Thursday, May 19, 2011

Male Bashing on Campus for Fun and Profit

The following is an expansion of a post that was lost last week during Blogger's outage. That post was one of the ones not restored by Blogger when the outage ended.

The sexual grievance industry recently dispatched one of its gurus, a specimen that answers to the name of Jackson Katz, to Dartmouth to reduce the typical male student on campus to grotesque caricature, and to declare even the innocents of his gender -- meaning, pretty much every man on campus -- guilty, by reason of penis, of offenses against women. But don't trust me. Read it for yourself here.
Katz's shtick, awful as it is, didn't quite tumble to the depths of misandry that another SGI guru, Rus Funk, sank to a few years ago.  Just to refresh your recollection:

A question from an audience member about false rape accusations provoked visible emotion to appear on Funk’s face. “Rape and domestic violence have the lowest reporting rates of all crimes,” he said, “and we do have a false reporting problem: too many women who have been raped say that they have not.”

At this assertion, the audience, silent for most of the workshop, applauded. He closed this line of conversation with, “The false issue of false reporting is misogynistic and a result of societal hatred for women.”

See here. More about Funk later. Let's deal with Katz first.

Jackson Katz, who doesn't seem to think much of what he recently called "traditional white male conservatism," see here, believes that when it comes to sexual abuse, cautioning women to take the well-lit route back to their dorm doesn't get at the root cause of the problem. "The root cause," he said, "is men." See here.

That's right. Not "men who rape." Not "men who abuse women." Just "men."

Katz believes that "men need to raise the standards of male integrity," see here, by not being mere "bystanders." Men with "moral integrity" are needed "to break complicit male silence." See here.

"Complicit male silence"? You're serious?

Of course, it's exactly the wrong message, to the exactly wrong audience, in the exactly wrong place, and it does more harm than good because, aside from unjustly maligning an entire gender, it cons people into thinking that this kind of spiel is actually capable of reducing sexual assault on campus.

It reminds us of the "Don't be that guy" ad campaign in Edmonton last year, that used blunt and crude words and images to tell males 18-24 years-old not to rape women who drink to excess. The rationale for the ads is this: "Typically, sexual assault awareness campaigns target potential victims by urging women to restrict their behavior. Research is telling us that targeting the behavior of victims is not only ineffective, but also contributes to how much they blame themselves after the assault. That’s why our campaign is targeting potential offenders – they are the ones responsible for the assault and responsible for stopping it."

What's the criteria for being a "potential offender"?  Why, you have to have an 18-24 year-old penis, of course. One such ad was strategically placed atop urinals in men’s bathrooms in 26 bars around the city. That one reads: “Just because she’s drunk doesn’t mean she wants to fuck."  The ads were celebrated as another victory for female empowerment: "[A]t the very least, these ads set a precedent for holding men -- not women -- accountable for the crimes that men commit." Sounds like the writer believes men, as a class, are responsible for what a tiny percentage of criminals do, doesn't it?

Blaming Innocent Men

Preaching to innocent men not to rape is akin tocomplaining to the choir about the parishioners who don't come to church. Rape is a social pathology committed by criminal deviants; it's not the result of a typical guy acting out traditional notions of masculinity. Telling innocent men not to rape has never stopped a single rape.  And even if a young rapist happens to stumble upon the message, what good will that do?  Will a young rapist in Edmonton have an epiphany while standing at the urinal reading the "don't fuck her" sign: "What? She really doesn't want to fuck me? Shit! I guess I shouldn't stick my dick in her!"

But Jackson Katz is smart enough to know he isn't addressing the actual rapists. So he holds typical, innocent young college men responsible for stopping rape. They must change how they think, he bellows, because they must police their peers -- the vast majority of whom, incidentally, are also not criminals (but why let the facts get in the way of good male bashing session?) -- to be more respectful of women, and this, in some stardust wishfulness of the sexual grievance industry, will reduce rape.

Compare this perfectly inane message with the one young women are fed about rape by the people who dominate the public discourse on that issue: young women need not alter their behavior even a whit to avoid being raped. They can drink to unconsciousness in the bedrooms of men they don't know, even if this increases the statistical likelihood that they will be raped, because to counsel that they exercise even a modicum of common sense is "victim blaming."

Get it? Innocent men, who have no ability to stop rape, are responsible for actually stopping rape; innocent women, who consciously put themselves in situations where rape is more likely to occur, have no responsibility.

Silly me. And here, I thought Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling was dead.

Mind you, I'm not blaming the victim. No woman asks to be raped, and men who take advantage of even stupid women are rapists. I'm merely pointing out the hypocrisy of how it's wrong to blame the victim (and it is) but somehow OK to blame innocent people for rapes they don't commit, so long as they have penises.

Jackson Katz's message seems to be that young men have a duty to stop their male peers from "taking advantage" of alcohol-laden young women.

Let's think about the premise that assumes the male is the predator in drunken sex.  Why, pray tell, is she a "victim" when a young couple drinks to mutual excess -- which is common -- and then mutually decides, in their mutually reduced state of consciousness, to have sex? In that scenario, he's every bit as much a "victim" as she is. (And, no, I don't think they both should be charged with rape: the mutuality of their stupidity cancels out their shared criminality.) Women and men frequently drink to lower their inhibitions precisely so that they will engage in sexual activity. To pretend otherwise is to toss eons of accumulated knowledge about gender relations onto a scrapheap of politicized indifference.

Women's groups have insisted for decades that women are at least as capable as the guys in every sphere of life -- in the law, medicine, the military, government -- everywhere except the boudoir, where it's 1950 all over again, all the time, and women are as helpless as the most distressed Disney damsels. Yet progressives seem to think they are empowering our daughters by telling them they are powerless.

