Though I’m loathe to continue to point out this story, it seems to have hit home with many local bloggers, and, it sparked a long conversation on Google talk between me and Aunt B. It was weird how fast we brought it full circle, and i was alarmed by something I’ll reference in a bit…
Sharon Cobb wrote about it, calling for the Prez-elect to fire the young speechwriter/symbolic molester. Sean Braisted responded, Aunt B responded to that, Coma chimed in this morning (well, I read it this morning) and now I feel compelled to respond myself.
However, I don’t care to debate whether or not the young lads should canned. I’ll just say that ending a promising career over a stupid prank seems counter-productive. So are comparisons to date rape. One cannot draw a line connecting the two, straight or otherwise.
Some time ago, I wrote about whether or not condescention was hostility. I don’t believe it is, without really stretching the definition of that word, but the debate was lively and civil and very informative. I have also been taken to task for using the word “shrill” to describe a woman’s argument. I believe Aunt B would call that a “teachable moment.” She may be right, but in our conversation this morning, I began to realize how little some very smart feminists understand about the average man.
So, I have to wonder how you teach, without knowing how your average pupil processes the information in the lesson.
Advocates tend to adopt “scorched earth” approach to their issue. Every slight is elevated to a Class A Felony. (Ha, I should admit here that Aunt B countered this by saying that burning ahead of the fire is good strategy, and i staggered a minute before composing myself) By trying to connect something intended as harmless humor to something intended to cause injury, advocates lose their intended audience. Then, I have to ask, who are you teaching?
An example: The other day, I took my 12 yr old daughter and her friend to the mall to shop. We were having fun, laughing at each other’s jokes, and we were cutting up inside a dept store. Somewhere near the mall entrance, the store had a full sized mannequin wearing a skirt so short you could see it’s buttocks. As I walked by, I patted it. Of course the girls cracked up. I have done this same thing in front of The Primary Wife, and she usually just shakes her head in feigned disgust, but gets the joke. Sure, she knows me, and knows that I am not a controlling person, that I mean no harm, and that it is funny because it is so preposterous.
Now, she knows a little about rape, and its horrors. I would wager that as a veteran E.R. Nurse, shes seen more rape victims than most feminists. But it would never occur to her to connect that prank, or the one committed by Favreau to the act of rape, forcible or otherwise. It is precisely that reason that if she braced me about something regarding women’s rights, (for lack of a better word) she would have my attention. I’ve known this woman for 17 years, and she is never shrill. Never.
This is getting too long, but my point is that sometimes, feminists assign an evil intent to an act where it does not exist, at least not in the mind of the offender. And that is precisely where it matters. Our legal system places a great deal of importance on intent, so the person who does something careless isn’t held accountable for some unforeseen outcome.