Green Room

Rape talk and rape accusations

posted at 3:56 pm on August 25, 2012 by

Remember this hilarious movie scene? –

 Linda: I think if anyone ever tried to rape me, I’d pretend to go along with it and then in the middle pick up the nearest heavy object and let him have it. Unless, of course, I was enjoying it.

Allan: They say it’s the secret desire of every woman.

Linda: Well I guess it depends on who does the raping.

Allan; Well, look, why dwell on morbid things? Odds are you’ll never get raped.

Linda: Not with my luck.

That was from Woody Allen’s 1972 comedy Play It Again, Sam. Linda was portrayed by Diane Keaton and Allan by…Allen. Woody, that is.

Today that scene is cringe-inducing. Back then, the ideas it communicated were acceptable. Rape wasn’t viewed as an assault but rather as just another form of sex, and since sex is pleasurable…well, you finish it. I can’t.

The world has changed since Woody and Diane had that pretend conversation 40 years ago. Rape is now correctly viewed as an act of violence, a violation. It has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with power, degradation, humiliation, control.

Feminists were right to champion this shift in understanding, but it was slow to take hold in some quarters. Viewers were reminded recently of Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Clayton Williams’s 1990 comments about rape (if it’s inevitable, one should just “relax and enjoy it”) by MSNBC’s Alex Wagner, as she tried to demonstrate a pattern of obtuseness in GOP candidates leading up to remarks by Missouri’s Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, Todd Akin.

Akin, as everyone not living in a cave now knows, said that women who are raped have some special power to prevent becoming pregnant. This has become slangily known as the Magic Uteri theory of conception, one that was used in centuries past to determine if a woman’s claim of rape was “legitimate.”

The outrage that was visited upon Akin was well-deserved. His remarks paint a picture of a man whose thinking on an important woman’s issue hasn’t evolved much beyond the nineteenth century.

The issue in question is rape, by the way, not abortion. Akin likes to portray himself as something of a martyr for the pro-life cause. He does that cause, though, a disservice by cowardly trying to hide behind it. Abortion policy has nothing whatsoever to do with his perverse thinking on rape.

But Democrats will probably try to make that link at their convention, trotting out abortion rights activists and free contraception advocates to lecture the world about how they are defenders of women in a great conservative war on same.

Ironically, this will be a convention where one of the marquee speakers is a man actually accused of rape by at least one woman and the subject of impeachment for lying under oath about another sexual liaison that would have cost many other executives their jobs.

Yes, I’m talking about former President Bill Clinton.  As Mark Levin so articulately and passionately pointed out, how can the Democrats even pretend to care about the issue of rape when they yawned at rape accusations against one of their own stars?

Although Clinton was never criminally charged with rape, he was found guilty of lying under oath about an affair that would have gotten other business managers fired—he was a powerful executive, after all, engaging in a sexual relationship with a powerless underling, an intern. For this he was ultimately disbarred.

His behavior and attitudes toward women in his personal life show little evidence of respect for the XX chromosome crowd. Yet feminists gave his behavior a wink and a nod, some female pols admitting they wouldn’t want him around their daughters, but he was a good leader nonetheless.

Why did he get a pass for his abhorrent behavior? He might not have held Magic Uteri beliefs, but he certainly held the beliefs about uteri that got him a magic pass from the pro-choice lobby.

Like most people, I’m in no mood to relitigate L’Affaires Clinton. One hopes he has atoned and been forgiven by those he wronged and by his God.

But spare me the holier-than-thou show, Democrats, at your convention. You don’t really care about women if you’re not willing to stare down one of your own when he mistreats women.

When Republicans saw a man with antique misogynistic views about rape, they did the right thing. They spoke out against him vigorously and repeatedly. They still do.

But heaven help the gals who are actually assaulted, mistreated or abused by Democratic men. Their liberal sisterhood and the Democratic party abandon them.

Libby Sternberg is a novelist.

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Excellent post, Libby!!

Bitter Clinger on August 25, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Well said! That Covers Juanita Broderick and Paula Jones. Has anyone talked to Tawana Brawley or the Hooker from the Duke Lacrosse Case?

paratisi on August 25, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Akin’s still selfish, delusional and toast in the general election.

alwaysfiredup on August 25, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Al Gores ‘Magic Chakra’ comes to mind as well.

