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Friday, November 25, 2005

The rape myth

From the Telegraph:

Twice this week the rape laws have been called into question. First, Amnesty International expressed its shock at the findings of a poll suggesting that many people believe that if a woman flirts, fails to say no clearly, wears sexy clothes or drinks too much, she is partly or totally responsible if she is raped.

I'm shocked too, mostly because it demonstrates that the duplicitous equalitarian ethic is disintegrating faster than I'd hoped. The reason many people believe a woman is at least partly responsible for her own victimization is because in many cases that is demonstrably true. In no other circumstance is it argued that a victim of a crime is must be considered wholly innocent of responsibility regardless of his actions - just ask your insurance company if you don't believe me. As Camille Paglia pointed out, a woman who gets drunk and goes to a man's bedroom deserves no more sympathy or understanding from society than the man who leaves his unlocked car running with the key in the ignition or the woman who leaves her purse unattended on a public park bench.

Now, this responsibility doesn't make the thief any less a thief, or a genuine rapist any less a rapist. (I use the term "genuine rape" because most so-called "date rape" is not rape nor a crime of any kind, because he said-she said is no basis for a system of justice. If sex without written permission is a crime, then all sex is rape and all men are unrepentant criminals.) Responsibility is not a zero-sum game.

Women have demanded freedom from paternalistic protection they enjoyed/endured in the past. Now they've got it, and many of them are finding that they don't like it and thus have, as usual, turned to the State in search of the security they crave so badly.

I have to confess that I don't understand this ceaseless quest for victimhood. Being raped doesn't confer some mystical moral superiority on a woman, it just makes her a victim. And unfortunately, in all too many cases, it just makes her a stupid one.

I'm just curious what basis the moral relativists have for condemning rape in the first place. If I deem the slaking of my desire for lust - or violence, if you prefer that theory of rape - to be an intrinsic good, who are you to condemn it? Certainly, one could argue that it is a violation of private property rights, but then, what of those moral relativists who reject the notion of private property. If all property is held in common, then how can a woman object if I decide to make use of that which belongs to me?

1 Comments:

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