As one mom in a parenting forum said, “I personally would have a hard time hiring a male babysitter for obvious reasons.” Right, because obviously guys couldn’t possibly be good caretakers. It’s not like they’re equally likely to have grown up with younger siblings or anything. And thank god, we don’t let guys become dads responsible for parenting their own children…Oh wait.It is a nice sentiment, but the writer blinks at the real reason for the cultural bias against male babysitters. It isn't because parents assume young men won't know how to do the things young women babysitters do. It's because of the fear that a male babysitter will be a sexual predator.
If you want to read a chilling, and disgusting, article about this, read this -- but don't do it an empty stomach. It is infuriatingly sexist, but it's politically correct.
How did the unjust notion that young men are natural sexual predators creep into our culture? How did a large segment of our population come to fear half the population of planet earth and believe that rape is "normal" to men?
If Feministing wants an answer to those questions, it can start by searching its own archives. Read, for example, what Jessica Valenti, the former chief blogger at Feministing, wrote:
"Rape is part of our culture; it's normalized to the point where men who are otherwise decent guys will rape and not even think that it's wrong. And that's what terrifies me."Valenti also said the following in that blog post: "I don’t think most rapists aren’t sociopaths." Translation: she thinks most rapists are sociopaths. But read the very next sentence: "Unfortunately, they’re 'normal' guys." In other words, "normal guys" can be sociopaths and rapists. This is from one of the principal purveyors of so-called "rape culture."*See below
So when an "otherwise decent" college guy shows up at the front door applying for a babysitter job, where on earth would a mother get the idea that this guy might rape her child?
Do you understand why this blog is overjoyed that RAINN has denounced the notion of "rape culture"? (RAINN called views like Valenti's bullshit when it wrote: "Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime." This, of course, is what we've been preaching here for years. RAINN decries the "inclination to focus on particular . . . traits that are common in many millions of law-abiding Americans (e.g., 'masculinity'), rather than on the subpopulation at fault: those who choose to commit rape." It cites the work of Dr. David Lisak, just as this blog has done, in explaining that the notion of "rape culture" is inaccurate.)
Oh, and for the Feministing writer: the reason that the small percentage of male babysitters earn a little more than their female counterparts is probably due to the fact that these guys are superstars--there's no other way they'd be hired.
*There is circulating in the blogosphere a peculiar assertion that RAINN doesn't know what "rape culture" means. That, of course, is akin to asserting that the Vatican doesn't understand the Holy Spirit. What is "rape culture"? Here's Prof. KC Johnson, an undisputed authority on the subject:
Anyone who follows the contemporary media closely is doubtless familiar with the suddenly ubiquitous phrase "rape culture." In the context of higher education, the phrase implies two interlocking beliefs. First: despite crime statistics showing sexual assault (as well as all violent crimes) to be very uncommon on campus, colleges and universities are, in fact, hotbeds of rape (but not, it appears, of all other violent crimes). Second: despite the fact that most college faculties and nearly all administrations are extraordinarily sympathetic to the activists' position on gender issues, the campus culture over which these figures preside nonetheless--somehow--actually encourages the prevalence of rape at college.Read the rest of Prof. Johnson's essay here.
That little, if any, evidence exists to sustain either of these beliefs has not deterred the "rape culture" believers; if anything, the lack of evidence for their claims appears to have emboldened them. Nor have they been deterred by the revelation of high-profile false rape claims on campus (ranging from the Duke lacrosse case to the Caleb Warner affair at North Dakota); if anything, the increasing build-up of sympathy for clearly railroaded males has intensified the rage of those who discern a "rape culture" on campus.