Rape Culture And Its Defenders

Camille Paglia, Whose Obsessions And Arguments Haven't Changed In A Quarter Century, Blames Women For Their Victimization

Camille Paglia, Whose Obsessions And Arguments Haven’t Changed In A Quarter Century, Blames Women For Their Victimization

A couple people have wondered why I have closed this particular blog, a newer and hopefully more focused version of my previous blog, to comments.  In general, commentary on internet news sites and blogs has become toxic, an attempt to do little more than derail conversation, toss around insults, and generally destroy actual discourse.  Comments are little more than an opportunity to do as much damage in as little space as possible.  My position continues to be this: If you disagree with me, write your own blog post, linking to me.  That’s discourse.  Comments are little more than toilets filled with verbal  feces.

A case in point: On my previous blog, I voiced support for the formerly-named SlutWalk movement.  In so doing, however, I managed to arouse the ire of at least two people, allegedly from different ideological positions, who nevertheless allowed themselves to say pretty much the exact same thing: Women who are raped had it coming to them.  Now, I closed that previous blog to comments – to keep spam away – but those comments are archived, and here are some gems from various threads on the topic:

You know, it just occurred to me that your fixation on “deserving” harm if one exercises their liberty in willful ignorance of things out of their control is ONLY A FIXATION OF WHITE PRIVILEGE.  People of color have long, long understood not to push the envelope of common sense without good reason.  Don’t walk through Brownsville in the middle of the night and don’t dress like a skank.  Don’t be a penny wise and a pound foolish like privileged white idiots who stand on petty principles. But you wont listen to real wisdom. You’ve got your youth to relive in sentimentality.

Please note this person actually wrote about females dressing “like a skank”.  The alleged liberal.

“Which has exactly what to do with the matter at hand?”

It’s common sense. Just like it’s common sense not to wear a short leather skirt to a house party. A house party where testosterone is present and therefore – as you’ve admitted – the necessary condition for violence exists and the supplemental conditions of alcohol and sexual stimulation just may – as you may be taken to have inferred – build into the sufficient condition for violence.

Pretty simple.

As the line goes in Unforgiven, deserving’s got nothing to do with it. Tempt fate and fate may take your life or harm you deeply. Do you deserve it? That question is pretty pointless. Avoid damage.

You’ve clearly got a neurological problem. Stupid is what comes out of your gob. You’re suffering a self-smack down. You gotta recognize.

The science is good. The science you cite, which agrees with the science I cited in your earlier latency tempests.

As for wasting your time, you’re the one posting about it.

Pretty stupid.

He does biological reductionism – It’s all testosterone’s fault!  You can’t fight it! – and he says I’m stupid.

Here’s my favorite comment from my conservative troll.  Favorite as in it made me angry and gave me the creeps simultaneously:


You continue to spew nonsense and distortion. This “central myth” is inaccurate. No one suggests that all men are prone to making that “leap” from arousal to rape. The fact, however, is that there exist such men in this world and women must be cognizant of this fact in choosing how to dress and act on the chance that they have exposed themselves to the risk of being in their company. There exists in this world men who aren’t truly concerned about acquiring consent and for whom the lack of it won’t deter them from what they seek. Feminist idiots like yourself put their daughters in great jeopardy by not teaching them to beware the dangers of life in order to defend some myth of women’s rights trumping reality.

So go ahead and encourage your daughters to act and dress as slutty as they like. I’m sure that will work out just fine for them. Really. Do it or your position is crap.

And people wonder why I stopped allowing comments.

Now before we get to Ms. Paglia’s nonsense, I want to make a couple things abundantly clear.  The word “slut” as these two, and many others, employ is, is meaningless to me.  I remember well a joke from my high school days that actually contains more than a bit of truth: “What’s the difference between a slut and a whore? A whore will sleep with anyone.  A slut will sleep with anyone BUT  YOU.”  I find both words, whore and slut, offensive, but at least this “joke” gets at so much of the slut-shaming that constitutes Rape Culture.  The rage so many men feel when they see women that results in rape stems not least from these men’s lack of any sense of self-worth.  Seeing women as property, especially when one is dating, living with, or married to a woman, as women being obliged to “fulfill their needs” results in date rape and marital rape.  In short, rape has nothing to do with how women dress or don’t dress.  It has everything to do with men.  Not their testosterone, but their sense of themselves and how they relate to women.

And along comes Camille Paglia, writing in Time, insisting that liberals cannot comprehend evil.  What evil?  Why, men!  Men who get drunk.  Men who hide in bushes.  And, of course, young women who allow themselves to end up in situations where these men can rape them, of course.  The usual blather about liberals being unable to recognize evil, already meaningless, is now pushed to Bizarro World levels at the hands of Ms. Paglia.  Simultaneously slut-shaming young women and demeaning men as helpless at the call of their hormones when confronted by a possibly scantily clad young woman becomes less than banal when fused with the tired, horrid prose of Camille Paglia.

Now, I’m sure some of you might be wondering who Camille Paglia is.  The best description ever written about Paglia’s work and the personality that seeps between the lines of that work was done by the inestimable, late and much lamented Molly Ivins.

Finally, what does dismissing rape apology have to do with the Christian Faith you might be asking.  If you have to ask, then you should maybe go back to Sunday School.


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About gksafford

I'm a middle-aged theologically educated clergy spouse, living in the Midwest. My children are the most important thing in my life. Right behind them and my wife is music. I'm most interested in teaching people to listen to contemporary music with ears of faith. Everything else you read on here is straw.
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