If the world were actually how liberals portrayed it to be, none of us would go outside. I certainly wouldn’t. Just the idea of a pervasive “rape culture” in the U.S. should be enough to keep women inside their homes, taking online courses for higher education instead of subjecting themselves to rape camps known as universities. But as we know, women flock to universities. They flock to them so much in fact that they make up the majority of bachelor’s degree earners, and have for a while.
In the New Republic’s article “This Is What a Rapist Can Look Like, Actually”, a white, male, heterosexual student, George Lawlor, is chastised for his reaction to a sexual consent workshop on his British college campus. You can read the article for yourself, but essentially, the NR author is frustrated that the male student doesn’t want to be categorized as a “potential rapist”. Given how quickly men are branded with that moniker in 2015, I don’t blame him. The male NR author is a perfect example of the rush to assume, as indicated by sections such as this:
Lawlor and white, heterosexual men like him tend to be taken seriously when they complain about being harassed, assaulted, and victimized. We know that isn’t the case with women. Part of that is attributable to blatant sexism, sure, dismissible as pure evil. But a lot of it is due to the fact that a lot of men do not understand what rape, sexual assault, and other associated misconduct even are.
No. I wholly reject such a notion that 1. men are automatically taken seriously when it comes to sexual assault, and 2. men are incapable of understanding what sexual assault actually is. Have we fallen so far as a society that we dismiss personal responsibility and assume it is not understood? Regardless of how much society as a whole tries to blame an “epidemic” or a “culture”, the fact remains that it is an individual’s choice to commit a crime or to assault another. (This also corresponds with the decision to commit gun violence, but that is another discussion entirely.)
First, men are increasingly not taken seriously when it comes to claims of sexual assault. Recent instances of this include Rolling Stone cover girl Jackie, and attention-obsessed, mattress-carrying Emma Sulkowicz. What is difficult for me to understand, as a woman, is why wouldn’t you want to question the individuals involved, or assumed to be involved, in order to sort out the truth? Rape is a serious crime with such a physical and emotional impact that absolutely certainty is required. Not holding a woman’s rapist accountable has serious, lasting consequences on her and future victims. Conversely, assuming guilt of a male individual before having proof can utterly destroy that individual’s life. And for what, a narrative? If we start saying everything is rape, then nothing is rape. As Ashe Schow of The Washington Examiner put last December after the Rolling Stone/Sabrina Rubin Erdely/Jackie debacle:
…if this turns out to be another fabricated (or, more likely, exaggerated) story of gang rape, it will be more difficult for rape victims to have their stories believed.
And as a female and member of this society, I would like for real victims of sexual assault – and those wrongfully accused – to be believed, because it is that important.
Second, the claim that men do not understand rape and other misconduct is entirely false. Apparently, we’ve become so technologically advanced and so richly saturated in knowledge that the definition of sexual assault is unknown. Are you kidding me? The patriarchy is simultaneously devious enough to rule over all, yet lacking ability to understand how heinous the crimes of rape is? Come on, feminists. You can’t have it both ways, as much as you would like to think so. Small children understand what it means to steal. Rape is stealing something sexually from another. Those with a working brain understand this. By establishing that men do not know, it gives feminist culture a chance to step in as educator and control the narrative, all the while doing nothing for actual rape victims. How very pro-woman of them.
My problem with the idea of generalizing about a segment of society is that it continues to take away the very foundation of individual responsibility. I’m tired of the excuse that culture is to blame, media is to blame, peer pressure is to blame, etc. No. You are to blame whether it is you that violently steals from another in lustful rage, or if it is you, so desperate for attention, who accuses an innocent person of a horrific assault. By looking at an entire group of people and saying “You might be one!”, we’re looking past those who are, and in the long-term and short-term, hurting the whole.