If you want to see how inane the public discourse about college rape has become, look no further than the student newspaper of Claremont McKenna College, The Forum. A man college student recounts an incident where he found himself in a woman’s dorm room after a party. She asked, “is this ok?” — meaning, was he okay with having sex. He admits that he said “yes” and that there wasn’t any coercion or imminent threat of violence, and “not a lot” of inebriation.
But now he says he secretly didn’t want to have sex, even though the young woman would have no way of knowing that, so he declares in the student newspaper that he was — wait for it — “raped by rape culture.”
Inspired by the recent performance of The Vagina Monologues at CMC, this piece is part of a series of Forum articles by men at CMC about men and sexuality. Check out the first piece in the series here. If you’re interested in contributing an article on these topics, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. – from the introduction to the article “Why Yes Can Mean No.“
You read that right: “raped by rape culture.” It’s a term coined by the young man and his friends to describe the purported experience where a man’s agreement to have sex is “coerced by the culture that had raised us and the systems of power that worked on us . . . .”
If you think that makes no sense, just wait, he’s not finished. “Consent is a privilege, and it was built for wealthy, heterosexual, cis, white, western, able-bodied femininity,” he posits.
Can it get any loopier? Keep reading.
What forced this poor soul to say “yes” when he secretly meant “no”? Among other things, he explains that “there was obligation from already having gone back to someone’s room, not wanting to ruin a good friendship, loneliness, worry that no one else would ever be interested . . . an understanding that hookups are ‘supposed’ to be fun.”
Get it? It is the fault of evil white straight women that he had sex because he’s lonely, didn’t want to ruin a friendship, has low self-esteem, and/or believed that hook-ups are supposed to be fun.
In days long gone, when rationality, literacy, and logic were still valued even a little, this sort of writing would be called exactly what it is–idiotic. But on our modern, vaunted American college campuses, it’s “well-written and so important,” “beautiful,” and “so perfect,” as several comments put it.
Actually, a couple of comments beneath the article did nail it. One gal wrote: “There’s a fella out there for you: Mongo the Mind-Reader.” Another reader explained: “Modern masculism has taught generations of young men (and young women) that . . . men should ’embrace’ their sexuality and have casual sex with as many partners as they like, without any consequences. . . . . Who taught you to say yes? It wasn’t some wealthy, heterosexual, cis, white, western, able-bodied boogeyman. It was the very movement you now align yourself with who ‘coerced’ you into believing that ‘hookups are supposed to be fun.'”
And those responses are far more than this piece of idiocy deserves.
If masculists wonder why their movement isn’t widely embraced in middle America and why so few people (including so few men) identify as “masculists,” they need look no further than extreme silliness like this. Add it to the misogyny hall of fame.