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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Barbara Kay: ‘Rape culture’ fanatics don’t know what a culture is

...Indeed, the more closely one follows the increasingly hysterical volleys of rhetorical fire back and forth on this issue, the more apparent it becomes that those who speak of a rape culture don’t understand what the word “culture” actually means. To result in a “culture,” a phenomenon must be widely accepted as the norm. It is culturally normal in some countries for women to be virtual chattels, governed by patriarchal standards of honour; to be married against their will; to meet blame from their kinsmen and indifference or even hostility at law enforcement and court levels when reporting sexual assault; to be shunned as unmarriageable — or worse — for the “shame” of having been raped, and so forth. There we can legitimately speak of a “rape culture.”
...Moral panic fuelled by ideology and righteous indignation quickly corrodes the critical faculties and blinds even otherwise intelligent people to objective facts. The numbers on campus rape don’t even come close to the famous “one in four” [women on campus are victims of rape or attempted rape], even taking into consideration unreported rates (i.e. multiplying reported rapes by 10, or even 100).

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