James Taranto has written a piece for the Wall Street Journal that is the epitome of common sense. Of course it has been purposefully misconstrued by chattering radical feminists.
Mr. Taranto writes about sex partners who engage in mutually reckless drunken sex; that is, both parties are intoxicated and mutually decide, in their drunken states, to have sex. Both of them engage in precisely the same conduct; the only difference is that one has a penis and one has a vagina.
Mr. Taranto thinks it is unjust to hold only the man responsible when two drunks mutually decide to have sex.
And this is controversial, how?
It's not. To label one drunk who decides to have sex a "victim," and the other drunk who decides to have sex a "rapist" -- based solely on the genders of the drunks -- is something out of "Mad Men." In Mr. Taranto's scenario, the male is every bit as much a "victim" as the female, and the female is every bit as much a "rapist" as the male. Mr. Taranto wasn't talking about a man who decides to rape or take advantage of an incapacitated woman, Mr. Taranto was talking about mutually stupid drunken sex. Period.
Mr. Taranto's take is common sense, people. Only someone dishonest, stupid, insane, or with an ideological agenda to pursue could disagree.
Cue Tara Culp-Ressler.
"In a Wall Street Journal column published on Monday," Culp-Ressler writes, "conservative commentator James Taranto argued that a 'balanced' approach to the college sexual assault crisis involves placing equal blame on rapists and their victims, if both of them were drinking alcohol."
What on earth are you talking about, Culp-Ressler?
Culp-Ressler, whose biography says she "advocated for women's issues" during college, wants Mr. Taranto's piece to say something it doesn't, so she rewrites it. She twists and pounds it beyond recognition. She holds it up to a funhouse mirror. I haven't seen so much straw man since Dorothy met Ray Bolger on the yellow brick road.
In the scenario posited by Mr. Taranto, the parties' genders, not their conduct, is the only thing that differentiates them. With no authority beyond her serene ipse dixit, Culp-Ressler has deigned to label the participants "rapist" and "victim" based solely on their genders -- the so-called "rapist" is guilty by reason of penis. So much for gender equality, fairness, and objectivity.
So please explain, Culp-Ressler, is this what feminism is? A man and a woman engage in precisely the same conduct, yet one party is a felon, and the other is a victim, based solely on their genders?
And they wonder why so few people -- including so few women -- identify as feminist? It is pieces like Culp-Ressler's that engender disrepute of this tired movement.