Note: The last paragraph in this post was removed due to inaccuracies therein. Mea culpa.
As I’ve said before, rape culture is a myth. But now I’ve something to add to it.
I’ve seen a tendency in those who claim to be against rape culture to be the ones who actually perpetuate it by excusing the behavior of rapists while condemning those who refuse to blame anyone but the rapist.
A recent spat between a libertarian and fake/charlatan libertarians proves my point. I’m intentionally avoiding the use of names because who was involved isn’t as important as what was said. Besides, if you do the research you’ll figure it out on your own. I’m interested in the philosophies, not who believes them.
Let’s do this step by step so no one gets confused.
- A “left libertarian” contributor to the Center for a Stateless Society admits on Facebook he raped his daughter ten years ago and currently has child pornography on his computer.
- A brutalist real libertarian condemns his behavior in an article with a headline calling him a “lefty kid toucher.”
- The child molester’s daughter/victim writes a statement confirming her father’s actions, adding that he caused her “physical and mental abuse” as well. While she asks to be left alone, she attacks the above brutalist libertarian for his comments about her father and writes the following:
That being said, I want this to be a call to action. I want to bring attention to how we view rape culture…. I want patriarchal ideas to be examined and dismantled; female inferiority is the root for many instances of sexual harassment, plus it’s an outdated concept that has no place in a civil society.
- In response, said brutalist libertarian points out what any ordinary person can see: The worst thing her father did to her was brainwash her to believe there exists a cultural attitude of permissiveness towards men raping women, which led to what happened to her, rather than her father choosing to do so of his own free will because he’s a despicable human being.
- Said brutalist libertarian gets attacked by other libertarians for attacking the victim’s political beliefs, which specifically teach culture encourages this behavior.
I would also point out that nowhere in his articles did the brutalist libertarian attack the victim nor blame her in any way for what happened to her. Somehow, however, critiquing the misinformed statements of the victim is worse than being the perpetrator. While there are certainly other unrelated factors involved in how this whole thing went down, the victim’s statement was by far the most alarming.
When a rape victim says we need to dismantle “patriarchal views” for causing “female inferiority” and therefore rape – the same views propagated by the rapist – doesn’t it make you wonder if perhaps the rapist says those things merely to excuse their heinous conduct?
How is this any different than when Jenny’s boyfriend in Forrest Gump legitimizes his abusive behavior by blaming it on President Johnson? Had Jenny said it instead, it would be exactly what happened with this victim.
We are talking about a man who openly promoted the abolition of sexual consent laws and wrote disturbing posts about sex with children on his Facebook page. Is there anyone who genuinely does not see a correlation, or do I happen to be wearing magical contact lenses?
If anything is rape culture it is a culture which blames the actions of a rapist in any way on anything or anyone other than the rapist and reacts in outrage when someone correctly assigns moral responsibility to the rapist. It is the attitude that removes the blame from the criminal and shifts it onto people who had nothing to do with it by making sweeping declarations referring to attitudes which are always “hidden” or “covertly” believed.
Saying we need a call to action on rape culture is to infer that society is in some way responsible for what a rapist does. It transfer a portion of the culpability to someone else.
It is impossible to believe someone is solely responsible for their conduct and also believe culture is to blame at the same time. To believe in rape culture is to believe that peer pressure deprives someone of their moral agency.
We’re supposed to believe that rape is considered acceptable due to sexism and the patriarchy, yet can anyone actually point out where this is true? Can anyone produce an article or column that celebrates rape?
Hell, even hardened criminals still possess the moral conscience to condemn child rape; is there anyone who doesn’t know what happens to kiddie rapists in prison? If this man is sentenced to prison for his crime, is there any believer in rape culture who is willing to put down a serious wager that he won’t either be beaten to within an inch of his life or require constant protection to avoid being killed?
If rape culture believers aren’t willing to put their money where their mouth is, why should we take what they have to say seriously? If rape is something that is looked down upon even in a building full of career criminals who violate all sorts of laws both unjust and just, just how in the name of God do they expect us to believe that ordinary, law-abiding citizens either engage in or perpetuate a permissive attitude towards rape?
It is something which can only be believed by those with a supreme level of cognitive dissonance, or someone who is looking to push a political agenda that can only be carried out under false pretenses.
Some might say that this is a harsh thing to say when discussing a rape victim, but that doesn’t make it untrue. I have no anger towards this man’s daughter. She is in every way a victim. But this does not mean when she makes political statements they have to be accepted or ignored. It is not wrong to refute what a victim says when they make incorrect statements about the cause for why they were abused.
In fact, to let it be said without protest only encourages a falsehood and ensures the pattern of abuse will continue.
What people don’t seem to understand is that this woman was not only sexually, physically, and mentally abused, but emotionally and politically as well. She was taught to believe in a false political and social ideology that enables the very type of person who harmed her. How many girls out there have been raped and then conditioned to direct their anger away from their rapist and towards people who did them no harm? Not only have they been victimized, but they’ve been deceived.
This makes what her abuser did to her all the more appalling, which is why the brutalist libertarian reacted the way he did.
Which brings me to my final point.
Only in such a Bizarro world do people get criticized for condemning a rapist by people who claim to oppose rape culture. They had more harsh words for his “inflammatory” headline than they did for the man who not only had child porn but raped his own daughter. If you want to strain a gnat and swallow a camel, this is the way to do it.
If believing in a rape culture leads you to think that people who condemn rape should be harped on more than the rapist themselves, what does that tell you about your belief?
Rape culture doesn’t encourage rape; belief in a fake rape culture does.