The fragility of the victim identity cult
 

A few years ago in response to the “enthusiastic consent” narrative as promoted by reddit feminists I wrote a blog post. At the time, feminists were proposing the idea of the so-called “yes means yes” standard based on the claim, essentially, that a woman’s overt actions don’t represent choices she has made because mental fragility, and therefore they cannot constitute consent. A whole series of arguments were made based on this mental fragility concept, including the claim that rape happens because guys don’t understand consent. Feminists’ solution was that consent can only be considered valid if it is verbal, enthusiastic, and expressed again and again at the request of the involved guy, at every step in a given encounter.

In my post “The brutal rape of poor, innocent Mr. Creosote,” I referenced the Mr. Creosote sketch from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, in which the title character enters a restaurant vomiting from having overeaten, then orders a full meal and gorges himself again, then establishes that he’s too full for anything else when the waiter offers him a complementary mint. The waiter keeps asking, offering reasons why Mr. Creosote should just accept and eat the mint. "But sir, it's only wafer thin!" and "Just - just one." Throughout the exchange it’s obvious that Mr. Creosote is tempted. Eventually, he relents, accepts the mint and eats it. The waiter runs and ducks behind something for cover, just before Mr. Creosote explodes.

This, I compared to feminism’s enthusiastic consent narrative, pointing out that feminists would call Mr. Creosote a victim, because temptation was shoved under his nose until he abandoned his resolve to resist it. In reality, the waiter might be an asshole, but Mr. Creosote is not a victim. He always had the choice to reject the wafer. He could have demanded his bill, paid, and left the restaurant. He made the choice to accept the waiter’s offer, instead.

I’ve had a lot of reactions from feminists to that post since I wrote it, mostly complaining that it’s not representative of their narrative, then going on to clarify that their narrative is exactly as I’ve described it. 

“We’re not calling Mr. Creosote a victim! We’re saying he’s not responsible for his actions or their consequences! His consent wasn’t enthusiastic! It’s invalid! The consequence was all the waiter’s fault!”

Now I’m seeing that intersect very strongly with the #MeToo movement. Some women have even put a new twist on it.

After months of #MeToo stories and complaints, it seems that many boil down to the assertion that women aren’t responsible for their own boundaries. This attitude was encapsulated in a tweet I responded to last week.

A user going by the name “im an art collective,” who, like lots of other immature pixie girls, achieves uniqueness by refusing to use capital letters, got a few thousand retweets and about five times as many likes for telling the world women are feckless cowards.

In her words, “sometimes women "choose" to have sex with men because they're afraid that if they say no, men will rape them anyway. many women choose to endure trauma to avoid greater trauma and violation, and to allow themselves the illusion of choice, control, and consent”

If you want an explanation of the size and scope of the Me Too movement in a nutshell, that tweet provides a clue to it. The answer: Feminists have convinced a large segment of American women to treat “victim” as their actual identity.

Women who have done this may not label themselves as such. In fact, they’ll often do exactly the opposite, adorning themselves with nicknames, labels, and put-on attitudes intended to communicate strength and independence. 

“I shaved one side of my head! I wear daggers for earrings! My twitter name has warrior in it! Look how TOUGH I AM!”

That doesn’t stop them from engaging in the most astounding mental gymnastics to make themselves fit the victim identity.

The fear described in the original tweet was self-inflicted. Nothing in it speaks about past trauma or any other reason why any woman might automatically believe that declining sex would lead to her being raped. It just attributes the fear and cites it as a reason why a woman might lie to a potential sex partner, claiming to consent when, in her head, she isn’t consenting. Nobody in the thread even questioned my use of the word “lie” to describe that, probably because they knew they wouldn’t be able to back such a denial without destroying the point of the original tweet.

I pointed out some things that should be obvious. The original tweet’s claim is that a woman’s consent isn’t valid if it’s a lie based on a self-inflicted delusion of persecution (I believe without evidence that this man will rape me if I tell him no!”) 

Men aren’t responsible for women’s delusions of persecution, and such delusions don’t make a woman’s choices into non-choices. The woman making them is still responsible for her own decisions. The tweet attributes childlike mental fragility to women. That’s insulting and degrading.

An interesting thing happened. 

