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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Dealing With a "Rape Culture"

Recently, in Time Magazine, feminist and Democratic advisor Zerlina Maxwell bemoaned the supposed “rape culture” that exists in the U.S. She did this while taking to task fellow Time essayist Caroline Kitchens for writing of “rape culture as a theory over-hyped by ‘hysterical’ feminists.” Reading each column, they both make some valid points, but both also fall far short of the truth when it comes to dealing with the tragic consequences of a culture obsessed with sex.

Maxwell suggests that a culture where men sexually violate women flourishes because there are no “great social consequences” for men who perpetrate such acts. Kitchens declares this nonsense and notes that “Rape is a horrific crime, and rapists are despised. We have strict laws that Americans want to see enforced.” In addition, Kitchens downplays the role of “film, magazines, fashion,” and music such as Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” when it comes to creating a “rape culture.”

Maxwell and those like-minded want to pretend that the actions and behaviors of women play no role in whether they are victims of sexual assault. However, no one should be surprised that when a woman acts and dresses like a prostitute, there are immoral men who are all too willing to treat her as such. (This is especially the case when alcohol is involved.) Immorality breeds immorality.

Speaking of prostitutes, they are a tragic example of what often results when women use their bodies as a means to an end. Prostitutes are more likely than any other group of women ever studied to be, among many other terrible things, victims of rape and homicide. As noted in 2008 by Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times, “The mortality data for prostitutes is staggering.” According to a study by The American Journal of Epidemiology, the “workplace homicide rate for prostitutes” is 51 times that of the next most dangerous occupation for women—working in a liquor store. The average age of death of the prostitutes in the study was 34. The Journal concluded, “Women engaged in prostitution face the most dangerous occupational environment in the United States.”

Why are men more violent toward prostitutes? Because in prostitution, a woman’s humanity is removed. She becomes little more than a commodity to be consumed. Thus, a very unhealthy attitude toward women in general is fostered. Studies have shown that men who regularly use prostitutes are more likely to be sexually aggressive with women who are not prostitutes.

So what does this have to do with women in general? After all, the vast majority of women are not prostitutes. This may be the case in a literal sense. However, in the sex-saturated culture that exists in the U.S., there are many women and men who would never consider themselves prostitutes but who do nothing more than profit from selling their bodies.

In spite of Kitchens’ implications, this behavior has had tragically profound consequences for our culture. In our household we often refer to the Hollywood film sluts (whether big screen, TV, or music videos), those who grace the pages of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue (and other such magazines), and those who parade down the runway of a Victoria Secrets “fashion” (read: sex) show, as "high-priced harlots." Thus those behind such productions (usually men) are little more than pimps eager to line their pockets.

Our media (internet, TV, magazines, billboards, and so on) is filled with these images. Even everyday commercials—for butter, milk, body spray, plumbing products, dusting spray—use sex to sell, both to men and women, boys and girls.

Decades of our children have been, and continue to be, brought up with such smut. For nearly three generations now we have had boys becoming men who have seen women portrayed like this (despite, in some cases, the best efforts of their parents) all of their lives. It is little wonder then, that, instead of marriage and family, they now seek “friends with benefits.”

As they take notice of what draws the attention of today’s young males, young girls are often duped into emulating the attractive and scantily clad women they see on TV and the internet, and in movies and magazines. Walk through any mall or park during warm weather. You will see girls from pre-pubescent age on up with their bodies barely covered.

As my lovely wife recently noted, “Females must begin to take some responsibility by dressing for respect instead of for sex. What we wear says a lot about us, whether we intend it or not. It isn’t fair for us to dress like sluts and expect men to behave themselves like gentlemen. It goes both ways.” (See her recent post on modesty here.)

It is also little wonder then that we now live in a “hook-up” culture, where women and men both are a means to a selfish sexual end—which has, among other disastrous things, led to over 40% of American children now being born out of wedlock. Most of these children are raised without a father. Much of the violent (including rape) and criminal behavior exhibited by boys and young men today is at least partly the sad result of growing up without a father.

Yet, instead of promoting (biblical) marriage, feminists like Maxwell advance education as the answer. She asks, “How about we teach young men when a woman says stop, they stop?” (Yeah, because they haven’t heard that one before!) And: “How about we teach young men that when a woman has too much to drink that they should not have sex with her, if for no other reason but to protect themselves from being accused of a crime?”

How about we teach young men (and women) of the value of marriage and family? How about we teach them of the dangers of a sexually promiscuous lifestyle? How about we teach men and women that, once they create a child, it is not okay to kill it in the womb? Maxwell and her cohorts are the chief cheerleaders for abortion in the U.S. As Mother Teresa taught us, abortion breeds violence: “Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships.”

Also, how about we teach boys to be men, and girls to be women? According to family and feminism expert Suzanne Venker, many men have decided never to get married because “women aren’t women anymore.”

“Ever since the sexual revolution, there has been a profound overhaul in the way men and women interact. Men haven’t changed much – they had no revolution that demanded it – but women have changed dramatically,” says Venker. She concludes that today’s women are “angry” and “defensive” because “they’ve been raised to think of men as the enemy. Armed with this new attitude, women pushed men off their pedestal (women had their own pedestal, but feminists convinced them otherwise) and climbed up to take what they were taught to believe was rightfully theirs.”

In other words, feminists like Maxwell are mourning a culture that they helped create, and, with their unwavering support of abortion, homosexuality, promiscuity, same-sex marriage, and they like, are continuing to damage. Little will change until these efforts stop.

Copyright 2014, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

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