Daily Archives: February 23, 2007

The Duke Three: No angels = rapists?

A reader’s tip directs me to this mini-rant by the ex-Edwards-blogmaster Amanda Marcotte (the gift that keeps on giving), in a comments thread on her blog where someone brought out false accusations of rape and specifically the Duke case:

People who continue to wax on about the Duke rape case: People don’t respond because you’re right. (sic) They don’t respond because they know from experience that anyone who defends men who write thing like this:

tommrow night, after tonights show, ive decided to have some strippers over to edens 2c. all are welcome.. however there will be no nudity. i plan on killing the bitches as soon as the walk in and proceding to cut their skin off while cumming in my duke issue spandex.. all besides arch and tack please respond

Hates women and would defend a rapist who was caught in the act on videotape. No one talks to you because you are rape-loving scum. If you think otherwise, you are mistaken. Your beloved boys who scream “nigger” at black women and joke about killing and raping them may escape the worst charges, but they are not angels. You know it, we know it. That you defend them makes you such lowly, sleazy scum that it’s no wonder no one talks to you. They’re afraid by acknowledging you, they will catch the evil. Know this. Absorb it. Hope you enjoy sleeping at night, you sick, hateful bastards.

I’m not sure this hate-filled outburst, which borders on the deranged, deserves a response; I can only marvel that someone capable of producing such a screed can be considered a legitimate voice in the blogosphere. I will, however, point out that “defending” the Duke lacrosse players in this contex hardly means defending them as models of virtue and sterling moral character. It means, simply, arguing that they are probably innocent of charges of rape and sexual assault. And it is deeply ironic that the same feminists who quite rightly insist that a woman’s character flaws should not be used against her in a rape case when she is the victim hold a completely different standard for a man when he is the acccused. We’ve been told again and again that a woman who has been raped shouldn’t have to be an angel to deserve sympathy and support. Apparently, a man who has been false accused of rape should be.

Let’s, for a moment, put the shoe on the other foot. Let’s say that a woman going through a contentiuos divorce says she has been brutally beaten and raped by her estranged husband. Then it turns out that a few days earlier, she had regaled friends with a “humorous” fantasy of tying said estranged husband to a chair and castrating him with a rusty knife. (Jokes about genital mutilation as punishment for male misbehavior are not uncommon in female repertoire; Katie Kouric actually made such a joke on the air, on The Today Show, in 1997.)

Let’s even say the woman’s email also expressed the not-so-humorous hope that, in the absence of opportunities to fulfil her castration fantasy, she would be able to make the bastard suffer in court. Admittedly, such an email would raise serious questions about the woman’s motive to lie, but let’s say that the physical evidence strongly supported her claims (and that a co-worker of the husband’s had heard him confess). Wouldn’t Marcotte be the first to defend this woman against anyone who tried to discredit her charges or to suggest that she was asking for it? And can you imagine a prominent male blogger ranting that anyone who would defend the author of such an email is a man-hating bitch who ought to be shunned by decent people everywhere?

(Ed.: In the comments, Revenant correctly points out that the author of the offending email, Ryan McFaden, is not one of the men accused of rape. So actually, the analogy would be more accurate if the email had been sent not by the victim herself, but by her best friend.)

But of course, we’re not supposed to put the shoe on the other foot because to do that is to ignore the inequality and system oppression of women and blah dee blah dee blah. (And I can’t think of too many arguments that are actually more offensive to women than this blatant call for a double standard based on female “powerlessness.”)

The email is disgusting, and the guy who sent it sounds like a nasty jerk. But frankly, I find Marcotte’s invective against people who dare to side with men (apparently) falsely accused of rape — even nasty jerks falsely accused of rape — far more revolting and far scarier than that email.

Marcotte is not alone to use the “no angels” trope. See this post on the Feminist Law Professors’ blog, titled “Not Innocent” and arguing that regardless of the legal outcome, the lacrosse players are at least guilty of racism and sexism. See also K.C. Johnson’s dissection of her post.

