Monday, May 16, 2011

A crime against a woman is a crime against all women; a crime against a man is . . . who cares?

Why has rape assumed a place of supreme importance in our culture while nobody, outside of a few of us, gives a damn about false rape claims?  Because every rape is deemed to be an attack on all women, and every false rape claim is deemed to be just something that happens. Let's illustrate.

First: rape.  A columnist for a mainstream daily today effectively blows the lid off the incessant attempts in op-eds to characterize Lara Logan's attack as a crime of gender inequality. Ruth Ann Dailey points out that the attack on Logan was likely grounded more in anti-Semitism than gender. ". . . it was when someone yelled that she was an 'Israeli' and a 'Jew' that the sexual assault turned murderous. The all-male crowd literally tried to pull her apart limb from limb. It's odd that articles and opinion pieces have downplayed the anti-Semitic angle in favor of the sexual one, ignoring the attempted murder in favor of the rape."

You see, Ms. Dailey, Lara Logan isn't just a reporter any more. She's a symbol of the oppression of an entire gender -- she's Lorena Bobbitt, Jessica Lynch, and Crystal Gail Mangum, only with a camera crew.  And it's all a big step back for women.  The cackling banshees who pump out features pieces for mainstream media outlets suggest, without saying it, that women, by virtue of their gender, should be immune from the risks men are expected to face without whining. They would empower women by insisting they are powerless.  But as we've previously explained, it's all a steaming pile of horse maure. Brutal attacks on male reporters are common.  One long-time female war correspondent recounted male colleagues having their sexual organs tortured.  The reason that's not deemed an atrocity is because it's too often associated with a punchline. Another longtime female war reporter explained that while female reporters are at greater risk of being raped, male reporters are at greater risk of being killed.  Yet, it's female reporters who are vulnerable?

Ms. Dailey writes: "But what does our discussion of this complex tragedy say about the condition of U.S. society? . . . [D]oes this discussion, which forces gender politics and only gender politics onto situations that are about far more, reveal that some of us are destructively parochial?"

Worse. It tells us, Ms. Dailey, that the sexual grievance industry is hard at work pumping out gender-divisive, lock-the-doors, hide-the-daughters Chicken Little rape hysteria; that we're supposed to believe misogyny is rampant even though it isn't; and that when the legend becomes fact, old cowboys and feminists alike insist on printing the legend.

Now, contrast how society treats a crime that happened to target a woman with crimes that almost exclusively target men: false rape claims.

At Northwestern University in 2009, a Clery Act alert was sent to the university community about  a female student who, the report said, was sexually assaulted by an African American male, approximately 25 years old, 5-6 – 5-7 inches tall, with a thin but muscular build, wearing a black leather jacket and dark jeans.

The following day, another alert was sent out to reveal that the rape claim was false. Just another day at a major American university. 

Except almost immediately, a debate erupted on campus about the propriety of the first email. The fact that the first email was sent out, and that it unfairly maligned an entire gender, of course, was not a problem to the university community. But mentioning that the supposed rapist was black posed a serious dilemma. The campus paper reported: "Students questioned whether the description of the attacker as an African-American male was prudent. 'All black young men on campus become vulnerable to further suspicion,' [Criminology Prof. Lisa] Frohmann said."

Consider another case: remember the recent false rape claim in New York where a Christian fringe sect "nun" lied about being choked and raped by a black man? After the claim was exposed as a lie, African-American men in the nun's Brooklyn neighborhood expressed anger. They weren't upset that she manufactured a rape lie against a man; they were upset that her imaginary rapist was black.

A crime against a woman, no matter how removed from gender, is deemed a manifestation of misogyny and a crime against all women. A lot of feminists think rape should be classified as a hate crime. Culture and Family Institute Director Robert Knight once testified: "Every rape is a crime against all women." (I guess prison rape of men -- which may be more common than rape of women -- isn't "real" rape, but put that aside.)

In contrast, maligning maleness has become so normalized that it doesn't even register with many people that there exists a crime that almost exclusively targets males, a crime that destroys lives with a stunning suddenness and a brutal completeness. False rape claims are not deemed to be a serious problem to anyone, much less an entire gender, until they strike home.  And when it happens -- and I have the emails to prove it -- the accused's loved ones always say the same thing: "I didn't know this happened to men."

You didn't know it happened to men because the features writers at our major news outlets are too busy beatifying Lara Logan and hoisting her on the altar of perpetual female victimhood.