For some reason, feminists have it in their mind to have their own Todd Akin moment. First there was Senator Evie Hudak chastising a rape survivor by telling her that if the woman had a gun when she was attacked it would not have helped because “actually, statistics are not on your side, even if you had a gun.” Then there was Zerlina Maxwell’s “train mean not to rape” comment on Hannity. According to Maxwell, the only way to prevent rape is to “teach men not to rape women”.
I am quite annoyed with Maxwell, and not just because of her nonsensical, misandrous, moronic, asinine, jackass of a comment. No, what annoys me is that I actually had to watch the clip from Hannity’s show in order to know what Maxwell said. I purposefully avoid watching and reading right-wing material because of its stupidity. So one knows the situation is bad when Sean Hannity makes more sense. See for yourself:
Let us break this down: Democratic Strategist Zerlina Maxwell, who might want to rethink that title given how little strategy she showed during the interview, stated “I don’t think that we should be telling women anything. I think we should be telling men not to rape women and start the conversation there.”
One, most men are not rapists. Most men do not rape. Most men are not violent. Most men abhor rape. Even the Lisak/Miller study feminists love to cite showed that only 6 percent of men committed rape and that a small portion of those men were responsible for a significant number of rapes. So teaching men not to rape serves no point since 94 percent of all men already know not to rape people.
Two, all rapists are not men. Women commit about 20 percent of all sexual violence and between 40 to 70 percent of the sexual violence against males. Coincidentally, most men who commit rape were sexually abused as children by women. If one wishes to prevent sexual violence against women, a good place to start is by preventing women’s violence against men and boys.
Three (and as much as it pains me to admit it, I must agree with Sean Hannity), there is no evidence that rapists will listen to anyone telling them not to rape. Feminists have pointed to an anti-rape campaign in Edmonton as proof that targeting rapists works, however, during the same period of time the total crime rate in that area dropped 6 percent. It is unlikely that the ad campaign alone resulted in the 10 percent drop in reported rapes, particularly since dozens of similar campaigns have failed to produce similar results.
Violence does not work that way. As Sean Hannity noted, evil exists in the world and simply telling people not to do bad things is not a solution. As Maxwell noted, most rapes are committed by someone the victim knows, so this is hardly a situation in which the rapist has no idea about the potential impact of their actions.
However, it is clear from the interview that Maxwell was really out to make her point without providing a bit of evidence. That is how we get to her comment, “If you train men not to grow up to become rapists, you prevent rape.”
Really? Train men? Like they are animals? Maxwell cites Men Can Stop Rape and Men Stopping Violence as two organizations that “train” men not to rape. For the record, both those organizations make no effort to address sexual violence against men and boys, and completely fail to acknowledge women as potential rapists and abusers. They are also feminist organizations that push the notion that there is something inherently wrong with males that needs fixing.
This is sexism at its finest, and Maxwell was and remains completely incapable of defending herself beyond repeating “teach men not to rape” on her twitter page, and doing her best Todd Akin “I was misquoted and misunderstood” impression on Feministing. I do not agree with the threats people made against her, however, I have no problem with people calling her position stupid or idiotic because her comments make no actual sense.
She essentially accused all men of being rapists and argues, sans any evidence, that telling men not to rape is more effective than arming women. I agree with Maxwell that guns are not the answer, but if I had to pick what would more effectively stop rape, a bullet coming out of a gun seems better than telling the 94 percent of men who do not commit rape not to do something they already do not do.
Even the attempts to defend Maxwell had to dance around the sheer stupidity of her comments. From Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams:
The mere notion that maybe men need to be involved in the conversation about sexual violence earned Maxwell instant disdain, anger – and a lot worse. The Blaze called her remarks “bizarre” and the Washington Times reported that she’d “argued against women arming themselves.” Deeper down on the Internet, the responses got even more scathing, from bloggers who said she’d been “oversimplifying” to the Twitter trolls who told her she ought to get raped. Thanks for the feedback, Internet dopes. Why would anybody think that you need some sensitivity training?
Williams is no position to argue about sensitivity training given some of her articles about men and male survivors. Setting that aside, Williams’ initial point is wrong. Maxwell did not argue that men need to be involved in the conversation about sexual violence; no, she accused all men of being rapists and boldly claimed that the only way to stop rape was by training men, like dogs, not to rape.
Maxwell’s position so obviously moronic that she trots out another recent favorite feminist retort: “If firearms were the answer, then the military would be the safest place for women, and it’s not.” Oddly enough, many military personnel do not walk around armed all the time. And there is also that pesky fact that the majority of victims of rape in the military are men, not women.
If this is really the best feminists have to offer, it is no wonder their methods are not effective. The grandest irony of all is that this conversation did not promote more discussion about preventing sexual violence. Instead, it only prompted discussion about feminists’ misandry and stupid non-solution to rape and conservatives’ equally inane non-solution.
Blaming all men for the actions of a few does not prevent crime. It only causes animosity and an unwillingness to listen. If you want men to be a part of the conversation, a good place to start is by not treating them as rapists in wait or talk about training them like they are circus animals. Then they might be more inclined to listen to you.