Rape Only Hurts If You Fight It

asshole

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:

Abortion: A Father’s Take

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 ccsurecorder@gmail.com.

Thanks to Matt for the link, and Jane Doe for the full text of the article


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About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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179 Responses to Rape Only Hurts If You Fight It

  1. Kelley says:

    What a fucking asshole. I’m at a loss for words at exactly how stupid this little piece of shit has shown himself to be. The rape apology bit was bad enough, but that bit about our bodies no longer belonging to us once we become pregnant?? WTF? That’s all I can say.

  2. Jane Doe says:

    Wow, Jill, you are amazing. I knew you and/or Zuzu (didn’t she live near Central for a while?) would do a fantastic job ripping this piece of trash apart, but I didn’t know you’d do it so quickly. Brava!

  3. Bolo says:

    From the linked article:

    Rowan said Thursday that Petroski and other editors felt the article was a humorous condemnation of media sensationalism. Rowan said the controversy over the article has proved the point it was trying to make.

    “The front page of the paper had a very important story about students losing their Social Security numbers, an issue that affects the entire campus,” Rowan said. “But nobody is talking about that. They’re only talking about the rape article.”

    Rowan said the controversy over the article has taught him that he and the rest of the editors on the paper might not understand the campus community as well as they thought they did.

    “I don’t think we appreciated the climate we’re in,” he said.

    Yes, “the climate we’re in”–you know, being human and living on Earth. If he doesn’t understand why people don’t make as big of a fuss over an article about social security number theft as they do about one where rape is described as “magical” and beneficial then he really, really needs to pull his head out of his ass.

    Although I suspect his sphincter has a death grip on it by now.

    I do think that the original article was satire–as horribly misogynist as he is, this was a quantum leap above the other snippets given here–but it was “Man Show” satire, poking fun at stereotypes while still giving them a wink and a nudge. This is in contrast to, say, “Colbert Report” satire, which actively fights against the things it satirizes.

  4. zuzu says:

    A list of the editorial staff and their emails here.

    Wow. This guy makes Gary Miller look like Gloria Steinem.

  5. MikeEss says:

    Apparently Mr. John Petroski has an impressive Reichwing political career ahead of him, if the Right can steal the next election.

    He seems to hit all their misogynist highlights in those samples. He just needs to add asinine religious bigotry, unthinking support for pointless military action, and a mindless belief in the importance of cutting taxes on everyone earning over a million or more.

    What a complete tool…

  6. Chicklet says:

    I am a proud CCSU graduate and former Recorder reporter. Today, I am appalled and embarrassed for my alma mater. The school and the newspaper are much better than this, and I hope the editors are lambasted as much as the writer.

    Satire is a challenging genre to write, and Petroski fell far short of the mark. To attempt satire on a horrific act and sensitive subject such as rape was incredibly arrogant. Unfortunately, he didn’t confine his attempt to an English paper that any professor would have rightly red-inked into oblivion.

    The editors also share the blame in that no one realized that this attempt at satire was really, really bad and served no purpose other than Petroski’s celebration of his own (way overestimated) cleverness. If the editors really think Petroski is “gifted” in satire, they need to get to English class more often.

    The Recorder is there for students to inform the campus community and to practice reporting, editing, and design. It is not The Onion, nor is it a playground for self-aggrandizing hacks too in love with their own writing to stop and think before printing it.

    I hope this is a learning experience, and not only in the matter of rape. I hope that this opportunity is taken for Recorder staff to fully realize the responsibilities that go with the privelege of being on the Recorder. Perhaps faculty can use this as an opportunity to teach.

    The self-righteous whining in the Courant article was pathetic. Any red-assing they get from the campus community, they deserve.

    Of course, the assholes come out to play in the comments:

    Rape is the most overrated crime in America — or perhaps second only to domestic “violence.”
    Rape in a dark alley with a knife is a heinous crime, but is so rare nowadays, a female has a better chance of being stoned to death than enduring such a situation.
    Date rape, however, is a joke. Females are 100,000 times more likely to file a false rape accusation (Duke lacrosse, anyone?) than to actually be raped. Men are the only ones who get raped in those situations.

  7. Heraclitus says:

    Is there any chance this thing may be full-blown satire, what with the spelling mistakes and all? I mean, “flidgling nation”? If not, get this kid to Kansas–I think he single-handedly disproves the theory of evolution.

    Still less loathsome than the Doughy Pantload, though.

    And by the way, I assume the school newspaper at Central Connecticut State is funded by the state, so this isn’t just hate speech, it’s government-funded hate speech.

  8. CGG says:

    Thanks for covering this.

  9. Antahkarana says:

    It’s uncanny that I’m reading this now because just this morning my friendly local campus misogynists were having a blast telling a series of off color jokes about ugly girls, beer googles, bitchy feminists, and the ol’ ball and chain. In a Humanities and Health Sciences lecture discussing abortion rights, they stopped their tirade just short of rape, saying that they absolutely cannot condone violence against women in any form and many sober, upstanding men like them feel the same way. I feel so disoriented and upset by this…I can’t believe it’s 2007….

  10. Zack Woodson says:

    Shit like this happens every year in every college paper. There’s always a guy who thinks this is the first time anyone’s ever thought of writing a hilarious article totally pissing off all the feminazis. His response to this whole thing is going to be “lighten up.”

    Don’t waste time getting angry or responding, is my point. It’s the whole wrestling-with-pigs thing.

  11. Sarah says:
    sat·ire /ˈsætaɪər/ –noun 1. the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.
    2. a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.

    Maybe a more gifted writer–namely, one with basic talent and rudimentary spelling skills–could have possibly pulled off this ill-conceived (read: “fucked up”) idea for an article. Our resident asshole, however, has none of the finesse or inherent tenderness for rape victims or hatred for rapists that the article requires. Sure, the first article is “satire”, but it’s poor satire, which is far worse, because not only do you offend the group that you’re aiming to “help” (again…rape is never a good subject to satirize. Ever.), but then there are those people who read the article and nodded along with it and missed the “point” completely.

    The only people who didn’t get Jonathan Swift’s point in “Gulliver’s Travels” were the dumber quandrant of the ones he was lampooning (and believe me, the smarter ones got it and weren’t too happy). Every one else was in on the “joke” and it led to people wanting to make a proactive change in their society. True satire, while seemingly opposite in intent, protects and includes the “good guys”. Therefore, had this been an example of good satire (and AGAIN, because I know how these comments work…someone will mis-read and think I’m all about writing about rape satirically…I’M NOT. I think it’s a FUCKING BAD IDEA.), rape victims would have felt as though the writer was on their side and fighting for them, and rapists would have read it, realized they were being called on the floor and hated the writer. But with this guy, even I–though thankfully not a victim of rape–felt lampooned myself…simply for being a woman.

    And don’t even get me started on his abortion stance (which is clearly NOT a slice of his “brilliant” satirical skills).

    Yeah…not saying anything new here. What a fucker. I’ll be e-mailing that paragon of literary genius forthwith.

  12. jfpbookworm says:

    I can’t tell what the author was shooting for. He might have been going for a Colbert-like character.

    That said, he failed. Miserably. Because Colbert-type characters only work if they’re willing to make themselves the primary objects of ridicule. Even after you cut through the potential satire in this piece, you’re still laughing at rape victims.

  13. raging red says:

    If he doesn’t understand why people don’t make as big of a fuss over an article about social security number theft as they do about one where rape is described as “magical” and beneficial then he really, really needs to pull his head out of his ass.

    And even if the article was about something more important than social security number theft, it still would be entirely appropriate to make a big fuss over his offensive “satire.” If a newspaper had a big front-page story about the Iraq war, probably the most important issue in this country at the moment, and they also had a “satirical” misogynistic screed on their editorial page, it wouldn’t mean that people didn’t give a damn about the Iraq war if they focused all of their attention on the misogynistic screed.

  14. Meredith says:

    Reading the rape apology editorial, I was reminded of one of the newspapers at my university, which publishes point/counterpoints about topics such as working moms v stay-at-homes, men v women, and America v the world. The difference is, the point/counterpoints that our paper runs are so over-the-top ridiculous that it’s obviously satirical in nature. This is failed satire–too serious to be funny.

    …Of course, that was my opinion before I read the rest of his writing. Now, I’m just convinced he’s an asshole who should not be allowed a space in any sort of official publication.

  15. Christina says:

    There he says it; he doesn’t even have any respect for himself (I assume that if he is defending rape as glorious with so many benefits to society, he would employ it). How can he have respect for anyone else?

  16. Natalie says:

    Jonathan Swift this idiot is not! A Modest Proposal THIS is not. Vile, vile, vile.

  17. EoL says:

    If not, get this kid to Kansas–I think he single-handedly disproves the theory of evolution.

    It’s funny to me how we’re not by any means the only state to fuck with science standards (btw, we’re probably overturning it AGAIN this year), but we’re the only one anyone ever remembers. I guess Minnesota and Friends can thank us for that.

    Anyway.

    Reading the stuff about this dude reminded me of a kid I had a college class with (for two years straight!). He would read one chapter ahead in the class and then would waste time asking questions about that chapter. He thought he was smart and cool because of it, always with a smug and self-satisfied smile on his face after he showed his superior intelligence, but in reality … we all hated him.

    This writer writes incendiary crap and then wonders why no one bows down to his almighty brain or likes him or even wants to be his friend … well, a good place to start with people actually respecting you is to NOT be a bloviating windbag-asshole-misogynist. Telling us we just don’t “get it” is like the kid in my class thinking that we’d all appreciate his questions if we’d just read ahead like he did. Problem’s all with US and not with HIM.

    All women should be locked in cages upon reaching puberty and beaten and raped regularly! Don’t like my opinion? Well, I’M just expressing myself! YOU just need to get a sense of humor and appreciate my satirical wits!

  18. spit says:

    Wow.

    I’m one of those people that thinks pretty much anything can be the target of satire if it’s done well, but this utterly, utterly fails the satire test. What it’s going for, apparently, is to be so utterly offensive that nobody can take it seriously, but even there it fails utterly by turning the butt of the “joke” into women who are raped, rather than rape or rapists.

    And his other quotes there are quite telling, aren’t they?

    Thanks for putting this up; it’s every bit as horrible as I feared from the vague newscasts.

    Freedom of the press does not mean freedom from loud criticism and calls for you to shut up if you publish something offensive and with no merit, and it does not mean that this guy should be allowed to continue to publish offensive crap to the detriment of the university and its paper.

    Both should step down or be canned, I agree. They may feel free to express their freedom from the pages of their own publications.

  19. trillian says:

    Interesting circular logic:

    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.

    Anyone who follows ‘journalistic procedure’ is an official journalist, ergo, we are real journalists; official journalists can write whatever they want, so whatever we want to write is acceptable journalistic procedure. Um, sure.

    Oh, and I think I’m going to be sick.

  20. DataShade says:

    Hah hah, man, this goes past tool, past tool box, even past tool shed. Petroski’s the entire hardware store.

    And the thing is, I agree with George Carlin on the idea that anything can be funny, even rape; the problem is, every joke needs at least one good exaggeration, and with a touchy subject you need to make sure everyone knows what the exaggeration is. I read that article and I don’t see an exaggeration. Maybe if he’d started off the article with an over-the-top obviously fictitious personal anecdote about being on the receiving end of forced sexual contact – painful attention from a deranged babysitter, molested by a priest, too much anesthesia in a dentists’ office, etc – I could give him the benefit of the doubt. But as the article stands, there’s no exaggeration, there’s no punchline, there’s just a blueballed asshat with no respect for human life or dignity.

  21. Mnemosyne says:

    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.

    At a minimum, they should invest in a goddamned DICTIONARY.

    They’re $2.95 at the university bookstore, guys. Pick one up today. Because defending the “brilliant satire” of a guy who CAN’T EVEN SPELL makes you look like an even bigger idiot than he is.

    As a past winner of the “Best of Copy Editing Staff” award at my college paper, I’m offended purely on a professional level.

  22. secondhandsally says:

    I believe that the author really was attempt to satire something, but because it’s so poorly done it never should have been printed.
    My guess is that he is attempting to do a sort of “Modest Proposal;” taking a position he disagrees with to its extreme in order to point out the fallacy in the logic behind the position (rape apologists in this case? It’s so bad, I’m not sure.) But he is no Swift.
    As it is, the reader is left with doubt about the author’s true position. The reader is left disgusted at the author instead of at whatever group the author attempted to lampoon.

  23. secondhandsally says:

    And I just read Sarah’s comment and not only do I repeat the things she’s said, I even use the word “lampoon,” which I don’t think I would ever normally use.

    Sorry Sarah! You said it both first and better.

  24. Vera Venom says:

    Well it’s pretty clear that poor old Johnny is a rape apogists because that’s the only way he can get some. Being to poor to pay for it and too disgustingly unattractive to get a willing female.

