Wow. This op/ed may be the worst college newspaper piece I’ve ever read — and that’s saying a lot. There’s no link to the actual article online, but a kind reader has emailed me the full text. It’s pasted below the fold, and the full spectrum of rape and violence-related trigger warnings apply.
“Rape Only Hurts If You Fight It” by John Petroski
Most people today would claim that rape is a terrible crime almost akin to murder, but I strongly disagree. Far from a vile act, rape is a magical experience that benifits society as a whole. I realize many of you will disagree with this thesis, but lend me your ears and I’m sure I’ll sway you towards a darkened alley.
If it weren’t for rape, Western Civilization might not exist as we know it today. When the Romans were faced with a disproportionate ratio of women to men in the early kingdom, they had to do something, lest their flidgling society die for lack of sons. To solve their little dilemma, they did what any reasonable man would do: they threw a festival for their Sabine neighbors, and then stole and raped their women. It’s quite logical; in fact I don’t understand why the settlers at Plymoth didn’t do the same to the local Indians–it certainly would have saved on shipping costs.
Obviously, in the case of the Rape of the Sabines, rape was a tremendous help to society. The Sabine women, for their part, didn’t seem to mind so much, as they threw themselves between their brutish old Sabine husbands and their charming new Roman ones to prevent bloodshed when the Sabine men came to reclaim their wives. Yet even when society was totally against a rape, the raunchy act has benifited society too. Where would the Romans be, after all, if it weren’t for the Rape of the Lucretia infuriating the people to the point of overthrowing their last king, Lucius Tarpuinius Superbus? If it weren’t for that event, the world might have never had the Roman Republic for a pristine example of a flawless government.
Rapes glorious advantages are not, however, exclusively found from 2,000 year old examples. In actuality rape advantages can very much be seen today. Take ugly women for example. If it weren’t for rape, how would they ever know the joys of intercourse with a man who isn’t drunk? In a society as plastic-conscious as our own, are we really to believe that some man would ever sleep with a girl resembling a wildebeest if he didn’t have a few schnapps in him? Of course he wouldn’t–at least no self-respecting man would–but there in lies the beauty of rape. No self respecting man would rape in the first place, so ugly women are guaranteed a romp with not only a sober man, but a bad boy too; and we all know how much ladies like the bad boy.
Ugly women are not, however, the only people who benefit from rape–prisoners enjoy as many perks too. What, after all, could be possibly be more boring than spending years of your life confined to some tiny cell 23 hours a day? The answer, of course, is spending years of your life confined to some tiny cell 23 hours a day and never getting some hot action. With rape, prisoners never have to worry about that. Instead, they merely need worry about treating their rapist with enough love and respect to earn a quick reach-around.
But if there is one bread and butter reason for why rape should not only be accepted, but even endorsed, it is because our news editors are in dire need of interesting stories for our front page. Bookstore stories? Fossils? One dollar coins? Please. Now, some saucy circle-jerk rape action? Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Predictably, the mouth-breathing editors at the Central Connecticut State University newspaper claim that it’s “satire,” and that Petroski is a “gifted satirist” (no, seriously) and his brilliance simply “fell on deaf ears.”
It’s a shame that, for all his satirical brilliance, he couldn’t find an equally brilliant copy editor to correct his repeated use of the word “benifits.”
The editors further argue that the media is misrepresenting poor Petroski, ostensibly by quoting his entire article.
But Petroski may be a well-meaning, totally not-sexist-at-all fellow who just slipped up, right? Well, check out these other gems from our new Asshole of the Week:
I have to wonder, who in their right minds decided that an abortion is a woman’s sole right? Who decided that only one parent should have all the power of life or death over an unborn child? Who decided that, when it comes to this grave decision, a father’s opinion means nothing?
This may be a wild guess, but I’d venture to say women. And I’ll make this wild presumption for one key reason: women have a completely unfair and unreasonable stranglehold on the fate of a father’s unborn child.
Well I’m here to point out that it’s not right.
t’s not right that we live in a society where a father can be willing to give up his social life to give his child a chance to live, but a mother can overrule his opinion and decide that her carefree nights of binge drinking take precedence to another human’s life.
It gets worse, as he talks about how those evil women are “able to just waltz into an abortion clinic and have his child murdered behind his back” and that men should have veto power on a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy. But here’s the kicker:
Some may say, “Well, what then will stop a woman from having a back-alley abortion?” The answer is obvious enough: the threat of incarceration for murder.
Which he follows up with, “As soon as you get pregnant you no longer have a right to your own body.” Seriously:
Now, I realize that at this point, some ladies who are reading this article may very well be blowing their tops. Some may be frothing with rage, irate at the prospect of a man telling them what to do with their bodies or their lives, or, perhaps, incensed at my supposed disregard to their “right to privacy” and such.
