Feminism, Top Stories, Women

The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is for Good Women to Do Nothing

In my pre-feminist days, sexual harassment and rape were so common, so pervasive, so accepted, that they were virtually invisible. The shame clung to the victim or to the whistle-blower; the abuser almost never experienced any consequences for his actions. In fact, he was rarely named and when he was all ranks closed to protect him and to destroy his accuser.

Back then, people had very stereotypical ideas about who a rapist might be. He was a monster, a stranger, a loser—not the boy next door, not one’s husband or boyfriend, definitely not a wealthy celebrity, a diplomat, or the employer of hundreds.

Like most young women in the 1950s and 1960s, I was sexually harassed, almost every day, certainly a few times every week—by strangers on the street, men on trains and in movie theaters, employers, neighbors, and professors. Like others of my generation, I was bred to accept it, keep quiet about it, and blame myself if something about it bothered me. For years I did this, until the feminist movement in the late 1960s allowed me to analyze my fate in feminist terms.

In 1951, photographer Ruth Orkin shot a street scene in Italy in black-and-white in which at least 15 men are captured leering at one lone American girl in a long peasant skirt and sandals. Her expression is at once controlled, trapped, terrified. There are men behind her, on either side of her, men awaiting her. The photo is well known.

Orkin’s photo is a scene of street harassment. It understates the problem. Over the years, I have traveled in Italy; what happens is far worse than what we see in the photo. I have seen Italian men literally risk life and limb to make their appreciation known to a woman. They half fall out of windows, dash into traffic. They are operatic, outrageous, hot-blooded, infantile—and a royal pain in the ass.

In my time, catcalls, smacking noises, and offers of money were what constituted “the outside world” for most unaccompanied young women. I could not sit on a park bench and gaze at a tree, listen to a soft rain fall, stand before a magnificent painting for the first time, or read a book in a café without being interrupted, or without fearing I might be interrupted by some male stranger. Only in retrospect do I understand that what I once experienced as reality “heightened” was, in effect, reality narrowed.

I felt no danger. I felt invincible. I wanted to be as free, sexually, as boys were. I hadn’t a clue that a double standard existed that would penalize me for doing the exact same thing as boys did.

I always had a job after school; my family needed the money. During college I waited tables as part of my financial aid package. On winter and summer breaks I worked as a waitress and as a camp counselor. I have memories of being sexually harassed by one male employer after another when I was a teenager and when I worked as a waitress in Greenwich Village.

As every woman knows, hell hath no fury like a man spurned.

For example, in the late 1960s, after we had had dinner together, the head of a department at a prestigious medical school tried to rape me. I was a graduate student and we’d met at his suggestion (I’m guilty, I confess: I went, I ate) to discuss how he could assist me in getting my research funded. In the decidedly non-amorous scuffle that ensued, I broke one of his ribs, and although I helped him to a nearby hospital, he never helped me get my research funded.

In the early 1970s a professor arrived to rate my college’s curriculum for a national review board. I admit it; I did it again: I accepted his invitation to a dinner party with well-known intellectuals and their wives. My equally ambitious heterosexual male counterparts also accepted dinner invitations but they didn’t have to face sexual harassment at the hands of their heterosexual mentors. I had the audacity to reject this professor’s every subsequent social and sexual advance. He retaliated by arranging for the publication of a scathing review of my first book, Women and Madness.

Neither of these professors were overcome with love for me. They treated me as they did because I was a woman.

It was nothing personal. Prejudice rarely is.

In 1975, the feminist journalist Lin Farley first used the phrase “sexual harassment” when she testified before the New York City Human Rights Commission. Because of all the media coverage, it became known both nationally and globally. And in 1978, Farley published Sexual Shakedown: The Sexual Harassment of Women on the Job.

It changed nothing. It did not help that our radical analyses were attacked and then disappeared from the academic canon and in the media as well. In any event, even a high profile, digitally powered #MeToo Movement has been unable to abolish the global epidemic of sexual violence.

Ninety-nine percent of sexual predators are male—but not all men are sexual predators. Such predators have gotten away with pedophilia, sexual harassment and rape, mainly of girls and women, but also of boys and men.

Nevertheless, those women and men brave enough to accuse sexual predators of their crimes have not been believed and/or have been blamed and shamed. I therefore hesitate to focus on the ways in which women also support sexual predators.