    Oh, and btw, that is *totally* satirical. And if Johnny gets mad it’s because he just doesn’t understand satire.

  25. emjaybee says:

    Like all his ilk, you can spot him in an instant by the fact that he refers to women as “you ladies”.

    What’s next; a humorous take on lynching? I’m sure he could “satirize” about the ways slavery and brutality have moved western civ along to its current glorious incarnation…you know, the incarnation that gave birth to guys like him. Yep. A real pinnacle of achievement, that. Central Connecticut State must be proud to own this paragon of manliness and wit.

  26. ElissaMissa says:

    Just sent the two of them an email. Schmucks. I’m appealing to their pride (or apparent lack of it):

    Wow. I just finished reading John’s article – the one making rounds on the internet – entitled “Rape only hurts when you fight it”. Again, wow.

    Simply put, you, John, are a bad writer. Now, I understand how hard it must be to see people (from the looks of your article women in particular) around you succeed at things you are unable to accomplish – such as wit, humor, satire and intelligence – but that’s really no excuse for allowing such poorly written trash to be published (Mark).

    I’m going to bet that a lot of your argument, amateur as it was, stems from a personal experience. What happened, John? Rebuffed by a big, bad feminist? No one wants to see you naked? Or simply intimidated by those smarter and more interesting then yourself, which seems to be most of the population.

    I can see that the general response is for feminists/women/rape survivors to grow a sense of humor. Well, we DO have a sense of humor – it’s YOURS that has yet to be seen.

    So do us all a favor, both of you, and resign. Then retreat to your he-man woman-haters clubhouse and cry about how women are soooooo mean, all the while scribbling your vicious, grade-school arguments down to share with each other. Because the rest of us are bored with you.

    Thanks.

  27. Jeff Fecke says:

    Satire is a tool of the oppressed. When dominant groups try to use it, it comes out hateful.

    This guy’s a tool, and maybe he can figure it out (everyone’s stupid at 19, though some are more stupid than others), but until he does, he’s going to look like an idiot.

    Oh, and he’d also better invest in some lotion. Just sayin’.

    At any rate, I look forward to this guy’s take on “Slavery: A Win-Win Situation.”

  28. KellyMac says:

    Jill, you’re a moron. And yes, I would say it to your face, so this really is like a real-life conversation.

    How could you possibly read the piece about rape and NOT know it’s satire? Do you honestly believe there are men who would believe that, in all seriousness? What a fantasyland you live in.

    Let me break it down for you, hon. By endorsing rape for the reasons in his article, he is actually commenting on how BAD rape is. Read it again with an open mind.

    I realize that, like all feminist sites, you censor your comments, and I don’t expect this to be published. But at least I can tell you, to your face, to have a nice day.

    KellyMac

  29. bmc90 says:

    Murder, lynching, child labor – one could make an argument that all these things have ‘moved western civ along.’ Really, the sky is the limit. The super strange part is about rape and unattractive women which just does not hang together in any way shape or form. A really clever person might be able to make a larger point through satire about how sexual violence has become major entertainment and media fodder as in that Special Victims Unit stuff, and how if there was as much actual rape in real life as there is in the media, it would be something like what the Romans did to the Sabines in every major city every day, and the utilization of sexual violence for mere entertainment actually cheapens the gravity of the crime. Unfortunately, this guy is the target audience for titliation in the guise of true crime stories. Describing rape as “raunchy”? Raunchy conotes voluntary participation in a sex act. Try a little harder to convince yourself she really wants you, fellow, because you are not convincing us. Bleah.

  30. mustelid says:

    Perhaps a counterpoint article, done in a similar “humorous” vein. Just think, someone could start off by saying how “all men” are slaves to their genitalia, throw in some trite cliches as evidence, then call for the rounding up of all men, since they just can’t help their y-chromosome call to mate with nearly anything that catches their eye. C’mon, it’s satire and all in fun! Think John would see the humor in an editorial on mass neuterings for peace?

  31. Shira says:

    Wow.

    I’ve never felt such a powerful urge to punch someone in the face.

  32. Bitter Scribe says:

    How come this guy hasn’t written about how the Holocaust really made things better for the Jews? Or maybe he just hasn’t gotten around to that yet?

  33. jrav says:

    How do all the ugly guys get sex from girls then???

    That was one of the first things that came to mind when I read that section besides, WHA? Is he really serious?

  34. ako says:

    You know, there’s a long, proud history of castration as well. The castrato singers of Renaissance Europe are on example; the influence of eunuchs on the Chinese civil service is another. Think what history would be like without the castration of such men as Pierre Abelard, Ignatius of Constantinople, and Admiral Zheng He.

    Perhaps what’s keeping Johnny-Boy from acheiving true greatness is that little bit of excess tissue he’s carrying around. Snip it, and he can stop worrying about how nobody likes him, and even the girls he considers ugly aren’t desperate enough to say yes to him, and start figuring out how to demonstrate his true genius. After all, since history’s been influenced by it, concievably for the better, it should be acceptable for women to inflict it on the unwilling males of their choice, right?

  35. Irv says:

    His father, i presume:

    [Deleted by Jill]

  36. Sarah says:

    So, if he thinks rape is such a fun and harmless thing, no doubt he’d be happy to be raped, for the good of society? No?

    As for the ‘ugly women should be grateful for rape, because how else would they ever get laid’ thing, aside from the offensiveness, does this guy even live in the real world? For all the unrealistic beauty standards in the media, people of most shapes and sizes and looks seem to manage to find partners and have relationships, so unless they’re all drunk all the time, surely it’s not only the beautiful who get to have sex? The population would be a much smaller one if that were the case!

  37. The email I jsut sent;

    John Petroski wouldn’t know satire if it came up and bit him in the balls. He is a whiny, self absorbed, self pitying, entitled, talentless, hack who has earned no and deserves no respect.That the editors of The Recorder printed this proves that they are incompetent and badly in need of a remedial journalism course. I’m glad hat you seem to have gotten an overwhelmingly negative response from the campus community, it gives me hope for the future. As for John and the other editors, I hope you get the lack of careers you so richly deserve.

    In closing an old punk greeting FUCK OFF AND DIE?

    A bit harsh I know but it’s self important little jerks like this who fail upward, become president and get us into wars. Best to smash them now, preemptive put down so to say.

  38. Starfoxy says:

    You know, if we were trying to violate the freedom of the press or his freedom of speech we certainly wouldn’t be reprinting this and forwarding it to our friends, (admittedly with commentary about how utterly reprehensible it is).

    Him claiming that we’re trying to violate his freedom of speech is just a misguided attempt to cast our contempt and derision as fear of his ideas– real fear acts much differently. If we were really afraid of what he had to say we wouldn’t want anyone to read it. We’d be confiscating and destroying any trace of this guy’s work. That’s what a real violation of freedom of speech looks like. Instead, by broadcasting it, we’re simply demonstrating our supreme contempt for his ideas, and our easy confidence that no-one with half a brain would agree with him.

  39. Le Grande Bagel says:

    Completely unbelievable. It just got worse and worse… and I wasn’t going to give him the “satire” benefit of the doubt in the first place.

  40. Medbh says:

    Yeah, and this really proves the right wing argument how universities turn everyone into lefty liberals, indoctrinated by feminism. Obviously this guy has no clue. I hope women there wise up and avoid this misogynist at all costs.
    Lysistrata did more for humanity.

  41. Chicklet says:

    The big, whiny baby is hiding behind the “free speech” dodge. Yes, he has every right to write his garbage. But free speech goes both ways. People who read his garbage have every right to speak out against it. Welcome to adulthood, John. Enjoy your stay.

    I am a reporter, and know that with the byline comes a bulls-eye. Readers are free to criticize. Sometimes, they have valid complaints. Other times, they are out of bounds (such as calling only to insult a columnist’s looks). But they are free to speak out either way. As long as they don’t make threats, or spew obscenities or just verbally abuse with no point, we’ll listen.

    Petroski needs to grow up and own his work. So do the editors.

  42. Aaron says:

    Wow.

    I’ve never felt such a powerful urge to punch someone in the face.

    I know what you mean.

    I tried calling their Editor-in-Chief, but no one answered the phone. I think I’ll try again on Monday. I just want to see what he says when I ask him how he, personally, can countenance giving someone like John Petroski a wider voice.

  43. A Pang says:

    Oh, student newspapers. What won’t you publish?

  44. Tara says:

    The University president, as well as the newspaper, are as despicabe as the author. I say this because they reinforce that what he wrote was actual satire. That’s giving him credit for actually have wit and using it to make a point. The newspaper’s response is reprehensible because it asserts that the piece was clever; it also shifts the blame for the ensuing outrage to the audience for ‘being too stupid to see how clever the writing is.’ Ugh.

    This shows very clearly how journalism, and its much-ballyhooed codes and standards, work to reinforce patriarchal ideology. Oh, we believe in freedom of speech. That’s why we’ll publish anything, as long as it isn’t pro-gay rights, pro-woman, pro-people of color, anti-capitalist, etc. And, then, if you criticize us, we’ll make this a free speech argument and say that it’s unfortunate that you are offended, but we must protect our ‘journalists’ who are doing valiant work and ‘provoking discussion.’

  45. abyss2hope says:

    sat·ire /ˈsætaɪər/ –noun [1. … 2. …]

    Added to this student’s copy of the dictionary:

    3. a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human pain and human rights are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.

  46. Here’s news coverage of CCSU’s response:

  47. whoops, didn’t embed. Here’s the link:
    YouTube

  48. Tara says:

    “Rowan said the article has proved the point it was trying to make.

    “The front page of the paper had a very important story about students losing their Social Security numbers, an issue that affects the entire campus,” Rowan said. “But nobody is talking about that. They’re only talking about the rape article.”

    —- Is this reasoning for real? I’m a Ph.D. student studying media studies in a school of journalism and mass communication. I’d like to think, like the above poster, that a remedial journalism course is just what these losers need. But, it seems to me, that we’re increasingly seeing these sorts of explanations and justifications when news media get criticized. Oh, it was provocative; hence, we’re doing what we should be doing.

    They have the wrong definition of provocative, don’t they…mistaking outrage and offended readers for something that works to spark debate. Lazy. And, they have the wrong understanding of the role of news editors. For every time they make use of the First Amendment rationale (as if complaining readers are asking for censorship) to explain why they won’t take action, they forget about all the times they regularly use news judgment to decide what gets in the paper and what doesn’t. Those decisions are made daily. It’s called professionalism and expertise.

    What we see here is, unfortunately, symptomatic of news media nowadays, here and abroad (remember, last year, the ugliness of the European news media in their reprinting of anti-Islamic cartoons). It’s driven by less and less public media, an increase in commercialization, the Fox effect, less accountability.

  49. DDay says:

    I feel sick to my stomach right now. It just scares me that there are people out there that think like this. I just hope that he never acts out in violence but all of the warning signs are there.

  50. mothworm says:

    This guy understands satire like Alanis Morissette understands irony. What was the target of his satire? Simply collecting and repeating the worst views of rape apologists isn’t a satire, even if you say it in a “joking” way.

    Really, what the hell is the deal with college newspapers? I nearly got canned for drawing a cartoon in which a pair of pants offers a woman flowers (apparently I was “hiding a penis” somewhere in the cartoon), but some asshole on staff managed to publish no less than three cartoons using the joke “Hey ladies, the word of the week is ‘legs’. Spread the word”, and later wrote an article on the Special Olympics in which he repeatedly referred to the contestants as “retards”, all without repercussions.

  51. piny says:

    Wow.

    I’ve never felt such a powerful urge to punch someone in the face.

    Mm-hm.

    By his own logic, he should be repeatedly punched in the face. I mean, where would the ancient Roman Empire have been without lots and lots of violence? Definitely not Gaul, is where.

  52. Kali says:

    Perhaps a counterpoint article, done in a similar “humorous” vein.

    I actually tried to do this. I reckoned it would be easy, using a similar “good of humanity” argument, to argue for rounding up all men, killing most of them off because they are unnecessary for reproduction, and keeping a select few in cages to be milked for their sperm… after all, lots of men LIKE that sort of thing, and it’s obvious from the extent to which ALL men have fantasies about violence and killing that it wouldn’t even be cruel to kill the other ones off. You know, rape apologist logic reversed.

    I had the whole insane troll logic of a counterpoint “op-ed” all planned out. I couldn’t write it. Shit, not even as satire. I feel sick even having tried, even having typed that summary of the logic. Because it is fucking gross to think those things, even as an intellectual exercise in satirizing the “logic” of patriarchy. Because men are people. Because I happen to have a sense of empathy. And, get this, I was afraid of hurting someone’s feelings. I was afraid of saying stuff like “men are naturally violent” not only because I don’t believe it (but a reverse-misogynist certainly would) but also because it just seems downright MEAN to say it. And I wonder why these people don’t think women have feelings, why they think it is OK to hurt women by writing that kind of thing. Because I’m willing to bet the amount of pain inflicted on the average woman by saying “rape is a good thing” is much greater than the amount of pain anything I could write would inflict on the average man (the average woman not unlikely to have been raped, whle the average man is VERY unlikely to have been a victim of violent misandry. ) And all I can think is that even women in patriarchal culture are trained to ignore, repress and diminish their own feelings while respecting the feelings of men.

