Rape apologist James Taranto and more undead sexist cliches

In the latest column from Taranto, the editor of the Wall Street Journal (not a direct link), he complains that the fight against sexual assault in the military is “an effort to criminalize male sexuality.” Because, presumably, rape and sexual assault are just what guys do.
Specifically, Taranto complains that Lt. Gen. Susan Helms, nominated by Obama for a leadership position, has been placed “on hold” because she granted clemency to Captain Matthew Herrera, an officer convicted of sexual assault. And really, when you look at the case (Taranto says) where’s the evidence he was guilty? It’s he said/she said, she claiming he fondled her while she was passed out, he claiming she was awake and consenting. Plus she flirted with Herrera before the groping, and sent him text messages after. And another woman who accused him actually went to a bedroom with him! So if the guy is guilty of “sexual recklessness,” the woman were just as reckless.
And that proves proposals to stop commanding officers from intervening to get assault victims off are totally unreasonable because my god, there was obviously no grounds to convict Herrera.
In addition to the She Asked For It tone of his column, he seems to take it as a given that the victim couldn’t possibly have been more believable than the accused, so the conviction is invalid by definition. I’m less convinced.
•Speaking of rape apologists, here’s a Catholic Church official arguing that it’s really children who molest priests—desperate confused boys looking for a father figure who make homosexual advances to troubled older men, who then can’t help themselves. So it’s not the priests’ fault.
•LGM points out that for years we’ve been hearing from the right that Roe vs. Wade is wrong because abortion is a matter for the states to decide. In reality, they’re perfectly fine with the federal government deciding, so long as it’s anti-abortion.
•Here we have a critique of one of my least favorite arguments for complementarianism (not that I have any favorite arguments): if your husband isn’t happy with you, it’s your fault: “Does your husband ever speak to you harshly, criticize you unduly, treat you unfairly, neglect you, impose on you, or in any way mistreat you? The important thing is not what he does but how you react.”
This was the thesis of the Total Woman, a book from the 1970s, and many since: If you behave in the right, submissive way, your husband will adore you and do everything you want. What that book never mentioned is what would happen if he didn’t fulfill his part of the contract. The answer at the link: Suck it up. Endure.
•A TSA agent yells at a 15-year-old for not dressing modestly enough.
•Amanda Marcotte on the Protestant right’s growing push against birth control, which helps make Catholics such as Santorum palatable even to Protestants who used to condemn Catholics as the whores of Babylon.
•A Maine politician mansplains that his superior male brain naturally thinks more accurately about Obamacare than some chick’s mind can.
•A woman complains that the new XBox slate has no female-protagonist games. Male gamers immediately explode with outrage, complaining that this would be a ridiculous demand unless there’s a market for games about cooking and flower-arranging. And besides, women are soooo inferior, and they shouldn’t be doing guy stuff like gaming anyway and—well, more of the same.
•The continuing fascination with how powerful women dress.
•Repubs are still claiming that rape won’t get women pregnant.


Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

11 responses to “Rape apologist James Taranto and more undead sexist cliches

  1. That whole Trent-from-Arizona thing just makes me want to bang my head on my desk until I lose consciousness.

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