More: In the comments, colagirl asks:

Suppose Marcotte were to be falsely accused of murdering a white male Republican. Should people then rush to condemn her because of the hateful rhetoric she has spoken about them on her blog? Or argue that anyone who would defend her would “defend a woman caught murdering a Republican man on videotape”?

Excellent question.

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And now, the other foot

The other day when I wrote about the Liberal Avenger comment alteration brouhaha, I was frankly disappointed by the eagerness of some on the left to dismiss this behavior (and to dismiss its “victim”, Carlito, as a “troll” when his behavior on the thread in question seemed much less trollish than that of the regulars). Equally irksome, however, is stuff like this, in response to my post:

LA’s attitude is apparently that it’s all no big deal and we shouldn’t be dinging them/him/her for it. Typical way left lying bastard thinking.

Or this:

A normal, sane, mature person would ask why the editor was even editing someone else’s words except to correct formatting or to censor profanity. A typical left-liberal on the other hand, finds it entirely acceptable to edit a “wingnut’s” words to sound “more intelligent,” which is to say, more agreeable with the left-liberal’s beliefs. Then, when all else fails, the left-liberal shouts indignantly about how they should be regarded as the hero of their own catastrophe. …

Not every leftist is like this, but then not every Nazi had a stomach for genocide.

The generalizations about “typcial” leftists and liberals wouuld be bad enough even without the Nazi analogy.

Meanwhile, a blogger who goes by Daffyd uses the Liberal Avenger’s comment alteration to argue that the hateful, ugly, misogynistic emails and blog comments directed at Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwen (the feminist bloggers briefly hired by the John Edwards campaign) may well be fakes and that Patterico was too hasty and credulous in expressing regret over this outpouring of vileness from the (frings of the) right. Then, Daffyd goes on to explicitly admit to a double standard:

And given the demonstrated penchant on the part of both women to invent straw-man attacks, demonize Republicans and the religious, and the unhealthy fascination of both women with the sexual organs… I’m simply not willing to extend them the same benefit of the doubt I give, e.g., Michelle Malkin.

(Malkin also claims to have received obscene, threatening e-mails from lefties; but in Malkin’s case, since she has shown herself throughout her career to be sane, rational, and honest, even when we disagree, I believe her.)

Of course, we all know that Michelle Malkin would never invent straw men, or demonize liberals or secularists. (What an unhealthy fascination with the sexual organs has to do with inventing hate mail, I have no idea; for the record, I have no idea whether McEwen actually has such a fascination.) For examples of Malkin’s sanity, honesty, and rationality, see here, or here, or here, or here. See here for Malkin’s relentless flogging of the tissue of lies that was the “Save Terri Schiavo” campaign. For a final touch, see this June 2005 post about the Terri Schiavo autopsy: Malkin accuses the “mainstream media” of distorting the autopsy report by pointing out that the autopsy found no signs of trauma before Schiavo’s collapse in 1990, yet neglecting to mention the report’s statement that no such signs could have been found after all this time. (At issue are the completely unfounded allegations that Terri’s husband Michael Schiavo may have put his wife in a coma by choking her.) But Malkin herself leaves out a highly relevant passage in the report immediately before the one she quotes: “No trauma was noted on any of the numerous physical exams or radiographs performed on Mrs. Schiavo on the day of, in the days after, or in the months after her initial collapse.” In this manner, the insinuations that maybe there’s something to that abuse/murder story after all are kept alive.

Why am I dredging up a 19-month-old post? Simply to point out that anyone who fulminates at The Liberal Avenger and the ex-Edwards bloggers while giving Malkin props for honesty, sanity, and rationality is so partisan, it’s not even funny. True, Malkin has never tampered with a comment on her blog (she has none), but neither have McEwen or Marcotte (who do have them). And there is simply no reason I can see, other than partisanship, to believe her claims of having received vile, bigoted hate mail while disbelieving theirs.

Unfortunately, this kind of partisanship is pretty much the order of the day in the blogosphere.

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