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Wildly overblown claims about an epidemic of sexual assaults on American campuses are obscuring the true danger to young women, too often distracted by cellphones or i Pods in public places: the ancient sex crime of abduction and murder.Paglia then implies that women could somehow prevent being sexually assaulted by just not doing things that will purportedly get them raped, like looking at their i Pods or cell phones instead of vigilantly policing the perimeter as they walk to biology. Here, Paglia joins a chorus of men’s rights activists and Fox News hosts that would suggest women are at fault for their rapes.
In reality, men should be more offended than women by this assertion that they have a biological imperative to rape women that cannot be overcome by rational thought.
“The sexual stalker, who is often an alienated loser consumed with his own failures, is motivated by an atavistic hunting reflex.
He is called a predator precisely because he turns his victims into prey.”But we know that rapists can't blame their primal urges for their crimes, just like we know that not all rapists are "alienated losers." People can be raped by their partners, teachers, strangers, and acquaintances.
In fact, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network suggests that at least two thirds of all rapes will be committed by someone who is known to the victim.
It isn’t “contrarian” or “edgy” for a “feminist” scholar to suggest that the onus is on rape victims to prevent rape, it’s just a really bad argument. The suggestion that women can prevent being sexually assaulted is beyond damaging to victims of all kinds of sexual assault.
There is already an overwhelming amount of stigma and shame associated with being raped, and too many victims already feel at fault for the crimes perpetrated against their bodies.
One of the Best Books of the Year: Kirkus Reviews A timely and lavishly comprehensive collection from the inimitable critical firebrand—hailed as "a fearless public intellectual and more necessary than ever” (The New York Times)—tackling sex, art, feminism, politics, and education, and covering the full span of her wide-ranging and important career.
The fact that Congress, infamous for its own inability to accomplish anything, has come together to fight sexual assault on campuses indicates that it is a much broader problem than most of us, Camille Paglia included, would think.
To characterize rape as anything other than prevalent in our culture is disingenuous.