A bit more on this morning’s rape apologist

Following up on this morning’s post:
•Landsburg asserts that of course he knows that rape usually has horrible consequences and that the post was clearly about other peoples’ reactions to someone raped—why should that be more important in law than someone’s reactions to other people’s porn? But the post was also quite clear that the victim’s psychic harm was also up for grabs (why did it matter more than the pleasure someone else got from rape?). He also asserts he wasn’t really arguing, just trying to figure things out for himself, which is not good as an excuse either—he really has trouble figuring out why anger over rape is more serious than anger over what other people read?
I’ll explain it simply: I’m not upset about rape because it infringes on my religious beliefs, but because it’s a serious act with harm and there’s no circumstances in the real world where it’s not. Even if we go by his “she never knows about it” hypothetical, rape still infringes on the rape victim’s rights to control her body and decide who she sleeps with. I believe those rights are basic and axiomatic, not something that has to be justified. They’re fundamental principles. If he wants to explain that they’re not, he’s got to come up with an argument why they shouldn’t be so—and he doesn’t. As noted at the previous post, he simply equates my being distressed over rape to someone being upset stores are open on Sundays.
If, as he says, he was just tossing out hypotheticals (and I’ve seen comments online making the same argument) it was a piss-poor thought experiment. When someone raises property rights as a grounds for harm he blithely asserts that’s one of the things that’s not clearly established. Which he doesn’t say in the initial argument. And if he’s seriously asserting the rapists have an actual claim on her body as long as she’s not awake, that’s a sufficiently counter-intuitive statement (counter-intuitive? Batshit stupid is closer to the mark) he needs to offer some arguments to justify it.
And I don’t trust people who insist they’re just tossing out ideas. As has been observed about people who argue “blacks are stupid” should be approached as a serious, rational, not-bigoted-at-all scientific theory, it’s not usually abstract debate. Black inferiority (and women’s) has been linked to countless rationalizations for why it’s okay to Keep The Coloreds Down, for all some people claim that of course, they’re just looking at the science, nope, no bigotry here.
Landsburg’s selection of corresponding examples, as I noted in the first post, gives me that reactions. Why compare rape to someone who sees other people violate his religious beliefs rather than say, someone breaking into your house for a party? Or borrowing your car without permission but filling it up so there’s no loss of gas or harm to you (hey, maybe they check the tires and change the oil, so you’re good)? Those are of course clear violations of property rights—I think his choice of comparisons is more telling than he claims it is.
Keep in mind, Landsburg also argues that women calling for contraceptive insurance coverage are just trying to get someone else to pay for their sex, so I can see a sexist trend here (my response to that general theory here)

1 Comment

Filed under Politics, Uncategorized, Undead sexist cliches

One response to “A bit more on this morning’s rape apologist

  1. Pingback: If you support taxing the rich, why don’t you support raping hot women? One idiot’s theory | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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