As some of my readers may know, I am not a big fan of labels. They make things too easy. A label allows people to write off other explanations, to generalize, and to tie things into nice little ideological bows. I try my best to avoid catchy terms so that I get to the core of the matter. However, sometimes the label just fits.
One such label is “rape apologist”. Feminists created the label initially to explain a type of person who looks for all the reasons why it is the woman’s fault for being raped (in general, the feminist perspective does not include male survivors). But as typically happens with ideologues, the term quickly became a weapon against anyone who disagreed with feminist views on sexual violence. Whether one questions a theory like “rape culture” or has the temerity to mention male survivors, plenty of feminists throw the “rape apologist” label around a lot.
Most recently, many internet feminists have labeled the Good Men Project “rape apologists” for running two articles about rape, one about a “nice guy” who committed rape and another by an anonymous man who binge drinks and may have raped several women and has no intention of stopping. The articles prompted much outrage from feminists, none more so than from Jill Filipovic of Feministe. She has gone on a crusade to completely undo GMP, claiming in her Guardian article to have gotten some media outlets to severe ties with the organization.
The problem with Jill’s criticism of GMP is that she wrote a similar article herself a few months ago. As I noted in my previous post, Jill had no problem calling a woman who had sex with her sleeping boyfriend not rape and considering the woman not a bad person and not a rapist. I pointed this out to her on Twitter, only to watch her double down and make a complete fool of herself before blocking me from her Twitter feed.
I called her out for what she is at this point: a hypocrite and a rape apologist.
I do not take either term lightly, and neither does Jill. It seems to have bothered her enough that she keeps bringing it up. I want to explain this just so it is clear, particularly for Jill since I am sure she will see this.
I call her a hypocrite because she clearly does not believe one of the two arguments she made. Either she believes anyone who has sex with a sleeping person is a rapist and there is no such thing as an accidental rapist or she believes that sometimes people do misread signals and accidentally rape someone by assuming consent where there is none. Jill says she believes the former, and but her argument about the woman from the Dan Savage column suggests she actually believes the latter. A hypocrite is not someone who says one thing and does another; they are someone who says the opposite of what they actually think and tries to get people to believe them. So either way, Jill is a hypocrite because clearly does not believe one of things she says she does.
The reason I call her a rape apologist is because her argument that “a few MRAs … [are] calling me a hypocrite and a rape apologist because they can’t tell the difference between the unicorn situation where a woman’s partner was sleepwalking and she had what she thought was consensual sex with him, and putting your dick in a sleeping woman” does not fly.
As I explained on Feministe (which I am sure she will delete), she needs to read what she just wrote. A person who is sleepwalking is asleep. They cannot consent because they are asleep. Nowhere in the woman’s explanation does she say her boyfriend had a sleep disorder. That was brought up by Savage and the psychologist. But even if the man did have a sleep disorder, how likely is it that his girlfriend would not know that by that time? And since when does not knowing a person has a disability make it okay to assume their consent?
I understand that as a feminist she does not take sexual violence against men and boys seriously. I understand that as a feminist she does not think women can commit rape. However, she must realize that saying that when a woman has sex with a sleeping man who she assumes consented is not rape completely contradicts her argument that it is wrong for anyone to have sex with a sleeping person.
A rape apologist is not someone who disagrees with you, who is not a feminist, or who posts two articles about rapists. A rape apologist is someone who makes excuses for rapists and justifies, minimizes, or denies someone’s rape. That is what Jill did, and that is why she is a rape apologist.
As I said, I do not take that terms lightly, and speaking as a male survivor who was raped by a woman, it is rather sad to watch a so-called anti-rape activist basically tell me that what was done to me for years as a child does not count. I am unsurprised that Jill did that, but it is a pathetic thing to watch, particularly as she tries to paint herself as the victim for being criticized.
I do not expect much of a response from Jill other than the nonsense she already wrote. I just want to make it clear that this is what real rape apologism looks like. This is what a rape apologist looks like. This is what male survivors and many female survivors have to put up with. Every time you have a problem figuring out what rape apologism looks like, go read the Feministe post and the comments and watch as dozens of so-called anti-rape activists back Jill because they like her, even though if anyone dared make the same comments about male-on-female rape they would lose it.
This is what rape apologism looks like.