Yikes, Ben Radford has yet another meta-post saying how everyone was wrong about his first post, yet again drastically misrepresenting his own post in the process. This is getting beyond embarrassing – meta-embarrassing.
Last week I wrote what I thought was a fairly straightforward piece titled “Over It.” It was an introduction to a poem, and then a poem. It was short, in three parts, and about an anti-rape poem by Eve Ensler, and her One Billion Rising campaign to encourage women to dance as a way to end rape.
Dude. That’s not true. That’s not all it was about. That’s far from all it was about.
In the first part I explicitly stated that I agreed with Ensler’s goals (“I support her goals of reducing rape and other forms of violence against women”), but that I had reservations about Ensler’s use of statistics, and whether or not
encouraging people to dance would actually do any good. In the second part I wrote a poem, using the same title, the same structure, and some of the same lines-echoing, expanding on, and supporting many of Ensler’s sentiments. The poem was clearly supporting and agreeing with Ensler on many topics, and I added other topics which I felt had been largely left out in the discussion (such as the issue of male rape, and the epidemic of sexual assault in Native American communities).
That’s a little closer, but very little. The “added other topics” made a big chunk of the post, and they weren’t just added as having been left out; several of them were flailing attacks on a mythical feminism that doesn’t exist, such as the one that says “all men are rapists.” That was the part of the post that I criticized, for example, and it’s dishonest of Radford to pretend he simply added a few neglected topics.
So why the anger and venom? Why would anyone get enraged and morally indignant because I think women dancing is a waste of time and not actually helping decrease the incidence of physical and sexual assault?
Dude. That is not what happened.
Is it possible to somehow interpret this as supporting rape in some way? I didn’t think so, yet over the past week I have been criticized and vilified, painted as a misogynist, “rape apologist” and even “anti-feminist” by a few people who either didn’t read my piece, or didn’t understand it.
I read it. Did Radford read it?
I am over the myth of “the passivity of good men,” suggesting that many or most men are complicit in rape culture when in fact most men are not rapists, and condemn those who are.
I am over the male bashing often inherent in feminist writings and slogans; “All men are rapists” is neither true nor fair nor helpful.
I am over the wanton slinging of labels like “misogynist” and “sexist” and “sister hater” and “gender traitor” and “rape apologist” to people who dare criticize feminists. Plenty of feminists disagree with each other.
I am over social activists, including those whose causes I support, who value emotion and anecdote over truth, facts, and critical thinking.
I am over thin-skinned “feminists” who blithely and intentionally confuse legitimate questions and criticism of their facts or claims with misogyny and sexism; it is insulting to real victims of misogyny and sexism.
I am over blaming TV, movies, magazines, and video games for real-life violence-including violence against women. Just as sexy clothes do not cause rape, violent and sexual images do not cause rape; rapists cause rape.
I am over the simplistic idea that women are raped by heteronormative, hegemonic patriarchies instead of by criminals.
Rush Limbaugh could cheerfully sign off on that passage. If Radford didn’t intend that passage to be anti-feminist, he’s one hell of a clumsy writer.