How Long Before Raping Women Is Pretty Much OK Again?
This is it, folks. This might be the last straw, the moment where I actually give up on the hyperbole and start—as a Facebook friend of mine suggested when she posted the following on her wall—just burning shit down: This, right here; this hideous moment when Paul Ryan decides rape is just another “method of conception.”
Burning shit down is, of course, not the optimal reaction to this kind of lunacy. It might, instead, be prudent for my general mental health to borrow from old Socrates and sagely declare the know-nothingness of our sad, impoverished human race; it might be a good moment to take up meditation again, to let the words of idiots wash over one like a gently disgusting shower of bullshit. It might even be a good time to take a cue from this painfully spot-on Jezebel article and just declare myself, in the face of the madness, clean out of fucks to give.
But I can’t. I just, I can’t.
Instead, I’d like to ponder the myriad ways in which our country seems to have forgotten that rape is a heinous crime and not just another nice way of being blessed by God with a baby belly.
First of all, we’ve got the fact that this absurdity could spew from the mouth of a vice presidential nominee and not be garnering the same kind of attention as Todd “Am I Even Still A Congressman” Akin’s similarly potent gaffe. Because while it’s hardly surprising that the good Sir Ryan would utter such nonsense—given his blindly pro-life record and general insistence on being crazy (even according to Reagan-era Republican lackeys)—it seems absurd that this subtle yet infinitely damning aside could go unpunished in our headache-inducing, 24-hour media cycle; that the sad apathy of the American media could encompass a refusal to defend the whole rape = crime equation.
And then there’s Law and Order: SVU and Game of Thrones. And yes, I know, you love those shows, how dare I attack your favorite programming, etc. etc. etc. But here’s the thing: Factoring in Netflix and HBO Go, and considering the sheer number of female sexual violations that occur on each of these shows with equal regularity (if with differing moral implications), I think it’s safe to say that every second of every day someone somewhere in our great nation is watching an image of sexual violence against women. And this is popular culture I’m talking about; these are shows everyone adores. If we are desensitizing ourselves to rape with such frequency in the mainstream media, just think for a second about certain sectors of the porn industry. And then stop thinking about it because your head may explode.
So you see, I have to give a fuck. Because my greatest fear right now is that we, as a nation, are heading towards forgetting that rape is a crime.