By Rod Van Mechelen
The psychic burden under which women function is weighted by a deep belief, borne out by ample evidence, that our attractiveness to men, our sexual desirability, is in direct proportion to our ability to play the victim. -- Susan Brownmiller, Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape
To be a woman is to be a victim?
1993 Bellevue, Wash. - Pop-feminists believe that, by definition, women are victims (Women on Rape, Jane Dowdeswell, p 17) and men are predators. (Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape, Susan Brownmiller, p 6) Since women are victims, they cannot be villains, and as men are the villains, they cannot be victims. In this way, pop-feminists have pre-defined the gender-issues discussion as a win-lose situation, and they clearly intend to win.
Promoting the idea women are victims and men are predators, they have become the new oppressors, using their victim status to call upon the few men in power, such as the police, politicians, judges and, for brief bits of time, jurors, to heed their every complaint. What most men don't realize, however, is that women often complain for fun. (You Just Don't Understand, Ballantine Books Edition, June 1991, Deborah Tannen, Ph.D., p 254)
This means women are now in a position to make a sport out of using the system to ruin men's lives. With pop-feminists asserting that everything from admiring glances to consensual sex is rape, they can destroy men's lives with a word. (Will William Kennedy Smith's life ever be the same after the malicious charges of rape thrust him into the national news?) What this reveals is that we often take women's casual complaints too seriously.
Equal Opportunity Sex?
One common complaint is that women today have been victimized by men for thousands of years. I can't speak for other men on this, but I haven't been here that long. Thus, I should be able to claim innocence. According to Catharine MacKinnon, however, I'm guilty of victimizing women by being socialized differently. (Adhering To Male Standards Is Not Feminism, Colman McCarthy, The Seattle Times, March 6, 1992)
Men are often socialized to have a "Can Do" attitude, while women are socialized to be dependent. Consequently, MacKinnon believes women are victims of this socialization and deserve help because they are at greater social disadvantage in the business world. There is a certain logic to this that appeals to the popular press, but if their logic is valid then men have a grand case for demanding legislation providing equal opportunity sex.
The Victorian era, which extended well into the first part of this century and strongly influences our attitudes today, teaches us to feel that sex is a little dirty and that lowly men are driven by their gonads and, therefore, are morally inferior to women. Hence, men must ask, earn, beg, or whine for sex from women. This forces most men to be sexually needy.
Since women are socialized to be sexually independent, while men are socialized for sexual dependence, by pop-feminist logic that means women sexually victimize men. Seems a little silly, doesn't it.
In any argument, sometimes you win by accepting the absurd conclusions of your opponent's logic. The pinciple is called reductio ad absurdum, or reduction to absurdity. Pop-feminist arguments are exceptionally vulnerable to this. Realistically, men are neither more nor less deserving of help obtaining equal sexual opportunity than women are of obtaining equal economic opportunity. But if we are going to help women without helping men, then who is victimizing whom?
Rod Van Mechelen