‘Shut Up, Because Rape’ by THE OTHER McCAIN
The rhetoric about sexual assault emanating from college and university campuses has confused many people who have not realized how theexaggerated claims of a “rape epidemic” are related to the larger objectives of radical feminism. Every day, the headlines bring reports of fresh outrages, including this one from Cornell University:
Julius Kairey, an openly conservative student columnist for the Cornell Daily Sun campus newspaper, was viciously smeared in a recent mass public attack, with fliers spread around the Ivy League university that unfairly and inaccurately labeled him a “Racist Rape Apologist.” . . .
The ad hominem attack is likely drawn from a few columns written by Kairey, notably “The Truth About ‘Rape Culture’,” published in April, which questioned the stats behind the so-called campus rape epidemic and defended due process for those accused of sexual assault; and more recently “Should California Redefine Campus Sexual Assault?” published last Thursday, when the fliers were discovered.
California’s new law has made this a subject of widespread interest:
This weekend, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that makes universities redefine consensual sex. From now on, students must effectively obtain the “affirmative consent” of their partners, which must be “ongoing” every step of the way. Those accused of violating the consent rule will be judged on the preponderance of the evidence. Perpetrators face suspension or expulsion, and universities face heavy penalties for failure to enforce. The new measure is designed to stem a tidal wave of rape on campus that, in fact, does not exist. (Violent crime, including sexual assault, has been in decline for 20 years.) Even so, universities across North America have set up vast new administrative apparatuses to deal with the crisis. Many of them have also expanded the meaning of “sexual violence” to include anything that makes you feel bad.
To anyone following the news, it is obvious enough that the Sex Police are also the Thought Police; their aim is not merely to modify student sexual behavior, but also to control the way students talk about sex, as a means of changing how students think about sex. Increasingly, words are classified as sexual assault:
Examples of abuse listed on the University of Michigan’s domestic violence awareness website say “sexual violence” includes “withholding sex and affection” and “discounting the partner’s feelings regarding sex” — definitions that have come under fire by some men’s rights activists. The terms, found under the heading “definitions,” also suggest verbal or psychological abuse include: “insulting the partner; ignoring the partner’s feelings; withholding approval as a form of punishment; yelling at the partner; labeling the partner with terms like crazy [and] stupid.” . . . Currently the higher education world is gripped by the so-called campus rape culture, in which the widely touted yet largely unsubstantiated stat that one in five women will be sexually assaulted or raped while in college is oft repeated during mandated sexual assault seminars at universities nationwide.
Expanding the definition of “violence” to include commonplace non-violent words and actions is not a gender-neutral enterprise. Janet Bloomfield of A Voice For Men explained to the College Fix: “Normal relationship behaviors are pathologized and framed as abuse when MEN do them. . . . I am unaware of a single case in which the accused student is a woman and the victim is a man.”
The control centers of this Orwellian project are the departments of Women’s Studies, where radical professors indoctrinate students in an anti-male/anti-heterosexual ideology. Fewer than 1-in-20 U.S. college students ever enroll in Women’s Studies courses. The total annual enrollment in these programs (including students who take just one introductory class as an elective) was fewer than 90,000 during the 2005-06 school year, according to the National Women’s Studies Association. Scattered across the country in some 900 programs, the number of Women’s Studies majors was only 4,300, while 10,500 were minoring in the subject.
Socially Constructing an Intellectual Racket
The small number of students in these programs, however, does not reflect the oversized influence exercised within the university by young feminist acolytes and the ideologues who instruct them. Women’s Studies is an interdisciplinary field, where courses are taught by faculty from other departments. The professor of Women’s Studies commonly has a Ph.D. in psychology, sociology, political science, history, literature or some other area of the humanities and social sciences. Thus, the professor who is teaching radical “gender theory” in a Women’s Studies class on Tuesday will be teaching an introductory psychology class on Wednesday. The interdisciplinary nature of these programs means that feminist ideology bleeds over from Women’s Studies into other fields, permeating the curriculum by a process of intellectual osmosis.
