Friday, December 17, 2010

Über-progressive besieged for daring to support a presumptively innocent man accused of rape

Michael Moore, brilliant gadfly, political provocateur, and far leftist filmmaker, has come under intense fire after donating $20,000 to bail out Julian Assange.  Mr. Moore believes that Assange's work discrediting the United States is important, that the criminal charges against him are politically motivated, and that "the man has at least a right to be out of prison while awaiting his hearing."  Mr. Moore's comments suggest he erroneously believes that Assange is only accused of having a condom break during consensual sex, but regardless, Mr. Moore clearly believes that whatever the charges against Mr. Assange, they were fabricated because of Assange's political activities.

Michael Moore doesn't do Ken Burns documentaries. He makes "advocacy documentaries," and it is not difficult to regard Roger & Me as a cinematic landmark even if you don't approve of his politics. Michael Moore has done more to push the progressive agenda than all the feminist bloggers combined.

But that hasn't stopped enraged feminists from launching screeching, incomprehensible diatribes against him, suggesting that his opinion, and his actions in bailing out Mr. Assange, are somehow a manifestation of rape culture.  One blogger said this: "We believe that accuser-shaming, accuser-harassment, victim-blaming, and the suppression of rape cases all serve one distinct purpose, which is: TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR PEOPLE TO RAPE US AND GET AWAY WITH IT. To make us scared to report our rapes, even to the people we know. And we will not stand for it any more. We require — not ask, not prefer, absolutely require – progressive media and public figures to stand against rape in every case."

First, the absurdity of suggesting that someone like Michael Moore, of all people, wants to make it easier to rape women is not worthy of serious discourse. It suffices to note that no harangue is too bizarre for the enraged purveyors of sexual grievance when they've convinced themselves that a prominent man has not treated rape with sufficient gravitas. Moreover, how Mr. Moore is not "stand[ing] against rape in every case" is anyone's guess.  Presumably the blogger means that "progressive media and public figures" are required to regard even rape accusers as "the victim" and even rape accusation as "the truth."

Second, it is astounding that we are forced to defend someone for putting up bail money.  Assange has not been tried or convicted of anything and should not be jailed based on an assumption of his guilt.  I would be curious as to whether these same enraged writers find it at all disconcerting that wealthy men are able to bail themselves out of jail while they await trial, but that that poor men, often young black men, are not able to come up with the money and are forced to spend months behind bars based on nothing more than an accusation.  Does that strike anyone as fair?  We frequently note this racial imbalance on this site, but the issue doesn't seem to resonate with people normally sympathetic to progressive causes.

Third, Mr. Moore is being attacked not because he made a generalized comment about rape or false rape claims, but because he dared to publicly express an opinion on the peculiar circumstances of one particular case and to provide financial support for a man without the means to buy his own freedom. You see, Mr. Moore's opinion is not in lockstep with the feminist rape metanarrative that holds that a rape accusation is a rape accusation is a rape accusation, regardless of the peculiar circumstances of any particular case, and that even lawful aid to any man or boy accused of any rape is an assault on all women.  The absurdity of that generalization would be laughable were it not so frightening. 

The same feminists having a conniption over Mr. Moore's remarks are conveniently silent when someone publicly assumes the guilt of a man accused of rape. Take, for example, the infamous Duke lacrosse case. Members of the Group of 88 at Duke University -- respected faculty members -- signed a statement publicly thanking campus protesters who carried a "Castrate" banner, yelled threats, and blanketed campus with a wanted poster containing photos of all of the school's male lacrosse players.  The 88 thanked the protesters “for not waiting and for making yourselves heard.”  In other words, thank you for rushing to judgment and assuming the guilt of three presumptively innocent young men based on their gender and race.

In that same case, Wendy Murphy referred to the Duke lacrosse defendants on CNN's Nancy Grace show in this manner: "These guys, like so many rapists -- and I'm going to say it because, at this point, she's entitled to the respect that she is a crime victim."

And let's not even talk about how the mainstream media rushes to judgment to suggest the guilt of common men accused of rape, or about how members of the enlightened blogosphere declare famous men guilty by reason of penis on the basis of an accusation. 

All of that is just fine, because it is perfectly acceptable and the height of political correctness to allow a man's good name to be destroyed based on any accusation of rape, regardless of how far-fetched it might be. These unfortunate men are just necessary collateral damage in the "more important" war on rape culture, where, we are told, the oppression of women has become normalized and toxic masculinity oozes from every crevice.

But heaven help even someone who has impeccable progressive credentials if he dares to suggest that a man accused of rape "has at least a right to be out of prison while awaiting his hearing." In the Gospel of the sexual grievance industry, that is a sin for which there can be no forgiveness.