Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Katie Roiphe: Princess Of Rape Denial All Grown Up

Salon has an article by Rebecca Traister about Katie Roiphe's newest book.

"What you're picking up is my resistance to demonizing men," she [Katie Roiphe] said. "I have a definite ideological resistance to placing women in the role of victim, especially when you talk about something as intimate and complicated as their personal lives. I do believe that both people are always responsible, and I know from my own experience with marriage that it's very easy and seductive to see yourself as the victim. To me, there is a moral imperative to resist that story."

This is a tune Roiphe has been warbling for 14 years now, and it surely soothes those men who are sick of being told that sex is no longer theirs to take whenever they want it, [...] In my freshman year, Roiphe's book was jauntily kept in some fraternity houses, a talisman against the potential succubus of the date-rape accuser.

Roiphe based a good deal of her argument on anecdotal evidence that did not hold up under scrutiny, and on her dislike or skepticism of the women who got up at Take Back the Night rallies to tell their stories.

Katie Roiphe is continuing to make the easy and seductive mistake of confusing the demonization of rape and sexual/partner violence with the demonization of men. This isn't a surprise if she romanticizes men who have been accused of committing date- or acquaintance-rape and turns them into men who were so enthralled that they couldn't stop themselves.

Believe me, there is nothing seductive or romantic about being raped by a boyfriend even when he says he did it to show how much he loved me. To refuse to believe this makes her seem pathological.

I wonder if she also finds it easy and seductive to view men who kill their estranged wives before taking their own lives as tragic romantic figures who couldn't live without their soul mates. I wonder if she accuses those who don't want to see women murdered as people who are demonizing men.

It sure would be easy and seductive to see these dead women as victims. But when it comes to relationships, the responsibility is always shared -- at least according to Katie Roiphe.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:04 AM   0 comments links to this post


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