Camille Paglia thinks the Left’s date-rape witch-hunting blinds women to the dangers of genuine sexual assault.
American campuses are obscuring the true danger to young women, too often distracted by cellphones or iPods in public places: the ancient sex crime of abduction and murder. Despite hysterical propaganda about our â€œrape culture,â€ the majority of campus incidents being carelessly described as sexual assault are not felonious rape (involving force or drugs) but oafish hookup melodramas, arising from mixed signals and imprudence on both sides. …
The basic Leftist premise, descending from Marxism, is that all problems in human life stem from an unjust society and that corrections and fine-tunings of that social mechanism will eventually bring utopia. Progressives have unquestioned faith in the perfectibility of mankind.
The horrors and atrocities of history have been edited out of primary and secondary education except where they can be blamed on racism, sexism, and imperialism â€” toxins embedded in oppressive outside structures that must be smashed and remade. But the real problem resides in human nature, which religion as well as great art sees as eternally torn by a war between the forces of darkness and light. …
The gender ideology dominating academe denies that sex differences are rooted in biology and sees them instead as malleable fictions that can be revised at will. The assumption is that complaints and protests, enforced by sympathetic campus bureaucrats and government regulators, can and will fundamentally alter all men.
But extreme sex crimes like rape-murder emanate from a primitive level that even practical psychology no longer has a language for. Psychopathology, as in Richard von Krafft-Ebingâ€™s grisly Psychopathia Sexualis (1886), was a central field in early psychoanalysis. But todayâ€™s therapy has morphed into happy talk, attitude adjustments, and pharmaceutical shortcuts.
There is a ritualistic symbolism at work in sex crime that most women do not grasp and therefore cannot arm themselves against. It is well-established that the visual faculties play a bigger role in male sexuality, which accounts for the greater male interest in pornography. The sexual stalker, who is often an alienated loser consumed with his own failures, is motivated by an atavistic hunting reflex. He is called a predator precisely because he turns his victims into prey.
Sex crime springs from fantasy, hallucination, delusion, and obsession. A random young woman becomes the scapegoat for a regressive rage against female sexual power: â€œYou made me do this.â€ Academic clichÃ©s about the â€œcommodificationâ€ of women under capitalism make little sense here: It is womenâ€™s superior biological status as magical life-creator that is profaned and annihilated by the barbarism of sex crime.
Misled by the naive optimism and â€œYou go, girl!â€ boosterism of their upbringing, young women do not see the animal eyes glowing at them in the dark. They assume that bared flesh and sexy clothes are just a fashion statement containing no messages that might be misread and twisted by a psychotic. They do not understand the fragility of civilization and the constant nearness of savage nature.