Let’s Challenge the ‘Rape Culture’ Warriors

The term “rape culture,” invented in the 1970s by radical feminists, seemed confined for decades to women’s studies programs and free-lance extremists. Now, as Cathy Young’s article today on this site shows, the term and the ideology behind it have been going mainstream, even at such prominent campuses as the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Wikipedia calls rape culture “a concept that links rape and sexual violence to the culture of a society, and in which prevalent attitudes and practices normalize, excuse, tolerate, and even condone rape.” In other words, American culture approves and promotes rape. As Cathy Young reports, this idea is so strong at Madison that the editor of the campus paper isn’t sure she should print any letters disagreeing with it.

This is an odd time for a fringe notion to go mainstream. The Violence Against Women act, the only civil rights law to offer protection to just half of all Americans, has been reauthorized with tough sanctions and a good deal of cash for anti-rape programs. The armed forces and military academies are taking rape very seriously and heads are beginning to roll. The Obama administration (via the “Dear Colleague” letter that KC Johnson has written so much about on Minding the Campus) has had the effect of weakening or eliminating procedural protections of accused males on campus. This has made convictions easier and more common, even in cases when criminal justice authorities have dropped the charges as dubious or (in a few instances) openly declared them false.

How exactly are these steps expressions of America’s commitment to “rape culture”?  Stupid ideas spread when people who know better refuse to confront them. This would include college presidents and administrators terrified of challenging their academically deprived and anti-male women’s studies departments, and it would include most of the mainstream news media, which have worked so hard to evade or botch coverage. So here’s to the short list of people who cover this subject honestly. That would include KC Johnson and Cathy Young, everyone at FIRE, and certainly James Taranto, whose article in the Wall Street Journal last Saturday had an immense impact. It was the first detailed inside story about the railroading of an innocent male student in a campus hearing. More honest journalism, please, and more courage from campus officials.


  • John Leo

    John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

6 thoughts on “Let’s Challenge the ‘Rape Culture’ Warriors

  1. Once the author begins to investigate other pet concepts of the feminist movement, he will undoubtedly find that those too contradict an unbiased analysis of what is seen in reality. Yet, expressing these doubts and even scrutinizing evidence or publishing evidence to the contrary is met with harsh attack and insinuations of evil intentions, with the effect to distort the truth to an extreme.
    “Gender based violence” or “violence against women” as a specially evil and frequent crime can not be seen in population studies as anything special. Violence against women is in fact an utter minority of all violence against humans, and when studying its etiology (partner violence) one finds that women engage in the same abusive behaviors as men. Hence the entire concept of “gender based violence” has no substance in the real world. However, research to this effect is suppressed and met with hysterical reactions, while at the same time the federal government and non profit organizations even the international humanitarian organizations stack the deck with pseudo-research pushing the concept. Most recent case in point was a WHO “violence against women” survey which appeared in June 2013 and had any possibility to compare this type of violence with other violence painstakingly avoided or removed. Hence, “gender based violence” is a concept that only exists in the minds of the feminist “researchers” and shows in the bias which they built into their research, against men.
    “Patriarchy” is the notion that men had oppressed women and are still doing it. However this concept too is very difficult to prove against healthy skepticism. The concept is fabricated by writing negative experiences of women on one side of a comparison and positive experiences of men on the other side and then finding that it’s not fair. Thus marriage is labeled “slavery” against women for instance, when in fact the bourgeois marriage provides for a woman not to have to work for her economical support. “Women weren’t allowed to vote” is often given as a clear indication, but that is ignoring the fact that many men who were not independent economical entities weren’t allowed to vote either. Furthermore, instead of including a true understanding of the circumstances and purpose of gender role differentiation in the discussion, these gender ideologues ignore all of that and only project their theories about men’s ill will against women into their description of superficial appearance. If “patriarchy” and “oppression of women” actually existed, it would be the only case in history where the oppressor died in war for the oppressed who enjoy the stability and safety of the home.
    We could go on and on and dismantle most every core concept of feminism. Yet this honest investigation of history and social circumstances is suppressed and overshadowed by a flurry of government funded “scholarship” which is rather activism in promulgating an ideology than scholarship in the classical sense. Those who object or question this behavior are suppressed, ridiculed, and attacked.