But they do.

The phenomenon of cowardly bystanders and relentless opportunists also describes human behavior in genocides and massacres—and the silence, inaction, and active collaboration of supposedly “good” people haunts survivors even more than the evil deeds of “bad” people.

Being sexually harassed and raped by your employer—when you need to keep the job—consigns a woman to a special circle of hell.

*  *  *

In 1979, a high ranking diplomat at the United Nations attended a reading I gave. He asked me to propose a project and invited me to an evening he was hosting for J.H. Plumb, the distinguished British historian. I then told the diplomat that I wanted to organize an international feminist conference consisting of feminists who had already achieved some level of power or recognition in their countries.

We negotiated my employment contract for months. Then, on Christmas Day, four days after we signed my contract, my bell rang. It was just after midnight. I opened the door and my six-foot employer barged in. He was drunk. He declared his love for me, said he had waited long enough, and then, despite my most ferocious efforts, he raped me.

I did not scream. My toddler son was sleeping in the next room. I gritted my teeth and bore it. I thought about how a feminist government might handle rape. Life in prison? Execution? Radical rehabilitation?

I wanted to call the police, but he had diplomatic immunity. I considered quitting. But I wasn’t going to allow this man to drive me off my field of dreams. Instead, I chose to endure his subsequent campaign of hostile intimidation. All I could do proactively was make sure I was never alone with him again and hope for feminist support and solidarity. Otherwise I was helpless. Vulnerable.

The following day I told a close friend (whom I had hired to work with me on this UN project) and my assistant what had happened.

And then—I carried on. Seven months later, at the conference in Oslo, my drunken rapist harassed and frightened at least four other women. At that point, I suggested we all confront him. My American feminist friend, whom I had invited to Oslo, cooled out this potential (and totally private) confrontation because my rapist was a black African man. Although two black African women had joined us, my fine feminist friend argued that white American feminists would “look bad” if we accused a black man of a crime.

And then, to my amazement, she buddied up with my rapist and took my place in all subsequent UN-heightened activities including writing the Introduction to the UN Proceedings of the Oslo Conference, future anthologies, and further international conferences.

Neat trick.

There I was in early 1980 without any legal way to allege either rape or sexual harassment, and my illusions about feminist sisterhood (not about the feminist analysis of harassment and rape) had just been radically challenged. I had been treated the way those who accuse their fathers of incest are treated by their mothers who disbelieve their stories and then ostracize them for telling.

In 1983, I finally suggested a feminist tribunal behind closed doors. I did not want this man to go to his grave thinking he could divide the likes of us. I composed a 50-page document in which I exhaustively described what had happened and sent it around.

Incredibly, at first my feminist allies said that they’d assumed I’d had an affair with my rapist. Then they pointed out that few feminists would have read the Proceedings and anyway, time had moved on.

Still, my high profile feminist allies promised to stand by my side—as they would do later on behalf of Anita Hill—but they never did. We never confronted my rapist together while he was still alive.

They also promised to write and tell the Oslo conference participants exactly what had happened. That, too, was a promise never kept.

I was devastated and demoralized, but I carried on. However, this betrayal and the failure of my feminist friends and allies to do the right thing has haunted me ever since.

It was also a gift because it led to my interviewing other women about envy, competition, sneakiness, rumor-mongering, and other forms of “indirect” woman-on-woman “aggression.” Some feminists warned me not to publish anything on this subject because “the men would use it against us.” They also asked: “Are you going to name names?”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” I said. “If I did, I’d have to publish the entire phone book.”

Eventually, in 2002, I published a book titled Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman. In it, I told a modified version of this episode without naming any of the women in question. Some feminists still blamed me for not disguising the cast of characters well enough. Years later, some feminists, even those who had warned me against publishing at all, told me that what I was writing about was very important, that it was happening to them, and that I should have published it sooner.

I finally did “name names” in my more thoughtful analysis of this episode in my 2018 book, A Politically Incorrect Feminist, which may be why it was never reviewed in the feminist, left-feminist, or mainstream media. This is amazing given that many of my books had received front page reviews in the Washington Post and the New York Times; that I’d been reviewed all across the country and in Europe, South America, and Australia, in both left-wing, feminist, and right-wing media. I’d appeared on the cover of the NYT, been interviewed there often, and had published op-eds and letters in their pages over the years.

