American feminist psychologists and sociologists: Unite!
…at least in identifying and condemning the “culture of rape” and its causes and contributors.
#RAPECULTURE IN OUR POLITICS?
Should some men, for example, affirm and encourage in speech the forceful violation of women without their consent, call them out. Admonish them. What they’re saying is uncivilized, vile, and deeply morally wrong, after all.
Should some women—especially women in highly public positions of great influence!—use their influence to attack, discredit, embarrass, or shame other women who come forward about the men who sexually harass or abuse them, call them out too.
Both of these things, after all, contribute to a culture that makes it easier to be a sexual predator, yes?
That these things are done by people who now are American Presidential candidates—that one has been caught on camera saying loathsome things about sexually assaulting women, while the other has rushed willingly, deliberately, and publicly to dismiss women as “bimbos” when they complain about sexual harassment or even rape—doesn’t in any way excuse these candidates.
If anything, it raises the question: Who the Hell have we just nominated to be our possible next President???
Not long ago, feminists argued that ANY sex can be rape, regardless of whether there’s mutual consent or not, if the “power differential” between a man and a woman is great, such as a business or professional setting in which a man holds a position of direct supervisory power over a woman.
Do feminists still hold that to be true? If so, then, according to that feminist definition, some very prominent political men are guilty of rape, whether they’ve been convicted in courts of law or not. And the women who shielded those men are guilty of aiding and abetting heinous moral wrongs.
I, personally, don’t have an expert, well-informed opinion whether a “rape culture” exists in the United States and, if so, how far or deep it extends. I have not studied the subject scientifically, meaning I have not studied it using the tools of modern social science.
I have only unscientific, ordinary observations, and I know not a single person who says or writes or otherwise communicates that rape is morally right or acceptable or unobjectionable or unworthy of notice. Not one.
I suspect (but do not know with certainty) that even most convicted rapists would acknowledge that rape is wrong.
Regardless of my limited knowledge and my opinions, however, if feminist psychologists and sociologists want the rest of us to take seriously the idea of an American “rape culture,” then perhaps they might clarify: Are rape and contributing to rape culture always wrong, everywhere, no matter who the responsible parties are or what the situation is, including the politics involved?
Or are rape and contributing to rape culture wrong only sometimes, in some settings, depending on who is involved and possibly the political party to which they happen to belong?
Is it too much to ask that those who denounce “rape culture” be consistent in what and who and when and why they denounce?
For those of us who are not feminist psychologists and sociologists—for those of us who are mere free citizens and stand by the principle of natural human equality—these questions never arise. Consistency of moral principle is not a problem for us. Because we don’t select which moral wrongs to condemn based on which people we like and which we don’t, or who belongs to which political coalition we happen to support at the moment.
We freedom folks know that it is always wrong for any human being to violate another human being’s person or steal another human being’s private property. That’s why we don’t approve of different and selective treatment of citizens based upon group membership. We demand, instead, the EQUAL PROTECTION of the laws for the person and property of EACH AND EVERY CITIZEN.
We know that the most important private property each person possesses is himself, or herself. A person’s property includes a person’s mind, body, and labor, as well as any external material goods that person has earned or produced. That’s why we freedom folks argue that private property is or should be inviolable. We know that once we authorize some people to control, regulate, confiscate, or violate the property of other people without the other’s consent, we’ve authorized the path to every moral wrong imaginable. Including rape.
After all, if a person DOES NOT have a natural and rightful claim to his or her own person, then why is rape wrong? Why is theft wrong? Why is assault wrong? Why is murder wrong?
Human beings either have an immutable natural right to their own person and private property and therefore acts like rape, theft, assault, and murder are wrong. OR…human beings DO NOT have have a natural rightful claim to their own person and property and therefore acts like rape, theft, assault, and murder are NOT wrong.
The only question is: Which moral alternative do we embrace?
A TEACHING MOMENT FOR MORAL EXPERTS
We freedom-lovers know that our views, our principles, our logic of morals and politics, are not popular today. Instead, what’s popular is to speak and write in moralizing terms that depend heavily upon one’s “identity,” which usually includes one’s gender, ethnic background, and all kinds of other cultural and emotional and psychological and other idiosyncratic criteria.
It’s also popular today to talk of morals as something progressive, which means that right and wrong are somehow functions of time, changing from moment to moment, or epoch to epoch. Morality is not a being, in this modern view, not a thing that is, but a becoming. Morality is always transforming from what it used to be into what it will become, mutating without end or goal.
So here we have an incredible teaching moment for the psychologists and sociologists and other moral experts who want to instruct others about the dangers and problems of the American rape culture. Please, help us understand:
- What exactly is the “rape culture?”
- Why is it wrong?
- When is it wrong?
- Which perpetrators and contributors of the rape culture should be called out and admonished? All perps and contributors? Or only some?
- How do we make those distinctions?
Some of us would like to know the answers to these questions as we determine who will next be President of the United States. Perhaps Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton, as well, would like to know?