees some value in this loose use of  'rape.' She says angry victims of various forms of sexual intimidation cry rape to regain their sense of power. 'To use the word carefully would be to be careful for the sake of the violator, and the survivors don't care a hoot about him.'"

"Rape," like "domestic violence," has come to signify something much different than it's actual definition. It has come to mean nothing less than the purported oppression by males of females.

Again, the people who suffer from this over-the-top use of terminology, which, at its heart, seeks to portray women as the chronic victims of a wide variety of male conduct, are the actual victims of rape.  Using terms such as "eye raped" and suggesting that a lonely college boy spending Saturday night with a Playboy Magazine is a form of "rape" trivializes actual rape. 

The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of people, who are not drunk on gender politics, view suggestions that conflate rape with these other forms of male conduct as downright loony.  And so, once again, radical feminists do a grave disservice to rape victims. But what else is new?