Feminist rabble rouser Amanda Marcotte has encouraged young women to take naked selfies. It’s good clean fun, don’t you know.
It’s the nude photo leak version of blaming a sexual assault victim for a short skirt. It isn’t just that it shifts blame away from where it belongs, on the perpetrators. It’s not just because it’s the typical misogynist tendency to assume a woman is to blame for attacks on her. It’s because this attitude is anti-creativity, anti-fun, anti-sex and, in many cases, anti-love.
According to a leading feminist, love is sending naked pictures of yourself to … whomever.
By her lights, if anyone passes the pictures around in the locker room, if you suffer humiliation, you can console yourself with the idea that you are not to blame.
As though anyone ever believed such a thing. It is fair to mention that attorneys defending rapists sometimes try to exculpate their clients by saying that the woman’s attire was provocative, but you do better not to live your life preparing to testify against someone who assaulted you.
As every mother knows and as every mother tells her daughter, it is best to ensure that it not happen at all.
Marcotte, however, advises women to be reckless, irresponsible, incautious… because if anything bad happens to you, feminism will console you by saying that it wasn’t your fault.
Marcotte exemplifies a mindless feminism in which older feminists are willing to sacrifice, if not pimp out young women for the cause.
To counter this message, feminist firebrand and notable anti-prude Camille Paglia has offered a few words of sage advice for young women.
Beginning her Time column with a reflection on Hannah Graham-- the University of Virginia student who vanished a couple of weeks ago and who was presumably abducted, raped and murdered—Paglia responds that young people have been coddled into thinking that sex is just good clean fun.
They have not learned that sex comports serious risks and dangers, especially when you go out and have a drink with a stranger you met on the street in the middle of the night.
No one is saying or thinking that Graham is responsible for what happened to her, but it is worth pointing out that she seems to have behaved recklessly. There is no consolation is knowing that she was not to blame.
Paglia has no patience with the feminists who are railing about the rape culture on college campus:
Wildly overblown claims about an epidemic of sexual assaults on American campuses are obscuring the true danger to young women, too often distracted by cellphones or iPods in public places: the ancient sex crime of abduction and murder. Despite hysterical propaganda about our “rape culture,” the majority of campus incidents being carelessly described as sexual assault are not felonious rape (involving force or drugs) but oafish hookup melodramas, arising from mixed signals and imprudence on both sides.
Feminists who denounce the campus rape culture are failing to inform young women of the dangers that exist off campus. And they are lulling young women into believing that they can go where they want, when they want, with whom they want… without fearing any consequences.
Apparently, people believe that if everyone keeps saying that women are “strong” and “empowered” then women will become strong and empowered. In fact, women who buy into the incantations become deluded about their true strength and forget that they are vulnerable.
Too many young middleclass women, raised far from the urban streets, seem to expect adult life to be an extension of their comfortable, overprotected homes. But the world remains a wilderness. The price of women’s modern freedoms is personal responsibility for vigilance and self-defense.
If it’s all a social construct, evil exists only within the hearts and minds of those who belong to the ruling class. The oppressed of the planet will behave well if only we feel sufficiently guilty for their condition and show them sufficient empathy.
It’s reminds one of the Obama administration notion that if we reach out to Muslims with an open hand of friendship, terrorism will disappear. After all, terrorism is merely a just reaction to Western oppression.
The horrors and atrocities of history have been edited out of primary and secondary education except where they can be blamed on racism, sexism, and imperialism — toxins embedded in oppressive outside structures that must be smashed and remade. But the real problem resides in human nature, which religion as well as great art sees as eternally torn by a war between the forces of darkness and light.
Misled by the naive optimism and “You go, girl!” boosterism of their upbringing, young women do not see the animal eyes glowing at them in the dark. They assume that bared flesh and sexy clothes are just a fashion statement containing no messages that might be misread and twisted by a psychotic. They do not understand the fragility of civilization and the constant nearness of savage nature.
Young girls are told that they can do what they want, that they can become whatever they want and that nothing can hold them back. They never learn that their attire, for example, is sending messages and that these messages might be misread by sociopaths. If Paglia is correct, many young women do not even understand what it is to be a sociopath.
Clearly, a woman is not to blame if she is assaulted by a sociopath, but how much of a consolation is that, really.
Today’s young intellectuals no longer believe in God. Perhaps that is why, as Paglia suggests, they fail to grasp the reality of an evil that is not a social construct:
Liberalism lacks a profound sense of evil — but so does conservatism these days, when evil is facilely projected onto a foreign host of rising political forces united only in their rejection of Western values. Nothing is more simplistic than the now rote use by politicians and pundits of the cartoonish label “bad guys” for jihadists, as if American foreign policy is a slapdash script for a cowboy movie.
The gender ideology dominating academe denies that sex differences are rooted in biology and sees them instead as malleable fictions that can be revised at will. The assumption is that complaints and protests, enforced by sympathetic campus bureaucrats and government regulators, can and will fundamentally alter all men.
And today’s therapy culture, as I would call it, is not doing any better.
In Paglia’s words:
But today’s therapy has morphed into happy talk, attitude adjustments, and pharmaceutical shortcuts.