Will’s untutored eye

The St Louis Post Dispatch decided it can get along without George Will after that column he wrote last week about how women long for the high status of being a rape victim.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial Page Editor Tony Messenger writes that readers — both liberal and conservative ones — have lobbied the paper to change its lineup of conservative columnists. But apparently a bit of a push was necessary.

That came from a recent controversial piece by Washington Post columnist George Will — the one about the “supposed campus epidemic of rape” and the way in which “victimhood” serves as a “coveted status that confers privileges.”

It’s so fashionable right now, all this yelling about “victimhood” and “patriarchy” and “ideology.” They’re all just passing the same stale tropes back and forth endlessly, like a joint.

Let’s have a look at that column of Will’s.

Colleges and universities are being educated by Washington and are finding the experience excruciating. They are learning that when they say campus victimizations are ubiquitous (“micro-aggressions,” often not discernible to the untutored eye, are everywhere), and that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate. And academia’s progressivism has rendered it intellectually defenseless now that progressivism’s achievement, the regulatory state, has decided it is academia’s turn to be broken to government’s saddle.

Consider the supposed campus epidemic of rape, a.k.a. “sexual assault.”

It’s odd that it didn’t occur to him to pause for a moment over that, and then delete it. It’s odd that it didn’t occur to him that it’s not a good look for a very safe, established, senior, well-paid, mainstream male columnist to sneer in public about rape. It’s odd that it didn’t occur to him that it’s not a good look to sneer at dangers that other people face while he never will. It’s odd that it didn’t occur to him that rape isn’t something he will ever have to worry about, so it’s unattractive for him to sneer about a supposed campus epidemic of rape or to put scare quotes on “sexual assault.”

But it didn’t, or if it did he shrugged it off, and the column said what it said. This is where reactionary tantrums about other people’s requests not to be raped or whipped or starved or sold into slavery will get you – not just punching down, but dropping cinder blocks on people from the roof of your palace. You don’t look good like that.


  1. says

    Reading the totality of what he’s written, it seems like he’s equivocating back and forth between “rape” and “sexual assault” and “sexual harassment” and “unwanted touching” and “remarks” so that he can claim that women are complaining about “remarks” but they should also tolerate “unwanted touching” that includes “rape” although he won’t come right out and say it.

  2. Bernard Bumner says

    It seems to me that he explicitly dismisses and trivialises rape in the first story he mentions in the piece in order to suggest that the victim should have tolerated it. The equivocation isn’t much of a smokescreen.

  3. screechymonkey says

    Oddly enough, conservatives ought to be as “tutored” as anyone in detecting micro-aggressions. Many of them have spent their lives erupting into anger at the truly micro-est “aggressions” of all.

    “The greeter at Wal-Mart said ‘Happy Holidays’ instead of ‘Merry Christmas’? I AM OPPRESSED!”

    “Gay people are getting married? WHAT HAPPENED TO MY FREEDOM?”

    “Obama suggested that maybe we ought to do something about these mass shootings? TYRANNY HAS ARRIVED!”

    Of course, it’s not just conservatives. Anti-feminists of every stripe have been known to perceive aggressions at levels that would elude an electron microscope:


  4. Blanche Quizno says

    Yes, of course, Improbable Joe, we all know that women are so irrational and hypersensitive that they’re likely to describe a fraction-of-a-second-too-long-look or bump against the shoulder in a crowded hallway as actual rape, because women are just that unreliable, illogical, and hysterical. One should never expect an objective account from a woman, because they’re all drama queens desperate for attention, especially MEN’s attention. And they’ll stoop to any level to get it. And THEN they’ll cry “Rape!” when all a man did was smile at them.

    There’s just no pleasing women, because women are insane. Better to just ignore them – when did a woman ever have anything important to say beyond what would be served for dinner that night?? And don’t pander to their fantasies and hysterics – that would debase the very men who are these same women’s only hope for guidance and reason.

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