It was as if I’d never spoken, had never lived the life of a public intellectual or feminist leader.

*   *   *

Important matters are always complicated and cannot be resolved, or even properly understood, by politically correct sloganeering.

Some women do lie about being raped for reasons of revenge or greed. Some women do so because they’re mentally ill.

And then there are all the ways in which some women opportunistically profit by assisting male sexual predators.

Some women profit economically from enticing and controlling vulnerable female prey—think of the role some women allegedly played for recidivist sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein.

For twisted psychological reasons, not involving economic survival, some women help “season” and control the Master’s vulnerable prey—think of Keith Raniere’s Nxivm sex slave cult and his female enforcers. There were many, including actresses, heiresses, and the lost souls whom they enticed and essentially pimped to Raniere.

Think of the late and not lamented Al-Baghdadi whose many wives served him as he repeatedly raped and murdered civilians and little girls. Think of all the ISIS wives who tormented and controlled their barbarian husbands’ infidel sex slaves, including female children; or the ethnic Arab Muslim Sudanese women who sang as their men publicly gang-raped mainly black African children and women.

Think of the role played by female pimps and brothel Madams whose names are too numerous to mention. Here, though, their very lives, not their reputations or careers, are often on the line. If they refuse to do this for the trafficker and pimp, they may face torture, even death.

In addition, American police continue to disbelieve, blame, and ostracize female rape victims. In 2019, The Atlantic reported that more than 200,000 rape kits—evidence of rapes that included DNA samples—remained untested in cities across the country. In Detroit alone, at least 11,341 rape kits had never been tested over a 30-year period. When some rape kits were finally tested for DNA and then matched to various data banks, both serial killers and serial rapists were quickly discovered—men who had gone on to rape again and again.

In one 2019 case in Kansas, a woman was raped but did not want to report it. However, she did go to the police—who then chose to investigate her, not her alleged rapist, for filing a false report. According to her attorneys:

The police violated almost every tenet of trauma-informed practices during this investigation by telling our client to think of her assailant’s reputation, suggesting that our client merely regretted what she had done, and repeatedly misrepresenting the status of her case. All told, they investigated our client’s rape for less than two hours. That’s how long it took them to conclude that our client had ‘fabricated’ being raped.

It is also true that most allegations of sexual harassment on the job have been disbelieved and covered up. Women have lost their jobs and their careers for pursuing such claims. They still do. Many have been gagged by non-disclosure agreements. Women in non-Western countries have risked shame, jail, (Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia) and even death (Bangladesh) for reporting rape and sexual harassment. At the very least, they are not believed.

Unfortunately, women also disbelieve women when they report sexual harassment and sexual assault. For years now, prosecutors have not wanted women on the jury in rape cases or in cases in which a battered woman finally killed her batterer. Why? Because according to legal researcher Lynn Schafran, men and women, including women judges and jurors, “avoid acknowledging their own vulnerability by blaming the victim. This distancing mechanism operates particularly in non-stranger rape cases, because it is acknowledging the likelihood of these crimes that women jurors feel most at risk.”

Nevertheless, many feminists believe that women are more compassionate and more moral than men—and that they’re “sisterly” to each other as well. Alternatively, some feminists insist that since women are so oppressed, we have no agency. These theories are partly true but are not always applicable.

So why was I haunted? Women in war zones are gang-raped as a way of driving them and their families out of their minds. Compared to all the evil and cruelty in the world, this single rape, this particular workplace harassment, this feminist betrayal of trust seemed to pale in comparison.

I think it’s because when the people we trust betray us, we’re wounded more deeply than we can be at the hands of strangers. When a woman finds a band of sisters who proclaim that we are all for one and one for all, what do you do when it turns out not to be true, when the secular Goddess fails?

Imagine being part of a movement that’s on record as being against sexual violence and on record as believing the victim; a movement that earned its credibility and enormous following for holding precisely these views. Imagine finding out that some feminist leaders are as power-hungry as men and as invested in covering up their small, scorched-earth policies. Like all politicians, they’ll sacrifice one principle (believe the woman who says she was raped), for another (back the man who pays well or the political party that will keep abortion legal).

What was the big deal, really?

