If he was so intimidating, why did she immediately feel un-intimidated enough to alert the authorities as to her story?
Ben Stein’s question in The American Spectator is stunning — and terrifying. Misogynists have long complained women don’t immediately report rape right away, inferring this proves they are lying and trying to frame an innocent man. Now Stein is arguing the exact opposite: because she reported the rape right away, she’s lying and trying to frame an innocent man.
How did Stein arrive at this depraved version of rape victims as vicious offenders? The answer is clear: our culture gave him permission. Fifty years after the second wave of feminists began working to change the national outlook on rape, our society still teems with rape apologists who will do and say anything to discredit the victim and protect the criminal.
Have we finally hit the nauseating, repulsive bottom, or can the cruel spite of misogynists be mined for even deeper malevolence? Will rape victims have to face this new line of condemnation in the courtroom? It is possible. Once an excuse for rape is tossed out into public, it can become fodder for attorneys trying to convince juries the rape victim is evil.
But that isn’t the worst of Stein’s argument.
This is a man with a lifetime of public service, on a distinguished level, to put it mildly. Was Riker’s Island really the place to put him on the allegations of one human being?
One human being is obviously code for “one lying woman.” Given that most rapists don’t commit their crimes in front of witnesses, just how many women would he have to rape in order for him to deserve to go to jail?
Stein’s argument is right out of the Old Testament where women were automatically considered liars and couldn’t report a rape or testify in court unless there were witnesses.
Wonder if he’d make the same argument if he was assaulted and there were no witnesses to back him up? Or if any man suffered any crime and was the sole person who reported it.
Part of his rant is laughable:
People who commit crimes tend to be criminals, for example. Can anyone tell me any economists who have been convicted of violent sex crimes? Can anyone tell me of any heads of nonprofit international economic entities who have ever been charged and convicted of violent sexual crimes? Is it likely that just by chance this hotel maid found the only one in this category? Maybe Mr. Strauss-Kahn is guilty but if so, he is one of a kind, and criminals are not usually one of a kind.
Umm, yeah. There have been several as a matter of fact. Jon Stewart did a marvelous job listing them, but let’s pretend for a moment no other economist has ever met Stein’s definition. Would that really mean Strauss-Kahn could not have committed rape? If so, why not? Are all economists castrated? Even eunuchs can rape. Are all economists genitally deformed? Even impotent men can rape. One has to wonder at the senility behind such an obtuse question.
Stein’s other arguments are more alarming
The prosecutors say that Mr. Strauss-Kahn “forced” the complainant to have oral and other sex with him. How? Did he have a gun? Did he have a knife? He’s a short fat old man.
When will we be free of inaccurate myths about rape and rapists? Is he really arguing that short men never rape? Or fat men? In the age of Viagra, what has old got to do with the ability to rape? Or does Stein pretend all old men are weaklings, unable even to defend themselves, let alone be a predator preying upon women?
A CNN reporter said French political candidates are not penalized for womanizing because the French want proof their candidates are virile. Setting aside that bizarre electoral requirement for another day, let’s consider Strauss-Kahn from their point of view. Since Strauss-Kahn was the leading contender to be president of France, Stein’s assessment of him as impotent and helpless is offset by the millions who wanted to elect him based on their view of his virility.
Many rapists never use a weapon and many rape victims don’t fight back lest they provoke the predator into killing them, so how are these questions relevant to the crime?
I have had hotel maids that were complete lunatics, stealing airline tickets from me, stealing money from me, throwing away important papers, stealing medications from me. How do we know that this woman’s word was good enough to put Mr. Strauss-Kahn straight into a horrific jail?
This woman, who happens to be black, from Africa, a Muslim (Stein and Strauss-Kahn are both Jews), a single mother and a lowly peon fit only to serve the rich obviously should not be allowed to accuse anyone, let alone a member of the ruling class. This is made even more obvious when Stein asserts this is class warfare:
In what possible way is the price of the hotel room relevant except in every way: this is a case about the hatred of the have-nots for the haves, and that’s what it’s all about.
He’s right. His entire argument is about class warfare, with his elitist snobbery leaking from every pore in this tacky whine about the unfairness heaped upon this lord of finance:
He’s being treated shamefully…Did he really have to be put in Riker’s Island? Couldn’t he have been given home detention with a guard? This is a man with a lifetime of public service, on a distinguished level, to put it mildly…Hadn’t he earned slightly better treatment than that?
But Stein accomplished a spectacular feat. He used every obnoxious, bigoted argument the sex offender defenders use to demean and degrade in their quest to inflict the maximum humiliation on rape victims. However, I’m not sure the misogynists will be pleased with his performance. His arguments are so blatant it is hard to imagine how even the most ardent of the champions and admirers of sexual predators can dare endorse them.
Yes, it is hard to imagine — but they will. Because our society openly and with great gusto supports the violator of women rather than his victims.