Want to Talk Intelligently About Rape? 5 Rules

It's appalling how many people are incapable: Katie McDonough

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 5, 2013 12:45 PM CDT

(Newser) – Citing the 30-day sentence received by a teacher who raped a student, the Washington Post column arguing that teacher-student sex is sometimes OK, the sympathy extended to the Steubenville rapists, and of course, Richard Cohen's quite controversial Washington Post column about Steubenville, Katie McDonough comes to this depressing conclusion: Just about a year after Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" comment, "it’s become clear that, far from being a ridiculous outlier, Akin’s view of sexual violence is basically how too many people with high profiles choose to talk about rape: quick to blame survivors, even quicker to excuse perpetrators." But it's easy to "not be terrible when talking about rape," McDonough writes, and offers up five rules to live by on Salon:

  • It's great to have empathy, but don't act like it's tragic and unfair when a rapist gets punished. Save that feeling for the victim of the rape. "It isn’t a tragedy when people who commit crimes face consequences. It’s actually called justice when that happens."
  • "Female sexuality does not invite rape, ever (ever, ever, ever, ever, ever)."
  • You can be against rape and still be all for sex. Any time you're talking about sex without consent, call it rape. Nothing less.
  • Don't joke about prison rape. It's not funny, it's just rape. By minimizing it, we ensure men will continue to under-report being the victims of rape.
Click for McDonough's full column.

Protesters gathered on the Yellowstone County Courthouse lawn in Billings, Mont., Aug. 29, 2013, calling for the resignation of a judge over comments he made about the teenage victim in a rape case.
Protesters gathered on the Yellowstone County Courthouse lawn in Billings, Mont., Aug. 29, 2013, calling for the resignation of a judge over comments he made about the teenage victim in a rape case.   (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)
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