To put it bluntly, Women’s Studies is a racket. Surveying the curricula vitae of faculty, one sees how the proliferation of feminist academic journals (and low standards of scholarship) enable younger faculty to comply with the “publish or perish” mandate that can make the difference between grabbing a coveted tenure-track position or being relegated to the lowly ranks of itinerant adjunct instructors. Much of feminist “research” is described as qualitative, as opposed toquantitative, so that surveys of women talking about their feelings and experiences are more common than studies that require the measurement of actual data. Much of what is counted as “research” by Women’s Studies faculty — the academic publications by which their careers are evaluated — is not really research at all. Essays that consist primarily of comparing approaches of different feminist writers to a topic, and deriving from the comparison some theoretical synthesis, are a common product of the Women’s Studies “research” factories.
Scholars and laymen alike may wish to scrutinize, for example, the 2008 Ph.D. dissertation of Janice Mary Habarth, “Thinking ‘Straight’: Heteronormativity and Associated Outcomes Across Sexual Orientation.” Particular attention should be paid to her sources, a few of which I list here to provide readers a general idea:
Allen, D.J. (2001). The role of personality and defense mechanisms in the adjustment to a homosexual identity.Journal of Homosexuality, 42, 45-62. Altemeyer, B. (1988). Enemies of freedom: Understanding right-wing authoritarianism. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Baumeister, R.F. (2000). Gender differences in erotic plasticity: The female sex drive as socially flexible and responsive. Psychological Bulletin, 126, 347-374. Butler, J.C. (2000). Personality and emotional correlates of right-wing authoritarianism. Social Behavior and Personality, 28, 1-14. Cole, E.R., Zucker, A.N., & Ostrove, J.M. (1998). Political participation and feminist consciousness among women activists of the 1960s. Political Psychology, 19, 349-371. Duncan, L.E., Peterson, B.E., & Winter, D.G. (1997).Authoritarianism and gender roles: Toward a psychological analysis of hegemonic relationships.Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 41-49. Elia, J.P. (2003). Queering relationships: Toward a paradigmatic shift. Journal of Homosexuality, 45, 61-86. Foucault, M. (1978). The history of sexuality. New York: Pantheon Books. Jackson, S. (2006). Gender, sexuality and heterosexuality: The complexity (and limits) of heteronormativity. Feminist Theory, 7, 105-121. Jost, J.T., Glaser, J., Kruglanski, A.W., & Sulloway, F.J. (2003).Political conservatism as motivated social cognition.Psychological Bulletin, 129, 339-375. Kitzinger, C. (2005). Heteronormativity in action: Reproducing the heterosexual nuclear family in after-hours medical calls. Social Problems, 52, 477-498. Mohanty, C.T. (1992). Feminist encounters: Locating the politics of experience. In A. Phillips & M. Barrett (Eds.),Destabilizing theory: Contemporary feminist debates (pp. 74-92). Cambridge: Polity Press. Rich, A. (1980). Compulsory heterosexuality and lesbian existence. Signs, 4, 631-660. Rust, P.C. (1997). ‘Coming out’ in the age of social constructionism: Sexual identity formation among lesbian and bisexual women. Journal of Lesbian Studies, 1, 25-54 Unger, R.K. (1998). Resisting gender: Twenty-five years of feminist psychology. London: Sage Publications Ltd. Vicinuns, M. (1989). They wonder to which sex they belong: The historical roots of the modern lesbian identity. In D. Altman, et al (Eds.), Homosexuality, which homosexuality? International Conference on Gay & Lesbian Studies (pp.171-198). London: GMP Publishers.
These items are culled from a list of approximately 150 sources cited in this dissertation submitted by Habarth to obtain a doctorate in Psychology and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. What does this tell us? Among other things, it tells us that there is a vast literature of such “research” that has steadily accumulated over the years in academic publications the non-specialist never heard of, journals whose standards of scholarship may be less important than their political biases. The Journal of Lesbian Studies, the Journal of Homosexuality,Feminist Theory, Social Behavior and Personality – you’re not going to find copies of these publications in the magazine racks at your local pharmacy. It is in the pages of such academic journals, however, that scholar/activists build the intellectual infrastructure of social change, and the reader probably shares my suspicion that the editors of these journals did not vote for Mitt Romney in 2012.
The biases of Women’s Studies programs can be ascertained merely by glancing at the titles of books and journal articles in the bibliographies of dissertations. Readers may wonder how Janice Habarth — and now that’s Doctor Habarth to you, ignorant peasant – has fared in the six years since she submitted her dissertation.
