Thursday, May 8, 2014

This week's problems with rape culture theory

1. In Nigeria, hundreds of girls have been kidnapped. The US and Britain have sent help. If the US and Britain are rape cultures, why would they bother? If Nigeria is a rape culture, why are Nigerians offering rewards and accepting help? It makes sense to say Boko Haram is a rape culture because "rape culture" can be useful in its original sense, to describe places like US prisons of the 1970s where rape is condoned.

2. Monica Lewinsky has said her relationship with Bill Clinton was consensual, despite the power dynamic. I think that's likely. It's even possible she was the pursuer. But according to rape culture theory, Bill Clinton raped her because they were not equals. However, saying that would give Republicans political ammunition to use against Hillary Clinton, so identitarian feminists have been having to do a rather amusing dance lately, simultaneously defending the theory that consent requires perfect equality while maintaining that Lewinsky "had agency".