Friday, April 06, 2007

Kathleen Parker Gets It Partly Right About Rape

From Feministing
Shorter Kathleen Parker: Women in the military are raped because they're stupid enough to be around men. Oh, and the ladies are probably exaggerating anyway.
The following quote from Kathleen's Parker's column -- which seemed the most outrageous to Jessica at Feministing -- actually holds an important truth, it's just not used in a positive way by Ms. Parker.
But more overt sexual aggression may be the product of something few will acknowledge, at least on the record: resentment.

Kathleen Parker seems to believe that this resentment is justified (and that the justification is why it isn't talked about). I don't agree with justifying this resentment. If it were justified, then we would all agree that the punishment for women who think they are equal to men would be rape -- even outside of the military.

The ugly, frequently unacknowledged truth is that resentful people are more likely to find excuses to hurt others who they feel need to be brought down a notch or who need to brought down completely.

Now if resentment were something people caught like the flu, Ms. Parker might have a point. But resentment is a learned attitude and one people choose to hang onto or let go of.

In the military that attitude gives us men who are willing to sacrifice their lives to keep women (who are citizens of the same country) safe from foreign soldiers and terrorists, but who won't protect those women from themselves. How is this different from a protection racket?

Whenever I meet a man who seems resentful and who lectures me on physical or sexual safety, I see that as a red flag telling me never to trust him. Frankly, I'd rather walk alone than rely on this type of person as my only protection.

If someone resents being unhappy then happy people become that person's target of choice. Yet we would never advise unhappiness as a way to prevent becoming the victim of a crime.

I bet Kathleen Parker wouldn't have the same sympathy for men's resentment if a man in her business targetted her for sexual aggression because he believed she didn't belong in the newspaper business.

In all of the resentful people I've met, their problem is internal and the external unfairness is either hyper-sensitivity to the normal realities of life (even the best people don't win all the time), resistence to sharing with some "unworthy" group or their resentment causes the very external problems they blame others for.

That she makes excuses for rapists should appall all of us, yet I suspect that many people (men and women) will nod their heads and give Kathleen Parker an, "Amen, sister." If women just made sure that men never resented them, we'd all be safer.

That turns what are supposed to be superior human beings into victims of their inferior counterparts. And this makes sense, exactly how?

Resentment is a motive and a rationalization, it isn't a valid excuse.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 7:12 PM   0 comments links to this post


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