  53. ako says:

    “Rowan said the article has proved the point it was trying to make.

    “The front page of the paper had a very important story about students losing their Social Security numbers, an issue that affects the entire campus,” Rowan said. “But nobody is talking about that. They’re only talking about the rape article.”

    So rape isn’t important? What attitudes on campus are about rape, and what messages school organizations choose to send doesn’t matter? It doesn’t affect say, students who’ve been raped, students who worry about getting raped, students who’s friends or loved ones were raped at some point, any female student who reads the school paper and gets a glimpse of what some of the male students think of her, or male students who have to deal with the added suspicion of the women they know wondering if they find rape funny?

    That might not be the entire campus (presumably there’s the dateless male mysogynists like the writer, and possibly an orphaned gay recluse somewhere), but it seems close enough to merit attention.

  54. That’s really fucked up.

  55. Katealaurel says:

    Of course, he not only presents a ridiculous argument in that “rape moved Western society along” (as several comments above point out), but he represents Roman history pretty inaccurately. Misspelling, misogyny, and misunderstanding of history– it’s like a trifecta of idiocy!

  56. Ginger says:

    Rape only hurts *if* you fight it?

    Hurts whom?

    Oh, just the lowly women. We all know THEY don’t matter. Silly hysterical bitches, getting all offended…they must be on the rag.

    end snark

  57. Scorpio says:

    If one is crazed enough to bed someone with opinions like this, no doubt she’d find it hard to tell him the child is someone else’s, too :)

  58. Madeline says:

    You know… I think that my sentiments about how awful the content of this article is have been stated many times, and better, by other commenters.

    As a classicist, though, I think I have one more thing to say to this jerk:

    IT’S “TARQUINIUS SUPERBUS,” ASSHOLE!

    …okay. Now that’s out of my system — I feel better.

    (If anyone wants another perspective on classical views of rape, though, they should check out “Dido Revisited,” the group blog where I post. I’d hate to see people think that this guy’s idiotic perspective on the Romans is really what happened. And with so many eloquent commenters, it’s just about the only thing I can really add to the discussion.

  59. Lauren says:

    Calm down, ladies. Only 1 in 5 women get raped in college.

    Shit, I don’t know why this is such a big issue for a college newspaper.

  60. Peter says:

    I am left utterly cold by the “nobody is talking about the important article” BS, because if he really felt that strongly about how important the social security issue was, he would either have written about it or delayed his deliberately incendiary piece.

    My guess is that the guy really felt that he was being witty and truly doesn’t get why other people don’t admire him – and then is falling back on the old “My humor is over their heads” line.

    I don’t think he really thinks rape is a good thing. That much I’ll grant him. The problem is, I do think he really things that “ugly” women don’t deserve to get laid, that all men do, and that getting women drunk is a valid tactic for temporarily lowering their standards. (Which, jrav, is the answer to your question, at least from my take on what he thinks.)

    He reminds me of the guys I was in school with who took it for granted that endless hoardes of Playboy centerfolds were all panting for the opportunity to have sex with their scrawny, misogynist selves, and couldn’t figure out why the ladies seemed to miss the memo.

  61. emily says:

    I wrote the news paper too.

    I bet you all are pleased as a rape victim at backlash from your piece of the magic of rape. See, that was sarcasm, because no rape victim would actually be happy. That only happens in porn, which we all should know by now is not reality. As opposed to what John Petroski wrote, which actually applauds the benefits of rape, such as population control. But why this is not funny, you see, is because this method of population control was and still is used today. In fact, the UN has called in genocide. It makes Petroski sound like Milosevic or other despotic rulers who gave their favored ones the right of prima nocte. (And I bet he is so pleased to hear that he was compared to someone as important as Milosevic.) This is too much and too near to existence to be funny. And what desperately wreaks of not funny in the piece is Pertoski’s plea to rape people to give him and your little newsletter real journalistic experience.

    Also, the first amendment does not require that we respect any journalist or speaker. Just as you have the right to publish misogynistic things, everyone else has the right to send you sweet little love notes. Moreover, there is no first amendment right in speech that advocates violence, as Petroski’s piece does. Advocating violence can get someone arrested. Please let me know how Petroski feels after he has experienced the joy of being ass raped. And tell him to have fun applying to grad school.

  62. Hmm.

    Many people would claim that bashing the faces in of smartasses who joke about rape is a terrible crime, but the benifits[sic] have been overlooked. After all, have you considered what pathetic twits would claim society’s protections from a good face-bashing?

    Nah, I just don’t get this satire biz.

  63. Peter:

    My guess is that the guy really felt that he was being witty and truly doesn’t get why other people don’t admire him – and then is falling back on the old “My humor is over their heads” line.

    People like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter have given the impression that all you have to do to be considered “funny” is say something outlandish that makes you out to be an asshole.

    In short, you’re probably right.

  64. Meredith says:

    Oh, and there’s a combined total of about 1600 students on Facebook on anti-John-Petroski groups, versus about 30 in pro-Petroski groups. That was just from a quick search. I think that bodes well, as it’s not like Facebook is a massively leftist website or anything.

  65. S.A. Small says:

    Jill, you’re a moron. And yes, I would say it to your face, so this really is like a real-life conversation.

    How could you possibly read the piece about rape and NOT know it’s satire? Do you honestly believe there are men who would believe that, in all seriousness? What a fantasyland you live in.

    Let me break it down for you, hon. By endorsing rape for the reasons in his article, he is actually commenting on how BAD rape is. Read it again with an open mind.

    I realize that, like all feminist sites, you censor your comments, and I don’t expect this to be published. But at least I can tell you, to your face, to have a nice day.

    KellyMac

    Score update:
    KellyMac — 1
    Jill — 1,233,455

    Not to beat a dead horse deader, but if I didn’t already think rape was wrong, it’d pretty damn hard for him to convince me it was. I mean, there have been so many great examples of satire in history (and in English!)–and even just within the last century. And this is the best he can do?!

  66. MARes says:

    mothworm, they’re claiming that the point of the satire is to highlight that there’s way too much attention to trivial issues that don’t affect everyone instead of important issues (like stolen social secuirty numbers). Like we’re in a climate of hysteria because we take rape and rape apologetics seriously and we need to have more of a sense of humor and distinguish between what is and is not important. PC gone amok, as they’d no doubt put it, say something ince.diary and watch those silly women get all upset, it’s just an article, he probably doesn’t really mean it or is exaggerating, take it easy.

    Of course, if a woman posted a humorous satire in the same vein for the same purpose about the benefits of general castration, she’d be kicked out of school so fast it would make their heads spin.

  67. Sara says:

    Don’t jokes need a punchline? What exactly is he satirizing? The nonexistent people who come out and say “rape is fricking awesome?”

  68. Chicklet says:

    I talked with a friend of mine who works at Central and he said he was just surprised it took this long for Rowan & Petroski to fuck up. He described them as egotistical, self-aggrandizing, hypersensitive to criticism, smug, condescending and absolutely convinced that what they’re doing at The Recorder is radically new journalism. Oh, and untalented, too. They’re a by-product of the “self-esteem” movement where everyone gets a trophy, bad spelling is simply creativity, no one ever fails, accountability is never asked for and being an asshole means having a disorder that must be tolerated.

  69. Uccellina says:

    That would make me embarrassed to be from Connecticut, if Lieberman hadn’t already made me embarrassed to be from Connecticut.

  70. zuzu says:

    To Irv in comment #35 and anyone else who’s posted information speculating about the identity of John Petroski’s father:

    You’re way the fuck out of line. Even if this had anything to do with Petroski’s FATHER, and even if we knew who his father actually was, publishing the contact information of random men with the last name Petroski is a violation of community standards around here, not to mention A REALLY FUCKING STUPID THING TO DO.

    I do not have editing privileges on this post, but I’ve asked Jill to delete your comments.

    What I *can* do, however, is ban Irv and purlgurl, who are new posters, and put Trinifar, who’s posted before and was repeating information purlgurl put out first, on moderation.

  71. zuzu says:

    Just to clarify: I’m talking about Irv’s comment at #35, purlgurl’s comment at #56, and Trinifar’s comment at #68.

  72. Joy says:

    I’ve read and appreciated decent works of satire, and I can tell you exactly where Petroski went wrong – he’s not funny. Rape in general isn’t funny, no matter how you look at it, and Petroski just looks like an asshole when he tries to be witty about it.

  73. Natalia says:

    As a big fan of satire (and as someone who rarely attempts it, as it is hard to pull off) – I’d like to take this opportunity to throw my big, fat copy of Alexander Pope’s collected works at this guy’s head.

    Not that it would do any damage. I can’t imagine he actually thinks with that thing above his shoulders.

  74. Heraclitus says:

    Good call, zuzu; I hadn’t noticed that. Seriously, what kind of an idiot to you have to be to google “Petroski connecticut” and just start posting random addresses and phone numbers? So that, what, people can start calling these guys up and ranting at them about their son, who doesn’t actually exist or who is serving in Iraq/autistic/an infant/was killed by a drunk driver eight months ago?

    Oh, and thanks to KellyMac for elevating the discussion with her eloquence and sharp and nuanced reading skills.

  75. Mark Rowan says:

    I’m not going to start a debate here. 1. I agree with most of what you’re saying, and 2. If I replied to everyone who made a comment about this situation I would be online for weeks. With that said I found errors in your two opening paragraphs:

    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.”

    You are not the first person I’ve said this to, but I would love to find out where this quote of me calling John a “gifted satirist” came from. I do not believe that nor have a ever said/typed that.

    I am willing to take on any onslaught for my gross misjudgment of printing the article. I am willing to apologize again and in an open forum, like I will be doing on Monday after I hear, in person, all of the students’ complaints. However, I would like to point out that these little spelling mistakes of “benifit” is not from The Recorder. The Recorder is not online besides this PDF (http://clubs.ccsu.edu/recorder/currentissue.pdf). Look at it. These mistakes came from people re-typing the hard copy.

    Like I said, I believe in most of your opinions, but when your first two paragraphs are false it is a bit off setting. I can’t really blame you for the errors, but I would still like to bring them to light.

    Thank you.

  76. Mnemosyne says:

    How could you possibly read the piece about rape and NOT know it’s satire?

    I think it was the bad grammar and ridiculous spelling that confused me.

    I mean, if you can’t figure out how to use the auto-correct function of Microsoft Word, which will fix the misspellings FOR YOU, how can I believe that the writer actually understands satire?

  77. zuzu says:

    You are not the first person I’ve said this to, but I would love to find out where this quote of me calling John a “gifted satirist” came from. I do not believe that nor have a ever said/typed that.

    Mark, “the editors” doesn’t mean just you.

    In any event, the Courant article is quoting a statement the Recorder released Thursday:

    The editors of The Recorder, in another statement released Thursday, said they regretted the harm the article caused, adding they would not have published it if they had realized how people would react to it. Yet at the same time, the statement defended Petroski as a gifted satirist whose intended message “fell on deaf ears.”

    The statement said television news coverage of the controversy has been one-sided.

    “John has been grossly misrepresented,” the statement said.

    Dunno who signed that statement, but if it wasn’t you personally, it was the paper or the editorial board — both of which you run.

    Or are you saying the Courant got it wrong in their paraphrase?

  78. zuzu says:

    BTW, Mark — just what was the “intended message”? What was the point of the satire?

    Good call, zuzu; I hadn’t noticed that. Seriously, what kind of an idiot to you have to be to google “Petroski connecticut” and just start posting random addresses and phone numbers? So that, what, people can start calling these guys up and ranting at them about their son, who doesn’t actually exist or who is serving in Iraq/autistic/an infant/was killed by a drunk driver eight months ago?

    I strongly suspect provocateurs. Neither Irv nor purlgurl had ever posted before, at least not under those names, as far as I could tell. Pam Spaulding just went through a whole mishegoss with her blog when a random commenter came in and posted contact info for one of her bete noires. She came down hard on it, but Concerned Women For America still disingenously slammed her for it.

    But anyone who’s read this blog for any length of time knows that I do not tolerate that shit, particularly after my run-in with Ann Bartow.

  79. Mark Rowan says:

    Actually, yes I am.

    Well for one, the paragraph has turned into a quote and I’ve seen television stations and newspapers directly quoting me saying he is a gifted satirist.