Well, for starters: I never heard a single word from any one of the women who participated in “my” UN conference—not a word since the summer of 1980 until today, as of this writing. That is a haunting silence.

For another: I never again spoke to the feminist friend who’d chosen my rapist and access to his power over feminist principles or friendship with me. I did speak to three of the other feminists whom I’d invited to my failed feminist tribunal—but over the years, we’ve drifted apart.

A dear friend, a feminist author and health activist, taught me that being a feminist leader cannot save us from what can happen to any woman. She said that her third husband beat her very badly—he broke bones. She said she kept this a secret until she feared that her life might be in danger, at which point she turned to me and to a lawyer.

This story broke my heart. This woman had left her husband and faced reduced circumstances with courage and without complaint. But her longtime friend and ally—a major feminist leader—began socializing with the ex-husband after their divorce, even after the battered feminist made her allegations public. Of course, her ex-husband denied having beaten her.

My friend suffered from this feminist betrayal more than from the battering itself. This was the only time I ever saw her get angry. “People will think I’m making it up if someone, who was my friend, is hanging out with him,” she said.

*  *  *

Today, many men are both unjustifiably and justifiably angry about the #MeToo movement and about the possibility of being falsely accused.

Innocent men—or at least men who should be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law—are up in arms about being found guilty by accusation alone. Reputations have been ruined by headlines, and jobs lost. When I googled “Being Fired Over Sexual Harassment” the top search engine suggestion was to look for “How to Get a Job After Being Fired for Harassment.”

Sexual predators do not want exposure, accountability, or civil or criminal punishment. Many claim “sex addiction” is a mental illness that they cannot control and promise to enter treatment in lieu of genuine remorse and in lieu of making their victims whole (whatever that may entail).

The partisan divide on this issue came to the fore during the Kavanaugh hearing for the United States Supreme Court. But I’m not talking about the Republican-Democratic divide, or the male-female divide. Rather, the divide is between those who respect, trust, and believe women and those who do not; those who try to live their principles and not just their selfish interests. I learned the hard way that some men in positions of power feel entitled to rape their female employees—and that some women, including feminists, will cover for them.

What conclusions, if any, may we draw?

My generation of feminists called out sexual harassment, rape, and incest, but our radical analyses were disappeared by the obsessions with post-colonialism, multi-cultural relativism, anti-black racism, post-modernism, the evil of “whiteness,” Western civilization, Israel, and “Islamophobia,” the triumph of gender over sex, the importance of queerness and transgender rights.

The #MeToo movement looked as if it might return feminists to their roots and prioritize fighting male sexual violence. But too many of us are confusing street theater with electoral politics. “Nasty women” wearing hijabs, screaming hatred, and issuing Black Power salutes believe that acting up and acting out is equivalent to lawful, courtroom procedures. Many social justice warriors view angry personal confrontations with Bad Guys in elevators, restaurants, or outside the Bad Guy’s home, as a form of feminist revolution.

Meanwhile, the sexual harassers and rapists continue raping and harassing in agricultural fields, union offices, and on factory floors. The most arrogant of male employers continue treating their offices as personal brothels or harems—or, when cornered, take their woman-hating rage out on prostituted girls and women.

 

Phyllis Chesler Ph.D is the author of 18 books including Women and MadnessWoman’s Inhumanity to WomanAn American Bride in Kabul, and A Politically Incorrect Feminist.

Feature image: Harvey Weinstein and Meryl Streep at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA on Sunday, January 15, 2012.

Comments

  1. It was as if I’d never spoken, had never lived the life of a public intellectual or feminist leader.

    Not full of herself is she?

    She confirms my point that people who describe themselves as feminists rather than humanists are total gits.

  2. Your alleged rapist is now conveniently dead and cannot defend himself. This is despicable.

    Really? Compared with those who hound and destroy those who are living? I see no glory for her here.

    I don’t know her and I don’t know this case. I believe in due process. But without names, and with the man dead, this is not an accusation: it is a scenario, one that I am certain happens over and over. Powerful people commit crimes, and sycophants side with them regardless, and in the face of their own claims of moral purity. And the worst cowards and sycophants of all will be among those most loudly proclaiming their virtue. This is true of all moral positions, all ideologies, feminist and otherwise.

