Woman =/= Victim

rape

This is being touted around as some kind of profound and insightful truth. It’s not. It’s bollocks. I’ve lived on this planet for longer than I’m prepared to admit here and have never felt that way (despite having had to fend off a fair amount of unwanted attention in my time). Moreover, I cannot agree with the assumption that all heterosexual men make forceful and unwanted advances to women (any more than all homosexual males lurk in the backs of taxis and pounce on younger men). In both cases, this applies to a very small and somewhat irritating minority; most men are capable of reading the situation correctly, or of backing off quickly when they realize they’ve made a mistake. Things like this that propagate the idea of woman-as-victim really do get my goat. There are also a few other moral issues here. The teacher or reading group leader, whom we must assume to be a supposedly responsible adult, learns that one of her charges has at some point been on the receiving end of unwanted advances from what we infer to be an older and stronger person of the same sex. Admitting this may have been traumatic in itself for the boy, and yet — rather than offer support and understanding — the ‘responsible adult’ chooses to mock him and use his experience as an excuse for a misandrous rant about sexual harassment. The group is a mixed one. In all probability, its male and female members have co-existed harmoniously until now. There may have been some horseplay and flirting, but nothing unexpected or undesirable amongst this demographic. Suddenly, though, the girls will start to feel threatened when they probably had no such misgivings until their teacher suggested that all men in car parks are not really leaving or collecting their vehicles, but lurking with malicious intent… Isn’t feminism supposed to be all about empowering women, not making us feel defenceless?

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