Women Don’t Want to be in the Rape Restaurant

I was astonished to read “When #MeToo Goes Too Far”, an essay by Bret Stephens in the NYT in which he harangued women for not knowing the difference between sexual harassment and violent rape. His bottom line: if you don’t treat sexual harassers more gently than you do rapists, everyone’s going to get tired of #MeToo and leave you out in the cold.

Well. And here I was thinking that being violently raped is EXACTLY THE SAME AND AS BAD as sexual harassment on the street or at work. Thank you for pointing the difference out to me, Bret Stephens, and Matt Damon. I like a little gaslighting with my morning tea as well as the next woman, but for the sake of argument, I posted a thread on Twitter that went something like this:

Seriously, this is like pointing all women towards a special women’s Rape Restaurant, making them sit down in a booth, and then showing them a menu with different price lists for all the different experiences of sexualized violence that are on offer, something like this:

Inappropriate compliments, staring, constant asking out on dates $2

Verbal Harassment – $5

Inappropriate touching – $10

Physical threats – $25

Stalking – $30

Date rape – $40

STRANGER RAPE $100,000

What Stephens and his ilk don’t understand is that none of us women want to be in that fucking restaurant. We don’t want to live in a world where we’re told, “this is the price of being a woman, now you can get off lightly, be a good girl and don’t complain too much or you might get the WORST THING on the menu.” Or, “Be lucky you didn’t get the house special today: Murder with a side of rape.”

I realize that this metaphor is slightly crude, but I don’t know how else to make people understand, that all expressions of sexual violence start low and go high. That there is a spectrum, and anyone on it is a criminal. Why do we jail people for possessing child pornography, when we know that isn’t as bad as actually raping children? Because we know where it leads, and we want to protect children from the crime being committed in thought or in deed. But the person who consumes the pornography isn’t actually taking photos of the child, which isn’t as bad as abusing the child, which isn’t as bad as…

You can see where this goes. It’s the same with sexualized violence against women, or gender-based violence against women. Whatever you want to call it, the same thing applies: women should not have to suffer any form of it, mild or egregious.

Finally for those men who are afraid they’ll be wrongly prosecuted (and I see a slew of Daily Mail articles these days about men wrongly punished for false accusations of rape, talk about backlash), I say this: I’ll fight for your rights if you fight for mine. But let’s see you put your money where your mouth is, and stop trying to make distinctions that are harmful to our ultimate goal.

 

One thought on “Women Don’t Want to be in the Rape Restaurant

  1. Relationship at any level with each other is part of life and all classes of men and women tend to have long lasting relationship but in order to establish such a relationship men who wish to achieve that may not have approached women in a desirable manner and consequently may have taken extreme steps offensive by nature but that is just one example of what happens in a given society. But if those who wish to resolve or minimise such incidents would have to nominate an agreed number of women who have legal approval to go in to depth of this problem and should these ladies wish to opt for interviewing men who have committed such an act may do so with the legal approval and in a way become a ” Jury ” and find that person guilty or not guilty. Proceedings such as above will be a great achievement or first step towards finding a solution to this annoying problem

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