The best part of the story was yet to come, however. When the masseuse told her friends that she’d been sexually assaulted by the horny horned-owl hero, they answered her in typical liberal fashion: “suck it up; otherwise, the world’s going to be destroyed from global warming.”

link

Jeff2161 on August 25, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Tex Antoine made the same “lie back and enjoy it” unjoke on WABC news in NY in 1976. He was gone before the end of 6 pm news cast.

Some decency in the 1970s.

rbj on August 25, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Rape wasn’t viewed as an assault but rather as just another form of sex, and since sex is pleasurable…well, you finish it.

Sorry, Libby, but you must have lived in a different world from me in the 70s, because you are very wrong. The reason Woody Allen made a joke about it, was because that was the sort of sick joke that made him supposedly funny. A lot of people didn’t find Woody Allen very funny for that very reason. (The thing with Soon-Yi was pretty predictable if you were in the group that found Allen disgusting and lame, rather than immensely funny.)

GWB on August 25, 2012 at 8:48 PM

No, Akins has apologized — and stated on the record that he was wrong. It is now the Democrats who are hiding a War on Children behind their War on Rape.

unclesmrgol on August 25, 2012 at 10:27 PM

“Today that scene is cringe-inducing. Back then, the ideas it communicated were acceptable. Rape wasn’t viewed as an assault but rather as just another form of sex, and since sex is pleasurable…well, you finish it. I can’t.”

I’m sorry, Libby, I lived thru the 70′s and “back then” rape was just as illegal and disapproved of as today.

It’s just that the Whacky Left hadn’t fixated it on it with their PC lunacy yet.

CoolCzech on August 25, 2012 at 10:31 PM

GWB on August 25, 2012 at 8:48 PM

I did find Woody funny, for the most part. Like all comics, he had his off moments.

Of course, you are absolutely correct — the final off moment — the thing that made me stop going to Woody Allen flicks, was Soon-yi.

I wonder who’s helping him cheat on Soon-yi? Ronan Farrow, his biological son by Mia, said this a few months ago:

Happy father’s day — or as they call it in my family, happy brother-in-law’s day.

and

He’s my father married to my sister. That makes me his son and his brother-in-law. That is such a moral transgression.

Obviously, the wounds Woody inflicted on his family have not healed except in one respect: Ronan is also a liberal.

unclesmrgol on August 25, 2012 at 10:35 PM

I’m sorry, Libby, I lived thru the 70′s and “back then” rape was just as illegal and disapproved of as today.

It’s just that the Whacky Left hadn’t fixated it on it with their PC lunacy yet.

CoolCzech on August 25, 2012 at 10:31 PM

You misunderstand. Of course it was illegal back then. But attitudes toward rape were different– Clayton Williams’s line was pretty common. I lived through the 70s, too, and I heard that kind of claptrap a lot.

Libby Sternberg on August 26, 2012 at 6:09 AM

Sorry, Libby, but you must have lived in a different world from me in the 70s, because you are very wrong. The reason Woody Allen made a joke about it, was because that was the sort of sick joke that made him supposedly funny. A lot of people didn’t find Woody Allen very funny for that very reason. (The thing with Soon-Yi was pretty predictable if you were in the group that found Allen disgusting and lame, rather than immensely funny.)

GWB on August 25, 2012 at 8:48 PM

I disagree. The reason he made a joke about it was because he could — it wasn’t offensive to do so at that time. Allen might have pushed boundaries, but he was no shock artist. I take it you don’t care for him. To each his own.

Libby Sternberg on August 26, 2012 at 6:31 AM

The issue in question is rape, by the way, not abortion. Akin likes to portray himself as something of a martyr for the pro-life cause. He does that cause, though, a disservice by cowardly trying to hide behind it. Abortion policy has nothing whatsoever to do with his perverse thinking on rape.

Your statement that this is not about abortion is simply not true! Transcript:

Charles Jaco:
Okay, so if an abortion can be considered in the case of, say, tubal pregnancy or something like that, what about in the case of rape? Should it be legal or not?

