Einstein said that the difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits. The easiest way to test this theory is to listen out for politicians and radio personalities as they discuss rape. They seem to be having a contest on how severely they can put their foot in their mouths. After all, rape is a morally ambiguous issue, right?
Radio-hothead and all around maker-of-terrible-claims, Michael Savage interviewed former congressman Alan West for a lively discussion about rape, particularly how it’s eroding our military. That is, how the women being raped erode it, not the men perpetrating the rapes.
A sample from the highlight reel: “Hey honey let's go for a beer? Could this be considered sexual assault because it’s an unwanted advance? How many rapes were fraudulent claims? We don't know how many of them are female on male assaults, or male on male assaults. Why are we focused on such trivial nonsense? What about the penetration of radical Islam into the military? I know that most of the sexual assault cases are invented for a fact.... Where does it end? It ends with the death of the military.” As a self-professed “non-military man”
Savage seems to have an acute understanding of the intracies of the military and as a non-rational male, he seems to have a peculiar grasp of how rape claims are made. Sexual assault in the military is as prevalent as it is detrimental, but not in the way Savage is inferring. The only thing erosive about these sexual assaults are the effect they have on these women’s lives.
There's a big difference between an innocent question and a passive aggressive come-on. A professor from the ideally named Slippery Rock University learned the distinction when he was fired for implying a little fellatio couldn't hurt a student's chances in his class. Hey maybe he was joking? Joking at a bar while encouraging his students to open up about their sexuality is what makes this classifiable as harassment and not an innocuous, if licentious choice of small talk. When it’s not sensitivity that’s under fire its other relevant facts; like whether they were asking to be raped in the first place. Women, even pre-pubescent ones are supposedly aware of the effect they have on men, and no matter their age, are bestowed with the responsibility of the act.
When aren't 11 years olds asking to be raped? If girls are conforming to a culture that encourages flaunting their sexuality as soon as possible, aren't they also consenting to rape? Who wouldn't initiate themselves sexually by involuntarily copulating with 18 men? Since we've established that 11 year-olds are deviants, have we given the rapists, I’m sorry, consenting partners, a fair shake? I mean this one thoughtless act will haunt them the rest of their lives that hardly seems fair! They must come from various dysfunctional home lives. Had these boys been in therapy years ago this never would have happened to them. “Its just a waste”.
This seems like the type of mentality a caveman or someone equally deranged might have come up with, but its not. Its regular citizens who think like this, and have expressed their outrage after an 11 year old was raped in Cleveland, Texas. They were bemoaning the loss of their star athletes, and other promising young men, shackled by one "incident".
If anyone in my family was sexually assaulted the first thought to jump to mind wouldn't be, well she had makeup on and was walking alone, and clearly wanted to be scarred physically and emotionally for the rest of her life. My heart wouldn't go out to the rapist. I wouldn't lose sleep agonizing over the stigma they'd face. It'd be easy because I wouldn't view them as a person but an animal. Humans have the ability to control impulses, animals generally do not. No one ever says about prison rape, well he's been working out an awful lot lately, just strutting around without his shirt on, all tanned and ripped, it serves him right he was raped.
We've been treating rape as if it’s a character building exercise or a lesson in common sense for far too long. If you're asking to be raped, its by definition not rape. If you're expressing identity with your clothing, or have had too much to drink as we're all wont to do, you still have no desire to be raped. This is not a desire that's open to fluctuation. It’s as static as it gets. You'd seen more of a spike in males enjoying an unexpected strike to the groin than females requesting full-body assault.
Jack Gayer writes a regular column for fredericknewspost.com.