    The phenomenon is true. It angers me greatly. Yet I would not (would no longer) call myself a feminist because the of hypocrisy and hate of so many who do (not all, maybe not most - but many or most of the loudest). Do I know what happened to this woman? No. I do not. But I know that there are people who have experienced what she describes. And the bystanders and enablers who do do know, and are despicable. Whatever they call themselves.

    So are the useful idiots who suppose that because a phenomenon is true, every story is true and a civilization’s-worth of respect for due process can be set aside. Still, I am angry about the crimes, for all the good that does.

  3. I’m getting pretty tired of hearing about how sexual violence has not yet been “abolished” and similar sentiments regarding how sexism and racism still ‘exist’ so there’s still a lot of work to be done.

    When is the last time we were able to 100% abolish any given crime from happening anywhere ever? These things need to be mitigated, they can’t be abolished completely. But there’s never any acknowledgement that we do mitigate it far better than we have in the past, as we also do with non-sexual violence, but I don’t hear any calls to abolish that for some reason.

  4. The author claims that most extreme forms of sexual harassment continue unabatement with society tacitlly endorsing and supporting men who abuse women.

    The most arrogant of male employers continue treating their offices as personal brothels or harems

    Anybdoy who has lived and worked in teh real world knows this to be utter nonesense. An accusation by a woman unsubstantiated and even if later proven to be false is enough to destroy almost all careers. The behaviour that is considered harassment has dropped and dropped so that a single sexual comment or remark overheard can constitute harassment. A prominent politician in Britian lost their career over a fleeting contact that the woman said she was not sure was accidental or not. A man was convicted of sexual asssault and placed on teh sex offenders register when he put his hand on a womans kneee while telling a story at a dinner party in a group with hi wife and many other guests present. The woman did nto ask him to remove it or in any way object. She simply complained later.

    The long historic complaint about being abandoned and betrayed by other feminsist account appears deeply narcisitic. The impression is of someone desperate to be a victim and to be self importently at the center of a pervasive conspiracy against her. Perhaps when she is ignored and her colleagues do not support her there are good reasons why they behave in this way. Perhaps they have judged her to be narcistic and self delusional? We can’t know the truth about these sort of accusations with any certainty but we have to treat ccusation sof serious wrong doing from decades ago that where never reported to the authourities with deep suspicion. If as the author claimed she was a highly motivated campaigner for women, why would she not complain about such outrageous behaviour, have it investigated independantly and thereby prove the problem existed? The nature of her account, teh grotesquely disstorted vie wof current society all point to a women who lies constantly and consistently to exagerate her own importance and place her self as a victim. If she wants to dispel this impression, make a complaint to the police and have a real investigation.

  5. Now you understand my reference to the Tarpeian Rock.

    What your’re saying is that the trial process is a sham: that we shouldn’t decide criminal or civil responsibility the way we go about it.

    You’re trying to undermine any remaining concept of the rule of law.

  6. Did anyone notice that the article had no mention of any real statistics concerning the alleged crimes? It was a series of anecdotes - maybe true, maybe not. Afaik, the actual crime statistics seem to show that the moral panic about sexual misbehaviour is largely unjustified. I do think that most western societies probably don’t punish enough those who are found guilty of crimes, but this is true across the board for all crimes, from drug dealing or graffiti spraying all the way up to murder, rapes and terrorism. But then, who is to blame for this permissiveness? Is it not the progressives?

    Also, notice how the author brought up Kavanaugh and immediately tried to dodge the real issue without actually trying to discuss it, only to complain about the “divide”. How about mentioning that there was no evidence of Kavanaugh having done anything. For most outsiders to the US, people were surprised it went as a far as it did. Especially the claim C. Ford made that she had obtained her memories from a hypnosis session was viewed as preposterous, and most of the women I know said they thought she was wrongly accusing him. Isn’t the real divide between those who wait to see evidence before making a judgement and those who don’t?

  7. For some reasons it seems to me, that raping and harassing is not a feature of men “in agricultural fields, union offices, and on factory floors”. There is no gain in giving a blow-job to a truck driver. Working in more humble environment all my life I never experience anything even remotely resembling all the horrors you have described here. No, no, it’s all yours, honey, you and your powerful circle, and don’t mess with our kids telling them that ALL boys are rapist in waiting.
    And by the way if the only way you can publish your paper (or get a role in a movie, or get a position on stuff, etc.) lies through some old fart you’ll have to stay one-on-one in a hotel room, for your own dignity, you need to quit and select a field where you can advance on your own. Thanks goodness, women nowadays can do that, if they, indeed, are as powerful as you think them to be.

