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The “Date Rape” Issue: Feminist Hysteria, Anti-Sex Witchhunt

http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1056/daterape.html

Publisher:  Women and Revolution
Year Published:  2014   First Published:  1993
Resource Type:  Article

The anti-sex frenzy springs from the agenda of the religious right. Espousing an ideology supposed to have something to do with women’s rights, the feminists might be expected to oppose this witchhunt. Instead, there is a convergence between feminism and religious reaction in support of moralist repression. This is particularly evident in the “date rape” frenzy on the campuses which has recently grabbed headlines across the nation and the world. Egged on by feminist witchhunters, “politically correct” sex on campus serves the war on privacy by whitewashing the intrusion of the campus administration and the cops into students’ personal business as “protecting women” and “stopping rape.”

Abstract: 
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Excerpt:

The anti-sex frenzy springs from the agenda of the religious right. Espousing an ideology supposed to have something to do with women’s rights, the feminists might be expected to oppose this witchhunt. Instead, there is a convergence between feminism and religious reaction in support of moralist repression. This is particularly evident in the “date rape” frenzy on the campuses which has recently grabbed headlines across the nation and the world. Egged on by feminist witchhunters, “politically correct” sex on campus serves the war on privacy by whitewashing the intrusion of the campus administration and the cops into students’ personal business as “protecting women” and “stopping rape.”
...

“Date rape” hysteria serves as a diversion from the real oppression and exploitation suffered by the vast majority of women in this country. Most working-class and minority women can’t afford to go to college, but rather endure the constant menace of violence and rape as they go to and from backbreaking, low-paying jobs or to pick up their continually threatened welfare pittances. The most forceful and consistent assertion of government intrusion into private life has been the anti-drug witchhunt, which for poor blacks (including, obviously, women) in the devastated inner-city ghettos has meant massive police raids, while workers across the country are subjected to urine testing serving to enforce discipline in the workplace.

Willfully lumping together everything from morning-after regrets to savage brutality, “date rape” hysteria trivializes the crime of rape and belittles the real humiliation, terror and agony that rape victims undergo.
...

Far from focusing on real acts of violence against women, the “date rape” frenzy redefines as rape experiences which are instead ambiguous or unpleasant—thus trivializing the sometimes painful tribulations of young people grappling with their first sexual encounters.
...

Statistics are notoriously susceptible to manipulation for political ends, and the statistics cited for the feminists’ “epidemic” of campus rape couldn’t be a better example. The evidence for “date rape” rests on a 1985 survey by Ms. magazine, financed by the National Institute of Mental Health, which found that “one quarter of women in college today have been victims of rape or attempted rape.” But, as debunkers have pointed out, 73 percent of the women categorized as rape victims did not define their experience as rape—that was done by Dr. Mary Koss, the psychologist who analyzed the survey and who coined the term “date rape.” Some 42 percent of these women later had sex with the man who allegedly “raped” them!

Roiphe astutely points out that the “date rape epidemic” is not a reflection of sexual behavior but a “mood.” Just listen to its propagandists: “Without mutual desire” it’s a “form of rape,” according to Andrea Parrot, Cornell professor and “date rape expert.” The code words are “manipulation” and “verbal coercion”—defined as “a woman’s consenting to unwanted sexual activity because of a man’s verbal arguments not including verbal threats of force.” The etiquette guides of the 19th century told young women that attractive men “can with a subtlety almost beyond the power of her detection, change her ordinary views of things, confuse her judgements, and destroy her rational confidence in discriminating the powers of her own mind” (Advice to Young Ladies, 1848). The titles may be different, but today’s “sexual consent policies” peddle the same retrograde assumptions about the stereotype of the aggressive, violent man, who “wants only one thing,” and the weak, indecisive woman, uninterested in sex and requiring protection.

The definitions used in the “date rape” culture reflect the feminist view that heterosexual sex and rape are a natural progression.

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