Eugene's "feminists" collaborating with rapist cops
University of Oregon's sexual assault awareness week sponsored by the worst sex offenders in town. Is this a nasty left/right alliance promulgating prudery and fear?
"I've been attacking what I regard as the ideology of date rape. At the same time that I consider rape an outrage, I consider the propaganda and hysteria about date rape equally outrageous from a Sixties point of view, utterly reactionary from a Sixties point of view. And I will continue to attack the well-meaning people who think they're protecting women and in fact are infantilizing them...
- ...And unfortunately what's happening today, with this kind of sanctimonious and sermonizing talk about sex that's coming out of the rape counselors and so on, people do not realize, with all their good intentions, how oppressive this is to sex, what a disaster this is to the mind, what a disaster this is to the spirit, to allow the rape counselors to take over the cultural stage. Now the work that they do is good, and it's wonderful that they're there. But we cannot have this scenario being projected of male rapaciousness and brutality and female victimage. We have got to make women realize that they are responsible, that sexuality is something that belongs to them. They have enormous power in their sexuality. It's up to them to use it correctly and to be wise about where they go and what they do. And I'm accused of being 'anti-woman' because of this attitude? Because I'm bringing common sense back into the rape discourse?
- Now, people always say to me 'Oh, you're always talking about feminists as if they're monolithic. We are not monolithic. We're very pluralistic. We have so many different views.' No, excuse me: the date rape issue shows that I'm am correct. Because there is one voice speaking about date rape coast to coast, one voice, one stupid, shrewish, puritanical, sermonizing, hysterical voice."
-Camile Paglia, from "The Crisis in American Universities", lecture at MIT, 1991
Rapist police co-sponsoring University of Oregon rape awareness week
It's Sexual Violence Awareness Week on Eugene's UO campus. Sounds good on the surface - people should know how to protect themselves from violence. Sounds good, until you actually study the brochure.
- Sure, I was suspicious of the rhetoric about educating women about "common ploys used" by "sexual assaulters" (call me out-fashioned, hell, call me patriarchal, but I seem to remember that "using ploys" to get someone in bed with you is called "seduction"). And yes, it gnawed at my nerves a slight bit to read a flyer that has the word "sexual" all over it, yet lacks a single reference - not one - to the fact sex is often PLEASURABLE. A weeks worth of workshops on sexuality and nobody's talking about how to enjoy sex more, or more effectively stimulate your partner for that matter.
- But the real clincher came when I read the list of sponsors, and right smack in the middle of the usual litany of rape counselors and stundent groups, there it was - Lo, and Behold!! - the Eugene Police Department!!!!!!
- Now, I consider myself a literate young gentleman, and I do tend to read the newspapers. I could help but notice this summer that there's been a lot of public discussion about the fact that the Eugene Police are a bunch of rapists!. And I mean real rapists, like, y'know, at gunpoint. Not these bullshit "She crawled into bed and rubbed up against me and then wrote a zine about it after I felt her up" - type rapists we got in the activist scene.
- The flyer even gives police phone numbers to call if you get groped. AS IF (real victim, er, "survivor", or otherwise) anyone in their right mind would want to call the Eugene cops. AS IF that wouldn't lead to some poor frat boy getting thrown in jail where he has a good chance of getting raped. Of course there's no mention of the prison rape issue, the brunt of which is borne by men, anywhere on the flyer.
- I would really like to know how organizations like Sexual Assault Support Services (541-485-6700) and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Educational and Support Services Program (541-346-1134, firstname.lastname@example.org) expect anyone to take them seriously when they cozzy up the cops and give the EPD free PR? Having been harassed and subjected to violence by the Eugene Police myself on numerous occaisions, I find the fact that the feminist movement is portraying itself as radical while they tolerate this crap to be downright insulting.
- Further down the list of sponsors, we get this little gem: a student group called that Sexual Wellness Advocacy Team. Now when I meditate (aaaaah!) on the phrase "sexual wellness" the image that comes to mind is something along the lines of "oh yeah, baby, give it to me harder!!" (right?), but when you make an acronym out of the name of this group you get the word SWAT. What mental picture just popped up in your head? Thought so. Now why exactly would a group advocating "sexual wellness" choose an acronym that conjures an image of jackbooted thugs kicking your door in, especially in a town where the cops are known to bring Amoured Personnel Carriers to people's front doors. Why exactly is that? (in all fairness, SWAT does get props for including Kaite Roiphe on their reading list, however tokenistic)
- One is lead to wonder what sort of political agenda is going on when leftie "feminists" are working (how closely, one wonders?) with the police and co-opting militaristic police culture? Considering that Eugene's feminist scene has a track record peppered with shining moments such as lauching pickets and vandalism attacks against the Eugene Weekly for running an ads for the sex industry and for an Annie Sprinkle (feminist porn star) show, I'd like to submit that it's an agenda which is profoundly hostile to sexual liberation and freedom of speech. (From the Sonja Snieder's Weekly article: "The language of the vandals -- "smut" and "sleaze" -- could just as well have come from the religious right as from the feminist left" ... yep) Currently, John 'anoint my feet' Ashcroft is using "women and children" rhetoric that sounds like it's straight out of Wolf's 'The Beauty Myth', to crusade against porn, interesting to seeing how that megalomaniac psycho and the campus Sisterhood make such strange bedfellows (pun intended).
- Oh and one last thing: Take Back the Night, the grand finale of Sex Panic Week. The organizers are saying it "resists the notion that women should have to be afraid of the streets at night." Seems to me that they're the main group spreading that notion. Of course men are suffer from random violence (while women are raped more often, men are actually more likely to be attacked by strangers). I got beat up and mugged once in broad daylight, how come nobody's organizing a Take Back the Day March? And why the gender division? (men are banned from marching on most campuses, this year there was a big flap over how to handle the transgender issue - some of them are, y'know, sort of like men - pretty entertaining, in that slow-down-to-see-the-car-accident sort of way). I'm sure that we can count on the police to refrain from being trigger happy with the rubber bullets like they usually are at this march, seeing as how they're practically co-sponsoring it. Oh and for crying out loud, all the work that's gone into this march when for a full year nobody on this campus DONE A GODDAMN THING to stop the war in Iraq (where women are getting raped, you know) is SHAMEFUL (not to mention self-centered and priveleged), especially considering the close relationship the UO's various research departments maintain with the military.
add a comment on this article
add a comment on this article