What If We Responded To Sexual Assault By Limiting Men’s Freedom Like We Limit Women’s?
Calls for Men to Be Blindfolded in Public
In response to claims that men are unable to restrain themselves from committing rape if they see women in skimpy clothing, members of law enforcement agencies around the country have called for men to blindfold themselves when they are in places where they might encounter a female wearing a tank top or a short skirt.
“For years, we have been told that men don’t understand how to respond to the sight of a woman wearing, say, gym clothes — that as far as they are concerned, if they can see the outline of her body, then that’s an invitation to sex that they are simply unable to refuse,” said one police chief. “If that’s true, then we have no choice. We want women to be safe, and there is apparently no way for some men to reasonably restrain their own behavior once they catch a glimpse of cleavage, so all men will have to cover their eyes while working out, going to bars or clubs, or relaxing at the beach.”
Popular radio “shock jocks” Skeezer and the Gooch have gone even further, arguing that men should be blindfolded at all times while in public, on the grounds that “it’s not just skimpy outfits, some dudes get turned on by random stuff like women wearing athletic jerseys and sneakers,” making situation-specific blindfolding insufficient to preserve women’s safety.
Unwise to Allow Men to Go Out Alone at Night?
A local coalition of religious leaders, concerned about recent studies showing that an average of 6% of men will commit a sexual assault during their lifetime, and that nearly all sexual assaults are committed by men on their own or in groups, are urging parents not to let their sons go out at night unless they are accompanied by a mother, sister, or trusted female friend.
Mens’ groups have responded with concern, pointing out that this may leave some men unable to complete the tasks of daily life, such as going to school, working, or socializing.
In response, the religious leaders said that they “understand that this may be an inconvenience for some men,” but that “the minor difficulties this imposes on men are nothing when compared to the lifelong horror sexual assaults cause their victims.” “Really,” said the organization’s leader, “almost any limitation on men’s freedom is better than the risk that they might sexually assault someone. That’s just common sense.”
Time to Admit That Some Jobs May Just Be Too Dangerous for Men?
Recent allegations that Jimmy Savile raped numerous children while working as a television presenter for the BBC have led to widespread calls for television stations to avoid allowing men to do similar jobs.
“We know that not all men are rapists, and that some men can probably be trusted to present tv shows safely,” said the director of Televisions Within Borders, a professional group that promotes the welfare of TV hosts and the people they cover. “However, now we know that some men can’t. And why take the risk? There are plenty of qualified women who can do this job instead.”
Voices from the blogosphere agree. “You wouldn’t send a cocaine addict to do a Good Morning America segment about a big pile of cocaine,” said a blogger who calls himself “UltimateMindz.” “Letting men be TV presenters is basically the same thing.” That post has since been shared more than 180 times on Twitter, and has garnered nearly 2000 Facebook “likes.”
Supporters of this movement point to the fact that there has not been a single recorded case of a football coach raping a child since all college football coaching staff were replaced by women after last year’s Penn State abuse scandal.
Deans of 25 prominent journalism schools have taken a more moderate position, however, urging television programs to do more segments on bodybuilders and military contractors — subjects who are seen as safe for male presenters to interact with because their physical strength leaves them less vulnerable to assault. That way, the deans argue in a widely-circulated letter, male presenters may be able to remain in their jobs, albeit in a role with less visibility and almost no opportunity for advancement.
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