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Is America a “Rape Culture”?

November 26, 2013
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rape cultureNCFM: This is another superb article by Cathy Young, a must read…

Is America A “Rape Culture”?

By Cathy Young – March 28, 2013

This claim, advanced by a cadre of feminist activists and bloggers, has been gaining mainstream currency—particularly in the wake of the nationally publicized Steubenville, Ohio rape case which exposed some very ugly attitudes and behaviors.  While no one would deny that sexual violence is a grave problem, the crusade against “the rape culture” is a dubious cure: it distorts truth, fosters anger and divisiveness instead of respect and equality, and ultimately endangers justice for all.

There is, of course, some truth to the feminist argument that traditional sexual norms have often led to tolerance toward sexual coercion in certain situations (especially when the woman’s conduct is seen as “loose” or seductive).  Even now, such sentiments are echoed in vile Internet comments bashing the 16-year-old Steubenville victim as a drunken slut—very much a minority view, but voiced frequently enough to be troubling.

But it’s quite a leap from acknowledging these attitudes to depicting modern Western—and especially American—culture as a misogynist cesspit in which rape is routinely condoned and validated. Indeed, indictments of the “rape culture” typically rely on falsified or out-of-context “facts.”

Thus, according to Nation magazine blogger Jessica Valenti, “we live in a country where politicians call rape a ‘gift from God’”—a reference to Indiana U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock.  But what Mourdock actually said, in explaining his anti-abortion stance with no rape exception, was quite different: that “life is [a] gift from God … even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape.”  What’s more, the comment was roundly condemned, and the outrage over it helped ensure Mourdock’s defeat in a traditionally Republican district.

Equally misleading is Valenti’s assertion that “a rape victim may see her case fall flat because she isn’t married.”  This example comes from a bizarre California case in which a woman was assaulted in her sleep by a fellow houseguest at a relative’s house; prosecutors argued both non-consent due to her being unconscious and deception due to the defendant impersonating her boyfriend (who had been sleeping next to her earlier).  The conviction was reversed on appeal because, under a 19th Century state law, rape by deception requires impersonating a spouse.  However, the appellate panel sent the case back for retrial—with the charges based on non-consent alone—and urged the legislature to revise the antiquated law.

Or take the claim that thirty-one states allow rapists who impregnate their victims to seek child custody or visitation rights.  In fact, these states simply don’t have laws explicitly barring such suits—not due to concern for the rights of rapist fathers but mainly, says activist and attorneyShauna Prewitt, because the issue is assumed to be non-existent.  While recourse may indeed be needed, no one has cited a single known instance of a rapist (or accused rapist) actually getting parental rights; Prewitt appears to be the only woman on record as stating that she had to fight a custody suit from her assailant.

Is the Steubenville case, as the crusaders claim, prime evidence of “the rape culture”?  The incident in which a severely intoxicated, unconscious or barely conscious girl was stripped, penetrated with fingers, and otherwise molested by two boys during a party—and several other boys took photos and made videos of these acts—certainly shows something rotten in large swaths of adolescent culture.  No decent person could fail to be sickened by the text messages in which one of the perpetrators, Trent Mays, flippantly discussed the girl’s abuse and shared her nude photo, or by the YouTube video in which an ex-classmate delivered a drunken monologue about “the dead girl” along with a string of rape jokes.  The story also offers real evidence of the seamy side of the “football culture” that caused many locals to rally around the boys—star players on the Steubenville High School football team—and, in some cases, malign the girl.

 

Read the rest here: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/03/28/is_america_a_rape_culture_117710.html#ixzz2lo5GhgDs

national coalition for men

If there’s a “rape culture” in America you can thank the feminists as much as anyone else.

2 Responses to Is America a “Rape Culture”?

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