    I have the statement that I personally gave to The Courant. It is sort of long, but I feel it necessary to post:

    Dear Central Connecticut State University community:

    As you have probably heard by now, there has been much controversy surrounding the opinion article printed in the Feb. 7, 2007 issue of The Recorder entitled, “Rape Only Hurts If You Fight It.” We would like to take this opportunity to apologize for our poor taste in printing this article in our publication. If we had known in advance how deeply offended the campus would be, we never would have considered printing such a piece.

    The opinion article in question did not go through the typical motions of the editing process. It was stopped and reviewed along the way with questions regarding the subject matter’s appropriateness in the newspaper. This was a satirical article about rape written by John Petroski. The nature of the topic caused us to debate whether or not we should run this article. It was during this debate in which we realized that the article is not simply about rape – it is also about the larger issue of sensationalism in the media. This was evident in the final paragraph of the opinion piece which alluded to the idea that people only want to read news about crime, controversy and sex. They do not want to read the front page stories about dollar coins or bookstores.

    This, compounded with our beliefs regarding the freedom of speech that is guaranteed in this country, impacted our decision to print the article. Over the past year, we have become personally familiar with John and his style of humor. In retrospect, we realize that not everyone knows John or subscribes to his sense of humor, and because of this and the serious nature of the topic, many people were offended. Furthermore, this sense of humor is not expected or typical of a publication such as ours, and we understand it would be better suited in a dedicated satirical publication such as The Onion. Though we initially chose to print this article for the aforementioned reasons, in hindsight, we truly regret our poor taste in running this opinion article and that John’s true point fell on deaf ears.

    Recently, John has been grossly misrepresented by the media. It is not to our surprise that a television station, specifically WTNH Channel 8, would misconstrue a story before gathering all the necessary information to report it. We would like to take this time to clear John’s name. He does not support rape. He did not write an article endorsing rape. He wrote a satirical article that was printed in poor taste on behalf of The Recorder’s editing staff. WTNH’s coverage of this incident is a prime example of how controversy and sensationalism outweigh accuracy.

    We would like to apologize, once again, to all those who were hurt or offended by this piece. We did not intend to harm or upset anyone by running this opinion article. We did not foresee the trouble it would cause, though that is no excuse for printing the article. It is a shame that our misjudgment regarding the printing of this article has damaged the reputation of our publication as a whole. We appreciate your letters expressing your concern about the issue and we’re glad to know that the campus is active and organized. In retribution for our mishap, we will be running a special feature on the truths of the crime of rape. We ask the campus community, faculty and students, to contribute to this special feature. If you would like to contribute, please send us an e-mail at ccsurecorder@gmail.com.

    Sincerely,
    The Recorder’s Editorial Board

  80. Mnemosyne says:

    However, I would like to point out that these little spelling mistakes of “benifit” is not from The Recorder.

    Mark, the spelling may be okay in the PDF (I’m looking at it now), but the grammar is still atrocious and your writer has a very odd sense of how sentences should be constructed.

    One sentence, taken out of context purely for grammar purposes:

    If it weren’t for that event, the world might never have had the Roman Republic for a pristine example of a flawless government.

    What language is he writing in? In English, the sentence would read more like this:

    If not for that event, the world might not have had the Roman Republic as a pristine example of a flawless government.

    You really, really, REALLY either need a better copy staff, or you need to empower that staff to send articles back to the writers when they need more work.

    As I said above, I’m not personally offended by the essay, I’m professionally offended, both as a writer and a copy editor.

  81. Chicklet says:

    To Mark Rowan (if that’s really you):

    Mark, you idiot, you and Petroski may have succeeded in giving the Student Senate and administration what they’ve longed for for decades – more control over The Recorder. And no one will complain or fight for The Recorder’s independence because of your irresponsible stupidity.

    Your arrogance and Petroski’s conceit blinded you both to the fact that Petroski’s work wasn’t good. Did either of you stop to think that rape is a sensitive subject and an attempted satire on a sensitive subject may deserve a second look and extra editing? Or were you too busy congratulating yourselves on your boldness? Did anyone voice concerns about this, and, if they did, did you disregard them? If Petroski’s steaming pile of elephant dung did get a second look and/or extra editing, his first draft must’ve been written in crayon.

    “Bold” or “gifted” (how the Courant described your statement) – you thought Petroski’s drivel was worthy of publication. That says all anyone needs to know about how undeserving you are to be editor.

    Resign immediately before you do any more damage to The Recorder or the University. You have shown yourself to be an incompetent, overindulgent editor and completely unworthy of the title. You have embarrassed the University, the students, the faculty and the alumni. It’s not just that you printed such tripe, it’s that you were ignorant enough to think it was anything faintly resembling decent satire. I hope Cannella and the rest of the English/Journalism faculty blast your ass for this. You deserve every ounce of ridicule you get.

  82. zuzu says:

    We would like to take this time to clear John’s name. He does not support rape. He did not write an article endorsing rape. He wrote a satirical article that was printed in poor taste on behalf of The Recorder’s editing staff. WTNH’s coverage of this incident is a prime example of how controversy and sensationalism outweigh accuracy.

    Again I ask: where’s the satire? Where’s the social commentary on sensationalism?

    Are you seriously surprised that an article that calls rape a “magical experience” and the ugly girl’s best hope of getting laid and suchlike caused a sensation?

    Methinks you don’t have much of a grasp of the concept of sensationalism.

  83. Mnemosyne says:

    I begin to detect the roots of the problem:

    We would like to take this time to clear John’s name. He does not support rape. He did not write an article endorsing rape. He wrote a satirical article that was printed in poor taste on behalf of The Recorder’s editing staff. WTNH’s coverage of this incident is a prime example of how controversy and sensationalism outweigh accuracy.

    This becomes more painful as time goes on. And, again, I’m not referring to the opinions.

  84. I don’t think that anyone should have to resign or be fired over this errant nonsense.

    In fact, the person(s) responsible should be encouraged to write as much as possible while they are still young and under the misapprehension of invulnerability.

    These pieces of garbage should be posted widely and linked to repeatedly with the real names of the author and the editor(s) responsible for running it.

    Google will deal with them later.

  85. ako says:

    He wrote a satirical article that was printed in poor taste on behalf of The Recorder’s editing staff.

    Most of the people I know studying English as a second language have better grammar than that. Honestly, doesn’t it take some basic knowledge of written English to edit a school paper? Or is it good style to compose sentences by dropping a box of poetry magnets on a cookie sheet?

  86. Lisa says:

    As a current CCSU student, I would like to reply to those that lash out at the University as a whole and say that something like this makes them ‘ashamed to be from Connecticut.’ The story is one individual’s opinion and VERY FEW students are supporting him. The majority of the campus is outraged and upset. There have been a variety of protests on campus in the past days and one very large Town Meeting to come on Monday. The students of Central (myself included) ARE NOT standing for this and will do whatever they feel is necessary to get that point across.

    I understand the feeling that involving the media is the best way to get something done, but is that not what John wanted in publishing the article? His goal was to get a reaction out of the students here at central. This is not the first time that students have felt the Recorder crossed the line. Last semester a caption under a picture in the Do’s and Dont’s section sparked a similar, though admittedly much milder, reaction. The editors of the paper are notorious for printing things that are sure to have students grabbing the paper left and right. Perhaps the best way to send the message across is to NOT give them a reaction. Stop reading the recorder, stop taking it out of the box. If students refuse to read the paper, then there will be no one to talk about what is in it. I understand that this may be slightly on the idealistic side, but i can’t seem to find the sense in giving John what he wanted: a reaction.

  87. Tricia(freya) says:

    Mnemosyne: Stop proofing Rowan’s comments… please? I’m trying to save you from yourself. :-)

    And save me from having to read his atrocious grammar yet again.

  88. Mnemosyne says:

    Mnemosyne: Stop proofing Rowan’s comments… please? I’m trying to save you from yourself. :-)

    But it’s so fun. I swear, I find another mistake every time I read a new paragraph.

    But, yes, I too was a self-important student journalist once upon a time, so I suppose I should let the poor boys’ future editors give them the ass-whipping they need to get their work up to par.

  89. ako says:

    I understand that this may be slightly on the idealistic side, but i can’t seem to find the sense in giving John what he wanted: a reaction.

    I think we’re hoping to put pressure on the editorial board and the school to decide whether they really want to provide a platform for someone like that. Ideally, they’ll cut him loose, and Johnny-Boy can do what everyone else does with their free speech rights when no one chooses to give them a platform; stand on the streets passing out pamphlets, and basking in the attention of women telling him to his face what contemptible scum he is.

    I also would like to see how much he enjoys the attention when he graduates, and some future employer checks his name on the internet (one of the big new hiring trends). Having it know that John Petroski, graduate of Central Connecticut State University, thinks rape is funny and horribly offensive editorials that insult women are clever and impressive should do wonders for his future career prospects. It would delightfully ironic if after that lovely little piece where he insists everyone else will be pumping gas because they don’t work to distingush themselves the way he does, his contributions to the school paper distinguished him as sexist, tactless, tasteless, a bad writer, arrogant, unable to get along with others, and all those other qualities employers love so much.

  90. Lorelei says:

    KellyMac —

    The problem is, some of us HAVE seen rape defended this way (and if you think I’m exaggerating, you obviously have not spoken to enough college-aged men). It’s sometimes difficult to tell when you should call Poe’s Law on something or think that the person is being serious.

  91. Lesley says:

    mothworm, they’re claiming that the point of the satire is to highlight that there’s way too much attention to trivial issues that don’t affect everyone instead of important issues (like stolen social secuirty numbers).

    This is the part of the mentality that truly disturbs me. It’s not that I thought the guy really was going “Up with rape!” I got the point from his last paragraph that he’s pretty much upset that people aren’t paying the “proper” amount of attention to the stories he thinks they should be paying attention to, instead focusing on “trivial” matters like rape. The problem I have with the article is that the subtext is that rape is a trivial matter. It’s satirical intent isn’t that rape is an important issue to which more attention should be paid. It’s precisely the opposite. The fact that the editors didn’t understand until afterwards how that message was going to be received speaks more for their privilege than it does their editorial prowess. Why didn’t they just come right out and say “Focus on what we think is important, bitchez!”

    Besides, a much more effective way of satirizing media sensationalism would have been to take an actual trivial incident and writing that as a big, breathy, ZOMG! kind of news story. An op-ed about “Rape: Good or Bad. Discuss”, is not an effective satire on media sensationalism. The article doesn’t even lightly breathe on that theme until the very last paragraph.

  92. CGG says:

    I also would like to see how much he enjoys the attention when he graduates, and some future employer checks his name on the internet (one of the big new hiring trends). Having it know that John Petroski, graduate of Central Connecticut State University, thinks rape is funny and horribly offensive editorials that insult women are clever and impressive should do wonders for his future career prospects.

    Google Bomb him. Whenever you comment about John Petrosky link this post with his name. I’d love to have his future employers see this post first when they google his name.

  93. Donna says:

    A woman’s right to privacy should not overrule a father’s right to see his child live.

    Oh, geez. I thought the pro-life take would go something like, “A woman’s right to privacy should not overrule a child’s right to live.”
    Nope, it’s all about the father’s ownership of the unborn child overruling the mother’s right to privacy (and of co-ownership… oh forget it, her rights full stop).

  94. I also would like to see how much he enjoys the attention when he graduates, and some future employer checks his name on the internet (one of the big new hiring trends). Having it know that John Petroski, graduate of Central Connecticut State University, thinks rape is funny and horribly offensive editorials that insult women are clever and impressive should do wonders for his future career prospects

    I suspect there’s an internship at Hot Air Media with his name already on it. 20 bucks a week and all the Cheetos he can eat. Sweet.

    His future is assured.

  95. “We did not intend to harm or upset anyone by running this opinion article.”

    Because women are not people. Thanks for showing your true misogynist colours.

  96. GreyLadyBast says:

    I read the editor’s actual “apology” letter, and the words “mealy-mouthed crap intended only to CYA” come springing to mind. Am I the only one who had that reaction?

    Bast

  97. C-Bird says:

    Beisde the fact that the stupid article may trigger a rape victim to just seriously want to kill themself. Like every article, news story and book trivializing rape does. But whatever.

  98. VMJ says:

    I’m a student at CCSU and I would like to give further examples of what John Petroski has written, along with the editor-in-chief if the school newspaper, Mark Rowan (he was the only person who could’ve kept this from going to press.)
    ~Last semester, Mark, for his “dos & don’ts” section of the paper, had taken a picture of a girl (without her knowledge) at a school event playing jenga and drinking diet coke. He captioned it saying (I’m fairly certain this is verbatim, but I may be off by one or two words:

    Playing jenga and drinking diet coke is almost as lesbian as going to an all you can eat pussy buffet.

    The next week, in a comic, John said, in response to the outrage over the article:

    I thought that the whole point of being a lesbian is eating pussy.

    Later in the semester, Rowan took someone’s facebook picture of them in a bikini, without their knowledge, and caption it saying that if you want girls to dress like sluts, have a beach themed party.

