Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

It is a chilling cultural mile-marker that a day synonymous for centuries with expressions of romantic love has been transmogrified, on many college campuses at least, into a “consciousness-raising” day that insists male-on-female rape is "normalized" in our culture.

That's, of course, akin to using Memorial Day to insist that the My Lai massacre is typical of the U.S. military.

They've even changed the name of the day to V-Day, presumably to remove any hint of the patriarchal figure Valentine's Day is named after. Now, there's a movement called "1 Billion Rising." Its Web site says: "On V-Day’s 15th Anniversary, 14 February 2013, we are inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men across every country. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers, our solidarity across borders." (Just so we're clear, rape is NOT "normalized," at least not in the U.S.--, and the tiny group of predators who commit almost all the rapes are immune to mild educational efforts like this, according to Dr. David Lisak: Got it?) Commentator Wendy McElroy explained that "The Vagina Monologues," which is the centerpiece of the V-Day celebration, "equates men with 'the enemy' and heterosexual love with violence," and she declares that it is time to Take back Valentine's Day.

With all due respect to Ms. McElroy, there's no need to take back what they could never take from us in the first place. Despite the sexual grievance industry's best efforts to turn Valentine's Day into a good-old-fashioned male-bashing fest, and despite all the hysteria and fear-mongering it foments, the vast majority of young couples caught up in the throes of romance on this most romantic of all days pay little to no attention to their misandry -- because it just doesn't ring true to them.

If only to remind Eve Ensler's peculiar devotees that sometimes men aren't the problem at all, and that women don't have a monopoly on virtue, we bring you a Valentine's Day story that isn't exactly a Hallmark moment (after all, this is Community of the Wrongly Accused).

Sally Henderson met her husband, Richard Cooke, a lorry driver, through an Internet dating agency in October 2003. The couple married on, of all romantic days, Valentine's Day, 2004. Mr Cooke financially supported Henderson while she obtained her college degree. But, alas, Mr. Cooke suffered injuries in a car accident that made his performance in the bedroom less than Henderson desired. He was quoted in a newspaper: "Because of the problems I was having, I was unable to fulfill my wife. She had a very healthy sexual appetite."

She became increasingly unhappy with him, and the marriage deteriorated. Mr Cooke eventually left. It was only then that Henderson reported that Cooke raped her -- not just once, but repeatedly during their year-long marriage. Three or four police officers came to arrest Mr. Cooke, manhandling him for good measure. He was taken to the police station and held in a cell for 36 hours.

But, fortunately, the police discovered a curious thing: Henderson's claims were almost identical to false allegations she had made five years earlier against a previous boyfriend. Henderson had made the previous claim after the boyfriend left her her. (Mr. Cooke was very fortunate that police discovered the prior offense because, until then, Henderson had been anonymous and there was little chance the prior boyfriend would have heard about Henderson's later claim.) Henderson was convicted of perverting the course of justice, and was given a one-year sentence.

But enough talk about rape and false rape claims. As we say, this is a day for romance, not for The Vagina Monologues, or for 1 Billion Rising, or for any other bogeymen concocted by the sexual grievance industry; nor is it a day for stories about false rape claims. Truth be told, the vast majority of men respect women; the vast majority of women respect men. Though there are too many rapes, and too many false rape claims, the reality is that few men rape women, and few women lie that men rape them. That doesn't mean that these crimes aren't problems, it's just to say that in relatively few relationships is there a destructive impulse to harm a partner.

No, dear reader, true romance is alive and well -- in fact it's flourishing, thank you very much. Especially today.

Happy Valentine's Day.