Rather than deal with the ridiculousness of the assertion made in the original tweet, women (and a couple of men) responding to me began making up reasons not mentioned in it to explain why the described fear might be valid. She might be afraid because of a past experience having nothing to do with her current situation or partner. She might be basing her fear on somebody else’s trauma. She might be in a relationship with a violent abuser she has reason to fear. 

This is olympic champion level mental gymnastics, all in an attempt at maintaining “victim” as an identity either for the commenter herself, or for women in general.

To begin with, none of these excuses were included in the original statement. It was just the statement that women’s consent is sometimes a lie told to their partners in response to their own internal monologues. An excuse that relies on modifying that statement with additional factors doesn’t address responses to the original statement, so art collective’s supporters didn’t actually support what she said. They argued instead in support of the victim identity itself.

Then there’s the excuses themselves. Two of them don’t actually justify the hypothetical woman’s imputation of malice on her hypothetical sex partner, and the third makes remaining in the relationship a stupid choice. Someone hurting you in the past does not make a different person you’re with now malicious or dangerous. Neither does someone else’s trauma. All three excuses rely on a lack of trust that the hypothetical guy can engage in intimacy without mistreating his partner. All three are simply efforts to maintain “victim” as the hypothetical woman’s identity.

At first glance the abusive relationship claim sounds like the most legitimate excuse. Then reality steps in.

Remember, feminists fought long and hard to gender domestic violence victim’s services to ensure that women would be the primary recipients of everything. They fought to expand these services to include not only long-term shelter for women and their children, but also financial services, job placement, representation in legal disputes, assistance with access to government aid programs, legal protections for abuse accusers, even the legal power to evict one’s abuser from the home and compel him to financially support his accuser... all in order to mitigate any hurdles a woman might face to abandoning an abusive relationship. They even ensured a high national saturation of shelters and services like these. 

In light of those resources, there is literally no excuse for a woman to remain in a relationship so violently abusive that she believes her partner will rape her if she declines his sexual advances.

In response to this point, I received arguments from feminists disparaging the results of their own movement’s advocacy, claiming these services don’t exist, aren’t widely available, or aren’t sufficient because battered women’s syndrome… that last one being in effect, another use of a woman’s own internal monologue as an excuse for a stupid choice.

What feminists take credit for when they want to tell you how great their movement is, stops existing in their minds the moment it interferes with maintaining “victim” as the female identity. 

One commenter insisted that the discussion didn’t have anything to do with blaming men, the insinuation being that there’s nothing objectionable about the statement because it doesn’t directly use terms like “rapist” or “predator.” On one hand, this leaves nothing to the comment but an attempt at supporting “victim” as the female identity.

On the other hand… by what has this hypothetical woman been victimized? Let’s look at the logical progression of concepts, shall we?

In 2012, after a long fight, feminists got the FBI’s definition of rape changed. Among other factors, the updated version changed conditions for the crime from “against the victim’s will” to “without the victim’s consent.” This is a significant change, in that the original definition relied on the perpetrator’s deliberate contravention of the victim’s will, while the updated version did not. The post-2012 rape definition, which is more in line with feminist researchers’ definition, treats a woman’s failure to communicate as a factor in determining a man’s guilt. 

So, back to the scenario art collective described: A woman’s consent can be illusionary - in other words, not real, a lie, invalid - because of the woman’s own internal monologue. She does not disclose this to her partner, but instead actively engages in sex with him. By definition, if we accept art collective’s logic, the guy has now had sex with a nonconsenting partner.

What does that make him under the logic feminist “enthusiastic consent” proponents have imposed on society? Prince Charming?

The assumption itself “If I refuse he’ll rape me” is based on a fear of men, one that none of the commenters could justify without demonizing men as sexual predators or attributing it to the behavior of at least some men.

So here we have the female victim identity cult deeming a man a rapist without admitting that’s what they are doing, and blaming men in general for their attitude. 

Poor, innocent Mr. Creosote. Through no fault of his own, he found himself victimized, his internal organs blown all over the room by his overstuffed stomach. If only that last, wafer thin mint hadn’t somehow, inexplicably, found its way down his throat. Not that we’re blaming the waiter who gave it to him, mind you. Just because we’re saying the waiter gave it to him without his consent doesn’t mean we’re saying the waiter force-fed him. Where did you ever get that idea?

Are you tired of the victim identity cult yet?

#MeToo!