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Feminism Is Rape Culture

6/26/14, by Clement Pulaski


In their ongoing assault on traditional values, feminists have developed the theory of "rape culture". According to this theory, everything in our society that praises masculine virtues or traditional gender roles sends the secret message that men are superior to women, and that therefore men are justified in raping women. These feminists have identified everything from sexist jokes to sports mascots as being a part of this rape culture.

And of course Christianity, which has done more to promote sexual continence than any other ideology, is also being blamed for rape culture. In an article called Purity Culture as Rape Culture: Why the Theological Is Political, feminist Dianna E. Anderson attempts to show that the Christian concept of saving oneself for marriage leads to rape.

According to Anderson:

If [a girl] remains invested in the purity movement throughout her teen years—which would mean regularly attending a typical evangelical youth service—she will be exposed to an abundance of narratives about how keeping oneself pure is a fight that must be won, that it is what God wants, and, most importantly, that her body does not belong to her, but rather to her future husband, and a lapse in purity is a betrayal of her future relationship.

That last part is an extremely important one, and one that many secular students of evangelical purity culture miss—it’s the backbone to the entire concept of purity, the theological underpinning that makes conservative evangelicals such a unique breed. Until we understand just how deeply this “You are not your own” theology is intertwined within purity culture, we will not be able to truly understand the politicians who discuss rape in horrific terms, or the reasons Christian employers see fit to interfere with their employees’ access to birth control.

It is necessary to point out that the "You are not your own" theology applies just as much to men as it does to women, something which Anderson does not address. The Biblical instruction on marital relations is as follows:

Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
-1 Corinthians 7:3-5

Feminism and all forms of modernism are based on extreme self-absorption. The Bible teaches that neither men nor women truly belong to themselves. They belong to their spouses, but in an even more profound sense, they belong to God, to the Creator of the universe who established laws for proper conduct. It is for his glory that we were created, and it is through his grace that we can do anything good. Self-centered modernism, on the other hand, teaches that we are autonomous, that we are capable of doing whatever we want on our own, and that we should do whatever makes us feel good. The case for a Christian life of self-control leading to rape is looking rather feeble already.

Anderson goes on to say:

Purity culture and rape culture are two sides of the same coin. Prior to marriage, women are instructed that they must say no to sex at every turn, and if they do not they are responsible for the consequences. This method of approach—“always no”—creates situations in which women are not equipped to fully understand what consent looks like or what a healthy sexual encounter is. When the only tool you’re given is a “no,” shame over rape or assault becomes compounded—because you don’t necessarily understand or grasp that “giving in” to coercion or “not saying no” isn’t a “yes.”

This is liberal logic at its finest: clearly defined boundaries of right and wrong lead to moral confusion. Christians teach that we should only have sex when married. Feminists teach that women should have consequence-free sex whenever and with whomever they want. Which of these two perspectives would more likely lead to situations where a girl would have trouble understanding "what a healthy sexual encounter is"? Furthermore, a "no" is not the only tool that Christian girls are given. Christian girls are encouraged to rely on the guidance and protection of friends and family, especially when evaluating potential suitors. Proponents of purity also teach girls how to recognize and avoid questionable situations where coercion is likely to occur, something which Anderson admits later on in the article:

In Dateable, a Christian dating guide, authors Justin Lookadoo and Hayley DiMarco reinforce the idea of women as sexual gatekeepers. Throughout the book, we read that “guys will lie to you to get what they want,” and that all guys ever want is to have sex. So it is up to the girl—as discussed in faux-feminist “girl power” terms—to say no. Which is all well and good, until you realize that, in the authors’ estimation, a girl has the power to say no up until the moment she sends the wrong signals, because men are animals who can’t control themselves.

All guys ever want to do is have sex? Wouldn't the feminists agree with this, only replacing "have sex" with "commit rape"? If you are concerned about rape in the first place, then surely you must understand that many men are "animals who can't control themselves". It is also odd that feminists are so fixated on women having complete control over whether or not they engage in sex acts, but then scoff at Christians who think that girls should be "sexual gatekeepers". And if Anderson truly thinks that telling a teenage girl "guys will lie to you to get what they want" is bad advice, then she is completely unfit to comment on the subject of human sexual behavior.

Now, let us compare the Christian message and the feminist message, and see which is more accurately described as "rape culture".

Feminism is part of the wider movement of "sexual liberation", where young boys and girls are raised on hyper-sexualized films and television shows, and are encouraged to act promiscuously. According to feminists, girls should not have to deal with the consequences of engaging in pre-marital intercourse (hence the promotion of birth control and abortion), they should be allowed to go to wild parties unchaperoned, they should be "liberated" from parental protection, they should be allowed to fulfill their every sexual desire without guilt or shame, and they should not be worried about attracting unwanted attention when dressing and acting in a sexually provocative manner.

In conservative Christianity, on the other hand, boys and girls are taught that marriage is the only place for sex, and that the only appropriate way for men to pursue women is through respectful courtship, which always involves parental input. Christians teach that girls should be aware of fallen man's proneness to lust, violence and deceit, that caring parents are helpful allies in preventing unwanted sexual encounters, that weak or ill-defined boundaries are often transgressed, and that sexually provocative behavior attracts men.

It is clear which set of beliefs will lead to more sexual chaos, more regret, and more rape. Feminism and sexual liberation are the true bearers of "rape culture".




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