Men Are Not Bystanders

If there's an underlying theme to the paid male bashers who swoop onto college campuses, it's that men aren't doing enough to stop sexual violence against women. Take Rus Funk. He believes that "men, by and large, continue to ignore, deny, minimize, and otherwise avoid the issues of sexual violence." How does Ruf Funk know this? Because "men still make up only a tiny minority of those present at events addressing sexual assault."  See here.

Likewise, Jackson Katz's shtick is the "bystander" bullshit.

Those of us who closely follow the false rape phenomenon find unmistakable patterns of gendered reactions to rape claims, true or false. Based on a fair review of the reported cases, it is reasonable to assert that men, especially young men, typically express far greater outrage over rape claims than do women. The chivalrous outrage over, and the loathing and detestation of, even the hint of violence against women or children is far more typical of our notions of masculinity than is either rape or standing aside and doing nothing while women are raped. And Rus Funk: the reason typical males won't attend your male bashing sessions is because men understand that your notions of masculinity and theirs are two very different things.

One need not invoke the hanging trees of the Old South, or the Duluth lynchings or any of the others, to know that a cry of "rape" typically elicits a visceral reaction of outrage in men, often exceeding the actual harm inflicted by the crime. Just read the cases we've collected on this blog over the past couple of years. Need to be reminded?

Remember Daniel Cicciaro, 17? He was shot when he angrily confronted another young man after a girl falsely claimed the latter had raped her.

Remember Sumbo Owoiya, 18? He was shot through his front door when a 15-year-old girl falsely told her boyfriend he had raped her.

Remember Cory Headen, 19? He was beaten to death with a baseball bat by another 19-year-old man when two girls claimed he had raped one of them.

Remember John Chalmers, 47? He had to relearn everything he knew after a man beat him under the wrong-headed belief Mr. Chalmers had raped his sister.

Remember Devin LaSalle? Darrell Roberson shot him to death when he caught him with Mr. Roberson's wife, and the wife falsely claimed she was being raped.

Remember Cody Wightman, 25? He was beaten with a claw hammer by a group of young men after a young woman falsely told them Mr. Wightman had raped her.

Remember Michael Zenquis? He was beaten by an angry mob of men in Philadelphia after he was wrongly accused of raping an 11-year-old girl.

Remember Damon Hadley, 17? He was savagely beaten on his way out of school by his girlfriend's father after she falsely told her father Damon had raped her.

And I could go on and on and on. Go look them up on this blog if you don't believe me.

Bystanders? Complicit male silence? Men minimize sexual violence against women?

Bullshit. Men's chivalrous overreaction to cries of rape is far more representative of masculinity than is rape itself or standing off to the side while women are rape. While this overreaction scarcely something to be proud of, it is the polar opposite of what people like Jackson Katz and Rus Funk preach. 

Addressing the Wrong Group of Men

If the sexual grievance industry is so intent on talking to men about rape, they should all head to the inner city, not college campuses where it's not one-in-four or one-in-five or one-in-four before Thanksgiving of Freshman year, or any of the other manifestations of the "one-in-whatever" canard we see everywhere: it's more like one-in-one-thousand-eight-hundred-seventy-seven: see here.

The vast majority of rape offenders come from lower socioeconomic classes and are under-educated, under-employed, and under-skilled. See, among many others, Thornhill and Palmer, A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion; Batten, Sexual Strategies: How Females Choose Their Mates. In Against our Wills, Susan Brownmiller demonstrated that disadvantaged blacks comprise a greatly disproportionate percentage of rapists.

So why does the sexual grievance industry spend so much time at places like Dartmouth, where there is a decided shortage of socioeconomically disadvantaged young men?

To answer that question, you need to follow the money. You see, it's easier to pretend that our college campuses are cisterns of predatory male sexual violence than to go to where there's really a problem but where you won't get paid.

It's "The Music Man" all over, and only Professor Harold Hill can save River City from the terrible trouble that Professor Harold Hill has concocted out of whole cloth.

The irony, of course, is that the socioeconomic aspect to rape doesn't fit the official narrative of the sexual grievance industry. You see, there is an unmistakable correlation between the absence of fathers from inner city homes and the prevalence of every social pathology that affects inner city kids, including rape. It turns out that when it comes to rape, toxic "masculinity" isn't the problem at all. The problem is the absence of masculinity -- fatherless homes.

We've removed male role models from the lives of our inner city sons, then when those boys act up, we have the audacity to blame it on “patriarchy.”

The Sex Problem on Campus

That's not to say that sexual experiences on campus are uniformly favorable. Far from it. The fact that unfavorable sexual experiences generally are not rape should not be the end of the discussion.

To reduce unfavorable sexual experiences on campus, we need to instill greater sexual maturity in our young people. Binge drinking combined with runaway, exploding hormones, and the freedom of being away from home for the first time, too often leads to decisions that while likely consensual, wouldn't be made in the glaring, sober light of day.

Refusing to teach our young people the truth -- that there is a gender gap where women have far greater after-the-fact regret than men, and that men have an enhanced sex drive -- doesn't help matters. Maybe instead of preaching the feminist mantra that young women should be free to "party like the guys" we should be teaching all our young people not to party so much.

Heaven forbid.

But the worst thing we can do is what we're doing: mischaracterizing unfavorable sex, or sex one party later regrets, as "rape," and holding males, both those in bed with the women and those who are supposedly "bystanders," solely responsible for young women's dissatisfaction.

That's a sure-fire way not to solve the problem.