Last week, a story broke that received surprisingly little attention from the MSM: a 14 year old Bangladeshi girl, after first being raped, was then accused of adultery and beaten to death. I say “surprisingly” because, since the women’s lib era, the dominant trope on the Left when it comes to rape is “never blame the victim.” In pre-women’s lib days, although raped women weren’t routinely beaten to death, there was a distinct lack of sympathy.
As a teenager, I still remember hearing and reading “she must have asked for it.” Back in the mid-1970s, Jules Feiffer had a multi-panel cartoon with a ragged housewife describing what she wore when she was raped. In each panel, she described an unappealing garment: curlers in her hair, old flannel nightgown, housecoat, slippers, no make-up, etc. In the last panel (and I’m describing this from memory) either a judge or a passer-by opines, “she was clearly asking for it.”
The women’s libbers were right to change that social dynamic, which blamed victims for savage sexual attacks. Typically for Americans, of course, we promptly went too far, insofar as we discounted a woman’s responsibility in terms of risk assessment. At the height of the “women are always the victims” insanity, a woman could wander bare nekkid into a biker bar, sprawl herself on the bar top, announce that she was free to all takers, and then cry rape afterwards. (This type of thing still goes on at American colleges and universities, where young women, having gotten dysfunctionally drunk and then willingly slept with a stranger, are allowed to call it rape when sobriety and regret arrive the next day.)
For the most part, while the American extremists are still trying to exculpate women entirely from responsibility, the vast majority of Americans understand that there’s a bit of nuance involved. That would agree that it is never okay for a man to have sex with a woman against her will. Legally, he’s culpable, and should be punished. Nevertheless, a woman who engages in exceptionally careless activity (that scanty attire in a biker bar, for example), is not without the blame for sheer stupidity. She’s not legally responsible, and the man shouldn’t get off the hook, but she should nevertheless get castigated for her stupidity, reminding other women that there’s only so far you can go being dumb before you get hurt.
The problem for liberals arises when there are two victims: the woman who was raped and the poor, benighted, imperialistically downtrodden, third world Muslim men. Multiculturalism demands that we give the men a free pass because it’s arrogant of us to impose our foul Judeo-Christian morality on , but feminism demands at least a nod to the woman raped. Except for one little thing…. The women raped don’t show up at your home or office and behead you. The women raped don’t throw acid on your face. The women raped don’t blow themselves up at your workplaces and airports. When it’s a matter of cowardice versus muddled principles, cowardice wins every time.
That same cowardice is why the media is remarkably quiet about stories that periodically emerge from places such as Norway or Denmark or Sweden, which have towns that have become almost entirely Muslim. In those towns, all women, not just Muslim women, go about veiled. Otherwise, the women are raped. After all, in the Muslim world, walking around the streets with your head bare is precisely equivalent to wandering into a biker bar naked. For a woman to expose any part of herself other than her hands and her eyes is tantamount to hollering out “Here I am, guys! Come and get me.” And the feminists allow it.
When I started writing this post, I actually meant to spend the bulk of my time on the Koran burning and the UN compound attack. I was going to point out that the same Leftists who routinely holler “don’t ever blame the victim” when it comes to rape, have been unified in blaming the Koran burning in the US two weeks ago for the murders and decapitations in Afghanistan two days ago, and in exculpating the Muslims who couldn’t help themselves in the face of such provocation. I was going to say something along the lines of “apparently ‘don’t blame the victim’ applies only if the victim is a woman raped.”
My whole initial premise collapsed, though, when I looked at the free pass the Left gives Islam when it comes to actual rape. Given that pass, Leftards are being completely consistent when they point the finger at a loopy-loo in the US and accuse him of being solely at fault (both practically and morally) for a mass murder in Afghanistan. (Petraeus gets a pass for his “please don’t burn the Koran” request, because he’s taking the sensible view which is that, while the Islamists are behaving like animals, it does the troops no good to smear them with the equivalent of fresh blood. He’s not giving the Islamists a pass, he’s simply saying he doesn’t want his troops walking naked into the biker bar.)
I guess this means that we can add another rule to the Leftist playbook, joining such rules as “the bigger the government, the better” and “white men are evil.” The new rule is “never, never blame the Muslim. It’s always everyone else’s fault.”
UPDATE: And with perfect timing, women in Canada parade around dressed as prostitutes because a police officer suggested that it would be wise of them to dress less provocatively. The Lefties always go out of their way to prove my point. (Hat tip: Small Dead Animals.)
UPDATE II: At Rhymes with Right, Greg has written a really important post about the way this mind set (which also appears on the weak-kneed right) is aimed at destroying the First Amendment once and for all.