Monday, July 07, 2008

If First You Fail Then Try Again

For some weird reason that insists to be the title of this post. What does it think it's saying here? If you fail to get raped, try again, maybe? Not sure.

What I'm writing about is this from Shoot The Messenger:

We conducted a pre-interview with Tracie who writes about sex and pop culture for Jezebel under the name "Slut Machine." When you click on "Slut Machine" you are linked to her personal blog that regales her readers with "no detail left behind" accounts of her sexual experiences.
Moe writes about politics and sex as well and combines pop culture with it all and was not available for a pre-interview. Tracie assured us she would be cool with anything we talked about in the feminist, political arena, that she was an expert on China, and that they had been talking a lot about rape lately.
They were emailed a show description with links to past interviews and we were all set.

I don't know if they came to the show drunk, or just ended up drunk by the time they hit the stage, but what I do know is that the discussion that ensued was deeply disturbing to me for a few reasons:

Because they had no regard for the people who came that night and paid money to hear them speak.
They do not understand the influence they have over the women who read them, nor do they accept any responsibility as role models for young women who are coming of age searching for lifestyles to emulate.

Even as one young woman who attended the show voiced her disappointment on her own blog, when Moe and Tracie commented on the entry, she was so excited that she backpedaled her criticism.

Here are the two relevant clips. (You can get the whole interview here.):

I can see how outrageously funny it might be to say that guys who are not considering rape are pussies or how coitus interruptus works as well as a condom, especially against venereal disease. I can even appreciate the shock value of something like that. And the world-weary attitude is a time-honored one to take. Christopher Hitchens does the male version really well, for instance.

At the same time, it's sort of dangerous to imply that women who get date-raped are not just intuitive enough to sniff out potential rapists. This used to be called victim-blaming; a pretty safety blanket for those who think it then can't happen to them.

It's also dangerous not to appear to know the facts about contraception and the incidence of rape and so on.

Now, I'm all for playing the game, if you wish. But if you pick up a sport of some kind, say, boxing or casual sex, you really should learn the rules and practice the moves and know what to anticipate beforehand. Had I gone to my karate sparring matches completely unprepared I would have been whupped so bad. So yes, you can play, but first learn what the game is, what the offense consists of and what your defense should look like. These ladies are not telling you that part.
I should add that I like lots of the posts on Jezebel, and that this post is not intended as an indictment of the blog. Or as an indictment of anything, really. See how meek I am?