I’ve found that some time after I point out the obvious, such as the fact that it’s a bad idea for women to go out drinking around strangers, “feminists” start saying the same thing. I don’t know whether they’ve actually seen what I’ve written along those lines, but it has become a pattern. Somehow, the “reactionary” stuff (i.e. common sense) that gets me called names starts coming out of feminist mouths.
Emily Yoffe, writing for Slate’s explicitly feminist “double X,” wrote a piece telling women that if they want to avoid sexual assault, they ought to refrain from getting smashed in the company of strange men.
In one awful high-profile case after another—the U.S. Naval Academy; Steubenville, Ohio; now the allegations in Maryville, Mo.—we read about a young woman, sometimes only a girl, who goes to a party and ends up being raped. As soon as the school year begins, so do reports of female students sexually assaulted by their male classmates. A common denominator in these cases is alcohol, often copious amounts, enough to render the young woman incapacitated. But a misplaced fear of blaming the victim has made it somehow unacceptable to warn inexperienced young women that when they get wasted, they are putting themselves in potential peril.
Experts I spoke to who wanted young women to get this information said they were aware of how loaded it has become to give warnings to women about their behavior. “I’m always feeling defensive that my main advice is: ‘Protect yourself. Don’t make yourself vulnerable to the point of losing your cognitive faculties,’ ” says Anne Coughlin, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, who has written on rape and teaches feminist jurisprudence. She adds that by not telling them the truth—that they are responsible for keeping their wits about them—she worries that we are “infantilizing women.”
Compare this to a couple passages from articles I wrote earlier this year:
…since at least the 1970s campuses have provided an atmosphere that attracts predators. High concentrations of young women, lots of drinking and partying, and a sexually permissive atmosphere are a good cover for those who would take sex by force.
…those who want to minimize their chances of rape must take certain precautions, such as not going out alone amongst strangers, getting loaded, dressing like a skank and generally acting like an easy target.
One of the benefits of being out of the “mainstream” is that you don’t have to worry much about what the cool kids think, so you can tell it like it is without worrying about your job. But as the above demonstrates, this is also a social benefit.
If we as a society continue along with the trend of absolving women of any responsibility for their own safety, more women will become victims. Women do derive a great deal of power from their ability to shame and cajole men into protecting them, but there are limits. Just as the wife who pushes her husband too hard and too far finds that she now has neither protection nor provision, but a ruined, exhausted man on her hands, if the women of our society fail to take on any burden at all they’ll eventually find themselves all alone in a scary place.
Since the feminists won’t say it themselves because they are both clueless and conformist, it’s up to people like me and other men who can’t be bothered to toe the line on the latest cultural fad. For this, I think we deserve some gratitude. I certainly don’t expect it from the thankless lot we now have to contend with, but it’s in order all the same.
In due time, I suspect that some “feminists” will even start questioning the wisdom of stuffing our universities full of young women who will gain no benefit from it.