The reason I'm including this link is not to attack Republicans or conservative Christians, it's to highlight the flaw in the position most conservative pundits take related to sexual assault and sexual abuse.
Despite the lowlife stereotypes, sexual offenders cross all socio-economic boundaries. Some instantly make you want to run in the opposite direction, some make you want to vote for them.
To pick out certain victims and alleged victims and say they are somehow less innocent than other victims -- or to blame feminists and feminism for rape ("How dare you tell women that nothing they do justifies rape!") -- is to refuse to hold their rapists and abusers fully accountable for their actions.
If we buy this way of thinking, many rapists then become nothing more than the victims of irresistable temptation. And if we buy that perpetrator/victim reversal, convicting these rapists seems downright cruel. And going for these sleazy victims' jugulars seems like true justice and the upholding of morality.
There are just a few nitpicky problems with the conservative pundits position.
Not only is blaming feminism for increasing the number of rapes harmful, it's inaccurate. The adjusted victimization rate per 1,000 persons age 12 and over has shown a pattern of decline According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network between 1973 and 2003.
Since 2000, the overall number of sexual assaults dropped by 22%, while the percentage of sexual assaults that are reported to the police rose to an average of 42% in the last five years, compared to 31% in the prior four years.So what the conservatives who blame feminism for the rape epidemic dislike about feminism -- raising awareness of sexual violence and increasing the percentage of rape victims who report -- is effective at reducing sexual violence. What these conservatives seem to be craving from the good old days are their blinders.
They don't want to see raped people.
And they want this badly enough that they are willing to demonize victims and people who are working to help victims and prevent sexual exploitation. These same people frequently jump at chances to ally themselves with the best and the brightest of the alleged rapists. Some who align themselves with alleged rapists think an apology is all that's needed to make things right if it's proven that they've helped rapists continue their assault on innocent victims.
Yet they don't think, "Oops" is an appropriate response when there wasn't evidence to support Tawana Brawley's allegations. To the conservative pundets that mistake has left a permanent stain that has not faded in over 20 years.
By the conservatives own standards, it can be no different when conservatives attack real rape victims.
Technorati tags: rape crime politics sexual assault feminism women