Dota, in his previous post, put to rest some myths about the role of women in patriarchy. In this post, I’m going to slay one of the most sacred cows of feminist ideology: Rape Culture.
If people were to take even a cursory look at the feminist blogosphere, or spend a brief amount of time reading up on feminist theory, then they have no doubt encountered the concept of “rape culture.” What exactly constitutes “rape culture?” A definition endorsed by the hypersensitive administrator (you think trigger warnings are abused on feminist blogs? You’ve seen nothing yet!) of the popular feminist blog Shakesville, Melissa McEwan, describes rape culture in the following manner:
A rape culture is a complex of beliefs that encourages male sexual aggression and supports violence against women. It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent. In a rape culture, women perceive a continuum of threatened violence that ranges from sexual remarks to sexual touching to rape itself. A rape culture condones physical and emotional terrorism against women as the norm.
In a nutshell, proponents of rape culture theory assert that Western societies such as the United States tacitly condone or even encourage rape. Evidence that feminists often use to support this contention includes the supposed prevalence of rape jokes, with Daniel Tosh being the most prominent comedian to draw the ire of feminists.
Feminists are also fond of invoking the Steubenville rape controversy as proof that our society does not adequately take rape seriously. Even female tennis star Serena Williams got into hot water for mentioning that sixteen-year-old girls who consume too many drinks and put themselves in vulnerable positions aren’t behaving too wisely. She was hardly saying that the girl deserved to be raped or that her rapists should be let off the hook. The mere suggestion that young girls should take a few precautions provoked cries of “blaming the victim.”
Me personally, I think the notion of “rape culture” in the West is, to wax British, rubbish. I can recall several high profile individuals and institutions coming under fire for rape or alleged rape. Just ask Kobe Bryant, the Duke lacrosse team, Julian Assange, and Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The fact that these cases have generated so much public attention and outrage from so many quarters would indicate that rape is hardly swept under the rug or condoned to the extent that feminists claim it is.
Also, while this is purely anecdotal, I can count on one hand (and not even using most of that hand’s fingers) the number of times I have heard a rape joke. I speak as someone who has hung out with groups of guys of all racial, socioeconomic, political, and educational backgrounds. It can also be safely said that my various friends rarely shied away from crude or bigoted humor.
However, I’m in a generous mood today, so I’m going to throw the feminists a bone. I’m going to analyze actual rape cultures. In my co-blogger’s former residence of Dubai, a Norwegian woman who reported being raped, only to then be sentenced to jail for extramarital sex, has been pardoned by Dubai’s monarch following intense international pressure. On the one hand, we should be grateful that she has been set free. However the fact that she was even sentenced to prison in the first place is appalling. Not to the mention the fact that she has no hope of bringing her alleged rapist to justice.
Nor does Dubai have a monopoly on Gulf Arab depravity. Al Jazeera has documented the case of an eleven-year-old Yemeni girl who fled from her parents in order to escape a forced marriage, which certainly would have resulted in non-consensual sex. Her impassioned video in which she denounces forced child marriage has captivated the world.
But I’m not going to pick exclusively on Arabs today. Afghanistan is also an excellent example of what a real rape culture looks like. Just a couple of months ago, Afghan lawmakers blocked a proposed law that, among other things, would have criminalized child marriage, the buying and selling of women to settle disputes, and shielded rape victims from charges of adultery. Many women in Afghanistan are sentenced to jail for “moral crimes,” which involve running away from those who inflict sexual violence on them. Sometimes, these attackers are members of their own family.
I can already anticipate the feminist attacks against my arguments. They’ll likely point out that virulent misogyny in other parts of the world doesn’t refute the existence of rape culture at home. They also love to point out that you can’t sweep sexism against women in the West under the rug, just because others have it worse. This, in spite of the fact that they always love to tell men to stop talking about their problems, since women have it worse.
These feminists are delusional. Anyone who actually thinks that Western societies are characterized by unrelenting gender oppression needs to acquire an international perspective. Needless to say, women are beyond blessed in terms of rights and opportunities in Western societies.
While feminists like to complain about the fact that rapists frequently walk free in the U.S, Western judicial systems demand the highest proof, which is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Courts are supposed to determine legal matters, not allow their actions to be dictated by the whims of sociology. Unless there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a man in fact committed rape, then they cannot condemn a potentially innocent man to prison. Of course, the most sacred pillars of Western jurisprudence don’t concern feminist zealots such as Jessica Valenti, who argue that the presumption of innocence should be revoked in rape cases.
As my co-blogger Dota once pointed out, it would be an interesting thought experiment to ship off Western feminists to societies such as Afghanistan and Yemen. Forced to confront an actual rape culture, and not afforded the coddling of the government, how “strong” and “independent” would these women remain? To ask the question is to answer it.
Therefore, do not falter when confronted by snarky and petulant feminists. Do not engage in any blatant misogyny or abuse, as documented in other countries, but at the same time hold your ground. As the manosphere writer Tuthmosis once put it, know that a lot of women’s “empowerment” and “confidence” is a fake confidence, predicated on having society’s protections on speed dial.