Dr. Janice Habarth is an Assistant Professor for the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at Palo Alto University. She leads a student research group that investigates topics related to Personality and Social Contexts of Health. During the 2013-14 academic year, she is also acting director and supervisor for the Inner Resources Center supplemental practicum run through the Kurt and Barbara Gronowski Center. Dr. Habarth is co-director (with Dr. Teceta Tormala) of the PAU Ph.D. Academic Advising Center (PAAC), which helps students navigate the Ph.D. curriculum and achieve milestones such as application to research groups during the first year. She is also a principal investigator through the Center for LGBTQ Evidence-Based Applied Research (CLEAR), which conducts research to directly impact the mental health and wellbeing of LGBT individuals and their families. . . .
Dr. Habarth’s ongoing research interests include personality (tolerance of ambiguity); heteronormative attitudes and beliefs (including measure development); and health psychology (clinician wellness, mindfulness interventions).
How many times is this process replicated annually? How many Ph.D.s are awarded each year on the basis of tendentious research like this? What is the total output of publications — books, articles, op-ed columns, blog posts and so forth — by the credentialed experts whose academic authority is created through this process? How many students are mentored by these academic activists? Exactly how large, in other words, is the influence of Women’s Studies within academia? How big is the “intellectual footprint” of radical feminism, and how much does this activism shape the climate on campus?
No one has compiled and analyzed the quantitative data necessary to answer those questions, yet we can study the qualitative content of their anti-male/anti-heterosexual rhetoric:
Essential Feminist Quotes: ‘Most Women Have to Be Coerced into Heterosexuality’
Essential Feminist Quotes: ‘Rapists Serve All Men by Enforcing Male Supremacy’
Essential Feminist Quotes: ‘Lesbianism and Feminism Have Been Coterminous’
What we are looking at, I contend, is not a conspiracy, but rather aconsensus within academic feminism, a shared belief system developed within an academic community that has been, as the gender theorist would say, socially constructed. When the first Women’s Studies programs were established in the 1970s, their faculties were cobbled together in an ad hoc manner, as women who already held advanced degrees — including female professors who had established scholarly careers before the onset of the Women’s Liberation movement in the late 1960s — were hired (or assigned from other departments) to teach Women’s Studies classes. Many of these women were married and, however sympathetic they may have been with the feminist cause, few of them could have been called “radical feminists.” Still fewer, in the original faculties of Women’s Studies, were lesbians.
From ‘Lavender Menace’ to ‘Lesbian Chic’
Although militant lesbians like Rita Mae Brown, Artemis March, Karla Jay and Ellen Shumsky had been foremost among the radical feminists of the late ’60s and early ’70s, their feminism was not generally the feminism of the established female academics who became the first faculty of Women’s Studies departments. This was noted early, and with much bitterness, by the radical lesbian minority in the burgeoning field.
At the 1980 conference of the National Women’s Studies Association, lesbian Michigan State University Professor Marilyn Frye complained of a “predominance of heterosexual perspective, values, commitments, thought and vision.” Professor Frye lamented as “deeply disappointing” what she called the “pervasively heterosexual character of women’s studies.” These complaints recurred occasionally for many years. No matter how many lesbians were hired to teach Women’s Studies, it was never enough to satisfy the radicals who, to all intents and purposes, were committed to the abolition of heterosexuality, if not indeed the abolition of men. (In 1981, San Francisco Sate University Professor Sally Miller Gearhart notoriously proposed to reduce males to 10% of the population.) Despite their own successes, lesbian professors feared they were losing the war against heterosexual feminism within Women’s Studies. In her introduction to a 1997 book she edited (Cross Purposes: Lesbians, Feminists, and the Limits of Alliance), Old Dominion University Professor Dana Heller wrote:
[In the late 1980s] I had become increasingly frustrated with the unquestioned assumption of a normative female heterosexuality that informed much of the women’s studies research and teaching at the southern university where I had recently taken a job. As a new assistant professor of women’s literature and feminist literary theory, and as the only ‘out’ lesbian faculty member in the college, I frequently found myself at odds with feminist colleagues who were either reluctant to address sexual differences, let alone lesbian differences, or who would address lesbianism as a “separate but equal” category, a distant relation of feminism whose significance remained tied to a subjective process of “coming out” . . .
