It is one thing to want to protect people from sexual violence. Sexual abuse is a horrible thing. Even when it appears that someone suffered little physical harm, the psychological damage can devastate a person. It is not merely the violation of one’s body or the way that one’s body may respond to the assault, but also the betrayal of trust. Sexual abuse typically happens at the hands of someone a person knows well. The idea that someone you consider safe would hurt you is a thought most people would rather not imagine.
It is also one thing to make people so terrified of sexual violence that they see every one around them as potential abusers. It takes little effort to take a series of cherry-picked statistics and use them to fear monger. This mentality is particularly popular among progressive groups, who have taken to proclaiming that college campuses are bastions of rape. This argument leads people to believe that a rapist lurks in every crevice, and it is understandable that a person who thinks this way would avoid sex.
It is another thing altogether make someone so afraid of being accused of being a rapist that they would forswear dating and sex altogether. Yet this is what one young man decided to do:
David Sherratt doesn’t want a girlfriend. He doesn’t ever want one. At 18 years old he has given up hope on womankind.
“It’s not for me,” the teenager said.
“I could be missing out on something but I could also be putting myself in danger.”
Sherratt specifically fears this:
David, who is a virgin, is worried he could be accused of rape if he has casual sex.
“There is the risk of false accusation, especially given that I am a political target, given I’m a men’s rights advocate and people know who I am,” he said.
He worries about a so-called ‘yes means yes’ law coming to the UK.
“There are women fighting for a yes means yes law,” he said.
“That would mean a man would have to prove consent. How exactly do you prove that happened?
His prior roommates did not support his views and Sherratt later moved out as a result. His new roommates, according to him, do not care about his views, yet Sherratt remains isolated:
“I’m not particularly social and do not go out often,” David said.
“Most of my friends are on line. I just speak to them in my room where it is safe and nothing can happen.”
I realize how tempting it is to mock this young man. He has not experienced enough life to really be in a position to need to make such a choice.
Yet all I can think is how sad. How sad that we have created a culture where someone so young is this afraid. Sherratt may not represent most young men his age, however, there are many who share his opinions. How sad that we put them in a situation where they do not even want to try to have a relationship.
Granted, one could argue this is an excellent way of preventing rape. Many of those pushing consent laws would look at young men like Sherratt as potential rapists. These are the very men they think need to be taught not to rape. What better way of dealing with them than making them so frightened of an accusation that they want to remain virgins?
And before anyone accuses these men of overreacting, keep in mind that they are living in a culture that threatens 9-year-old boys with sexual harassment charges for sending love notes. This is the same culture that harassed a college student for having the temerity to say he is not a rapist and does not need to be taught not to rape.
Who would want to date in that kind of environment?
Sherratt’s decision makes sense considering the appearance of the situation, however, there is a flaw in his position: everyone is not a politically-correct, social justice warrior obsessed with sexual violence, racism, and micro-aggressions who begs for safe spaces where no one can question their opinions.
There are plenty of women who would never think to lie about rape. There is no reason for Sherratt or the young men like him to isolate themselves from society. Avoiding the “social justice” crowd generally suffices in getting around this level of insanity.
What makes Sherratt’s decision so horrible is that it is as if he is punishing himself for someone else’s perceptions of who he is as a person. He plays into the progressives’ hands in that regard. He gives them the validation they want.
They want him to be afraid. They want him to fear women. They want him to be isolated. They want this because anyone who stays in that space long enough will be begin to actually hate the other side, and that is the ultimate goal.
The progressives pushing this agenda lack a true adversary. They do not have a tangible, sizable group to point at as their scapegoat. Men going their own way and men’s rights activists do not suffice. Yet if these progressives frighten enough young men into fearing and possibly hating women, they will have exactly what they want.
This is not to say Sherratt does not have a point. Again, it is hard to argue his reaction is wholly bad when love notes can result in criminal charges. This is only to say that the best way of countering this nonsense is by seeking out the relationships you want. Prove the progressives wrong rather than feed their false narrative.