The Left

Excuses for Rapists

Statutory rape
Statutory rape
The term "statutory rape" is used in some legal jurisdictions to refer to sexual activities in which one person is below the age required to legally consent to the behavior. Sexual relations with a prepubescent child, generically called "child molestation", is typically treated as a more serious crime. | Photo: Archives | Statutory Rape, Child Molestation, Violence, Crime,

They're never good, but some people love to make them.

I suppose I should feel sorry for rape apologists.

They've set themselves such an impossible task, after all: taking a brutal crime and explaining, hey, it's not really any big deal. And often trying to cover their butts at the same time, throwing in assurances that of course rape is a horrible, vile crime ' just not when the woman's been doing something the apologist disapproves of. Then the victim has no-one to blame but herself.

But I don't feel sorry for apologists at all. So I'm taking this opportunity to highlight some of their supposedly insightful thoughts.

Rod Dreher, columnist: "You can't dress like a prostitute, which is by definition a woman who wishes to advertise her sexual potential to males, then be shocked when men react to you as if you were, golly, a prostitute."

Newsflash, Mr. Dreher: reacting to a woman like a prostitute means offering her money. If a man rapes a woman, he's not treating her as a prostitute, he's treating her as a rape target. Or does Dreher believe the old clich? that prostitutes can't be raped?

And what exactly is dressing like a prostitute? Dreher, for example, proclaimed in one column that a bride with a visible tattoo was an obvious slut. A rapist applying the Dreher standard could argue almost any woman was "advertising her sexual potential" and therefore a legitimate target.

College professor and writer Steven Landsburg asked recently why raping an unconscious woman should be illegal if they only suffer emotionally. If there's no physical damage, "why shouldn't the rest of the world (or more specifically my attackers) be allowed to reap the benefits" of rape? When some commenters on his blog brought up property rights to our bodies he replied that "the entire dispute is about what the property rights should be in the first place."

I'm familiar with the argument husbands have a right to their wives' bodies (according to Tennessee Sen. Douglas Henry, rape is "the violation of a chaste woman, against her will, by some party not her spouse."), but Landsburg takes it to a whole new level.

If he wants to argue that men have some rights to unconscious woman's body, he need to present a better argument; all he does is assert the woman's rights are in "dispute." Of course, Landsburg also compares the victim's trauma to someone outraged that people look at porn online (i.e., someone who has no property rights at stake) so perhaps he assumes women's bodily autonomy really isn't an issue.

Dilbert creator Scott Adams, as I've mentioned before, thinks the problem with rape is that outlawing it outlaws male nature: "Society is organized in such a way that the natural instincts of men are shameful and criminal ' men are born as round pegs in a society of square holes."

Except rape isn't a natural instinct, it's a conscious decision. One that involves planning: Identifying a target, buying rape drugs, getting the woman alone. And given that anger is just as "natural" an emotion as lust, why isn't Adams making the same argument for non-sexual assault and murder?

Dreher, again: "I don't know who will have a more difficult time making it through this bewildering postmodern maze with their faith, morals, and sense of dignity intact: my daughter or my sons." Presumably meaning that will all those sluts running around dressing like prostitutes, his sons will have a hard time resisting the impulse to rape even though it's totally not their fault if they do.

Of course, if that was Dreher's real issue he could tell them "Even if you think a woman is dressed like a prostitute you can't force her to have sex with you," or "Just because a woman is looking to have sex doesn't mean she's obligated to have sex with you." Or "If a woman's too drunk to say no, she's too drunk to say yes." That might be helpful to his sons, but Dreher's far more concerned with finger-wagging at slutty women who think they can dress like hookers and still have a right not to get raped.

In the words of Noel Coward, some people should be struck regularly, like gongs.

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Updated Aug 12, 2017 12:10 PM EDT | More details

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