Articles about “rape culture” are proliferating on the internet and in magazines, with the most notable example being the debunked Rolling Stone article “A Rape on Campus.”
But feminist and author Wendy McElroy argues in her new book, “Rape Culture Hysteria: Fixing the Damage Done to Men and Women,” that claims about rape culture are exaggerated and, in fact, hurt both men and women.
According to McElroy, rape culture has become “a very dominant issue—it’s really taking over campuses—largely because of the backing of the office of civil rights of the Department of Education and the ‘Dear Colleague’ letters they send out.”
The Department of Education will say that if colleges don’t want to lose their funding, they have to comply with their demands [about how sexual assault is addressed].” She also says that there is a “rape culture dogma on campuses” that is “starting to spill out into the mainstream.”
It is also noteworthy that some feminists claim that 1 in 4 to 1 in 5 college women are raped on campus. McElroy contends the real number is more like 1 in 53, but that “rape culture hysteria” has distorted how the public views rape.
Evidence of rape culture hysteria leaking into the public consciousness is demonstrated by the creation of “Yes Means Yes” laws intended for the general public, McElroy says. “[recently] the American Law Institute pushed to get yes means yes law implemented for the general public—one of the things they were doing was trying to rewrite the law on rape to create a yes means yes standard.” “Yes Means Yes” laws state that a woman must express a verbal “yes” to sex before intercourse starts. Otherwise, the act is considered rape.
McElroy writes that the notion of rape culture has become so ingrained in young college students that they fail to comprehend the idea that it might not exist.
“One of the things that shocked me the most, and which led to my writing this book, is that when I was at Brown University doing a debate with Jessica Valenti [a radical feminist and author],” the author told The Daily Caller. “There, I spent a lot of time talking to these students at this Ivy League University—and I’ve grown a skin from being a dissenting feminist, and this still shocked me—but I was surprised by their inability to profess any idea that differed from their own.
“It’s not they agreed or disagreed with my ideas but they could not even profess them, couldn’t even repeat them correctly,” McElroy laments. “[Discussions about rape are] so ideological, and discussion is really being shut down in universities.”
The situation has become so grave that people who are skeptical of rape culture are often ignored by feminist circles just because of their beliefs—even if they are rape victims themselves.
“When I go into a room [full of radical feminists] one of the things that happens is overwhelming hostility because I’m questioning what they’re saying.”
Yet McElroy notes that she is treated differently when others discover that she experienced rape. “When I say I was raped, a hush of silence and respect falls over the crowd. It disturbs me that I am respected for something I have no control over, that I am not respected for my talents or the fact that I am a writer—my rape is what gets me that hush of respect.”
Radical feminists are so obsessed with rape that they define women based on whether or not they have experienced sexual violence.
Ultimately, McElroy says, hysteria about rape culture has led to false accusations and tall tales. For example, with regard to the UVA case, “it doesn’t matter that every person, including [the accuser], says she lied.” Radical feminists encourage people to “believe the woman” no matter what, even if it means innocent men are punished in the process.
But McElroy says that she hopes that if people learn one thing from her book, it’s that men and women aren’t natural enemies.
“All men are not rapists. Men and women are not enemies. We are all human beings. There is a natural harmony of interest between human beings.”