I keep hearing variations of something like this:
“Don’t tell women to do X,Y, or Z. Tell men not to rape.”
“Don’t tell your children to get good grades. Tell them to eat their spinach.”
Now even beyond the fact that the two are not mutually exclusive, I’ve always thought this was a very silly thing to say. Who are they planning to tell not to rape? The men who wouldn’t do it or the men who would? The former don’t need to be told and the latter aren’t going to listen. (Because they’re kind of evil and stuff.)
Statements like these are purely rhetorical – they have no teeth. They make great soundbites, but they do nothing to end rape. If you want to tell men something you might tell them that there will be swift and severe consequences if they attempt a sexual assault. You might even tell them that you are armed and determined to defend yourself. These are effective things that you might say to anyone who is willing to try to get what he wants using force. Words without force mean nothing to those who can only understand force.
Surprisingly, feminists recently took issue with Miss Nevada for recommending that women take steps to defend themselves against sexual assault. You would think that feminists would be in favor of women taking measures to defend and “empower” themselves. I’ve heard many times, and it makes sense to me, that a determined and desperate resistance can be a strong deterrent against rapists since they are typically looking for easy targets. So why would feminists, who spend a lot of time talking about rape, not be in favor of women taking effective measures against rape? In their own words they claim that this is because the mere suggestion that women take practical measures to defend themselves against scumbags is a suggestion that women are somehow at fault for rape. But this is like saying that, because I recommend that you have a home security system, I think it is your fault if your house gets broken into. Sure, you shouldn’t have to have a home security system, but you might want one. Sure, you shouldn’t have to learn how to defend yourself against a rapist, but who wants to get raped on principle?
It is becoming clear that feminists are concerned with rape not so much because they want to reduce the number of times that it occurs by finding practical means of discouraging it, but rather because of the excellent rhetorical opportunities it provides to beat down men in general. To this purpose, suggestions that women take measures for their own defense are quite useless and possibly even harmful. Feminists are much more concerned about assigning the blame for rape rather than preventing it. Ostensibly, we all agree about where the guilt for rape should lie. It is always 100% the perpetrator’s fault. That’s the easy part of the question. The hard part is what we are going to do about it. The truth is that feminists are obsessed with the assignment of blame because they would like to hijack the tragedy of rape and use it to guilt trip men who would never consider committing such a heinous act.
In my opinion this is why hardcore feminists will only ever be in favor of more talk when it comes to ending rape – at least when it comes to measures that women can take. They’re cool with that because ultimately that’s all they want out of it – just another talking point.