Several commenters have taken me to task for the ostensible naivety of the title of my post Teach women not to lie about rape. For those who didn’t understand the title, feminists have rejected any advice to women on avoiding rape as part of “rape culture”. Instead, the feminist solution is to simply “teach men not to rape”. You can see examples of this thinking here and here, and The Boston Globe has written about it here.
Ironically the great risk here is that the idea is so absurd others won’t take feminists seriously. It is tempting to assume they don’t really mean it, that they can’t really mean it. However, as I’ve noted before the poster child for the Yes Means Yes law is Sophia Katz and her decision to travel to a strange city upon receiving an offer to sleep in a stranger’s bed. From reading her own account she clearly kept her bed-mate confused about whether she was attracted to him, and she avoided rejecting him sexually because she wanted to continue to receive the freebies he was offering:
I had no interest in making out with him or having sex with him, but had a feeling that it would ‘turn into an ordeal’ if I rejected him. I had never been in a situation where I was living with someone for a period of time who wanted to have sex with me, that I didn’t want to have sex with. I knew I had nowhere else to stay, and if I upset him that I might be forced to leave.
“It’s okay. I get it. You don’t find me attractive.”
He was correct, but that wasn’t the only problem, and I somehow felt saying that would be cruel.
“It’s not that, I just don’t want to get into a sexual or romantic thing with anyone while I’m here.”
I got ready for bed with the hope that I would be treated to another evening of sleep without exhausting sexual assault, but was denied. Once again I found myself trying (and failing) to convince Stan that I didn’t find him unattractive, but still did not want to have sex with him, and was not consenting, by any means, to having sex with him. Once again I failed, and he had sex with my body while I stared up at the ceiling. I imagined what it would be like to be raped violently.
When feminists say “teach men not to rape”, they mean don’t teach women to avoid risky or even foolish choices. They mean don’t teach women not to travel to a strange city and sleep in a strange man’s bed. No matter how obvious and sound the teaching would be, no matter how much it would protect women, feminists would have us remain silent. Feminist Amanda Taub explains (emphasis mine):
And yet those who criticize Katz for her role in what happened are not only saying that she was wrong to accept the opportunity Dierks offered; they are also saying that other young women should not do what Katz did. If other young women find themselves in her position, these people would argue, they should not accept the invitation, should not travel to a new place to make new professional connections, should not take that step to benefit their careers.
That attitude nibbles away at the edges of women’s opportunities.
This is the nonsense of the “teach men not to rape” slogan, and Instapundit Glenn Reynolds has written a series of posts lampooning this foolish slogan by turning it around. Vox Day has picked this up and run with it as well. The title of my post was a variation on the same theme. However after looking through his archives I see that Instapundit beat me to it at least twice.
If you have a moment I highly recommend reviewing his posts on the topic as well as his blog in general. He continuously adds new and interesting content.
Full Disclosure: Instapundit has been very kind in sending traffic my way. I can always tell when he has linked to something I have written because the resulting instalanch creates a pronounced spike in my wordpress toolbar: