Feminists across the globe got their panties tied in knots this past weekend after the winner of the Miss USA Pageant, Nia Sanchez (AKA Miss Nevada) made some horribly insensitive comments about sexual assault on American college campuses. Ms. Sanchez, a fourth degree black belt in Taekwondo, had the unmitigated gall to suggest that women learn to protect themselves. Gasp!
Why angry feminists were following the Miss USA Pageant when beauty contests have never been a big hit with the women's rights crowd is beyond me. Perhaps they were looking for a reason to be offended, and apparently Ms. Sanchez provided them with enough fuel for their fury that they didn't have time to be offended by the swimsuits and high heels and questionable talent routines.
The backlash that is rippling through social media outlets probably warrants a heavy surf advisory. Nia Sanchez has been accused of "promoting rape culture", "victim shaming", and other horrific crimes against humanity. And the popular feminist mantra, "How about we teach men not to rape," chants steadily in the background of this idiotic sisterhood shit storm.
Here's just a sampling of the madness Nia Sanchez' comments about self defense training for women sparked:
Miss Nevada was asked about rape at colleges and answered that women need to learn to defend themselves… OR MEN COULD JUST NOT RAPE.
Miss Nevada described how individuals need to protect themselves from rape, instead of teaching others not to rape. Stop the victim blaming.
Sick of hearing “women need to learn self defense from sexual violence” We need a culture we don’t have to defend ourselves from
Women shouldn't need to learn to protect themselves against rape #missnevada educate and respect yourself as a woman #rapeculture
Miss Nevada: How is it a woman’s responsibility to learn to protect herself from rape? #MissUSA2014 #getaburkatoo
Now I've been known to rant until I'm hoarse about society's objectification of women (here and here are just a couple of examples). But...are you freakin' kidding me? I just can't seem to follow the logic in these comments. Apparently Nia Sanchez's black belt is akin to a burkha? A woman who trained for twelve years in a disciplined martial art and who worked with dedication and perseverance to accomplish a high skill level is lacking in self-respect? Refusing to be a victim of sexual assault is equivalent to shaming victims of sexual assault? I'm confused here, ladies.
I thought feminism was about female empowerment, but these tweets seem to suggest otherwise. Instead of empowering women to be independent and confident and self-sufficient, it seems these women would embrace a form of feminism that actually disempowers women, that leaves them stalled in victim mode, waiting for men to change in order for them to feel safe and secure. Since when did feminism leave women relying on men as a source of women's safety and security? That's giving men all of the power. Instead of women reaching for (and achieving) their own personal power, grabbing the bull by horns, and enabling themselves, these feminists would instead try to change other people (men in particular)... all while loudly complaining about how unfair life is.
These feminists are a bunch of shameless hypocrites who would leave women unable to defend themselves, unprepared to resist assault, and patiently waiting for a unicorn- and rainbow-filled utopia where men don't do vulgar and nasty things to women. Call me crazy, but that seems completely counter-productive to the tenets of feminism. It puts the power right back in the laps of men while simultaneously stripping it from women (and believe me when I say there's a really sexist metaphor here about men and lap dances and overly ambitious exotic dancers).
Here's the deal. Maybe there is no "rape culture" in America.
Are women sexualized and objectified and trivialized in American culture? Yes. I'm not arguing that point.
However, to say we live in a "rape culture" is to insinuate that rape is normal and acceptable. But we live in a culture that treats rape as a crime so heinous and unforgiving that even false accusations ruin men's lives. No one is "teaching" men to rape. And men aren't anxiously awaiting any opportunity to get away with sexual assault. The vast majority of American men would never even consider such a wickedly shameful act, in spite of what the overly vocal feminist misandrists might try to preach. The average American man isn't out slipping roofies in drinks or lurking down dark alleys waiting for their next helpless victim untrained in self-defense.
Here's a handy little piece of information for the women's libbers who cry "rape culture" to chew on. According to Bureau of Justice statistics, the estimated annual rate of female sexual assault in the United States is actually plunging. Between 1995 and 2010, the annual rate declined by 58%. I don't share this to trivialize the awful violation of any individual's experience with rape or sexual assault, but only to show that we might be on our way to that happy place of rainbows and unicorns and no rape that the furious feminists have been desperately wishing for.
Of course, we'll spend our whole lives wishing for that childish Utopian fantasy and sacrifice our daughters' safety and well-being in the process. Because rape has existed since the dawn of humankind. There have always been brutally violent deviants... and as much as I would like to say otherwise... there always will be. For feminists to sit behind their computer keyboards screaming that they shouldn't have to live in a world where rape exists is like screaming that they shouldn't have to live in a world where vandalism, murder, thievery, and cliff-hanger endings to Game of Thrones exist. The reality is, we DO live in that world. So we can whine and complain and tweet nasty things about Miss USA, or we can take charge of our own destinies and empower ourselves to defend against dangerous vile men in ways beyond pissing ourselves.
Do I wish I lived in a world where my daughters didn't have to worry about walking alone at night, or guarding their drinks at parties, or "flirting" with men who might get the wrong idea? Hell yes! But that world only exists in fairy tales (which ironically are very anti-feminist). So instead of wallowing in the self-pity and moral righteousness of the feminist "victims", I'll spend my energy raising my daughters to be strong, confident, take-charge young women who know how to defend themselves.
Watch out for those knees and elbows guys. This mama ain't raisin' no victims:
|My youngest daughter about to deliver a flying kick to the head|
|My oldest daughter in competition|
|Black belts aren't burkhas.|