  8. From the article

    Orkin’s photo is a scene of street harassment.

    But from the woman who was the subject of the photo:

    It’s not a symbol of harassment. It’s a symbol of a woman having an absolutely wonderful time! I clutched my shawl to me because that sheaths the body. It was my protection, my shield. I was walking through a sea of men. I was enjoying every minute of it.

    From this article

    Perhaps Ms Chesler owes readers an explanation for her interpretation?

  9. “A man was convicted of sexual asssault and placed on teh sex offenders register when he put his hand on a womans kneee”

    My nephew was charged with sexual assault for nibbling on the ear of a girl who (without seeking permission) sat on his lap sideways and put her arms around his neck, this down at the beach with lots of people milling about. At the time there was no protest of any kind, and later than evening she asked my nephew to drive her home, which he did. The assault charge came a few months latter. He was of course presumed guilty but the prosecutor said that if he confessed and wrote a long apology he’d avoid a criminal record. He did, and the legal bills were under $5,000, so he got off lite. We’ve advised him that if he still has an interest in girls to transition to a ‘penis lesbian’ which should give him untouchability.

  10. I’m not sure how to respond to this article, but thanks to Quillette for giving us something from a radfem just to liven things up.

    Basically it seems to me that the author needs to spend some quality time with a good psychiatrist. She seems unsure whether she wants to be a pure, shrieking harpy, or whether she wants to live in the real world as a reasonable person. She vacillates:

    “If I did, I’d have to publish the entire phone book.”

    “but not all men are sexual predators.”

    Ah … not every last one of us, that’s so charitable.

    "Some women do lie about being raped for reasons of revenge or greed. Some women do so because they’re mentally ill.

    "And then there are all the ways in which some women opportunistically profit by assisting male sexual predators.

    “Imagine finding out that some feminist leaders are as power-hungry as men and as invested in covering up their small, scorched-earth policies.”

    Contrast:

    “Important matters are always complicated and cannot be resolved, or even properly understood, by politically correct sloganeering.”

    Or:

    "Today, many men are both unjustifiably and justifiably angry about the #MeToo movement and about the possibility of being falsely accused.

    “Innocent men—or at least men who should be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law—are up in arms about being found guilty by accusation alone.”

    Contrast:

    “Rather, the divide is between those who respect, trust, and believe women and those who do not”

    As many Victimologists come to understand, the Victims are not united in their struggle against the Oppressor, they will viciously attack each other in the struggle for bottom spot in the hierarchy. One group of feminists will cut the throats of another group for control of the agenda. The good news is that there is every possibility that all the Victims might one day eat each other down to the very last snowflake, but in the mean time life is made difficult for regular, decent folks.

    Chesler of course wants a reign of terror, she wants the whole world to be as miserable as she is. Yet, again, she seems to vacillate and have some thoughts for the falsely accused. She seems to understand that only she is pure, and that the rest of the wimin in the world can be every bit as deplorable as the stereotypical male.

    Were such a thing possible I’d invite her to consider the idea of returning to a shared humanity in which both men and women can do bad things and in which most people, of all genders, basically want to do the right thing and equally deplore sexual violence. At the same time they realize that men – especially young men – are horny and young women – especially attractive young women – like to strut their stuff and want as many men as possible to choose from. It’s how the mating game works. Men can be predators, but women can be entrapers. There are basic rules of engagement that more or less work but women, too, have to play by them or get burned.

  11. “In my pre-feminist days, sexual harassment and rape were so common, so pervasive, so accepted, that they were virtually invisible.”

    When cups are moving, always watch the ball.

    First, define any stare at a woman as ‘sexual harrassment.’
    Then, combine ‘sexual harassment and rape’ as a single entity.
    Finally, state that " [they] were so common, so pervasive, so accepted, that they were virtually invisible."

    Outcome? By definition (hers), true.

    Of course rape was not common or pervasive when was growing up during the 1960s. Feminism made it so by extrapolating from real cases to … whatever number they wanted.

  12. It didn’t happen to you so it doesn’t happen?

    I’ll trust evidence over catastrophic, hysterical nonsense thinking.

