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Feminist Icon Criticizes “Rape Culture” Activism

Feminist Icon Criticizes “Rape Culture” Activism

Susan Brownmiller: “this is a very limited movement that doesn’t accept reality”

Susan Brownmiller wrote the 1975 book Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape which set the stage for much of today’s feminism. She is not, however, a huge fan of everything espoused by today’s feminists, including slut walks and rape culture activism.

Katie Van Syckle of New York Mag recently interviewed her. Hat tip to Ann Althouse:

I was wondering if you have been following the discussions of rape activism on college campuses.

Yes, very closely. In the 1970s we had an extraordinary movement against sexual assault in this country and changed the laws. They [the campus activists] don’t seem to know that. They think they are the first people to discover rape, and the problem of consent, and they are not.

They have been tremendously influenced by the idea that “You can drink as much as you want because you are the equal of a guy,” and it is not true. They don’t accept the fact there are predators out there, and that all women have to take special precautions. They think they can drink as much as men, which is crazy because they can’t drink as much as men. I find the position “Don’t blame us, we’re survivors” to be appalling.

Also, they [college women] are not the chief targets of rapists. Young women and all women in housing projects and ghettos are still in far greater danger than college girls.

Is there a reason why you think the conversation has reemerged on college campuses?

I don’t know. The women’s movement in the ’70s was not a campus movement at all. I like to see activism wherever it rears its head, but this is a very limited movement that doesn’t accept reality. Culture may tell you, “You can drink as much as men,” but you can’t. People think they can have it all ways. The slut marches bothered me, too, when they said you can wear whatever you want. Well sure, but you look like a hooker. They say, “That doesn’t matter,” but it matters to the man who wants to rape. It’s unrealistic. I don’t know what happened to the understanding people had in the 1970s.

Not everyone is happy with Brownmiller’s stance on the issues.

In fact, Amanda Marcotte of Slate seems downright furious:

Former Feminist Hero Somehow Thinks That Victim-Blaming Can Stop Rape

Today’s case study in the importance of not having heroes: Susan Brownmiller. She was instrumental in making rape a political issue with her landmark 1975 book Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, but now she’s let a “kids these days” urge overtake her feminist sensibilities. In an interview with The Cut’s Katie Van Syckle, Brownmiller gets downright victim-blame-y, sneering at girls today with their booze and their clothes and their asking-for-it. Here’s a sampler:

Culture may tell you, “You can drink as much as men,” but you can’t. People think they can have it all ways. The slut marches bothered me, too, when they said you can wear whatever you want. Well sure, but you look like a hooker. They say, “That doesn’t matter,” but it matters to the man who wants to rape.

Brownmiller also boasts about taking “a hard line with victims of domestic violence, too”—I mean, finally, am I right? Someone had to put those victims of domestic violence in their place!—by blaming them for not being strong or wealthy enough to walk away.

Featured image via YouTube.

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Comments

I’m sorry, but were you considering Amanda Marcotte to be an expert or even sensible commenter on anything?

To Miss Marcotte, noting that a 120 lb woman who is matching a 200 lb man drink-for-drink is going to get more intoxicated, more quickly, is the rankest sexism, not a simple biological fact. For Miss Marcotte, it makes perfect sense for people to protect themselves by wearing a seat belt while driving, but it’s just appalling to suggest that women ought to not put themselves in danger by doing dangerous things.

    gibbie in reply to Dana. | September 20, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Yes. Automobile windshields should stop blaming the victim when he doesn’t wear a seat belt.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Dana. | September 20, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    “To Miss Marcotte, noting that a 120 lb woman who is matching a 200 lb man drink-for-drink is going to get more intoxicated, more quickly, is the rankest sexism, not a simple biological fact.”

    Actually, it is a simple biological fact, assuming alcohol tolerance and liver function in the normal range. Weight matters big time in dosing alcohol (or any med). So does a woman’s higher fat-to-water ratio. Mainly it’s the liver, which absorbs alcohol much faster than in men. Women have a stomach enzyme that makes them metabolize alcohol slower than men, meaning alcohol stays in a woman’s bloodstream longer, making more passes through the brain, increasing intoxication compared to men. Google targets: ‘alcohol dehydrogenase’ or ‘alcohol first pass’ (regarding liver function)

    It excuses nothing though. Of course, adults are responsible for themselves no matter what the substance they’ve willfully taken, the dose, speed of ingestion, whether it’s prescription or street drug, etc.