    A week before the op-ed piece was published, there was a comic done by John Petroski pretty much on ways not to get raped. It was basically, don’t dress like a slut or hang out with drunk/questionable guys.

    Also, the abortion piece also had a cartoon of a woman telling her boyfriend that it would mess up her life to have a baby and then it showed her imagining thus life – she’s simultaneously getting rear-ended and snorting cocaine.

    Lastly, John saying that he didn’t do this to offend anyone is a complete lie – he told a friend of mine that he was going to write a piece on rape that would really offend her.

    I was so angry when I read it, and even angrier when I heard people who had been raped talk about their response. He had no right to do this and the ridiculous apology that The Recorder issued on Thursday (posted above by Mark Rowan) does not make up for this or mean that Mark and John are not responsible for their actions.

  99. zuzu says:

    Seems like you hear a lot of this crap from student newspapers nowadays. (See Miller, Gary)

    Honestly, I don’t remember these kinds of editorial pieces from my campus newspaper. Lots of stuff on university-related issues, but no finger-wagging misogynist pieces.

    Could be the editors knew the female staffers would eat them alive if they tried it. Could be apathy. Could be that something has changed on college campuses in the last 15-20 years.

  100. Chicklet says:

    To all the Central students reading/posting here, thanks from this alum for standing up to these smug, arrogant asswipes and their enormous egos. Don’t let the administration do the work for you. All the whining babies will do is play victims of being shut down by the Evil, Liberal, Politically Correct Academia. Then they’ll get on Fox News and embarrass us even more.

    Let them know that you hate their conduct. Shun and shame them everywhere they go – Memorial Hall, the Student Center, Elmer’s. If we’re lucky, they’ll drop out. And get involved yourselves – join The Recorder and make it a newspaper we can all be proud of.

  101. Trinifar says:

    Hi Zuzu (and Jill),

    I apologize for effectively duplicating purlgurl’s comment #56 in my comment #68. Honest mistake, I just missed it. And I agree that Irv’s comment #35 providing address and phone number of a random Petroski in Connecticut is clearly out of bounds. But I think pointing out the irony behind the information purlgurl and I stumbled across (a professor in the same university system with a similar name who has an interest in gender communication issues, men’s issues in particular) was not so egregious.

    Had the professor had a completely different name it still would be at least somewhat interesting to suggest Petroski (the editor/writer) go have a talk with a faculty member in his own unversity system who had some expertise in gender communication issues. But that the names are so similar is, for me anyway, quite ironic.

    In any case, my intent was never to encourage any flaming of the professor. I had a reaction similar to yours when I read Irv’s comment; it was out of bounds. That’s exactly what led me to have a look at what a name search might turn up (wondering if Irv could have accurately identified Petroski’s father merely through the web). Googling “john petroski” produces the professor I found on the first page of the search results. (I did include an “if” in my comment.)

    Thanks for not outright banning me. I do take commenting here as a priviledge and read your blog daily; it was one of the first on the blogroll of my own tiny blog. If this comment makes it past moderation, here’s one more thought:

    Like everyone else I find the editorial revoluting. I know a guy who is a professor — a liberal, smart, good professor popular with his students and other faculty. He has a son who I think dreams of being like him or at least of doing something that will impress his father and garner the same kind of attention the professor showers on his students. Sadly the son has the smarts but not yet the people skills of his parent. Try as he might, he just keeps screwing up.

    I can imagine John Petroski growing up in an educated, liberal home where satire is well understood and difficult issues like rape are part of the family discussion. With that background he goes off to college and, seeking to demonstrate his “advanced” understanding of things, turns out a piece of crap editorial like the one here. This doesn’t excuse what he did. It’s just one possible explanation for how it came to be — and one hard lesson all around. The women (and men) who read it, the editorial staff (and I hope it’s faculty advisor), the school administration, and of course Petroski himself as well as his family — all of them were harmed.

    The only good that I see coming out of this is a heightened awareness of power of the written word and the limits of satirical writing. I’m not sure it will happen, but if we’re lucky some people will learn something about the frequency of rape in American and its effect on its victims. Sadly, I doubt many parents will think much about how to raise their children to be better people. But one can hope.

  102. Chicklet says:

    Petroski “apologizes” (and an online comment of mine is quoted!):

    http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=17835402&BRD=1641&PAG=461&dept_id=10109&rfi=6

  103. Boudicca says:

    Here’s another delightful quote from Mark Rowan, about the Progressive Student Alliance who organized the rally on Thursday:

    “Their rally was laughable. They’re uneducated about freedom of speech and unorganized – they’re not channeling their anger in an appropriate manner. We’ve had to call the police several times today.”

    They’re uneducated about free speech?

  104. ako says:

    From the pseud-apology.

    I was trying to point out that people don’t give a damn about anything in a paper besides something they can rally around. It looks like I succeeded, especially with our front page.

    Looks like someone explained why he might not want to say “Rape isn’t important” out loud. There’s still that weird attitude of being deeply offended that students are more passionate about some matters than others. There’s something enormously egotisitical in how offended everyone at the paper is that the students aren’t eagerly lapping up every word that drips from their pens. Yes, students get more incensed by rape than missing social security numbers, and are fairly indifferent to articles about dollar coins. That doesn’t mean they’re obsessed with sensationalism; it means the school newspaper’s not written well enough to make anything short of prospective bodily assault attract attention.

    Oh, and from our good friend Mark Rowan (it did specify that this is his quote, so he can’t blame someone else and act all wounded about it):

    They’re uneducated about freedom of speech and unorganized – they’re not channeling their anger in an appropriate manner.

    Knowing that the student paper isn’t obliged to provide a platform to every vile piece of dreck spewed out by some asshole mysogynist, and that the school isn’t obliged to support a pack of egotistical morons printing the most shocking things they can come up with, slapping each other on the back over their own cleverness, and whining about how the rest of the students don’t appreciate every precious word they type isn’t being “uneducated” about freedom of speech. Ordering the government to shut them down and arrest them would be. Telling them they’re scum is exercising freedom of speech, and not wanting to pay school fees to support them isn’t government censorship.

    And I’m curious about what would be an appropriate way to channel their anger. Perhaps pick someone with less inborn social status (since men with parents who can pay for their college pick on women in college, perhaps the women could pick on those who can’t affort college), trivialize their problems, and mock them for crudely stereotypical “flaws”. I bet that would meet Mark Rowan’s approval on how to channel anger correctly.

  105. Chicklet says:

    a pack of egotistical morons printing the most shocking things they can come up with, slapping each other on the back over their own cleverness, and whining about how the rest of the students don’t appreciate every precious word they type

    Yep, that pretty much covers it.

  106. emjaybee says:

    I understand the “deprive them of air” argument one CCU student posted, but sometimes that’s not an effective strategy; morons like this take silence for acceptance. Sometimes people have to be called on their bullshit, and this is one of those times. Even if they claim the uproar “proved their point” it also has the effect of exposing their weakness and hatefulness, which is a valuable public service.

  107. Blitzgal says:

    From Petroski’s “apology:”

    I should have used a much less touchy pseudo-subject to do this with.

    It’s fairly clear that he doesn’t consider rape to be an important issue by any means. So far we have him commenting that identity theft (loss of Social Security numbers) affects far more people than rape does, and that rape is a pseudo-subject. Just an all around asswipe, this guy.

  108. Heraclitus says:

    This guy is a bottomless pit of idiocy. Whether you think it’s an important subject or not, rape is clearly a subject, not a “pseudo-subject.”

  109. Wes Strong says:

    Hey all my name is Wes and im working with our local PRIDE chapter and Women Involved Now organizing around this issue. I am president of the CCSU Progressive Student Alliance and all our groups thank you for your support. You can find our official statment on our Myspace page (I know i hate myspace too, we’re about to release our new official page in a few weeks) which is located here CCSUPSA Myspace Page Thaks for your support. This critique is well done and lays out our views as well.

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  111. Mnemosyne says:

    Having it know that John Petroski, graduate of Central Connecticut State University, thinks rape is funny and horribly offensive editorials that insult women are clever and impressive should do wonders for his future career prospects.

    Unfortunately, there’s still plenty of wingnut welfare being spread around. I’m sure he’ll resurface in a couple of years at the American Enterprise Institute or the Heritage Foundation, still just as smugly certain that’s he’s smarter than the peons like us who can actually use the English language correctly.

  112. I would think this was satire, but I’ve heard men say things like this all too often in real life.

  113. Lauren says:

    I would think this was satire, but I’ve heard men say things like this all too often in real life.

    Bingo.

  114. ako said:

    And I’m curious about what would be an appropriate way to channel their anger.

    By writing a letter to the editor, which they would not have printed, of course.

  115. Boudicca says:

    Wes – There’s a rally on campus Monday night, in addition to the meeting during the day? I just want to double check. I’m working during the day but I’d like to come show my support if there will be people there at night!

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  117. Monika says:

    I am at a loss for words in how to respond to this.

    I do believe that good satire should indeed tackle the ‘hard subjects’ – but notice I say good. All this is is a compilation of rape myths that does nothing more than make fun of those impacted by sexual violence, thereby contributing to revictimization.

    Satire is about commenting on society – even making fun of it. Targeting individuals who have been sexually assaulted is not funny, and this article is nothing more than a juvenile attempt for attention.

    I will be curious to see how this will be addressed. Personally, I support meeting the author at his level. Something like a flaming bag of dogshit left on a doorstep. Because this is the only way to respond to something so utterly thoughtless and childish.

  118. Monika says:

    P.S. I find it interesting that the article isn’t in the Recorder website like the other articles in that issue (see http://clubs.ccsu.edu/recorder/ ) but exists only in the PDF version ( see http://clubs.ccsu.edu/recorder/currentissue.pdf ) perhaps where it can’t be removed?

  119. Boudicca says:

    You know, just to add another layer of Disturbing to this delightful trifle, I’m hearing now that he’s an Education Major. Can you imagine being a parent and finding out that your daughter’s teacher once wrote something like this?

  120. Nick Kiddle says:

    “Nope, it’s all about the father’s ownership of the unborn child overruling the mother’s right to privacy (and of co-ownership… oh forget it, her rights full stop).”

    I wonder where “the father’s right not to be a father at all because that would involve getting off his lazy immature butt and thinking about someone else for a change” factors into this “logic”.

  121. Jill says:

    I’m deleting the comments which give contact info for John Petrowski’s father (or someone we suspect may be his relative). I would have done this sooner, but my internet is down and I haven’t been able to check the blog for the past 24 hours.

    Petrowski is an asshole, but his (alleged) family members aren’t responsible for what he writes. Zuzu is right, and is particularly sensitive to this issue because of her experience. I would be extremely upset if someone contacted my father — who has the same very unusual last name that I have — over what I wrote, or held him responsible in any way. So no more personal contact info, especially for people who have nothing to do with writing/publishing this piece.

  122. DrCruel says:

    The same people calling for this guy’s head are outraged that Catholics dare to object to the comments coming from John Edwards’ staff…

  123. Susan says:

    had taken a picture of a girl (without her knowledge) at a school event playing jenga and drinking diet coke. He captioned it

    Later in the semester, Rowan took someone’s facebook picture of them in a bikini, without their knowledge, and caption it

    I’ll bet if one of those women sued, our friends John and Mark would be gone in a nonce.

  124. look_ma says:

    You guys are entertaining.
    I was with John for hours the other day.
    He’s fine, his family is fine.
    Sorry to say, he may step down as Op-Ed
    But he’ll be fine.

  125. Kristen says:

    Anyone who feels outraged by this piece should write the president of CCSU to let them know what you think….universitypresident@ccsu.edu, Magnanc@ccsu.edu

  126. sawtooth says:

    what a bunch of liberal pussies. probably broads.

  127. I love my vagina. The only improvement I wish I could make to it would be to equip it twelve-inch fangs. This was satire? I would hate to see his idea of “legitimate journalism.”

  128. Susan says:

    An excerpt of a response and is totally an opinion and aviewpoint, not necessarily shared or supported by anyone else at said mentioned campus..

    ..I want to let you know how greatly I appreciate your speaking up about the issues that transcend the horror of supporting rape… and including the impact of gender hostility on faculty staff and students in your commentary. I wish I could talk about this on campus, but I cannot.

    The things that strike me the most in all of this is that some of the actual perpetrators of the hostility towards women are jumping up and down like they are ‘spotless’, including one that regularly screams at and demeans only female administrators, staff and students on the campus… I could go on and on about why and what exactly on campus is overtly hostile towards women… This article brings up so many feelings and memories..

    … I remember too clearly being told I can’t go to prenatal appointments, use a breast pump on campus or to go to a child’s medical appointments (and by a particular union that any of this counts against any staff on campus-medical certificate or not…) I recall too well being totally ignored … address to administration that there’s a complaint from a female student that in my opinion no one ‘has time for’ about an ex-boyfriend stalking and physically threatening her (by the way the ex showed up later threatening to shoot people….) … etc and etc – forget union support for that work grade in any of the above – they were and are part of the problem by covering only for themselves…. What union can support and disregard one office going through 15 female staff in how many years and refuse to provide any solid information to the rest of the members on why the situation is seen as acceptable today?

