Vespasiano

The Campus Rape Myth

9 posts in this topic

This Winter 2008 City Journal article (a lengthy one) is the latest by Heather MacDonald. Like so many of Miss MacDonald's other exposes, this one is causing quite a stir on the Internet -- a stir of the Q.E.D. variety, from what I've seen at sites such as this one.

The Campus Rape Myth: the reality: bogus statistics, feminist victimology, and university-approved sex toys

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for this, V! Excellent article. I like Heather MacDonald. Her book The Burden of Bad Ideas is a terrific expose and analysis of the complete takeover of virtually all of the major charitable and research foundations and institutions, among other things. From that book, I took away that she is an honest Liberal, somewhat like Christopher Hitchens, taking a step back and examining the consequences of Leftist non-think honestly, yet not able to draw the final conclusion. She is a valuable resource, nonetheless. And woman of her journalistic talents who values and does her best to practice objectivity is a rare and wonderful thing, these days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. There is some twisted stuff in there. Great article.

It reminds me of a philosophy of law course I took. When it comes to rape cases, the burden seems to be on the accused to prove that he did not commit a crime. Just the accusation has the power to ruin lives.

The most bizarre view I read, though, came from a feminist who claimed that men can't help their behavior and it's up to women to exercise better judgment. She viewed men as essentially without the capacity to reason when it comes to sex, and unable to control their impulses. If a woman is wearing revealing clothing, it's her fault if she is assaulted. I think this is possibly more insulting than presumed guilt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The most bizarre view I read, though, came from a feminist who claimed that men can't help their behavior and it's up to women to exercise better judgment. She viewed men as essentially without the capacity to reason when it comes to sex, and unable to control their impulses. If a woman is wearing revealing clothing, it's her fault if she is assaulted. I think this is possibly more insulting than presumed guilt.

Perhaps the reason why feminists don't protest the oppression of women in Muslim countries is that they actually agree with the Muslim view of men and women.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The most bizarre view I read, though, came from a feminist who claimed that men can't help their behavior and it's up to women to exercise better judgment. She viewed men as essentially without the capacity to reason when it comes to sex, and unable to control their impulses. If a woman is wearing revealing clothing, it's her fault if she is assaulted. I think this is possibly more insulting than presumed guilt.

Perhaps the reason why feminists don't protest the oppression of women in Muslim countries is that they actually agree with the Muslim view of men and women.

This is a very odd view indeed, one that writer Orina Fallici heavily criticized. Though it is to be expected, we are living in an increasingly anti-male culture.

I don’t mean anti-stereotypical male habits; I mean actually anti-Y-chromosome, hatred and mockery of males in general.

Just look at many commercial, men are seen as deceptive, single-minded, shallow, dirty, and most of all, idiotic. Sure, this is mostly just for kicks, but it’s so culture wide (in all medias) that I have to think that there is a common cultural element.

Now I know how those women in the sixties felt; when it was popular in the media to say they where all bad drivers and all they wanted to do was shop for shoes.

- Ryan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Perhaps the reason why feminists don't protest the oppression of women in Muslim countries is that they actually agree with the Muslim view of men and women.

Perhaps. The other factor is that they care about power, not women.

The political power feminists acquire is local, and built on a cult of victimhood. As they acquire power, they take it from someone else, making a local male politician a better target than a distant unknown. They can cast a political opponent as a sexist pig, as Jesse Jackson might gain power by casting charges of racism.

As there are only so many real victims of sexual politics and crimes, it's necessary to lower the bar to create new victims. If "all sex is rape" as some of them claim, then all sexually active women are victims. And, in an Orwellian-Kantian twist, if some woman claims to not be a victim, that's proof of the deeper nature of her victimhood, as she is allegedly unable to understand the true nature of her victimhood. As this process unfolds, the credibility stretches further and further, until the sheer pretension of it all would fall apart if contrasted with real repression: how would the NOW nags claim with a straight face that modern America is hostile to women, when contrasted with images of real crimes in the Middle East? The solution would be to ignore the sad plight of women over there, so that the focus remains on the alleged problems women face in the USA.

The feminists lost their cause with Clinton's election. He was supposed to be their guy, someone who would offer women a change from the past. When confronted with charges of rape, or with the Monica Lewinsky scandal (i.e., the classic man-in-power seduces innocent young subordinate) they had the choice of power or principles: either stand by Clinton and take the power he offered them, or denounce him and stand by their alleged principles. When they didn't choose the latter, I knew their fate was sealed, at least for several years.

What really angers me is that the real victims end up suffering as a result of the "help" of their alleged advocates. If the general working definition of rape is stretched too far, the victims of real rape are lumped in with the pretenders, and are not afforded their proper due.

Such is the politics of victimhood, whether the issue is racism, environmentalism, or animal rights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Perhaps the reason why feminists don't protest the oppression of women in Muslim countries is that they actually agree with the Muslim view of men and women.

That might be true for some, but I think the idea that men can’t be held accountable for their actions is not a very popular one among most feminists. The more common idea is that men have the power, and so they can never be completely absolved of responsibility. A woman can claim to be victimized if a man flirts with her, let alone touches her. The feelings of the woman, the threat she feels from the man, is more important than whether there is in fact any reason for her to feel that way. And if she feels threatened, regardless of what the man has done, it's his fault. Also I think most feminists would agree that if a woman says “yes” in bed, that does not necessarily mean yes. It might mean that she is afraid to say no, or that the man manipulated her into believing she wanted sex. So even despite what may appear to be consensual sex, the woman can later call it rape.

And no, I'm not making this up at all, even though it might seem fantastic. The ideas are straight out of feminist literature.

The reason I think feminists don’t talk about the oppression of Muslim women is because it’s real oppression, vs. the fantasy they use to garner political support in the West. To call attention to it would threaten to shatter the illusion they've created here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wrote this on another thread back in November:

As with any pressure group, these anti-conceptual women function like predatory animals. They gauge whom and how far they can push before they get pushed back, en lieu of consistently fighting for actual rational principles. When fighting the Western male, they have his altruism and skepticism as allies. But the Muslim male gives no such quarter, and can dish out the guilt, outrage, and moral relativism better than any feminist could dream of. Not only would Muslim men respond to criticism of sharia with riots, they would threaten the feminists themselves, and the women know this. They are silent out of their survival instinct and their regard of radical Muslims as the enemy of their enemy (civilization).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heather MacDonald links and responds to a reply from Mary Koss with respect to the 25% rape statistic. I found this paragraph to be quite interesting:

There are two possible reasons why the administrators refuse to take the most efficacious, practical action to end campus rape—counseling sexual prudence. Either they know in their heart of hearts that what is happening on campuses is not really rape, but something much more ambiguous and also much less traumatic than real rape. Or—and this possibility is too horrible to contemplate—these self-professed women’s advocates really do believe that a drunken hookup is rape, and yet are withholding from women the simplest, surest way to prevent being raped, simply in order to preserve the principle of male fault. If the latter situation actually prevails, I conclude that the campus rape movement is purely political, interested solely in casting men as the evil perpetrators of the patriarchy rather than in most effectively protecting potential victims of a traumatic crime.

Read the whole thing here:

A Thought Experiment on Campus Rape: False statistics, or evil administrators? (City Journal, March 2, 2008)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites