Rivers of R4pe

It was one week ago that an advice column in Slate provided fuel sufficient to burn its witch-author, online Emily Yoffe. We cannot be sure if it was Yoffe or her editors that piled these dry sticks in the town square of Opinion. We can be certain that nothing ignites a live body on the internet so well as the contention, diabetes and pregnancy Women Ask For It.

Let’s leave the analysis of Yoffe’s middleweight reasoning to others for the moment and let it be plainly said: rape victims are never complicit in the violence done to them. This fact remains unchanged by cocktails, more about uncomfortable footwear and/or terrible opinion writing. That there is a question that anybody “asks” to be raped is peculiar and illogical. Rape, by its definition, is unasked-for and any other perspective is insanity.  I don’t even know why this piece was written. Silly me. Yes. I do. Clicks.

Clicks it got. Rage ricocheted around the toilet-bowl of the internet like the ill-formed waste of a dreadful repast. An incontinent feminism bubbled in the cistern of stupidity and depths remained unplumbed as the same response resurfaced one thousand times.

As The Atlantic had it, “there’s one thing that’s more common than alcohol when it comes to rapes. That would be rapists.” HuffPo UK said, “the only factor that makes people vulnerable to rape is being in the presence of a rapist.” Australian site The Daily Life offered, “The only thing common to experiences of rape is the presence of a rapist.”

If we don’t count an aversion to reason, the only thing common to contemporary liberal feminism is everything.  The responses—upon which Yoffe and her literary agent were likely depending—did not change.  You’d think at least one courageous writer would have countered with a piece called “If You Want To Avoid Rape, Don’t Get Married”, but instead we read iterations of an argument whose value, I think, should be questioned.

Let me explain. Or, you know. Don’t. Just take to social media and call me a “rape apologist” before reading. Because that sort of behaviour always advances thought.

There are currently several feminist writers who believe in a system of influence called “rape culture” and just as many who believe that urgent reprogramming of humans is needed to stop the crime of rape. In a curious remake of seventies radical feminism, the idea that patriarchy is less a way of reproducing social class and more of an actual War on Women has emerged. There is a War on Women and rape is its primary weapon and “MSM” (mainstream media) is its agitprop.

Such theory as introduced by Dworkin, Mackinnon and others never sat well with me when I first read it as a teen and still fails to move me.  This is chiefly because I believe most people are decent and know that rape, and all forms of violence, are wrong.  In my country, Australia, all States and Territories had passed legislation by 1981 to ensure the “marital exemption” would never protect a rapist from prosecution and our local media is full of advocates—notably Derryn Hinch—who believe that rape is a crime unmatched in its evil by any other.

In Australia, we host Solve Your Own Murder parties as a form of entertainment.  We do not, to the best of my knowledge, spend our leisure hours with Solve Your Own Rape.

Look.  My point is everyone with an ounce of sense thinks rape is bad.  No one (reasonable) blames victims.  The only people, apart from rapists, who publicly blame victims do so to invite the caffeinated response of a feminist klatch.  These paint-by-numbers articles about “slut-shaming” and “victim-blaming” are guaranteed to link to the offending statement frequently enough that someone gets a book deal.

It is almost as though feminism, with rape as its current sine qua non, is profiting from rape.

And it is certainly as though people enjoy instant rage as much as they do Solve Your Own Murder weekends in the country.  Because, for the sake of fuck, what did this Yoffe idiot really do other than to tell young women not to drink so much?

She can’t legally enforce it, can she?  Not say, like the Australian Federal Government.

I know there are those progressives who are angry about the Northern Territory Intervention which allows legislation based on racial and sexual loathing.  I know there are people aghast that a RACE of people have their access to alcohol (and money and media and dignity) controlled.  But I see so little evidence of rage at an actual law based on the idea that “blacks can’t handle their grog and their raping” and such a dreadful volume of whining that some ditz on Slate said that girls shouldn’t drink so much.

When Jenny Macklin extended the Howard government’s laws on alcohol, where were you?  When Julia Gillard again unleashed Mal Brough’s “rivers of grog”, where were you? If you were defending the civil liberties of Aboriginal Australians, you have my admiration.

If you were seeking profit in writing about the “rape culture”, you probably need to have a little think.  It’s lovely that you like to drink twenty bellinis over brunch. Continue to drink your way to the sanctioned oblivion we white people so enjoy.  No one is stopping you, lady.  Just thank god—to pinch the slogan of artist Richard Bell—you’re not Aboriginal.



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