Ted Rall: Why Feminists Are Missing the Date Rape Point

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Why are feminists telling women not to protect themselves from violence? Ted Rall on the controversy surrounding date rape drug detection nail polish …

aNewDomain commentary — Here’s where liberalism goes to die. Identity politics.

As the oceans boil and terrorists now routinely lop off the heads of freelance journalists, notice that there now is zero resistance to income inequality. It’s an equality that would stress Cornelium Vanderbilt, it’s so out of control. And the Internet’s politically-correct “social justice warriors” steadily dedicate their formidable energies into attacking piss ant trivialities.

The online slacktivists, who have their heads so far up their  asses  they no longer perceive daylight should read up on the controversy around Undercover Colors. It’s a nail polish that lets women discreetly and fashionably discover whether someone has mixed their drink with one of several common date rape drugs.

Lovely.

And here’s my aside to all women and Undercover Colors’ potential customers, too: If you do find yoursefl at a party or with a guy so sketchy that makes you wonder if he slipped you a mickey, forget the fancy polish and get out. Scoot.  It isn’t where you want to be anyway.

Better safe than sorry

“Anything that puts the onus on women to ‘discreetly’ keep from being raped misses the point,” writes Jessica Valenti, a once-influential feminist blogger whose hammer-to-the-skull-obvious post-motherhood columns for The Guardian add to the case for automatically censoring any piece of writing by a parent about their children.

“We should be trying to stop rape, not just individually try to avoid it,” she says. What? And Valenti is serious about this. “So long as it isn’t me isn’t an effective strategy to end rape. ‘Undercover Colors’ polish and products like it only offer the veneer of equality and safety. And that’s simply not good enough,” she writes.

Well, that’s true. But it’s a stupid comment. It’s like someone suggesting that just the wearing of shoes is an effective strategy to stop assholes from breaking glass bottles on streets? Assholes of course do leave shards of glass all over the place, but walking barefoot on city streets is never smart.

Want another fruitless example of so-called “individual avoidance?” Installing a car alarm or emplying a device like The Club to deter car thieves.

Sure, we all wish that we could all leave our cars unlocked and unprotected, that there were no car thieves to worry about. But the “so long as it isn’t me” strategy is crazy.

And we’re not likely to see an effective answer for eliminating the problem of car theft — or “an effective strategy to end rape” either. Theft and, especially, rape are crimes endemic in every culture throughout history.

Think about writers like Tara Culp-Resser of Think Progress, so far removed from the real world. She also criticized the entrepreneurs who invented the anti-date-rape polish.

She writes:  “It would likely be more effective to focus on larger efforts to tackle the cultural assumptions at the root of the campus sexual assault crisis … like the idea that it’s okay to take advantage of people when they’re drunk.”

To my horror, I have known men who bragged about raping drunk women. And because their stories were detail free, reporting them to the police would’ve been pointless. Now, these guys didn’t violate women because of any kind of a cultural assumption. They did it for just the same reason that CEOs write huge raises for themselves the very same day they fire thousands of employees.

Because they can.

Every woman for herself

It all reminds me of complaints about liberals who say they support public education but send their own kids to private school anyway. If the local public schools are inept, dangerous or decrepit, a parent would be unconscionable not to send their kids to private schools if they could afford it. Obviously, we should fight to ban private schools — and a capitalist system that separates American kids into pre-poor and pre-rich educational siloes — but that revolution is yet to be achieved. Until then, it’s every man and woman for himself and herself.

Feminist propaganda won’t stop rape.

Neither will marches, poster campaigns or any kind of hashtag bullshit.

Men will only stop raping women when they no longer can. Neither I nor the social justice types know how to achieve that better society. And until someone delivers that Big Idea, anything women can do to protect themselves — self-defense classes, carrying pepper spray, even wearing a date rape detecting — is just common sense.

For aNewDomain commentary, I’m Ted Rall.

A Pulitzer Prize finalist, Ted Rall writes political commentary and draws political cartoons for aNewDomain. A version of the above column ran on his syndicated feed. Follow Ted @TedRall and on Google + here. And check out his latest book, out this week — After We Kill You, We Will Welcome You Back As Honored Guests: Unembedded in Afghanistan. Subscribe to Ted Rall at Beacon.

Cover art: by Wegmann (Own work) , via Wikimedia Commons

About the author

Ted Rall

Based in New York, Ted Rall is aNewDomain's chief commentator and a nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist. A Pulitzer nominee, Rall's latest book is the NYT bestselling book, Trump: A Graphic Biography.
Support his work and see his toons first at his site on Petreon. Follow him on Twitter @tedrall

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