  2. Just a pragmatic comment regarding the reality of our real culture. Doesn’t the description of our culture as a “rape culture” insult and demean our culture? If it were true, then allowing for it’s accuracy, our culture has demeaned and insulted itself, to say so out loud would only be honesty.
    In the real world NO men I know, openly or secretly, that I know of think, “woo hoo, rape!” No man I know openly expresses it’s anything other than highly deviant behavior. Deserving of punishment, often more extreme punishment than it’s sentencing receives. Openly to speak of vigilante perpetrating justice on the deviant, is quite acceptable, even praised. This is our “rape culture”?
    The reality is that we live in a culture that fears men, without cause. Fathers are subject to open public scrutiny if there child throws a tantrum in public, people will have unwarranted suspicions, even confronting him.
    It means money to continue the charade. Add to it the fear that it is literally dangerous to speak out against feminism’s agenda and openly note something so obvious as VAWA’s discrimination against half the population. How quickly to speak of honestly of reality, I become a monster of misogyny. If my employer found out, my job is gone. This is our “rape culture”?
    It’s an insult to men. To the men who want to keep women safe from abuse, we’re the ones enduring an unwarranted campaign of hate. Some men are awakening to the reality, we are the suspects and objects of severe delusions. Objects of a very real and literal hatred.

    A Commentary by PAUL M. CLEMENTS
    New Hampshire Governor John Lynch was quoted as saying that, “it’s time for everyone to realize they should support victims of sexual assault, and hold their abusers accountable.” Grace Mattern, NH Sexual Assault Coalition executive director echoes the Governor by saying that “Victims are never to blame”. Maybe! It all depends on whether the accusers are really victims. You see, what this feminist governor and his feminazi pals in the domestic violence industry don’t want us to know, is that a large percentage of sexual assault reports are patently false.
    Begin with Jane Roe, of the Roe v.Wade case. Roe eventually admitted that she lied about being raped for the simple reason that, as a feminist, she wanted to make a stronger case for women’s right to an
    Cathleen Webb lied about being raped out of fear of what her parents would say if she became pregnant. The falsely accused man, Gary Dotson, spent six years (of a 50 year sentence) in prison in spite of her admission that she had lied about being raped. Prosecutors refused to believe she was telling the truth about having lied.
    In an investigation of 556 rape cases, reported in Forensic Science Digest, Vol.11, no.4, Dec. 1985, it was found through DNA testing that 33% of the accusations were false. Another 27% in the same study were shown to be false when the women involved admitted lying, or were shown to be lying by lie detector tests. That’s a total of 60% false accusations.
    Even the liberal Washington Post reported it’s own study, in June, 1992, wherein 30% of allegations of rape were proven false.
    A study by Hugo Adam and Micheael Radelet, reported in Stanford Law Review, 11/87, found 350 cases where DNA proved the accusation false. Sadly, 23 of the men falsely accused had already been executed, and eight more had died in prison. Quite a high price to pay for promoting the false notion that women don’t lie about sexual assault.
    Internationally acclaimed attorney, Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz published an article in the Boston Herald (8/6/94) in which he discussed a nine year study by a Purdue Univ. (female)
    Sociologist, reported in The Archives of Sexual Behavior, conducted in a large metropolitan area, including two large universities, in which the data showed that 40% of the sexual assault allegations were false. The
    only definition of “false” was the admission by the supposed “victim” that she had lied. Another study reported in Dershowitz’s article was done by New York City sex crimes prosecutor, Linda Fairstein in 1987.
    Fairstein found that, of 4000 reports of rape each year in Manhattan, “about HALF simply did not happen!” To paraphrase the Jerry Lee Lewis song, there’s “A whole lot of lying going on!”
    It’s pretty sad that most of the domestic violence claims put forward by the feminists are provably false. And obtaining a restraining order against a man based on false charges is bad enough. But to insist that a woman who cries “rape!” is never lying, and sentencing a man to a lengthy prison term, and maybe the death penalty, is inexcusable. Governor Lynch should be ashamed of himself for shilling for the feminists in promoting this anti-male scheme. And an anti-male scheme it is, when LESBIAN relationships show almost TWICE the rate of violence and forced sexual activity as heterosexual relationships, and THAT fact is never mentioned by the sexual assault coalition profiteers. More the shame, our tax dollars are funding this unjustified war against men.
    Paul Clements
    DADD (Dads Against Divorce Discrimination)
    I have an additional 22 pages of proven/admitted false accusations which were published, not researched, and came serendipitously to my desk.

  4. The invocation of “rape culture” always struck me as anti-intellectual. I suspect it is used as a shorthand to establish the writer’s credentials as a progressive concerned about women’s rights. I can’t believe many of them actually think about what they are writing, much less objectively examine the validity of that phrase. Sadly, devotees of that phrase seem to use it a a litmus test–anyone who would question its use must be a rape apologist.

  5. I believe US gender-feminists are going to continue to pervert American law enforcement, until we reach the point where hetero-sexual relationships are a legal liability for guys, and they are forced to go “MGTOW” in order to keep their basic civil rights.

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