A recent column by Katha Politt, “Atheists Show Their Sexist Side: What is wrong with the men at the helm of the movement?” reminded me of this idiotic tweet by Richard Dawkins:
How does Dawkins know this? Did he examine survey data? Did he ask women? (STOP LAUGHING! STOP LAUGHING NOW!). Because I can invent–and invent is the key word–an alternative scenario in which the long-term effects of ‘knife-point’ rape are less harmful than acquaintance rape. A stranger rape, after all, is essentially a thunderbolt from a clear blue sky. Yes, the survivor might be hypervigilant at night, or might get really nervous in elevators. But she did manage to survive a potentially lethal situation–she did what she had to do to stay alive given an awful situation*. Unlike acquaintance rape, it doesn’t call into question her ability to judge character or intentions; she can still trust men she has ‘vetted.’
Admittedly, I’m talking out of my ass here: I made up this counterscenario. But the same can be said about Dawkins’ statement. He doesn’t present any evidence for his assertion (kinda like much of evo psych–the discipline that justifies older faculty sleeping with their younger colleagues. But I digress). But unlike Lord High Proclaimer, I have the sense and the decency not to argue the point. One can’t help but suspect that Dawkins is subconsciously influenced by the notion that acquaintance rapes, in some way, are her fault (SLUTZ!), and thereby not as ‘bad’ for the survivors.
But I don’t have any evidence to support that claim.
*Though this arguably occurs during many acquaintance rapes as well.