the Other McCain: Does anyone else remember the “Culture War” of the 1990s? Conservatives like Bill Bennett and Robert Bork argued at the time that the decadence of popular culture — as evidenced in everything from gangsta rap to video games to Quentin Tarantino movies — was corrupting morality, inciting violence and sexual perversion. Here we are, two decades later and feminists are saying basically the same thing.
This is part of what the whole “rape culture” discourse is about. Whereas most of us think of rape as a criminal act perpetrated by individuals, feminists want to indict culture — or “misogyny” or “male supremacy” or some other way of blaming larger societal forces beyond the act of the individual rapist. Therefore, feminists now adamantly insist, it’s the way we talk about sex, or the way sex is depicted in advertising, movies and TV shows, which causes rape. So now the Speech Police patrol the Internet, ready to denounce as a “rape apologist” anyone who contradicts the feminist narrative. No one can be permitted to express doubt toward the Scientific Truth of the Feminist-Industrial Complex. After Christina Hoff Sommers spoke at Georgetown University, the student newspaper published an editorial that accused the College Republicans (who hosted Sommers’ lecture) of having “knowingly endorsed a harmful conversation on the serious topic of sexual assault.”
Merely to have a conversation is harmful on the 21st-century campus.