    The thing that strikes me the most is the absolute hypocrisy from some of the ‘messengers’. Yes we can say that CCSU’s administration made an eloquent and clear announcement against the content of this editorial, however CCSU administration also has officially proclaimed that CCSU supports recycling on campus (a lot just goes in the trash directly from the recycling bins… check out the recycling bin beside the Business Services Office behind Marcus White… it’s full of trash too… so hence what about this ‘official’ message about this editorial – how does it strike me personally? a lot of ….

    This all elicits so much from all of us affected.

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  130. Deanna says:

    Anyone feel like writing a satire that satirizes bad satiricists?

    Mr. Swift, we have a job for you!

  131. Deanna says:

    satirists!

    sigh. Honestly, I normally spell quite well.

  132. Steve Chaput says:

    Having been born in & grown up in Connecticut, I can’t really say that this type of thing comes as a great shock. While CCSU may sound semi-important it should be pointed out that when I attended Eastern Conn. State Univ., part of the same system, it was a COLLEGE as were all four state schools. Trust me not much changed from them being small schools except that the state legislature decided to upgrade them all. Back then Central was one of those you went to if you couldn’t afford or qualify for UCONN.

    All that is my way of saying that you should not be surprised to find this ‘satire’ (if that is in fact what it was) coming from the student paper. I can tell you from growing up there that you would find way too many males actually nodding in agreement, if only in private.

  133. jizzy jam says:

    you people dont even know the situation, so my best guess is to shut the hell up. yes the article went to far, but it was only ment to be a joke. the kid messed up, but does he and everyone else on this planet deserve a second chance. so chill out and put your tampons back in ur pockets before u take it out on this kid.

  134. Jill says:

    you people dont even know the situation, so my best guess is to shut the hell up.

    And you don’t know how to properly use apostrophes and words like “guess” (did you perhaps mean “suggestion”?), so I think you’re probably a better candidate for shutting the hell up.

    Also, what does “put your tampons back in ur pockets” mean?

  135. Vanessa says:

    put your tampons back in ur pockets

    I don’t keep my tampons in my pockets. I keep them in this.

  136. micheyd says:

    I’m in ur pockets, puttin’ back ur tampons!

    sorry.

  137. Heraclitus says:

    Ah, the banality that is an illiterate misogynist.

  138. zuzu says:

    I’m in ur pockets, puttin’ back ur tampons!

    Someone with a very small pet really needs to get a picture of that.

  139. methodishca says:

    Wow. I wanted to reserve judgement until I read the guy’s actual rape piece (as it seems to have been scrubbed from the paper now). This guy’s much worse than I thought. I figured it was just bad satire but satire generally has a point. This guy has no point at all. I’ve never been so proud of UConn’s Daily Campus before in all its mediocrity.

  140. ako says:

    yes the article went to far, but it was only ment to be a joke. the kid messed up, but does he and everyone else on this planet deserve a second chance.

    Anyone want to bet this is how Johnny-boy writes without the benefit of an editor? Cause I’m trying to think of someone who’d use such poor spelling and grammar, be dumb enough to misplace his shift key, and be likely to spew out such an incoherent attempt at an insult as “put your tampons back in your pocket” when having to deal with scary womenfolk who answer back, and all I can think of is “Rape is amusingly trivial!” man himself.

    Regardless, dude, yes many people commenting here do menstruate. I suggest you flee in terror lest someone menstruate at you through the internet. Feminists can do that, you know. They have powers.

  141. Deanna says:

    If I may be so bold, I rewrote the piece in a way that I think really is satirical, and tried to explain why the original wasn’t satirical while the rewrite was.

    Please feel free to drop by and let me know whether you think I’m correct in my assessment.

    http://z1.invisionfree.com/forums/Wysterian_Forum/index.php?showtopic=4147

  142. Kevin says:

    I think the writer was probably shooting for over 100 negative comments.

  143. Jennifer says:

    Where is the HELL is their adviser!? I’ve never known of a student paper that didn’t have a faculty member who was over the EiC. Our adviser would’ve fired the EiC and Petroski without batting an eyelash.

    If anything, Petroski’s piece just exposed The Recorder for the sham paper that is is. Subpar writing, HORRIBLE copy editing…this rag needs an overhaul.

  144. Heather says:

    I have to agree with Lisa. Please don’t generalize our school or our state just because of these people. A lot of people in our school are outraged by the fact that they let this happen and I know that people in our state are pretty upset too.

  145. Gabrielle says:

    Ohmygod. I CANNOT BELIEVE that someone would PUBLISH that kind of GARBAGE – and MORONIC, HURTFUL garbage at that.

    I mean, WHERE THE FUCK DOES THIS GUY COME OFF?! MY GOD, DOES HE REALLY THINK HE HAS THE RIGHT?! MANOHMANOHMAN, I WANT TO PUNCH SOMETHING!

    I have never been raped, but I have a friend that has, and if she ever heard of this guy…he would suffer.

    I may be in 10th grade, but I’m already looking for decent community colleges/universities in the US. Thank you, asshole, for showing me one SURE PLACE NOT TO APPLY TO.

    If this is the kind of journalists that Central Connecticut State University houses, I’m not going to get within 10 miles of that hole.

  146. Legalize It! :D says:

    Kelley Says:

    The rape apology bit was bad enough, but that bit about our bodies no longer belonging to us once we become pregnant?? WTF? That’s all I can say.

    Your body doesn’t belong to you after conception, any more than a soldier’s body belongs to him after enlisting, or a murderer’s after conviction.

    Your rights and privileges can be morally forfeited through your decisions. Any person too childish to accept this doesn’t deserve to participate in the political life of our republic.

  147. Chicklet says:

    The he-man woman-haters club is getting peeved because Petroski and Rowan aren’t being let off the hook. When a woman named Ann posted in the comments in the Courant article that Petroski should give up his position to someone who understoood media responsibility, a poster named Ct-Native responded:

    Ann, thanks for your “poor” Orwellian, Kafkaesque, Catch-22 interpretation of these situations. READ MY LIPS: Free Speech = Free Speech, end of story. I think somethin’ is burning on your stove, maybe your bra. Thank god you’re not a judge! And if you are, I’m movin’ to Canada. Enough of you and your Femi-Nazi friends already. Media resposibility? What are you talking about? Go hang yourself, in Macy’s window.

  148. Laser Potato says:

    Chicklet, are you sure he wasn’t Francis E. Dec?
    “DEADLY CIA UNDERLING TOP-SECRET DEADLY POISON NERVE GAS SMOKE SPAYED AT ME FROM WIG OF SENATOR’S WIFE DEADLY FRANKENSTEIN BRAIN BROADCAST RADIO COMMUNIST GANGSTER PLAYBOY SCUM ROBOT UNDETECTABLE EYESIGHT TELEVISION PLAYBACK DEADLY ASASSIN EXTERMINATION!!!”
    …ahem. Sorry about that.

  149. Susan says:

    Re:

    Ann, thanks for your “poor” Orwellian, Kafkaesque, Catch-22 interpretation of these situations. READ MY LIPS: Free Speech = Free Speech, end of story. I think somethin’ is burning on your stove, maybe your bra. Thank god you’re not a judge! And if you are, I’m movin’ to Canada. …

    .

    Canada would have less to do with any of these creeps….
    there is more momentum to counter this type of hate speech and attitude (not that it’s utopia up there either)….

    Moreover the recent CCSU communications are faculty surprise that there isn’t more uproar over this article, or perhaps that there isn’t more commentary totally in line with their views… and then they wonder why the students in general aren’t listening – it goes the other way as well. The general culture at CCSU is very classist and heavy in areas of nepotism and ‘old brothers’ school’.

    The faculty advisor for Rowan and Petroski talks of having too much work and no compensation to have intervened and that their hands were tied on this one…. We’re all busy, puleease!

  150. Hi,

    I’m a professional editor, a CCSU alumnus, and a former member of The Recorder. A few observations:

    Everyone knows we’re all “against rape,” even though it seems that means making snarky comments on blogs, instead of volunteering at a crisis or abuse center, or taking pen to paper ourselves to bring light to the issue — perhaps even confronting the deeper societal ills that cause rape to be a perpetually prevalent crime.

    Petroskie’s Op-Ed sucked. It wasn’t funny, and I didn’t see anything funny he’s ever written in all his attempts. It was an egregiously stupid idea to try, and an inexplicable lapse of judgement on the part of the editor to let it run. But consider this: we have all made mistakes. As Andrew Bieszad pointed out today at the rally, a pillar of faith happens to be “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” This is not to say there should not be disgust and outrage. However, I can freely tell you I have made worse mistakes than this in my life, and hurt people more with my personal decisions and lapses of judgement. The difference between Petroskie and anyone else on campus is not the telling of a bigoted joke. It’s that when volunteers at The Recorder make huge mistakes, they make them for all to see.

    When people make mistakes, they can follow with different courses of action. The responsible and correct course of action is to make a complete, sincere and unqualified apology; to seek to undo the harm caused or make social reparation for the harm; to undergo introspection to determine the root causes of the mistake and prevent it from recurring. Rowan and Petroskie took that first step today, and we should encourage them to follow through. We will all benefit from their salvation, not their condemnation.

    I’d like to challenge all of the people who have taken the time this week to post angry (understandable), violent (inexcusable), trifling (grammar and spelling), or otherwise deconstructive comments. I’d like to challenge these critics to do two things.

    1. Examine what you can do in your own life to confront and prevent domestic violence and aggression in your own social sphere. It exists there.
    2. Consider the unseen and far-reaching pulse of mass media framing our lives, how we perceive ourselves, how we perceive women; how we perceive Iraqis, how we perceive a nine-year-old Indian prostitute; how we fail to perceive marginalized and downtrodden people upon whose misery our lives of luxury are built. Consider the socially accepted drone which tells us that the very basis of our lives is acceptable to the planet, that it is acceptable to our ecosystem, that it is a viable and sustainable way of life.

    This episode will be forgotten by mass media within days. If you don’t believe me, do a google news search on Friday.

    What it offers, like all mistakes, is the opportunity to learn.

    Phil

    p.s. has anyone noticed that the things we describe as “inhuman” are the very things that only humans do?

    http://www.intellnet.org/resources/american_terrorism/ChronologyofTerror.html

  151. Jill says:

    READ MY LIPS: Free Speech = Free Speech, end of story.

    This is my favorite argument EVER. The only one that challenges it is when “Innocent until proven guilty” is trotted out to tell women that we aren’t allowed to say that we think an accused rapist did it.

    READ MY LIPS: Freedom of speech applies to your freedom to remain uncensored by the government. It does not entail the freedom to exercise your abhorrent opinions on the pages of a student newspaper without being fired.

    A question: Could I walk into my office, call my boss an asshole, and then cry about getting fired? Why not, if I have freedom of speech.

  152. jiggavegas says:

    … even though it seems that means making snarky comments on blogs, instead of volunteering at a crisis or abuse center, or taking pen to paper ourselves to bring light to the issue — perhaps even confronting the deeper societal ills that cause rape to be a perpetually prevalent crime.

    I really, really hope that you weren’t making some sly aside about the “real” work that the Feministe bloggers do, or don’t do, to help women. Because if you are, you have never, ever read this blog before. And you know nothing about the people who write for it. But hey, thanks for jumping in there to insult them while defending Rowan and Petroski!

    PS: I’m still waiting for that “complete, sincere and unqualified apology,” by the way.

  153. Jiggs,

    Thanks for your bold defense of someone who absolutely wasn’t being attacked. I was actually referring to comments like yours. It wasn’t sly, and it wasn’t an aside. I have in fact never read this blog before. That’s why I wasn’t talking about Jill, whoever she may be. I was talking about the avalanche of unconstructive complaints.

    The complete, sincere, and unqualified apology was made today, at CCSU, by both guys. I was there to listen.

    So I’m not insulting anyone. I’m also not defending people. I’m trying to bring a little bit of detached analysis of the situation, within which the people themselves as villains don’t dominate the discussion or turn what could be a constructive learning situation into an ad hominem rant — much like the one you make by saying:

    “sly aside”
    “you have never, EVER read this blog before”
    “You know nothing”

    and the infusion of sarcasm that permeates your rant.

    I listened to people’s opinions today, in short personal conversations, without saying much. I listened to Mark, who is, by the way, as mortified and sorry as you could hope he’d be. I listened to the director od student activities and leadership development. I listened to the former director of CCSU’s women’s center and we talked about how to implement positive changes and avoid things like this in the future. I talked to a journalism professor, and listened to other students.

