Sunday, March 15, 2015

I'm Sorry Wendy Thurm Thinks Her Son Might Become A Rapist

I did not grow up in a household as the son of a mother equipped with a vague horror that she might have inadvertently created a rapist, but apparently this has happened to Wendy Thurm's son, who has been getting this sort of indoctrination since he was "three, maybe four years old" (emphasis mine). Her reason for this, such as it is —
Why would I worry that my son would someday force a woman to have sex with him, against her will?

Because outside our family, he has been and will continue to be bombarded with images and words that encourage boys to view girls as weaker and dumber and less worthy of respect. As objects of sexual desire to be judged by their looks and discarded when no longer useful. He's been told that rape jokes are funny and anyone who doesn't think so just doesn't have a sense of humor. That's why.
That is, this is just another rehash of "bad people exist in the world and so he could turn out to be one of them". It's a raging paranoia aimed at men, an undercurrent that pollutes modern feminism from Susan Brownmiller's Against Our Will on. K.M. O'Sullivan neatly expressed this attitude in a blog post when she wrote,
A culture of misogynist sexualization and violence against women has reshaped that talk [parents have with children about sex] in ways that make me incredibly sad and, at times, overwhelmingly angry because I am a mother to sons—only sons. I am a mother raising the “enemy”.
Which is to say, I pity the boy who tried to run away from a mother so convinced of his predetermined guilt that she insisted he listen to her harangues
Even when his eyes glazed over. Even when he mumbled, "Yes, Mom, I get it" as his fingers fiddled on his phone. Even when he tried to escape to his room with the door closed.
Yes, I can imagine that. A childhood spent as an enemy, or if not that, a potential changeling who could at any moment become a monster, with a perpetual background radiation of guilt, one from which there is no atonement or absolution. It is one thing to transmit values, and quite another to ceaselessly browbeat.

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