Undead sexist cliche: date rape is just “buyer’s remorse”

So let’s say a young woman hooks up and regrets it. Bad judgment. Creepy guy. Unsatisfying sex. Guy didn’t even try to make her come. Whatever. The morning-after reaction, I imagine, might be disappointment, kicking yourself, wishing you hadn’t done it. But according to rape apologists, I’m wrong: the woman’s natural reaction is to call police or campus authorities and claim you were raped!

This is a popular apologist rationalization for why so many women report rape: it’s not that a lot of guys like to rape, it’s that the accuser is suffering “buyer’s remorse.” She feels bad, so she’s going to make him pay. Some examples:

  • “Accusaitions — 90 percent of them — fall into the category of ‘we were both drunk,’ ‘we broke up, and six months later I found myself under a Title IX investigation because she just decided that our last sleeping together was not quite right,’” according to Education Department official Candice Jackson. Her odious boss, Betsy DeVos has claimed she doesn’t know if true reports outnumber false reports of rape. Both women subsequently walked it back.
  • Right-wing pundit Mona Charen claimed in a column some years ago, that date rape is the result of feminists brainwashing young women into thinking sex without commitment is good. When they wake up the next morning and realize they’re now sluts, the women go into denial and delude themselves it was rape. She repeated the argument in her book Sex Matters, claiming that because of feminist political correctness, women can’t admit they don’t want sex or didn’t like the sex, so the only way they can express their revulsion is to cry rape.
  • “Some men are jerks and will treat you like garbage after sex. However ‘buyer’s remorse’ is not rape” according to the Chaste Courtship website.
  • Back when Colorado Rep. Ken Buck was just a DA, he told a rape victim that he wasn’t going to prosecute her case, because a jury would just write it off as “buyer’s remorse.” (he subsequently said the remark was taken out of context)
  • Caitlin Flanagan (of the antifeminist double-standard) says, like Charen, that women have no sense of sexual regret so they can no longer admit “I sure wish I hadn’t done that … I’m embarrassed … I had hopes that it would be more romantic. I had hopes that it would be the beginning of something. I had hopes that afterward, by the time I got home, there would be three texts on my phone.”

It’s really bizarre that anyone making this claim thinks they’re describing commonplace reality. That if someone really, really wishes they hadn’t had sex they wouldn’t simply replay the night and kick themselves, or vent to their friends (Charen claims PC simply won’t let women say stuff like that. She needs to hang out with more women). No, they’d call the authorities and accuse the guy of rape. Despite the shitstorm that could descend upon his head. Despite the shit that could descend on their own, because I think most women have a good idea that rape victim is not the “coveted status” rape apologist George Will claims it is.

And if they were going to lie, why not make up a better story? Will, for example, describes a woman telling an occasional lover no; he kept going so she just laid back and waited for it to be over. The no makes it pretty clear-cut she was assaulted, but to Will it’s not sexual assault but “sexual assault.” And he’s not alone; lots of men and women think the same. So if the woman’s going to lie, why wouldn’t she cook up a better story instead of one Will can write off as an “ambiguous” hookup?

It’s not that women don’t sometimes wake up wishing they hadn’t hooked up; Rebecca Traister argues that it happens frequently because even consensual sex is often unsatisfying (“Male climax remains the accepted finish of hetero encounters; a woman’s orgasm is still the elusive, optional bonus round.”). And that women on campus are pressured to show they’re sex-positive. But that’s a far cry from calling it rape. And unlike Charen and other right-wingers, Traister’s under no illusion the solution is going back to old courtship roles (“Having humiliating sex with a man who treats you terribly at a frat party is bad but not inherently worse than being publicly shunned for having had sex with him, or being unable to obtain an abortion after getting pregnant by him, or being doomed to have disappointing sex with him for the next 50 years.”).

But for misogynists, imagining crying rape is women’s way of dealing with bad sex makes it easier not to deal with the ugliness of rape culture.

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.