Undead sexist cliches: And while I’m on the subject …

(WARNING, this may be triggering)
I’m not a huge fan of evolutionary psychology. I’m particularly not a fan of any argument that our treatment of rape should be based around the fact that it’s a biological imperative, something that men just can’t help.
The argument runs as follows (you’ve probably heard it before, but just in case): Men are biologically programmed to spread their seed by sleeping with as many women as possible. Rape spreads their seed. Therefore, men are genetically hardwired to rape.
Now some people might think the logical conclusion is doing something about these genetic abominations. If men are incapable of controlling themselves, maybe we should make it illegal for them to go out and drink, at least without some sort of minder who’ll cold-cock them if their judgment is impaired to the point of trying to rape someone. Or we simply put blindfolds on them so their rape gene won’t be driven into overload by the busty woman two barstools down. I mean, if guys are hardwired to commit a violent crime, they should bear the penalty for their genetic mess, right?
Yet astonishingly (that word is used with heavy sarcasm), the suggestion of evo-psych rape apologists is that all the burden should fall on women. Women shouldn’t go out without a man. Women shouldn’t dress too sexy. Women shouldn’t drink in public. Women shouldn’t engage in any sex act if they’re not willing to commit to going all the way because the guy may not be able to stop.
This is, of course, bullshit. Rape has nothing to do with genetics or spreading one’s seed. If it did, men wouldn’t commit rape-murders (not much genetic transmission that way), rape with blunt objects, anal rape, oral rape, rape of six year olds or rape of seniors. There’d be no point to spousal rape or a lot of date rape (where the rapist is already sleeping with the woman) or gang rape (which lowers the odds of any individual rapist impregnating the victim). Not to mention male-on-male rape.
And of course, the Uncontrollable Urge defense ignores that many rapes (a majority, I believe) are premeditated, not triggered by a sudden flush of lust. And that guys can control themselves pretty damn well if there’s a high risk of being caught; if someone decides to rape a stripper, they’re unlikely to do it while she’s dancing visibly on stage.
That’s too much rape for the evo-psych theory (or the less scientific but more traditional Boys Will Be Boys explanation) to hold up.
Even if it was a biological imperative, I’ve never seen rape apologists apply this to other urges. Hunger is even more fundamental than sex, but nobody warns grocers not to put out food because of the risk starving people will be unable to stop stealing it. Heck, urination is a biological imperative, but I bet if I pee on one of these idiot’s feet, he’s not going to accept that I just couldn’t fight biology.
Rape is a consciously calculated act. It’s a choice. Arguing otherwise is just one more way to explain it’s the woman’s fault.


Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

9 responses to “Undead sexist cliches: And while I’m on the subject …

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