Anybody who’s taken part in the art of debate more than a few times is familiar with a famous saying of Benjamin Disraeli: “There are three types of untruths: lies, damned lies, and statistics“. Anybody who’s debated feminists more than zero times knows that they spout plenty of all three. I’ll give a few examples, just to start off.
Lie: “The fact that a woman is expected to take on her husband’s name when she gets married is proof that men have always considered women their property.”
Truth: This isn’t quite how marriage laws worked. A more accurate assessment would be to say that said laws dissolved the man and the woman, from a legal standpoint, into one person—at least in theory. In practice, it was a pretty raw deal for men. Women in the days of coverture still influenced family finances, and a man was legally responsible for all of his wife’s actions. So if, say, a woman got her family into debt through careless investing, guess who went to jail for it, despite his being the only one who stood any chance of getting the family out of debt?
There’s another possibility at play here: Matrilineality (the practice of passing down a surname or property through women) is a dominant practice in American inner-city communities, where fatherlessness is quite common. These women, whether they realize it or not, are sending a message to the fathers of their children. It goes a little something like: “This child is mine, not yours. I don’t want you in this child’s life.”
Damned Lie: “We live in a patriarchal society, one in which men rule over everything and women are second-class citizens.”
Truth: Yes, it is true that men occupy a majority of seats in the Senate, on the Supreme Court, Head of State offices, and CEO offices of Fortune 500 companies. However, touting this as proof of Patriarchy is highly misleading. First off, no proof is ever provided that this state of affairs is due to discrimination against women. Secondly, it is true that those at the top of the food chain act in their own best interest, but they don’t care about the rest of those who happen to share their genitalia or skin color. Violence against men is far more prevalent than violence against women, men are far more likely to be homeless, and Barack Obama’s presidency has not destroyed racism in this country.
Statistic: “The average woman makes (52, 69, 76, or whatever the hell number you feel like putting here) for every dollar made by a man working in the same position.”
Truth: This figure is true, but only if you refuse to adjust for hours per week worked, risks taken on the job, exposure to the elements, and many other factors. Let Warren Farrell tell you the rest.
And so on and so forth. But, since it seems to be a favorite topic of theirs, I think I’ll tackle the Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics that feminists put forth on what is (for some deeply disturbing reason) their favorite topic: rape.
Lie: “Rape is one of the biggest problems the western world faces.”
Truth: How do you define what the Western World’s “biggest problem” is? Is rape responsible for widespread fatherlessness? Is rape responsible for the economy tanking? Is rape responsible for the illegal, expensive military actions the U.S. Government took against innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan? Is rape responsible for the erosion of the rights of Americans? Well, in the last case it is, to a degree. Which brings me to the next point:
Damned Lie: “We live in a rape culture, a culture in which men raping women is considered to be a normal state of affairs, as evidenced by rape jokes.”
Truth: Though I have no evidence to back it up, I think the most commonly-told rape jokes are jokes about prison rape. Men make up the vast majority of prison rape victims (it’s estimated at over 300,000 a year), and have a hard time getting anybody to take them seriously when reporting their own rapes. As for society condoning such behavior against woemen? Bullshit. Just look at the way the Hofstra boys, the Duke Lacrosse team, Julian Assange, and Dominique Strauss-Khan were treated by the media. Recently, the comedian Daniel Tosh allegedly made a rape joke, and masses from all over the internet ganged up on him. A feminist on Tumblr posted a picture of herself with a bandaged hand, which she had injured when she punched a stranger in the face for making a rape joke, not about her, but about a girl across the street; she was never charged with a crime, not even misdemeanor assault.
In addition to squelching freedom of speech, these feminists are also trying to erase men’s basic constitutional rights. Jessica Valenti, as we all know, has proposed removing a man’s right to presumption of innocence. The Obama Administration, at nearly the exact same time, passed an executive order requiring colleges to punish male students for rape on the basis of “a preponderance of evidence” instead of “guilt beyond a reasonable doubt”, and to forbid such students from speaking in their own defense, being represented by a bar-certified lawyer, or confronting their accuser–all of which are guaranteed by the United States Constitution.
Statistic: “1 out of every 4 women will be raped in her lifetime.”
Truth: Ah, here’s the doozy. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the source of this statistic: a study by Mary Koss that has been discredited countless times. Around three-quarters of the women she identified as having been raped did not consider themselves victims of rape, and almost half of them had sex with their supposed attackers after the event identified as a rape had occurred.
So, what do statistics collected from non-feminist sources say? Well, let’s try the FBI statistics. According to an FBI report, which did not account for differing definitions of rape, whether or not the rapes were convicted, or whether or not female-on-male rape was included, the United States had a rate of 29 reported rapes per 100,000 people in 2009. That’s not going to get us to 25%, but I’m feeling generous, so let’s look at the country with the highest rate of rape in the past decade–South Africa, with a rate of 116 rapes per 100,000 people in one year. Percentage wise, this is .1% of the population. Now, I’ll admit that I’m worse at math than anything else in the world, but even I know this isn’t even close to “1 in 4”.
“But wait!” the feminists are saying, “Most rapes are never reported to the police!” Well, I’ve heard a number of different figures on just how many. Some say 45%, some say 60%, and some even say 80%. But hey, I’m feeling EXTREMELY generous, so despite the fact that feminists are basing these numbers off evidence that is dubious at best, I’ll go with the highest estimate. .1 times 5 is…half of one percent. In other words, one-fiftieth of what feminists claim it is.
Now, I hear them whining that I missed the key phrase “In their lifetime”. Okay, since empirical data shows that rates of rape drastically decrease after the victim turns 45, whether they are male or female, in prison or out, I’ll just be accounting for a 30-year window. Sorry, feminists, but even my generosity has its limits. I’m not going to pretend that the wackos who rape grannies aren’t extreme outliers. This means that 15% of South African women will be raped in their lifetimes. A grisly figure to be sure, but then again, this is South Africa we’re talking about–it has the second-highest crime rate in the world. The rate of rape in the U.S. is one-quarter of that, so in our most generous of moods, it is correct to say that 3.75% of women will be raped in their lifetimes. I’m puzzled as to how that can be mistaken for 1 in 4.
So, to summarize: Feminists claim that the rape rate in the U.S. (a reasonably safe country, despite what you see on the news) is significantly higher than the actual percentage in a country with one of the world’s highest rapes of rate. They have inflated actual statistics beyond the point of reporting or gut bias, and have put them on flagrantly dishonest levels, in order to advance their agenda of stripping men of their constitutional rights.
All those surprised, please raise your hands. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?