Someone had to put those victims of domestic violence in their place!—by blaming them for not being strong or wealthy enough to walk away.

This statement exposes her lie, her logical fallacy.

This feminist icon didn’t “blame them for not being strong or wealthy enough to walk away.” She said women’s physiological makeup doesn’t allow them to drink as much as a male. She stated that rapists see women dressed like hookers as possible targets.

She said, in essence, that women should be proactive and not put themselves into positions that will make them the mark of a rapist: i.e. don’t drink till you pass out and expect nothing to happen (that’s true of guys, too, although it’s not the “hot issue” because it doesn’t attack white males – well, males in general, but mostly they are “taking on” so-called “white male privilege”…..and because it involves gay-male rape); don’t dress in a way that a rapist – or any rational person – could think you’re “turning on the red light.”

I have nothing to say, though, to her culture myopia: what happened to our society since her book, since early feminism, she asks?

Answer: Liberal people took your NOW-feminism and ran with it, taking it to the next level, as well as all the other Alinsky-leftist ideological, Frankfurt School “culture marxism” drek.

Carter, Clinton – even Bush – federalized and codified much of what ails our nation, today. Obama “hopes” to “change” us – to “fundamentally transform” us – the rest of the way.

    Feminists don’t care if men get raped. Rape is a much greater problem in men’s prisons than women’s (where rape is quite rare), but only rape in women’s prisons gets their attention, and even then only if it’s by a man. They pretty much deny the existence of lesbian rapists. Indeed, it is very likely that if you add prison rape to the stats men are the victims of rape more often than women are.

    I agree with your assessment of Brownmiller’s words.

    It sounds to me like Brownmiller is talking pure commonsense: using self-control and self-government instead of flippant sexual experimentation under the influence and with recourse to become a self-styled victim.

    True “feminism” is a woman in control of her life and doing so with love and without regret.

Here is the thing, does Amanda Marcotte dress like a slut and get blind drunk out on the town in Brooklyn? I am going to guess not. So why is wrong to advise a young woman if they do this they might find themselves in trouble later on? This is not about sexism, this is about common sense.

That is not justifying rape this is about avoiding rape. Same as putting locks on your home and an alarm system to discourage burglary and theft. Or getting a dog…

But Amanda Marcotte is never going to get a dog.

Is that Belle Knox I’m looking at?

Double Standard.
First
“I was too drunk to know what I was doing”
“You poor thing you were raped”
second
“I was too drunk to know what I was doing”
“Driving privileges suspended for six months, $1,000.00 fine and DUI course.”

Interesting that a historical feminist seems so…rational.

I didn’t read anything Amanda Marcotte had to say. Its my firm belief that reading her material makes the reader dumber. I refuse to subject myself to any of her drivel. Nice Try Aleister!

Yesterday’s progressive is today’s conservative.

ugottabekiddinme | September 20, 2015 at 1:11 pm

From the perspective of a Brownmiller contemporary, albeit an aging male, was once a hippie deep in the counterculture of sex drugs & rock’n’roll:

what Brownmiller is espousing is what is known, archaically, as “growing up” and “common sense.”

The “feminism” of Brownmiller’s era was about equality under law, while ALSO respecting the roles of decent men and women in any kind of relationship, whether at work, at play, or in anywhere people interact.

That kind of feminist DID love and respect a good man. AND they could…and did…treasure their ability to bring other human beings into the world, and into an intact nuclear family.

That’s all gone now.

    Valerie in reply to Ragspierre. | September 20, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Hi. It is not gone. They got Title VII and IX of the civil rights act passed, and then went on to other things, like using those civil rights to work, get home loans, and raise their kids.

    They are in the TEA Parties, now.

      Ragspierre in reply to Valerie. | September 20, 2015 at 3:20 pm

      Quite correct. I didn’t mean those people with those ideas are gone.

      I meant that the feminist movement as it has come to be is now misandric, misanthropic, and Marxist.

      Well, and freaking nuts!

Char Char Binks | September 20, 2015 at 1:42 pm

Feminists are trying to impose a new Victorian sexual repression, only with men now being the only ones expected to adhere to any kind of sexual morality, perhaps in the mistaken belief that they’re getting back at men for the old way when only women were chastised for sexual indiscretion, which of course was never the case.

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