Thursday, August 25, 2016

A U.S. Senator thinks it's your son's responsibility to keep his daughters from being raped

And, no, the headline of this post is not an exaggeration. "U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., told a group of students, faculty and staff at the University of Pittsburgh today that male college students have an obligation to stop sexual assaults by others before they happen."

Excuse me? You mean innocent male students, who would never dream of sexually assaulting a woman, somehow have a duty to stop sexual assault because . . . they happen to be male?

But wait until you read his rationale. “'Let’s be honest, a lot of guys know when something might happen, that they have an awareness that someone in their group is predisposed to do something,' Sen. Casey told the audience of about 60. 'You need to be a man. You need to examine your conscience and ask yourself what your obligation is...what you can do to prevent this from happening.'"

Yes, let’s be honest, Senator. You're full of shit.

The premise is ludicrous. If it is true that "a lot of guys know when something might happen," the same is true for "a lot of women."

How is it that when it comes to sexual assault, college men suddenly become The Amazing Kreskin--able to read the minds of predators, but college women--so capable is every other sphere of their existence--are completely clueless and thoroughly helpless?

The reason Casey puts the onus on innocent young men is because it is verboten to ask innocent young women to take any precautions to safeguard their own well-beings when it comes to sexual assault--it is verboten to suggest that they should alter their behavior even a whit to avoid being raped. They can drink to unconsciousness in the bedrooms of men they don't know, even if this increases the statistical likelihood that they will be raped, because to counsel that they exercise even a modicum of common sense is "victim blaming."

Since we can't tell innocent young women to "be careful" without being accused of being "rape apologists," we must put the onus to keep women safe on innocent young men--who have far less ability to prevent young women from being raped than the young women who might be raped.

Get it? Neither do I.

Let's get it straight. We empower our college-aged daughters by insisting they are powerless. We make women "strong" by telling them they are Disney damsels who deserve to rescued by campus Prince Charmings who must "man up" to protect Senator Casey's daughters.

Down, down, down the rabbit hole we tumble.

Sen. Casey called sexual assault a “betrayal that plays out not solely because of the perpetrator because the rest of us don’t do something about it.”

But Senator, by "the rest of us," who do you mean, specifically? If innocent people have a responsibility to prevent rape, does that include even the potential victims?

Of course it does, but he'll never say it, folks. It would be the end of his political career.