Updated to add:
This debate took place at Brown the day before the UVA rape hoax broke. According to Dean Esmay, who spoke with McElroy, Jessica Valenti’s literary agent contacted McElroy and ordered her to take the debate video down, as it somehow violated Jessica’s copyright. Jessica and her agent have been working tirelessly to prevent anyone from seeing the video, which is obviously working out great for them, right? I still think it’s the inciting to violence part that has Jess worried, not the fact that she used two debunked ‘rapes’ to make her points about rape culture.
Before I get into this video, let me give you an update on what happened to my “Why is this office so cold” video. The person who volunteered to edit the video sent me a message saying he would no longer be willing to edit any further videos unless I purchased an $800 camera, because he doesn’t like the low quality of my footage. The actual message:
IMPORTANT: I will ONLY edit your next video IF IT IS SHOT with the Canon we spoke about. I hated to stare at the low quality while working on it and the upconversion made my station crash… yes I am a troll diva.
I explained that I do not use family resources to fund my online work, and I have not currently generated sufficient funds though advertising, etc., so I would not be making that purchase anytime soon. He became very petulant, insisting that the video quality was much more important than the message. Ultimately he decided that not only would he refuse to edit anything further, he wanted the Cold Office video taken down. I arranged to have a new intro made by a different volunteer, and explained that I would edit my original footage and recreate the video, at which point I would replace the one he had edited.
He did not find that solution acceptable, and filed a DCMA complaint against me on YouTube, resulting in a copyright strike against my account. A copyright strike places serious restrictions on what I can do with my account, and can lead to a permanent and irrevocable loss of my channel, and all its content. He made a serious attempt to harm my work by filing that strike. I felt I had no choice but to issue a counter strike.
YouTube removed the strike on my account, and I deleted the video, since I really want nothing further to do with this person. Unfortunately, issuing the counterstrike involves triggering a legal process, in which I had to reveal my real name and address, which this person now has access to. I fully expect to be on the receiving end of some harassment, but I am not frightened. I am quite capable of handling dead things sent in the mail or whatever he opts to do with the information.
Now, I’m telling you this not only to explain what happened to the video but also to hilariously point out that the excruciating vocal fry and upspeak I deployed makes me sound exactly like Jessica Valenti. I had never heard her speak before I watched this debate, but she sounds like a perfect, stunned imbecile. Probably because she is, but it is pretty funny. I find it amusing, at any rate.
Apparently, Jessica wants this video taken down, and it’s not hard to see why. She went evidence free in this debate, although I suspect that is the general strategic approach she takes to life. Facts? We don’t need no facts! Wendy McElroy leads the debate, which the moderator/introducer is careful to frame as a ‘discussion’, actually correcting her own use of the word ‘debate’. She then announces the winners of dinner tickets, and encourages them to get in touch with ‘the boys in suits’ down front. Boys?!? Really? Gee, that’s not patronizing at all, is it? I’ll bet she’s one of those joyful feminists who thinks calling grown women ‘girls’ is completely harmless and innocuous, right?
McElroy opens the debate by discussing her personal experience with sexual violence and domestic violence, shutting down the ‘you just don’t understand’ crowd before they can even start. She describes herself as an individualist feminist, or libertarian feminist. Breitbart recently ran a column on cultural libertarians that I found quite interesting – how broad, often diametrically opposed commentators in the media are united on issues like free speech and personal liberty, agency and responsibility. Definitely worth a read.
McElroy references the RAINN submission to the White House Task Force on Sexual Assault, in which RAINN agrees that the entire concept of ‘rape culture’ is not particularly useful, and is often used to deny personal responsibility, something that Jessica goes on to validate with her ‘arguments’. McElroy then goes on to destroy the credibility of ‘rape statistics’, calling the available data “biased, flawed or non-existent”. It’s no wonder Brown University had to set up safe spaces for women, even those women who did not attend the lecture but felt threatened by the idea. Seriously. According to Brown, women are so mentally frail, such fragile, delicate creatures, they can be taken down by the brutal wielding of an idea. Yeah, let’s put one in the White House! What a great idea! ISIS will totally give trigger warnings before burning people alive!