Todd Akin:
It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, uh the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. You know, I think there should be some punishment but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.

Akin made that idiotic statement to justify his position that abortions should be illegal even in the case of rape. He was essentially saying that women who are raped don’t get pregnant, so hey, don’t worry about my policy which would “punish” the rape victim.

And the fact remains his stupidity has drawn attention to this part of the GOP platform and sucked Romney (who disagrees with this) into it the maelstrom.

Buy Danish on August 26, 2012 at 8:20 AM

The issue in question is rape, by the way, not abortion. Akin likes to portray himself as something of a martyr for the pro-life cause. He does that cause, though, a disservice by cowardly trying to hide behind it. Abortion policy has nothing whatsoever to do with his perverse thinking on rape.

Your statement that this is not about abortion is simply not true! Transcript:

I understand that Akin made his ridiculous comments in reaction to a question about abortion, but the outrage directed at him has to do with his understanding of what rape is and whether a woman who is raped can get pregnant.

Libby Sternberg on August 26, 2012 at 8:29 AM

I understand that Akin made his ridiculous comments in reaction to a question about abortion, but the outrage directed at him has to do with his understanding of what rape is and whether a woman who is raped can get pregnant.

Libby Sternberg on August 26, 2012 at 8:29 AM

The outrage is about both his statement on rape and the GOP’s position on abortion. Nobody was talking about it before, now its heavy artillery in Dem claims there’s a War on Women. Here’s one random example:

Maureen Dowd:

When he was put on the ticket, Ryan had an aggressive record of fighting against abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. He also had a reputation for sticking to his convictions, despite the political consequences. But he told reporters he would abide by Romney’s view that abortions should be allowed in cases of rape and incest. On Thursday, asked during a TV interview in Roanoke, Va., whether a woman should be able to get an abortion if she was raped, he replied: “I’m very proud of my pro-life record, and I’ve always adopted the idea, the position that, the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life.” But he also said he would adapt to Romney’s position, which he described as “a vast improvement of where we are right now.” [snip]
…And that is what’s disturbing about the prospect of a President Romney. Even though he once seemed to have sensible, moderate managerial instincts, he won’t stop ingratiating himself with the neo-Neanderthals.

Granted, Dowd is a horse’s ass but as someone who has liberal friends, I know what their reaction is because I see their hysterical reaction on facebook.

Buy Danish on August 26, 2012 at 8:55 AM

Another example here, from Jeff Jacoby (who is not a horse’s ass):

The platform’s silence on any exemptions for rape or incest, which critics swiftly dubbed the “Akin plank,” particularly stoked the flames.

Jacoby points out correctly that both parties have extreme views but no matter how true that statement is, it’s not going to win over undecided women voters who voted for O but are giving R a look.

Buy Danish on August 26, 2012 at 9:11 AM

Buy Danish…point taken. Yes, the outrage on the left is about abortion, too. I guess I was thinking of the outrage from the right, that Akin would so misunderstand rape.

Btw, I, too, see the stream of Facebook posts filled with hysteria about Republicans and conservatives. It’s a lovefest! :)

Libby Sternberg on August 26, 2012 at 9:22 AM

One of my lib NYC area friends posted a photo in response to the Akin fiasco with a “VOTE” button. I responded by saying I didn’t realize I had so many friends who were living in Missouri and planned to vote in the Senate race:)

I’ve had to repeatedly point out this is not Romney’s view but it’s largely an exercise in futility. It’s like throwing a glass of water on a raging fire.

Buy Danish on August 26, 2012 at 9:39 AM

One final point: While the GOP platform position on abortion/rape/incest has not changed, and the Dems would have attacked it anyway, Akin put a face to it which allows them to go full out Alinsky. Rule 11: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it…

Buy Danish on August 26, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Akin’s still selfish, delusional and toast in the general election.

alwaysfiredup on August 25, 2012 at 5:19 PM

That’s the nicest thing anyone’s said about him all day. You must be a fan /

Laura in Maryland on August 26, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Rape is now correctly viewed as an act of violence, a violation. It has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with power, degradation, humiliation, control.

