Thursday, April 20, 2006

"How Feminism Wages War on Common Sense"

After the Phil Valentine thing, I'm more than fed up with people who think that women bear the responsibility when they are raped. This editorial by Naomi Shaeffer Riley in the Wall Street Journal, "Ladies, You Should Know Better: How feminism wages war on common sense," is no exception. Says the writer, regarding Daryl Littlejohn's rape and murder of a graduate student, "Ms. St. Guillen was last seen in a bar, alone and drinking at 3 a.m. on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It does not diminish Mr. Littlejohn's guilt or the tragedy of Ms. St. Guillen's death to note what more than a few of us have been thinking--that a 24-year-old woman should know better."

More shockingly, "But smart women at top schools are engaging in behavior that is equally moronic. In another recent incident, a cadet at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., apparently got so drunk on two liters of wine and a couple of glasses of beer that she didn't know that she had had sex with a Naval Academy midshipman until he told a friend of hers the next day to get her the morning-after pill." Excuse me one moment. If a woman drinks two liters of wine and some beer, she is likely way too drunk to consent to sex. And forgive me for thinking the midshipman likely knew better, in more ways than one. She goes on to quote a survey that found, "Nearly three-quarters of those rapes happened when the victims were so intoxicated they were unable to consent or refuse," and concludes that "feminism may be partly to blame" (b/c those crazy feminists think women should be free to move about without being violated, and should be allowed to drink beer now and again) and "People who need to be told to use their common sense probably didn't have much to begin with."

Perhaps that midshipman who may have date-raped a drunk cadet and didn't have the guts to tell her directly and the bouncer who raped and killed Ms. St. Guillen should have used some common sense. Or followed the law. The fact that people are even wiling to talk about rape publicly owes much to feminism. Perhaps these women didn't make the best, safest choices. Their attackers didn't make the smartest choices either. Blaming the victim is extraordinarily anti-feminist, and Ms. Riley could herself use a dose of common sense. Tennessee Guerilla Women has a roundup of other similar comments, and rightly points out that this type of victim-blaming is a major barrier to women reporting rape.

(found via Feministing, who found it via Broadsheet)

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MeSH Tags: Rape


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oooooooo! You're stepping on thin ice here. Feminist don't like the idea of women taking responsibility for their own actions. Guys know better than to venture into dangerous plces because guys knw if something were to happen, we'd hve to defend ourselves, so we stay out of dark allies and other areas known for dangerous activities like drug sales etc... But women, according to feminist, have the right to be anywhere, and if something bad happens, it's not there fault because it's her right.

I get upset with this drinking and sex. If she was too drunk to consent to sex, how do we know that he wasn't too drunk to notice?

1:01 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

My response is here

1:51 PM  

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