    I have no more stake in this than you. I graduated several years ago. I’m not individually hurt by any of this, but I see this, in a philosophical sense, as one opportunity for me to make a small difference with those around me. Perhaps it’s a small challenge and opportunity. I’m going to take that opportunity, although it’s not incumbent on me any more than it is on you. I’m going to work to bring The Recorder and at least one women’s advocacy group together for remediation. I’m going to probably visit The Recorder in a few weeks, when many of the above posters have moved onto a new subject, to talk about sensitivity and what’s just not acceptable for publication.

    Thank you for evoking this further explanation, and clarifying within me a greater sense of self in relation to the community, and a proper course of action.

    -Phil

  154. Chicklet says:

    Phil, good luck with your efforts at The Recorder.

    But Mark Rowan has to resign for there to be any substantive changes. He is more responsible for this mess than Petroski. Petroski may have written this garbage, but Rowan gave it the green light. Drunk on power and his own ego, he created the atmosphere that led to Petroski running amok, unchecked. Rowan failed as a leader and as an editor, and his failures have brought embarrassment and ridicule on our alma mater and our paper. If Rowan had an ounce of integrity, he would resign for the betterment of The Recorder.

  155. asugrl says:

    wow, first of all, I I have to say that the rape article is pretty funny. It is pretty obvious to me that it is satire….do you not have a sense of humor? people joke about tasteless things all the time, and I am sure you have laughed at some point. Also, the second article, about abortion, is completely right. I don’t know whether this was meant to be satirical also, but I truly believe that if society expects men to pay child support when the woman decides to keep the baby, they should also have a say in whether the baby is born or not. They both fucked up, the woman included; that’s when her body ceases to be only hers. I am so sick of hypocrites wanting things one way but not the other; my fellow women need to grow up and take responsibility for their actions instead of blaming everything on “evil men” and then not even letting them make a giant decision involving killing a child that is BOTH OF THEIRS.

  156. CC says:

    i can’t believe this kid isn’t going to get in trouble with the school. you could say he can’t because it’s free speech, but umm.. yes he can. easily. anything that hurts the school in image and reputation you can get in trouble for.

    and even if he doesn’t get in trouble and kicked out of college for it, this will follow him everywhere. jobs. grad schools. everywhere.

    way to put a bullet in your own future, kid.

  157. Jamie says:

    To the author and the editorial staff responsible for the printing of this article:

    I fear for the women in your life, the women that surround you on campus, the women in your family, your future daughters and granddaughters… for they will know that rape is a subject you take so lightly as to trivialize it and make it into a satire for your own amusement. Will they be proud to know that their father or grandfather wrote this article?
    Somehow I don’t think you’ll find it so humorous when someone rapes your sisters, daughters, etc. I hope that never happens, for their sake, because I know they will never find support from you.
    This article is a reflection of your ill humor, your lack of intelligence and empathy, and your ignorance.
    Step down from your positions, while you still have a shred of dignity left. I would advise counseling and deep self-exploration for you all. It is obviously sorely needed.

    – Jamie

  158. I agree with every word in Jamie’s post (157) except for the need to resign.

    Should Vladimir Putin step down?
    or would it be bad for his country?

    who has written to Max Karson?

    Should Darren Lockyer retire from professional sports?

    Should California Attorney General Bill Lockyer step down?

    “Even California Attorney General Bill Lockyer got in on the act last year when he said that Enron CEO Kenneth Lay deserved to be jailed with a cellmate who would say, ‘Hi. My name is Spike, honey.'”

    How about CNN’s Nancy Grace? How many of you demanded her resignation for this?

    After all, she’s an adult professional journalism, not a 20-year-old kid taking a first stab at it.

    Did anyone enjoy the move “Half-baked”? Prison rape made light of there. Cancel the Chappelle show.

    Anyone enjoy Monty Python? How about “The rape sketch” from “Magic Trousers?”

    Monty Python should have been forced to retire from comedy.

    My point is this: the situation is much, much more complex than anyone seems to be willing to admit.

    There’s an absolutely brilliant piece at Slate magazine — and thank God, because it seems like intelligent analysis that goes beyond “I’m against rape” is hard to find.

    The highlight of this article as it relates to John Petroski is:

    “Through her stand-up, however, Silverman has become an important member of a guerrilla vanguard in the culture wars that we might call the “meta-bigots”— other members include the South Park kids, Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Ali G”, and the now-AWOL Dave Chappelle. The meta-bigots work at social problems indirectly; instead of discussing race, rape, abortion, incest, or mass starvation, they parody our discussions of them. They manipulate stereotypes about stereotypes. It’s a dangerous game: If you’re humorless, distracted, or even just inordinately history-conscious, meta-bigotry can look suspiciously like actual bigotry.

    You may have to click enter to be directed to the page. I strongly encourage it.

    Bottom line: it’s a tricky area to say the very least. JP went there, and fucked up. He walked on thin ice, and fell through. Now he’s cold, and wet. And all you can say is “Heads must roll?”

    Where’s the remedy in that? In fact, there’s a lot of hypocrisy in it, and a lot of it, I have to say, is misguided. Look at the list above. Surely, some of these people are more worthy of your time and effort than an unfunny kid with little common sense, and an editor of a college newspaper who made a mistake.

    I don’t want to get into a prolonged or unproductive argument with anyone about this; that’s not my scene any more. But these are my thoughts, and it seemed like an apt place to share them.

    -Phil

  159. H.P. Hovercraft says:

    That’s the best way to combat stereotyping and actual misogyny – present yourself as a humorless, illiterate idiot, and shoot the messenger. Way to go, Jill. You sure showed ’em.

    …I mean, if referring to the Roman Empire as a perfect democracy didn’t raise sarcasm flags in your mind, you ought to stick to things you understand. Something with fewer words, perhaps?

  160. Perkyshai says:

    In response to the argument that Mark made about the editorial process specific to this article…is this grammar and spelling typical of your authors? Even before editorial review, spell check would have fixed most of those errors. I’ve written for a college paper, and remember ass o’ clock deadlines. Regardless of anyone’s ninja writing skillz, the basics still have to be observed.
    In regard to your seemingly extraordinary discussion of whether to run the piece and what it was intended to do… did you notice that holocaust jokes during the holocaust were only funny to the ones doing the killing? The victims and target population tend to be unamused. Really.
    The university experience is about exploration and challenge. It’s not about gross irresponsibility, incompetence and egregious mismanagement under that guise. You folks screwed up. There’s really no qualification to it.
    I’d like to understand how the issue of rape can be sensationalized or overdramatized in the petri dish in which it flourishes. It’s analogous to claiming that fire extinguishers and exits “sensationalize” fire.
    There are clearly a significant number of persons in the world who do enjoy or find rape entertaining or necessary. They vote with their bodies, weapons and other people’s flesh. They do so everyday. Your decision to publish the article, even had your aims been realized, used rape victims as a tool for the discussion of a tertiary social issue. You used a sledgehammer to tack up a piece of paper, with predictably unsatisfying results.
    That you did not realize this was astonishing. The resulting storm of fury that has descended upon you is a result of your own actions in marginalizing rape, which is a critical problem, and far from a gender or age specific issue. The problem is NOT that the author of the article failed to grasp that, but that your entire editorial board failed to grasp that. You claim that there has been a validation of the ‘sensationalism’ point in your decision. I beleive that by using the issue of rape as a tool for your intellectual aggrandizement, you marginalize and demean its victims and survivors, and clearly illustrate that rape as a social issue must be grossly unexplored on your campus, that persons are able to claim ‘respectability’ and still be ignorant that rape is a problem at every fiscal, social, and intellectual level of our society.

  161. so if the piece was written as a satire bc the author believes there is not enough attention being given to rape and rape victims – then what did his article do? made THOUSANDS of people suddenly give more attention to said subject…

    are all men assholes or is it possible that MAYBE JUST MAYBE hes made someone look at this and pay attention that wouldn’t have?

  162. Kat says:

    Re: People writing snarky comments “instead” of doing something to combat problems of violence against women

    Phil, how do you know those commenting here don’t also dedicate real time and energy to bringing awareness about and trying to eliminate such issues? I pay special attention to news stories like this one because of my commitment to ending violence against women. I would not be surprised to find that many of the other commenters are also taking action outside of posting their “snarky comments” here.

    I volunteer at a rape crisis and domestic violence center in Manhattan. I did the same work during my junior and senior years of college. I’m also on a volunteer committee that looks at issues of IPV and sexual assault, and in May, I’ll be running a ten-mile race to raise awareness about domestic violence. I’m also a member of a huge, international women’s volunteering organization, the members of which do much to improve all aspects of the human condition. We’re not just sitting around complaining; we’re out there every day attempting to create a world in which we can all feel safe.

    Additionally, unlike with some other issues, where people may spout off about an injustice but never do anything to better the situation, opponents of violence against women tend to take real action to change the world. This goal is made increasingly unattainable by boneheaded editorials like the one I just read. Petroski may not condone violence against women, but his poorly constructed “satire” offers justification to those who do.

  163. Chicklet says:

    Phil, here is why I want Rowan and Petroski gone.

    1. They have proven that they are incapable of handling the responsibility.

    2. Their continued presence, and possible future errors in judgement, could be used by the administration and student government to gain stronger editorial control over the paper. Rowan does not think this can happen, but at least one attempt has been made in the past.

    3. Their continued presence damages the credibility of the paper and the other staff.

  164. Jamie says:

    I feel resignation is needed because these people have poisoned the reputation of the publication. They have demonstrated that they cannot handle the responsibility of managing a mass medium for their university.
    In the apology submitted by the editorial staff, they say that if they had known in advance how deeply offended the campus would be (over this article), they never would have considered printing such a piece. Common sense says printing an article that states ugly girls should enjoy being raped because it’s their one chance at intercourse would probably not earn praise from its readers.
    It’s a simple fact: people who do not possess the skills to do their job should be let go. The editorial staff has done exactly this.
    And don’t even get me started on professional athletes and politicians…

  165. Legalize It! :D says:

    Jamie:
    “Somehow I don’t think you’ll find it so humorous when someone rapes your sisters, daughters, etc. I hope that never happens, for their sake, because I know they will never find support from you.”

    Yes, I’m sure if Rowan and Petroski’s daughters/sisters were raped they wouldn’t support them at all.

    That sounds plausible.

    asugrl Says:
    February 13th, 2007 at 2:08 am

    wow, first of all, I I have to say that the rape article is pretty funny. It is pretty obvious to me that it is satire….do you not have a sense of humor? people joke about tasteless things all the time, and I am sure you have laughed at some point.

    No, a sense of humor is definitely not one of the ingredients involved in the recipe for baking a Feminist. My only advice for a man unfortunate enough to date one, is to RUN, not walk, away as fast as possible.

    Also, the second article, about abortion, is completely right. I don’t know whether this was meant to be satirical also, but I truly believe that if society expects men to pay child support when the woman decides to keep the baby, they should also have a say in whether the baby is born or not. They both fucked up, the woman included; that’s when her body ceases to be only hers. I am so sick of hypocrites wanting things one way but not the other; my fellow women need to grow up and take responsibility for their actions instead of blaming everything on “evil men” and then not even letting them make a giant decision involving killing a child that is BOTH OF THEIRS.

    Amen. I’ll just leave that statement in it’s perfection ^_^

  166. jiggavegas says:

    Phil,
    Oh, darn. How could I have made the mistake of assuming you were insulting all of the Feministe bloggers, when really you were just insulting all of the commenters instead?

    But thanks for rewriting my comment to add emphasis I didn’t use in the original. Also, we are going to have to agree to disagree about the meaning of the words “rant,” “apology,” and “aside,” I’m afraid. I suspect “reasonable” too, if we really got down to it. ::shrug::

    I was just letting you know that the people here are, in fact, involved members of their communities in lots and lots of ways. They talk about those experiences all over the blog. But that’s neither here nor there, because no one should have to defend her right to criticize the article Petroski wrote by first submitting her resume of charitable works.

    But I appreciate your letting us all know how silly it is to waste time discussing this, or having an opinion on it, since there are so many other things “more worthy of [our] time and effort than an unfunny kid with little common sense, and an editor of a college newspaper who made a mistake.” Because it’s useless to have an opinion about something until you’ve gone through the list of More Worthy Issues, in order of worthiness from Most Worthy to Least Worthy, As Defined by Phil. Good thing you so thoughtfully provided us with an entire list of things that have nothing to do with what we’re all discussing here, so we can get started on that!

  167. JB says:

    I thought the story was funny and took it that way. I know rape is bad and rape is evil but come on lighten up and take it as a sarcastic attempt to make a joke. A very bad joke. ok A really bad joke on a nuclear level. But still just a joke. If you don’t like it that’s your opinion. There are many jokes out there that offend some and others laugh at. Look at all the Jew and Muslim jokes. So to all those who hate and wish bad things to the writer in this article. Is it better to wish rape and death on someone or to write a story about it? I say your on the same level.