Such was the status quo of Women’s Studies prior to the 1990s. Whatever their representation within the field, lesbian professors were certain there needed to be more of them, and that their perspectives, their interests and their politics deserved greater attention in the curriculum. So as the older heterosexual Women’s Studies professors — the ones who had been recruited from existing female faculty in the 1970s — began to retire, and as younger lesbian professors advanced up the academic ladder, who do you suppose was favored in the hiring process of junior faculty in Women’s Studies programs?
On college campuses, lesbianism became less important as a sexual preference than as a professional resumé-enhancer. By the late 1990s, former Women’s Studies professor Daphne Patai was able to demonstrate the prevalence within academic feminism of a phenomenon she called “heterophobia.” In popular culture, this hostility to heterosexuality appeared with a more glamorous (and usually smiling) face: Lesbian Chic was suddenly born.
What was once shockingly radical now seems to have become ubiquitous. Perhaps few nowadays are surprised when an elite school like Emory University (annual tuition $45,008) considers it good public relations tolist its “LGBT” faculty and staff on a web page. Nor are we surprised that Emory’s list includes, as self-proclaimed lesbians, both the Program Director (Anne Rector) and the Director of Student Affairs (Deb Floyd) at Emory Law School. This is clever academic marketing in 21st-century America: Want to be a lesbian lawyer? Emory is the place to go! Also among the 20 self-described lesbians at Emory is Patricia Del Rey, an adjunct professor of Women’s Studies, while the 11 women on the university’s faculty and staff who prefer the label “queer” include Lynne Huffer, a professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Dona Yarbrough, director of the Center for Women at Emory. The trend so obvious at Emory is apparent at many other colleges and universities, especially in the departments of Women’s Studies.
If there are still any heterosexual feminists teaching Women’s Studies, they have been meekly tolerant as their own preference is routinely stigmatized — and their own male partners are universally demonized – by their militant lesbian academic peers. In the feminist discourse that now prevails on American campuses, heterosexual men only appear as oppressors, abusers and rapists. The possibility that a man and woman might fall in love with each other and form a relationship characterized by mutual voluntary cooperation? No Women’s Studies major could believe such a male-supremacist “myth.”
Still less does any academic feminist believe that teenage girls who get drunk at college parties do so with the specific purpose of hooking up with whatever college boy might be drunk enough to give them an evening of hedonistic heterosexual passion. So if the freshman girl wakes up with a crushing hangover the next morning, in bed with a creep she barely knows and fuzzy memories of what they did the night before, you can be sure that her regrets will be interpreted — theorized, as the professors would say — as victimhood, within the prevailing campus climate of feminist hysteria about a “rape epidemic.”
Feminism: Winning Through Intimidation
Only a complete fool (or a Women’s Studies major, or Joe Biden) could believe the statistics manufactured by feminists to support their claim that 1-in-5 female college students will be raped during the four years between freshman orientation and graduation. And yet anyone who tries to speak from a perspective of facts and logic about the realities of sex on campus is denounced as “slut-shaming” and “victim-blaming” or, like Cornell’s Julius Kairey, branded a “rape apologist.”
What the rhetoric about sexual assault on college campuses really represents is a continuation of radical feminism’s war on human nature. Despite four decades of feminist activism, the vast majority of American women (97.7%) continue to be heterosexual and, quite naturally, thesenormal women continue to reject feminism’s anti-male/anti-heterosexual belief system.
Feminist theory cannot explain the persistence of normal women’s sexual attraction to men, yet the possibility that feminist theory is wrong . . .
Well, to suggest this is to provoke an existential crisis for radical lesbians who have convinced themselves that gender is a social construct and“compulsory heterosexuality” is imposed on women by the patriarchy.
By constantly yelling about rape, feminists simultaneously promote their core ideology (i.e., males are violent oppressors) and intimidate their critics, who are afraid to seem unsympathetic to actual victims. The purpose and effect of feminism’s phony “rape epidemic” discourse is to silence all discussion that doesn’t conform to feminist ideology, as I explained last year about the “SlutWalk” movement:
To distill their rhetoric to its totalitarian essence: “Shut up, because rape.” . . . [T]he leaders of the movement have a radical ideology they take very seriously, and that ideology is sufficiently influential that anyone who criticizes it risks condemnation as being anti-woman, or even pro-rape.
Isn’t it time to stop running scared from these radicals? Isn’t it time to confront them, to expose who they really are and what they really want?
Feminists don’t want “equality.” They want uncontested power.
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