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The brutal rape of poor, innocent Mr. Creosote

Feminist claims which conflate seduction, persuasion, verbal pressure, and rape remind me of the Monty Python's The Meaning of Life sketch "Mr. Creosote." (for those who haven't seen it, here's a link. Warning: not for the easily grossed out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhbHTjMLN5c)
In the sketch, Mr. Creosote is obviously not in any condition to continue eating. It starts out with him vomiting all over the restaurant and some of the staff. It's so dramatic that it affects all of the other patrons in the restaurant - there's not a person there who is unaware of his condition. Still, he is served, and parts of the sketch indicate that he has gorged himself after all of that vomiting. He establishes that he does not want any more food. Repeatedly refuses, in fact, when the waiter offers him a complimentary mint. The waiter keeps asking, offering reasons why Mr. Creosote should accept and eat the mint. "But sir, it's only wafer thin!" and "Just - just one." Eventually, Mr. Creosote relents, and accepts the mint. The sketch communicates the waiter's knowledge of what this will do to Mr. Creosote in its portrayal; the waiter runs and ducks for cover behind some of the restaurant's decorations, just before Mr. Creosote explodes.

There are two ways of looking at this sketch, and both relate to the discussion on the persuasion/pressure aspect of feminists claims about date rape.

Even when Mr. Creosote knows he's too full to continue eating, it takes only a few seconds' persuasive speech and exposure to the sight and smell of the mint to for him to decide to ignore his condition, and eat it. Doing so is a decision he makes. Though it is in response to a persuasive effort, it's still his decision. The entire time, he has the power to refuse. In light of this, the consequence (his explosion) is a consequence of his own decision-making, not something inflicted on him by the nefarious, scheming waiter... though the waiter did nefariously scheme to persuade Mr. Creosote to blow himself up. Mr. Creosote is not a victim.   
Feminists would call Mr. Creosote a victim.

If one were to replace the restaurant scene with a date setting, the overeating with attention-seeking, and the mint with a sex act, they'd say Mr. Creosote was raped. Replace the explosion with any negative experience related to consensual sex (getting caught cheating on a partner, being judged for the behavior, getting pregnant, getting an STD, or simply regretting sharing oneself too lightly for one's own moral outlook) and you have a trigger for shifting blame from the person who decided to relent and participate in a sex act to the person who sought the decision-maker's sexual consent, even though the decision maker still had the power to walk away from the situation.

Instead of articulating the idea that women should be empowered to set personal boundaries and decide for ourselves whether to enforce them (up to and including the decision break off contact altogether if those boundaries aren't respected) or change our minds about them based on a guy's assertions, feminists treat women as powerless objects whose behavior is shaped only by external pressure.

This is one of the most misogynistic aspects of feminism; the imposition of artificial helplessness upon otherwise capable human beings, to the point where women are represented as having no free will of our own. This representation of women is used to paint any male effort at seducing a woman as attempted rape, and any success in that arena as completed rape. Women are portrayed as incapable of resisting persuasive speech, of rejecting continued requests, and of responding to actual pressure with outrage and abandonment of the date. Instead of encouraging women to feel empowered to stand our ground and control our actions, feminists use scare tactics to instill female reluctance to assert one's autonomy, falsely inferring danger upon the mere act of saying no. You can't be expected to do that, say feminists. It's too hard, and leads to such terrible circumstances - if you reject a man's advances, he might reject you right back! 
In this way, feminists do more to promote "date rape" than to combat date rape. This particular aspect of their ideology trains their female followers to ignore the range of choices available to them and then treat the choice they make as having been imposed, instead of their own, leaving them feeling victimized by the men with whom they've chosen to interact, when instead they've allowed ideology to limit the strength and independence with which they approach that interaction.

1 comment:

Brian Macker said...

In the case of Mr. Creosote the waiter is aware of the bad consequences his offer will cause. Whereas Mr. Creosote seems totally unaware that he will explode but is merely full.

In the case of a woman cheating on her husband it is often the case that the accused "rapist" is totally unaware that she is married, or that she really "cares" about her marriage.

So actually the situation looks like the woman is behaving much worse than Mr. Creosote, and the person falsely accused of rape much better than the waiter.

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