Rape Culture:

The idea that rape is commonplace and widely condoned is false and absurd

RapeGraphicSome persons have come to accept the notion that “rape culture” is widespread in the United States.  “Rape culture” implies that rape is both commonplace and widely condoned — a supposition that is false, indeed absurd. The number of rapes among college-age females has fallen dramatically in recent years, according to the Department of Justice — see graph.

Much of the frenzy can be traced to a White House Council on Women and Girls report that claims one in five women are raped sometime in their lives. But this factoid doesn’t stand up to scrutiny because nearly half of the “rape” victims were involved in “alcohol/drug facilitated” incidents.

A recent book probes the origins and ideological basis of the rape culture panic. Rape Culture Hysteria: Fixing the Damage Done to Men and Women concludes “rape culture” is “not a real crisis but a manufactured one.”

Rape Culture HysteriaBowing to political pressure, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a Dear Colleague Letter on campus sexual violence in 2011. The policy requires colleges to implement numerous changes to their handling of sexual assault allegations. As a result, the “treatment of accused males on campus has worsened dramatically,” McElroy posits.

McElroy argues the politicization of sexual assault also has been harmful to women:

  1. Increases skepticism about rape claims – “victims who come forward will be increasingly dismissed rather than heard.”
  2. Prevents healthy sexual relationships – affirmative consent policies run counter to real world experience.
  3. Can prevent healing – politicizing rape encourages victims to focus on political activism rather than personal therapy.
  4. Endangers women’s safety – discourages women from taking common-sense measures such as avoiding binge drinking parties.
  5. Infantilizes women – the current focus on “safe spaces” and trigger warnings is hardly conducive to female empowerment.
  6. Short-circuits thoughtful debate – “Derision, rather than refutation, seems to be the norm of discourse.”

EDITORIALS:

  1. Chris Sciabarra: Russian Radical 2.0: The Three Rs – July 18
  2. William Andersen: Government in the Bedroom: Statism and Rape Culture – July 11
  3. Cathy Young: Rape Culture in the West is as Real as ‘Witchcraft in Salem’ – July 8
  4. Robert Franklin: Wendy McElroy’s Latest Book Strikes a Blow Against Rape Culture Hysteria – July 3
  5. Matt Lamb: ‘Rape culture hysteria’ is based on a ‘Big Lie’ that qualifies as hate speech – July 1
  6. Kelly MacDonald: Author Vows To End Rape Culture ‘Hysteria’ With New Book – June 17
  7. Charlotte Hays: Maverick Feminist Wendy McElroy Takes on Campus Rape in a New Book – May 9