Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It's not just what she is wearing

I have heard and read much about the "rape culture" we supposedly have in the US. Is this something that has been created because of "men behaving badly"? Or, is this something that the feminist movement has had a hand in forming? 

I was raised by a single mom who taught me how to be a real man. She taught me to respect women and to do all the chivalrous cliches of holding doors, chairs, and even purses. She taught me never to yell at, let alone hit, a girl. She taught me what a strong woman was and how women can do nearly anything men can do. In a sense, she turned me into a feminist. However, the feminist movement of today only denigrates men and undermines the integrity of the woman.

Scout Willis posted topless photos of herself walking around downtown New York in protest over Instagram's Terms Of Use policy that prohibits photos of that nature on their system. She then wrote an article in XOJane describing and defending her actions saying that it gave her a sense of empowerment. Good for you Scout, I'm happy for you...that something as shallow as topless photos gives you a sense of self-worth. Atticus is rolling in his grave right about now.

She says she was empowered by doing this. However, what was she empowered to do? To empower means to give authority or power to do something. It would seem that her empowerment actually happened before her modo nudus walk in downtown New York. Or, is she saying that doing this gave her power to do something else? If so, what would she have gained power over? What would she use that power for? The only things I can think of to answer those questions is men and control.

Only 1 in 4 men can successfully control their arousal state. Some data shows as high as 1 in 3. They also said that this level of success directly relates to regulation of emotion. The men best able to control themselves physically could also control themselves emotionally. Still, that is a staggeringly low number of men able to control their bodies!

Clearly, an attractive female walking half-nude down the streets of New York is going to gather some attention from between 2/3 to 3/4 of the male population within line of sight. She is using her physical influence to control her environment. This is not uncommon. From the beginning of recorded history, women have been doing this. Even fifth-century comedies were written about it. It has been a well-known open secret that it is easy to control men through sexuality. 

Now, is this the kind of empowerment you really want? I would hardly think that most feminists believe their self-worth is only measured through their sexuality. Yet, recently, the dialog has shifted from self-improvement and societal contributions to the idea that "I should be free to wear/act whatever/however I want and men just have to deal with it." Does this not undermine the entire premise of feminism? of equality?

Should you not be starting your own businesses? Running for public office? Going to school and getting an education? Focusing on a career? Being a stay-at-home mom? Or, maybe you want to travel and see the world? Feminism at its core should embrace everything and anything women can do. Is not the essence of female empowerment simply being free to pursue anything?

Now, I am not justifying the actions of men who are unable to control themselves. No victim is to blame for heinous acts committed by criminals. I merely want to point out a few facts: 

1) Just in the US, 1 out of every 5 women report experiencing rape in their lifetime.
2) Studies have shown that a staggering high number of men are unable to control their arousal and emotional states.
3) Pornography, which typically portrays women degrading themselves, is shown to fundamentally alter young men's perceptions and expectations of relationships and sex.
3.a) The Unites States spends as much money on pornography as it does the NFL.
4) In countries where attitudes toward sex are more liberal, the instances of reported rape are higher. In Sweden, rape occurrences are 3x higher than the US
5) Feminist advocates are promoting empowerment though sexualitypornography careers, and even abortion.

Do you believe that all of those things do not assist in the creation and maintenance of the "rape culture" in the US? The proof is in the pudding. When you look at trends across the world since we have been recording data, the more liberal and casual we are about sex, "rape culture" gets worse. If we want to change that, we need to start by rejecting things like pornography and radical feminism. Only then will women like Shoshanna Stern be able to think of themselves as not a "woman" first, but as an individual.