  168. brad says:

    You attacking his views on abortion eliminates any credibility you might have… Nothing he said there was offensive.

  169. Jill says:

    Ok geniuses, I know that he is not dead serious. My point is that it’s shitty satire, and that it’s disturbingly reflective of his actual views.

    While I’m “lightening up,” how about you guys learn basic English writing skills? Start with learning that when you mean “you are,” you should use “you’re,” not “your.”

    And a question: Where are you guys coming from? I can’t imagine that you’re all regular readers who just now decided to comment. Where did you find the link to this post?

  170. Jill says:

    You attacking his views on abortion eliminates any credibility you might have… Nothing he said there was offensive.

    Are you all students at Central Connecticut State University? Because if you are, then this is just sad, and that school really needs to re-evaluate its academic standards. On the other hand, if you’re approximately 12 and/or functionally illiterate and/or lack the capacity for logical reasoning, I will give you a pass.

  171. ako says:

    Everyone knows we’re all “against rape,” even though it seems that means making snarky comments on blogs, instead of volunteering at a crisis or abuse center, or taking pen to paper ourselves to bring light to the issue — perhaps even confronting the deeper societal ills that cause rape to be a perpetually prevalent crime.

    I’m so impressed. You’ve demonstrated through your deep inner knowledge that I, and all the other bloggers here have never written anything serious about rape, worked at a crises or abuse center, or otherwise lifted a finger to combat rape in any way.

    Well, except for how I spent years working with child and teenage rape victims in the developing world, helped educate police about domestic violence laws, and taught self-defense for teenage girls. Wait, that doesn’t support your self-righteous little thesis at all! Maybe you haven’t correctly seen into the minds of every other commenter here and divined how they failed to take any action of substance, unlike your glorious self. In which case you weren’t being wise, you were being presumptuous and condescending.

    1. Examine what you can do in your own life to confront and prevent domestic violence and aggression in your own social sphere. It exists there.

    Really? That never would have occurred to me. And all this time wasted on a feminist blog reading femininst views and comments would never have put that idea into my head. Lucky you showed up to enlighten me.

    2. Consider the unseen and far-reaching pulse of mass media framing our lives, how we perceive ourselves, how we perceive women; how we perceive Iraqis, how we perceive a nine-year-old Indian prostitute; how we fail to perceive marginalized and downtrodden people upon whose misery our lives of luxury are built. Consider the socially accepted drone which tells us that the very basis of our lives is acceptable to the planet, that it is acceptable to our ecosystem, that it is a viable and sustainable way of life.

    So first you rag on people for inaction, which you prove by the fact that they’re on here posting and commenting on issues, wasting precious seconds that could be used to save battered women (and wasn’t this originally about rape?). Then you tell us to follow the path to enlightenment, and achieve your own level of (self-)righteousness by sitting around contemplating lists of abstracts that you can tell with your mystic wisdom that none of us ever contemplate.

    If you’re really talking to Mark the negligent, and Johnny the guy who thinks rape is funny, tell them to pursue your little agenda. Or better yet, tell them to sit with a twelve-year-old, day after day, while she had flashbacks about being raped, while she’s curled up in a ball of misery, while she’s unconcious from trying to hang herself and they have to put their hands over their mouth to see their still breathing. Tell them to help the girls with rope burns on their wrists from being tied up, scars on their ankles from where they were kept on a chain, or brain damage from having their head split open by their own father wielding an knife. Tell them to hold those girl’s hands, wipe away their tears, applaud their triumphs, visit them in the mental hospital after suicide attempts, and keep it up for year. Then tell me how sorry John and Mark really are, how much they’ve suffered for this, and how I haven’t done anything of use.

  172. I honestly hoped I was done sharing my thoughts in this forum. But I have a hard time letting misunderstading and fallacy reign. So:

    Kat (163) and Ako (172) — I never said that not a single person who contributes to this forum is actively participating in social welfare. Now we have two testaments – three, if you count me – out of 172 comments from people who are the exception to the rule I suggested. But Ako, some of your point is lost in sarcasm.

    Chicklet and Jaime (164, 165): I see your points. I think the credibility of the paper has more elasticity, though. I’m glad someone here has the wherewithall to exchange ideas, and although we disagree, is able to express them eloquently and without unnecessary venom.

    Jigga (167): Since you seem completely incapable of grasping concepts outside your small, sarcastic, and overly defensive mind, I suggest you direct your efforts here. As for emphasis added, I think the childish construction of “never ever” almost always implies emphasis on “ever,” not “never.” Try saying it out loud both ways and I think you’ll see I’m right. As for definitions, I’m a professional writer and editor, and I won’t resort to the corny vehicle of pasting them here, but you’re wrong. Finally, I never expressed or implied that community service was a prerequisite to dialogue. I only pointed out the empty hypocrisy of being an outspoken critic and not a dedicated servant.
    Everything I pointed out has everything to do with what we’re talking about. My point, which you seem to be having trouble processing, is that these incidents are occurring in different contexts and on different levels around the world, and that this instance is, given the attention we are giving it, something of a teacup tempest.
    Your parents voted for presidents who subsidized actual, large-scale rape around the globe – if they voted for anyone who ever won an election between 1950 and 1990. Maybe you did too.
    But let’s focus on crucifying a guy for having a bad sense of humor and poor taste.

    Jill: There’s a good chance many of these commenters are from CCSU. But as far as I can see, only Chicklet, myself, and way back around (50) Mark have identified as such. And we’re all quite literate. So quit hatin’ on your readers. Every school has idiots, even Yale. SO if some of our business students and basket-weaving majors combine their marginal literacy with the degradation that has become online communication, you see what ensues. No need to cast aspersions.

    Ako: Like many of the breast-beating hand-wringers, your tales of woe have little bearing on the sitation at hand. SO once and for all, let me remind you:

    John Petrosky did not rape anyone.
    He did not encourage or condone rape (if you think he did, you may have Asberger’s).
    No one who read the article will rape anyone as a result.
    It’s just, as Jill points out, shitty satire and in bad taste. Much like “What do Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles have in common,” it’s not for everyone, not appropriate for a newspaper, and frankly, not this big of a deal.

    Have fun with your sarcasm-laden retorts. I will come back to read them but I’m done wasting energy trying to help anyone here — I’ll be focusing my energy into the actual situation, with the actual people involved, and trying to make things better for everyone.

  173. Digital Angel says:

    Wow. The man is clearly stupid for posting the rape article. And his attempt at satire is lacking.

    But I actually support his opinion piece on abortion and fathers rights. It shouldn’t be a decision solely resting on the woman. Yes, it’s her body, but that child is his too. He has rights to his child. Saying that he is a misogynist or even an asshole for wanting to defend those rights is out of line.

    While the man is clearly lacking in judgment, the only reason this article has become a big deal is because people are taking it too seriously. Give him the attention he deserves, which is *none at all.*

  174. ako says:

    I never said that not a single person who contributes to this forum is actively participating in social welfare

    You did toss around a rather broad accusation at the commenters here in general, based on very little information. Are you trying to pretend you didn’t?

    Now we have two testaments – three, if you count me – out of 172 comments from people who are the exception to the rule I suggested.

    It’s a bit of a double bind, you’ve set up, isn’t it? People who don’t provide their credibility resumes apparently validate your opinion that they’re not doing anything, and you use people who do to validate the idea that everyone else must fit the rule.

    Not to mention the faulty logic of presenting 3 out of 172 comments as if it were reflective of the ratio of people who’ve done work on this issue to people who haven’t. Since you’ve made multiple comments yourself, that looks dishonest.

    But Ako, some of your point is lost in sarcasm.

    Funny, I think some of your point is lost in your self-righteousness and tendency to talk down to people. Especially since your entire claim to have done something on the issue hinges on assertions about your communication skills that you’ve completely failed to demonstrate. But I don’t imagine you’re going to stop envisioning yourself in a position so far above all these sarcastic, insulting, angry women, making unsupported assertions about what people really do and how they really feel, and insisting we’ve all failed the Progressive Litmus Test for not sharing your sense of priorities.

    My point, which you seem to be having trouble processing, is that these incidents are occurring in different contexts and on different levels around the world, and that this instance is, given the attention we are giving it, something of a teacup tempest.

    I doubt you see any of the “real” problems which you consider credible as consisting only of the major incidents. Otherwise you wouldn’t be worried about individual voters, only those with direct control over the specific incidents. Choosing to publically trivialize rape, and in Mark’s case, to paint himself as a victim of feminist persecution by using spurious free speech arguments (asserting that someone shouldn’t hold a job, and putting pressure on an organization you help fund to stop supporting him is not violating free speech), helps promote the idea that rape is trivial, entertaining, and perhaps even good, and women who argue against this are the real oppressors.

    Having the sort of attitude that promotes and supports rape given a relatively public voice isn’t trivial or irrelevant in terms of the causes of rape. It doesn’t, by itself, cause rape, but it supports the sort of attitudes that make potential rapists feel less guilty and more comfortable with the crimes they contemplate. And putting public effort into showing how that attitude is unacceptable, opposing it isn’t censorship, and men who support it look weak and pathetic isn’t trivial or irrelevant either.

    Like many of the breast-beating hand-wringers, your tales of woe have little bearing on the sitation at hand.

    Okay, so when the guys writing and printing the editorial that trivializes rape and mocks rape victims complain about feeling bad, that’s proof to you that they’re good people, we should all stop being mean to them, and it’s unfair that some people (including the people who haven’t gotten to hear the apparently sincere apology that Mark Rowan gave you and you alone) don’t instantly and completely forgive him. But when I don’t want to weep buckets for the poor men who have mean things said about them on the internet, because I know that understanding how people suffer is harder than any amount of worrying about weither you’ve shot yourself in the foot career-wise, or being publically embaressed by your own words, I’m not just irrelevant, but a “breast-beating hand-wringer”.

    If these are your much-vaunted skills at listening to and understanding people, I’m beginning to wonder how you manage to hear anything at all. You’re so willing to dismiss people for being angry outside of the carefully moderated range you consider acceptable, using sarcasm, talking about things that were difficult or painful, or not being wowed by your overwhelming rightness. Are you really just listening to the echoes in your own head?

  175. H.P. Hovercraft says:

    Ok geniuses, I know that he is not dead serious. My point is that it’s shitty satire, and that it’s disturbingly reflective of his actual views.

    Jill…regardless of whether or not you thought his satire was fair or foul, how do you know what his actual views are? The only opinion I can detect that doesn’t seem, to me, to be sarcastic in nature is the notion that the media loves nothing more than to present some good old-fashioned sensationalism.

    While I’m “lightening up,” how about you guys learn basic English writing skills? Start with learning that when you mean “you are,” you should use “you’re,” not “your.”

    On this, we agree. I’m tired of illiterate people clogging the Internet. I’m also tired of people who confuse opinions with people, and can’t argue the issue at hand without resorting to insults. Y’know, stuff like calling the editors “mouth-breathers”, and so on. You responded to the author’s “hateful” article with an equally hateful one, urging personal reprisal against the author instead of discussing the ideas he presented.

    And a question: Where are you guys coming from? I can’t imagine that you’re all regular readers who just now decided to comment. Where did you find the link to this post?

    People’ve presumably been posting links. I myself found the link at a minor message board which I frequent. If nothing else, your blog entry seems to have caused a fair bit of discussion, and discussion is always – always worth the trouble. Unless, of course, the intent behind your article in the first place was suppression, rather than discussion.

  176. Rhiannon says:

    It shouldn’t be a decision solely resting on the woman. Yes, it’s her body, but that child is his too. He has rights to his child. Saying that he is a misogynist or even an asshole for wanting to defend those rights is out of line.

    Really? Even if that “he” is the man who raped her? If your answers yes, then at least you’re consistant. If you answer no, then your argument starts to fall apart. If there can be an exception to this “rule”… who decides that?

    If a man can force a woman to bear a child, can he also force her to have an abortion? If you answer yes, again, at least you’re consistant, but if your answer is no… you’ve lost your argument.

  177. Rhiannon says:

    Teacup Tempist… …. Get off your high horse. You’re no better than anyone else. If you weren’t so condescending someone might actually *listen* to what you have to say sometimes… then you could stop shouting at the wind. Wouldn’t that be nice?

  178. Rhiannon says:

    John Petrosky did not rape anyone.
    He did not encourage or condone rape (if you think he did, you may have Asberger’s).
    No one who read the article will rape anyone as a result.

    1. Not that anyone knows of… but he did re-open the wounds of a LOT of victims. Including me. The last thing any victim needs to read is someone CONDONING (even satirically) what some monster did to us.

    2. Pretending to condone or encourage rape will be condoning and encouraging rape to those looking for outside jusification of their evil desires and deeds. To pretend otherwise is NAIVE.

    3. You are correct. It won’t be because of the article, the article may just be used as a justification in their already sick twisted little heads. Fuel to the fire so to speak, but not the fire itself.

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