    For something you can’t prove?
    And people wonder why we have vigilante culture…

    Gathering evidence isn’t vigilante culture, that’s what you support by accepting that rapists are everywhere, all the time. Evidence is the basis for justice that doesn’t find witches because of claims there are witches. And you can certainly gather evidence if you employer or anybody else “routinely” does something.

  13. “Ninety-nine percent of sexual predators are male”

    Patently false, and yet key to her worldview. Does she believe this falsehood to be true, or is it merely convenient for her to posit it as truth? Not good either way.

  14. I also grew up in the 50’s & 60’s, small town Canada, around lots of other boys and girls and I saw none of what the author describes. Even in high school - nothing. I spent lots of time with boys and other girls. The idea that sexual harassment of girls/women was (or is) rampant is fiction. Maybe Chesler’s published work should be re-classified as fiction - I’m no expert in terms of her publications, but if they’re similar to this article, the fiction genre seems appropriate.

  15. This is untrue. At least, it’s untrue in the West… The author doesn’t even bother to site her source, which is telling. The other thing that is untrue - at least, that I know of off the top of my head - is her categorization of the famous photograph. As someone else notes in this thread, the woman herself didn’t find it harassing at all, but rather a symbol of independence–this isn’t hard to find. You google it - the photo is called “An American Girl in Italy” - and up pops several articles saying this (in my google search, it’s a 2017 article by cnn). I have to conclude the author is intentionally concealing this from the reader.

    If you include no stats and misrepresent or obfuscate the truth, your argument is weak. This saddens me. As a woman who was raped, I should have read this article and nodding along. Instead, I just got more and more irritated by this stew of anecdotes, assertions, and illogic.

    As far as her stories of harassment and rape, obviously I have no way of knowing her personal experience. I do, however, know mine. I’m in my late 50s, a little younger than the author but not significantly so. I had almost nothing like the same experiences she had, nor did i know anyone who had. The overall culture was more sexist, yes, in a sort of casual and sometimes cruel way (I well remember the constant “crazy woman drivers” jokes, and I did experience some men sexually harassing me, although I can count these events on one hand; the wolf whistling was mostly appreciative - what I’d give for one admiring wolf whistle now! - and did not threaten me except once, in France in the 1970s. But overall, the world she describes may as well be a science fiction story for all the resemblance it has to reality for me. And if she’s not doing statistics - or, worse, makes them up out of thin air - then why should I even read her as opposed to literally any other person’s anecdotes?

    The deal breaker for me is the fixation on men as perpetrators and women as victims. Yes, obviously, no one is saying male brutality against women is a good thing or is nonexistent. It’s bad and it exists. But the question is a) proportion and b) whether we care about the act itself - rape, sexual sadism - or whether we care about the dogma and agenda, and backfill the rest The answer here seems to be that the dogma is primary. The issue is very complex, which anyone with even a modicum of life experience knows – men brutalize women. Women brutalize women. Men brutalize men. Women brutalize men. You cannot unsee this unless you have a dogma that cares primarily for power-grabbing through demonization of the “other” (men, in this case). There are many female perpetrators and harassers and many male victims. Again, not saying male perpetrators of women victims aren’t a problem, not at all, but I am saying it’s a sign of dogma-infused thinking to fixate on it alone and ignore everything else, and to ignore statistics. From just one study, Williams Institute: “Most studies reviewed for this report found a lifetime prevalence of IPV [intimate partner violence] among lesbian and bisexual women, gay and bisexual men, and transgender people that is as high as or higher than the U.S. general population” How does this - and many other facts like it - fit into her gospel of male violence against women? Yes, for sure, men on aggregate are more violent than women on aggregate. But not nearly at the level she asserts (in my experience). Again, to me the issue is the act, not the genders of victim/perpetrator.

    WHat does she mean about good women doing nothing? You mean like my female boss when she kept touching me and commenting on my body? Or another woman who slept with the male principal and got a rival female teacher fired? You mean like my son who was sexually assaulted by a woman? You mean like the constant “jokes” at work of penis size and butts in front of men, with men unable to say a thing?

    This shouldn’t be about women or men. It should be about the act itself. As far as how to stop it, we’ve stopped quite a bit. It will never go away because of human nature and our animalistic nature. We can pass laws to prevent it–which we have.

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