Well, I say that when it comes to abortion, they have no such rights. A woman’s right to privacy should not overrule a father’s right to see his child live. A woman’s claim that “it’s her body” ends when another’s grows within it. Once a child grows in your womb, ladies, it should no longer be a question of your right to privacy or your right to choose. At that point, it should very much be a question of the parents’ right to privacy and the parents’ right to choose.
He also writes ridiculous screeds about the incompetence of the postal workers in his college town, who might very well be trying to feed their families on less than John pays in tuition every year. And he even manages to toss in some pat sexism to his anti-post-office piece:
Are you a pretty girl? Do you have guys chasing your tail whom you simply aren’t interested in? Have you tried to turn them down gently with a nice little white lie, only to find that they just don’t fall for the old, “I’m washing my hair” excuse anymore? Well fret not, ladies, I have the perfect new lie for you. Simply tell the poor chump that you have to mail something out at the New Britain Post Office, and he’ll know you’ll be busy for months to come.
And then there’s his whining about not being “cool,” and how all the cool kids are totally mean to him, but little do they know that he’s totally like Teddy Roosevelt. All of his examples of Great American People are, naturally, men (” Yes, once upon a time our heroes were men like Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt— men who always strove to do their best in the face of grave trouble and who clearly changed the world for the better through their selfless efforts.”). But don’t worry, he mentions the ladies, too:
They seem to still think that they’re invincible, or that their good looks and charm will see them through life. While that might work for a while, there are some harsh realities to face. Ladies, your breasts will sag and there will always be a younger model right around the corner, anyway.
So clever! So original!
Basically, John is pissed because he’s an asshole, and the other kids at school think he’s an asshole. He’s the kid whose hand shoots up every five seconds and who needs to prove his intellectual superiority to everyone else in the classroom. I mean, he’s the guy who just wrote an entire editorial about how he’s smart and works hard while his classmates face futures of saggy tits and pumping gas. A real classy guy, and surely someone you want to be friends with.
So John is a misogynist asshole, and, in context, it looks like his pro-rape piece wasn’t satirical at all — it’s par for the course with him. But this isn’t just about John. After all, the editor-in-chief has been letting his op/eds through all semester. Well, it turns out that the editorial staff of The Record are among the dumbest college students on the planet. Mean, I know, but it’s true:
Our editorial staff was unaware that only “official” journalists benefit from the right of freedom of the press—we happen to believe that all citizens of this country enjoy that right—but even if only “official” journalists are entitled, who gets to decide what makes a journalist “official” in the first place? Must they be published in a regular, hard-copy newspaper, or should a devoted blogger who follows journalistic procedure be considered “official” as well?
We are of the opinion that all journalists are “official,” regardless of if they are published in the Hartford Courant, The Recorder or slate.com. There is not, after all, any magical “journalist certificate” that is required by law for someone to carry a tape recorder.
As such, all journalists should be treated with an equal amount of respect. It is absolutely inexcusable for some journalists to be censored or imprisoned while others roam free, and it is certainly in contradiction to everything this nation supposedly values.
All journalists should be treated with an equal amount of respect? Huh. See, the funny thing about “respect” is that you have to earn it. And when you’re an unbelievable moron, you don’t earn it, because people think you’re a joke.
“Freedom of the press,” too, is like “freedom of speech”: It’s a protection against governmental intrusion. Now, I don’t think that the University president should have to step in here and fire Petroski and the Recorder editor-in-chief. I think they should be big boys and resign all on their own — or, at the very least, the EIC should save face and can his rape apologist writer. But criticizing a paper’s content is not a violation of anyone’s freedom of speech or press. Publicly pointing out Petroski’s idiocy isn’t a violation of his freedom of speech or press. Because here’s the other thing about freedom of the press: It doesn’t mean that everyone has equal access to voice their views in every press outlet. Duh. Petroski has a right to express his views without the government stepping in and shutting him up, but he does not have a right to express his views on the pages of his university newspaper.
He is, to be short, a piece of shit. He deserves to get fired, just as anyone who writes an equally hateful article justifying an oppressive violent act should not claim the “right” to retain their position as an opinion writer. Let the Recorder know that Petroski’s hateful, violent views should not be given space in any credible publication — email them at email@example.com.
Thanks to Matt for the link, and Jane Doe for the full text of the article
- From the Department of Non-Apologies by zuzu February 10, 2007
- Rape Just Ain’t What It Used To Be by Jill February 14, 2008
- Polanski Defend-a-Thon, Part 2 by Jill September 29, 2009
- And speaking of taking religion out of the public sphere… by Jill September 8, 2008
- In case you needed another reason to be disgusted by Woody Allen by Jill May 17, 2010