Feminists were right to champion this shift in understanding,

Do you understand why what you’re saying sounds completely insane unless you use the term “legitimate rape”? It’s because the word “rape,” like so many other words (including the word “liberal” itself) has been re-defined in the liberal lexicon.

The same feminists you congratulate for rescuing America from the incessant rape orgies that we used to laugh about so hysterically (at least according your hallucinogenic version of history) call practically ALL sex “rape.”

logis on August 26, 2012 at 9:29 PM

logis on August 26, 2012 at 9:29 PM

Hyperbole much?

R. Waher on August 27, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Rape is now correctly viewed as an act of violence, a violation. It has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with power, degradation, humiliation, control.

I would disagree somewhat, Libby, and say it is an act/crime of violence where sex is the weapon. Without the sex element it wouldn’t, by definition, be rape.

whatcat on August 27, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Back then, the ideas it communicated were acceptable. Rape wasn’t viewed as an assault but rather as just another form of sex, and since sex is pleasurable…well, you finish it. I can’t.

Hyperbole much?

R. Waher on August 27, 2012 at 3:51 PM

WAAAYY too much. I admit that the excerpt is an extreme example, but liberals say things almost that crazy all the freaking time.

Granted, most of them would never publically admit they based their view of American history on the rantings of a drug-addled pedophile — which even HE portrayed as a farce — but the bottom line remains pretty much the same.

logis on August 27, 2012 at 8:08 PM

Hyperbole much?

R. Waher on August 27, 2012 at 3:51 PM

WAAAYY too much.

logis on August 27, 2012 at 8:08 PM

I believe RWaher was referring to your reaction to Libby’s blog entry there. It was a bit over the top.

whatcat on August 27, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Granted, most of them would never publically admit they based their view of American history on the rantings of a drug-addled pedophile — which even HE portrayed as a farce — but the bottom line remains pretty much the same.
logis on August 27, 2012 at 8:08 PM

I believe RWaher was referring to your reaction to Libby’s blog entry there. It was a bit over the top.
whatcat on August 27, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Which word?

logis on August 27, 2012 at 9:26 PM

Which word?
logis on August 27, 2012 at 9:26 PM

The parts about being “insane” and hallucinating, mostly. Sounds a little silly.

whatcat on August 27, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Do you understand why what you’re saying sounds completely insane unless you use the term “legitimate rape”? It’s because the word “rape,” like so many other words (including the word “liberal” itself) has been re-defined in the liberal lexicon.

The same feminists you congratulate for rescuing America from the incessant rape orgies that we used to laugh about so hysterically (at least according your hallucinogenic version of history) call practically ALL sex “rape.”

logis on August 26, 2012 at 9:29 PM

The parts about being “insane” and hallucinating, mostly. Sounds a little silly.

whatcat on August 27, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Actually, it’s much, much more than a little silly.

It’s freaking CRAZY. And it absolutely does not in any way reflect REALITY. That’s why I used those words. Because of the fact that they are perfectly accurate.

Of course there was never a time in American history when rape was not a very serious crime. That never happened.

And (at least partly due to the fact that it never happened) of course feminists didn’t magically “enlighten” anyone into taking rape seriously.

The only thing liberals did was substitute a gigantic amount of hyper-sensitive Politically Correctness for anything remotely like rational debate.

logis on August 27, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Of course there was never a time in American history when rape was not a very serious crime. That never happened.

And (at least partly due to the fact that it never happened) of course feminists didn’t magically “enlighten” anyone into taking rape seriously.

Let me repeat: I was not in any way trying to imply that rape wasn’t a crime “back in the day.” But the offensive attitudes contained in the movie scene I cited and Clayton Williams’s remarks (“relax and enjoy it”) were very, very common. And yes, feminists helped change that.

I’m not a supporter of the current feminist movement, but feminists did raise awareness on some important issues. Rape was one.

Libby Sternberg on August 28, 2012 at 5:45 PM

I’m not a supporter of the current feminist movement, but feminists did raise awareness on some important issues. Rape was one.

Libby Sternberg on August 28, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Political Correctness has pulled one knife off the throat of a woman for every hungry child it has fed.

For a sum total of zero.

logis on August 28, 2012 at 10:15 PM