I’m sure a lot of women in the audience were squirming as McElroy reminded them of the shameful, ‘withering’ treatment of Matt Taylor. She reminded them of what a real ‘rape culture’ looks like. Hint: It’s in Afghanistan, not Brooklyn. She reminded them that going to the police to report rape, which is a criminal offense, not a college infraction, is how you make everyone safer. Kangaroo courts do fuck all in terms of preventing rape and sexual assault. They simply punish, mostly men, on flimsy evidence. Do not build justice for women on injustice for men. Her final comment really says it all.
Enter Jessica Valenti with her vocal fry, upspeak, uhmms and erhms …. She has to be one of the most hilariously inept speakers – an absolute caricature of the moronic airhead feminist. She begins the discussion of ‘rape culture’ by explaining that she is exhausted with having to debate whether rape culture exists! Uhm, okay. No comment on the fact that RAINN, the largest network of organizations addressing the issue of rape culture also thinks the idea isn’t really useful? Nope! Of course not.
The best part of Valenti’s comments comes when she details what kinds of things constitute ‘social license to intervene’. First up, she encourages the audience to police what words other people can use, and what other people find funny. Saying that you ‘got raped by a test’ should result in shaming, like Matt Taylor. She encourages the audience to demand ‘yes means yes’ affirmative consent policies, or, to do exactly the opposite of what McElroy suggests by building justice for women on injustice for men. Jess could give a flying fuck about what happens to men. The most interesting moment comes when Jess says she is ‘not against radical actions’, by which she means vandalizing school property with graffiti.
The vandalism she is referencing is painting the names of alleged rapists on school walls to encourage mob actions against those men. I suspect this is the part that has Jessie’s panties in a knot. She might have some splainin’ to do when the first college mob beats a man to death for an alleged, or even an actual rape (we don’t have the death penalty for rape, Jess), based on Jessie’s encouragement to take ‘radical actions’.
Jess throws out the same numbers McElroy debunked to applause and encouragement, and just plain makes up ‘facts’ to suit her narrative. No, the CDC does not claim 20% of college women are raped. It’s not even 1%. But the heart of Jessie’s argument is that no woman contributes anything to her ‘rape’ ever, and certainly does not make poor decisions under the influence of alcohol she later regrets. Uh, the reason college women drink alcohol is to lower their inhibitions. Lower their inhibitions to do….what? Jess says she will discuss the role of alcohol in facilitating rape, but only in terms of how rapists target drunk women. I’m sure it’s true that rapists target drunk women, but at the very heart of Valenti’s understanding of rape culture is that women should never be held accountable for their own choices. If a woman can define any sexual experience retroactively as rape, and the man must prove his innocence, as affirmative consent laws require him to do, then it’s no wonder Jess sees rape culture everywhere. What she is actually saying is that drunk college women have tons of irresponsible sex they later regret and someone needs to be punished for that.
The most ironic part of the feminist argument that women are fragile, delicate damsels in need of constant protection is that it’s just so sexist. McElroy wants men and women who rape other people held accountable for their actions in a criminal court of law. Jess wants cans of spray paint and the names of alleged rapists writ large on school property, potentially prompting fatal retribution against the accused, absent any reasonable construction of justice. McElroy makes an impassioned plea to the audience, reminding them that ‘common human decency’ is a debt everyone owes to everyone else, especially when one group wields power over another. The appalling treatment of Matt Taylor demonstrates who has the power.
Jessica Valenti personifies what feminists want to do with that power.
Let’s hope the men suing colleges for their mishandling of alleged sexual assaults create financial incentives for colleges to restore justice and fairness to their procedures. A few multimillion dollar settlements to the wrongly accused might be just the ticket they need. Jessica Valenti would like to see mob justice, and some bodies pile up. Men’s bodies.
Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
Lots of love,