I’m not going to mention his name. Doing so would simply ignite further acrimony. I care not to memorialize his person, but rather, to point out an all too common defect in his “shock jock” character.
“What’s this business about ‘Carnal Abuse by Deceit,'” he asked me… “Doesn’t a woman have a responsibility to protect her vagina?”
I was stunned.
I get a lot of ridiculous questions. I’m a firm believer that talking to people who agree with you changes nothing… that we have to take the cogent argument to naysayers in order to create any kind of transformational change. So I don’t avoid discussion with people who may not agree with my perspective. But his blatant attempt to corner me to accept a vicious concept was off the charts.
I expected to be grilled on consent, and where to draw the line on what he’d likely claim is the slippery slope of arresting predators who use fraud to sexually assault victims. As I describe consent, most people are on board when it comes to not forcing you or coercing you. They know that the offender undermined their victim’s will for their gratification, and they generally relate to the sense of defilement such conduct causes. But they fail to see that undermining a person’s will by tricking them defiles them in the same way.
Nevertheless, I was prepared to answer a civil question with a civil response.
An attempt at fostering understanding
In many interviews, I’ve attempted to reinforce that our laws call for juries to embody “reasonableness” when determining fraud in criminal cases. In other words, did the victim have a reasonable basis for believing the deceit? But he attacked the very basic premise on which juries are empowered to act saying “reasonableness” was irrelevant and should be stricken as the jury’s responsibility to determine.
Even in the Bill Cosby case, in responding to the jury’s question, “What’s consent?” Judge Steven O’Neil clearly declared that the jurors were “reasonable people” who should use their common sense.
Discussion bullies try to trip you up by sticking invalid concepts into their demands.
Lawyers often term this ploy the “When did you stop beating your wife?” question. Tacking the word “responsibility” onto one’s ability to protect oneself in the face of sexual assault is a totally victim-blaming concept. A person’s natural instinct is to protect oneself. Responsibility has nothing to do with it. We’re simply wired to prevent intrusions and violations in the best way we know how. And that’s why using covert ways to undermine self determination in sexual conduct is so harmful. People who defraud for sex are not just villains, they’re despicable villains who hijack a victim’s internal protection system in order to violate them.
If a thief disabled your burglar alarm to invade your home, would we say you failed in your “responsibility” to protect your home? Con artists disable your inner burglar alarm!
“But get real; people lie. And everyone knows they lie. If they couldn’t lie, no one would ever have sex,” he hammered, not giving me any space to respond. Without even coming up for air, he again demanded, “Answer me….. Yes or No! Doesn’t a woman have a responsibility to protect her vagina!? People who don’t protect their vaginas deserve to be harmed!”
Unrelenting, his onslaught kept coming. I wondered if he was ever going to pause for air. I knew exactly what I’d say if I could catch a half second of space……….and finally, there it was.
“Thanks,” I said in his momentary pause.
I’d caught him. I’d fed his narcissistic mindset that perceived a compliment was on the way.
“For what? ” he asked, expectantly.
“Thanks for showing the world what rape mentality looks like!” I said, and hung up the phone.
That misogynistic, blame-the-victim mindset is what we’re up against!
There are people in the world who think that sex is their entitlement, any old way they can get it. They could care less that your body is where you live.