Friday, February 18, 2011

Toronto cop in hot water for trying to speak the truth about rape

A Toronto police officer is in hot water for comments he made about rape in a school. His choice of wording was awful, but it seems he intended to say that there is correlation between rape and the sexual attractiveness of the victim.  As discussed below, his comments were widely denounced.

The rape milieu is so terribly politicized, and so terribly encrusted with layer upon layer of half-truths and outright lies, that we have reached a point where it is socially verboten to tell our daughters certain things they should know that could save them from calamity. 

If our daughters digest the information typically disseminated by sexual assault counselors, they would believe that rape is nothing more than a crime of violence and that a rapist's sexual attraction has nothing whatsoever to do with it. They would logically conclude from this that women who are senior citizens, and whose beauty, by societal standards, has faded, should be targets of rape just as much as the hottest girl on campus.

In fact, "NCVS data reveal that rape victims tend to be young and that rapists prefer younger, presumably more attractive victims.” The data indicates that “younger offenders may be seeking sexual gratification . . ..” L. Siegel, Criminology at 294 (2008). Moreover: ". . . the correlation between age distribution of rape victims and the age of peak female sexual attractiveness is powerful evidence" of a sexual motivation for rape.  R. Thornhill, C. Palmer, A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion at 139.  See also 180-183 (2001).  That examination of rape, written by a biologist and an antropologist, debunk the politiczed social science theory that "rape is a crime of violence but not of sex."

Nevertheless, the conventions of our modern age tell us it is improper to suggest to our daughters that being sexually attractive, and that efforts to make themselves sexually attractive, could increase their risk of being raped.  These efforts are decried as "victim blaming."

Let's get a few things straight:

No woman "asks" to be raped (because if she "asked" to be raped, it would be consensual sex).
A rapist is never excused of responsibility for his crime merely by virtue of the way a woman looks or dresses.
Being sexually attractive is not "bad" behavior, but all other things being equal, the more sexually attractive a woman is, the greater her chances of being raped.

Our daughters need to know the truth about the correlation between rape and sexual attraction. To suggest otherwise is to elevate political ideology over our daughters' safety.

Along these lines, a Toronto Police Officer has been forced to apologize, and has been disciplined, after he told a school forum that women’s attire can put them at risk of being attacked.  "The policeman, who reportedly prefaced his comment by saying 'I’ve been told I shouldn’t say this,' instructed the audience that women should avoid 'dressing like sluts' if they wanted to be safe from sexual assault."

That, of course, was an awful choice of words, so poor, in fact, that it wasn't even accurate. A "slut" may or may not be sexually attractive, and the choice of wording suggests that efforts to be sexually attractive are morally wrong.

I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume his intent was to tell the students what we said above: that there is a correlation between rape and sexual attractiveness. He should have said just that. He could have added that this does not mean that rape is confined only to sexually attractive victims; but it does mean that sexually attractive young women are at greater risk of being raped.

But no matter how the police officer might have worded it, I suspect his message would have been met with angry denunciations. The truth about rape is not empowering. It can't be fitted into a feminist narrative. Women at most risk of being raped are young and sexually attractive. No, it's not fair. It's not politically correct. But it's true. And our daughters need to hear it.