Unconscious Rape Victims Can’t Complain
So says University of Rochester professor, libertarian and former Slate contributor, Steven Landsburg, who is oddly popular. (With whom?)
Let’s suppose that you, or I, or someone we love, or someone we care about from afar, is raped while unconscious in a way that causes no direct physical harm—no injury, no pregnancy, no disease transmission…
As long as I (the victim) am safely unconscious and therefore shielded from the costs of an assault, why shouldn’t (my attackers) be allowed to reap the benefits?
Prof. Landsburg began by musing, “Let’s suppose that you or I,” but has he really put himself in the victim’s place? Would he really be okay waking to find that he had been anally assaulted?
But then, libertarians appear to have low levels of empathy so maybe he hasn’t.
Prof. Landsburg seems to think that harm only counts when it is “directly physical.” What about emotional wreckage?
Jim Crow laws caused no physical harm to Blacks in Michigan. Even Mississippi Blacks were not physically harmed by separate drinking fountains and bathrooms or by sitting at the back of the bus.
Yet those laws said something disturbing about Black humanity and created emotional injury in the North and South, alike.
Racism and rape, among many other things, wreck emotional violence even without physical harm.
The intention of rape is to demean the victim and prove that the perpetrator has power, allowing him to feel his so-called “manhood” (defined by the rapist as powerful, domineering, violent, superior).
He defiles another to raise himself up.
Rape victims are too often, in turn, demeaned by the community. That’s what happened with the Steubenville rape – the assault that Prof. Landsburg refers to in his illustration. Kids made fun of the sixteen-year-old victim, sharing gossip and pictures. They recognized the denigration and spread it further.
Prof. Landsburg, even if a woman was not beaten and did not get an STD or a pregnancy, she was still harmed. And she has every right to complain.
Posted on April 12, 2013, in feminism, psychology, rape and sexual assault, sexism, violence against women, women and tagged feminism, psychology, rape and sexual assault, sexism, Steubenville rape, Steven Landsburg, violence against women, women. Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.