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Hullabaloo


Thursday, June 20, 2013

 
Criminalizing male sexuality

by digby

I get a fair amount of this sort of thing in email from disgruntled men who are unhappy at being held to account for their boorish, violent and opportunistic behavior toward women.  But it's rarely quite this crude:
Conservative commentator James Taranto, in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal on Monday night, detailed a set of allegations of sexual assault in the military before concluding that they amounted to a “he-said/she-said dispute” that only revealed “a political campaign against sexual assault in the military that shows signs of becoming an effort to criminalize male sexuality.” All of it, he argues, amounts to a “war on men.”
[...]
Taranto’s greivances — which are simply against a changing culture that is starting to hold men accountable for treating women like objects — came through in his piece. And they had nothing to do with McCaskill’s, or Helms:
It’s fair to say that Capt. Herrera seems to have a tendency toward sexual recklessness. Perhaps that makes him unsuitable to serve as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. But his accusers acted recklessly too. The presumption that reckless men are criminals while reckless women are victims makes a mockery of any notion that the sexes are equal.
What’s worse, Taranto followed up his op-ed with an appearance on Wall Street Journal’s video channel, where he argued that “female sexual freedom” is responsible for a “war on men,” and that war is embodied in allegations of sexual assault. During that interview, he also said that a woman alleging assault and a man denying it “differed… on whether she consented.” Taranto also cast doubt on the report because someone present “didn’t even hear this going on.”

“What does female sexual freedom mean?” Taranto added, “It means, for this woman, that she had the freedom to get drunk and get in the back seat of a car with this guy.”

I guess the transcribers left off the last part: ... get in the back sear of a car with this guy and not be raped. There's no double standard and it has absolutely nothing to do with "female sexual freedom." The guy had the very same right to get drunk, get in the back of a car and not be raped. In fact, everyone has a right to do pretty much anything and not be raped.

This idea of what constitutes consent is very difficult for some people, usually men, to understand. I don't know why. It's very simple: every person's body belongs to them. They do not ever give it away simply by being in a position in which another person wants it and so they have to give it.

Trying to root out rape and sexual harrassment in he military is only "criminalizing male sexuality" if you assume that men are all naturally prone to rape and sexual harrassment. That says more about the person saying it than it does about men in general, the vast majority of whom treat women as human beings not rape objects.

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