Tuesday, February 11, 2014

No Means No

It isn't new, far from it. We've seen it happen time and time again. And we're seeing even more of it now.

We saw it happen to Assembly Member Lucy Flores (D-North Las Vegas) last year. We saw it happen to Sandra Fluke two years ago. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R) went there last month. And Wall Street Journal columnist James Toranto is going there today.

Working off a piece in the New York Times, Taranto highlighted an incident last year at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where a young man named Matt Martel prevented his intoxicated male friend from sleeping with a drunk female student. The young woman thanked Martel the next day, which apparently left Taranto baffled.

Taranto just doesn't think men and women — physical disparities, be damned — should be treated differently in such cases if both parties are drunk.

Taranto is a reliable soldier in what he's called the "war on men." He wrote last June that Democrats such as Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) were trying to "criminalize male sexuality" in their efforts to eliminate sexual assault from the military. McCaskill promptly shot back at Taranto's "bizarre and deeply out of touch understanding of sexual assault."

Except that James Toranto does believe men should be treated differently. He obviously doesn't support efforts to "criminalize male sexuality". And as long as a woman is also drunk, a drunk man has free reign to "do what he wants" with those "blurred lines".

Once again, we're seeing how slut shaming is used to silence those who criticize Rape Culture and its pernicious infiltration into mainstream culture. "Oh, but she wanted it! She was drunk. And she was probably scantily clad as well. And she likely has sex with lots of men all the time. She wanted it, so how dare she complain!"

Here's an easy rule of thumb when it comes to determining rape: No means no. If someone has not provided consent, then forcing oneself onto that person is rape. It's really that simple.

This is why it's incredibly difficult to take seriously those G-O-TEA politicians when they claim there's no War on Women. Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has even gone as far as claim Democrats have a "woman problem". And why's that? Oh, he's rehashing then President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky. No, we're not even kidding.

Never mind the G-O-TEA's obsession with "legitimate rape". Never mind their campaign to kill the Violence Against Women Act. And never mind the ongoing G-O-TEA attacks on women's reproductive health care. No, the real threat to American women is Hillary Clinton, her husband, and the affair she drove him into committing nearly two decades ago. (Obviously, we're kidding here. #snark)

Today, James Toranto and Rand Paul reminded us that the War on Women still rages on. According to their army of G-O-TEA Culture Warriors, consensual extramarital sex threatens to destroy the world... But rape "isn't really rape" if both parties are drunk. They've yet to understand that at the end of the day, no means no.

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