Dennis Prager brings some much needed perspective and cool, sober, common sense to the bruhaha surrounding the Duke Lacrosse case in his new Townhall offering, “The Rape of a Name is Also Rape.”
The rape of a name can be as vicious a crime and as destructive an act as the rape of a body. Sometimes the rape of a body is worse, sometimes the rape of a name is worse.
Yes, nothing is sadder than a name huddled on a gurney in the ER with a black eye, a broken collarbone, and severe vaginal tearing. A body, on the other hand, pretty much deserves what it gets for wearing provocative clothes and being corporeal.
But they are both rapes. And morally likening the two is in no way meant to lessen the horror of rape; it is meant only to heighten awareness of the horror of intentionally destroying the name of an innocent person.
The fact that Dennis is using what rhetoriticians call the Mounds-Almond Joy Dichotomy (Sometimes you feel like a nut. Sometimes you don’t.) to draw a parallel between rape and defamation in no way undermines the ethical majesty of his argument.
These words are written in the aftermath of the destruction of three young men’s names by a lying woman whose name is still hidden by The New York Times and other major newspapers whose commitment to truth is not as strong as their commitment to political correctness.
Their names having been destroyed, the three young men must now go through life being known by whatever cast-off, second-hand monikers they can scrounge. At press time, the victims were calling themselves “Bachelor Number 1,” “Joe Doakes,” and “Miss Thing.” Victims of “body-rape,” however, don’t have their bodies destroyed, so they can just, in the immortal words of my old baseball coach, “walk it off.”
Upon first hearing a comparison of name-rape to body-rape, most people are likely to recoil. But upon reflection, it becomes clear that the two are morally comparable. In fact, I have had women listeners to my radio show call and e-mail me to say that they have been raped — one woman had been gang raped — and felt they were better able to go on with their lives than men they loved who had been falsely accused of rape or molestation.
Wait, he has listeners who have not only been raped, but have also had their husbands, fathers and boyfriends falsely accused of rape? Listeners, plural? Wow. I would never accuse Dennis of stitching together a hamperful of sock puppets to support his morally dubious fantasias, but I would suggest that some of his fans are a bit overscheduled.
If you are a woman and this seems far-fetched, imagine that a man you love — such as your father, brother, husband or son — were publicly accused of a rape he had not committed. Imagine the pain he and your family would endure. Why is that pain not comparable to the pain suffered by at least some women who are raped?
Because no matter how brutally you’re being raped, eventually the guy’s gonna blow his load and zip up. But what about your imaginary male relation who’s being roasted in the tabloids? Makes you feel a little silly, doesn’t it, still moaning and groaning about your concussion, fractured wrist, and hepatitis C?
To this day, a decent human being named Clarence Thomas, who has become a major Supreme Court thinker, is identified by his political enemies with sexual harassment (of the most innocuous variety, even if true) and of having looked at pornography (along with the majority of other decent men in America), as if those charges define his life.
And all he got out of that ordeal was a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court. Imagine what the first President Bush would have offered Thomas if he’d let the Secret Service sodomize him with a broomstick!
The lying woman in the Duke lacrosse case, Crystal Mangum, raped three men. Generally speaking, it is meaningless to speak of women raping men’s bodies; it is men who rape women’s bodies. What women can rape is a man’s name.
And it’s apparent which of these assaults Dennis thinks is the more heinous. Sticks and stones may break your bones, but names can never hurt you! Names are holy, blameless creatures; white, silken, and pure, like a unicorn’s mane. And what do you sexist bitches do? You take our virginal, unsullied names into the shower and treat ‘em like Linda Blair in Born Innocent.
It is a symptom of the major sexism of our time — against men (see Christine Hoff Sommers’ “The War Against Boys” for a detailed discussion of this sexism) — that not only is the rape of men’s reputations not considered anywhere near as serious as the rape of a woman’s body, but the women who perpetrate such destruction are protected by feminist, politically correct news media. That is why, to this day, The New York Times and most other liberal newspapers refuse to publish Crystal Mangum’s name, let alone advocate that she be tried or punished for her cruelty.
Yeah, the only real sexism in America is prejudice against men! Need proof? The sole person who’s been punished in this fiasco is Mike Nifong, the Durham County District Attorney who framed the defendants by lying to the court and concealing exculpatory evidence. And after all that, he was the one who got disbarred, while the stripper who made the original accusation was apparently allowed to keep her license to practice law.
The Talmud, the set of books of Jewish law and philosophy that rank in Judaism second in importance only to the Torah, says, “Whoever humiliates his friend in public is considered as if he has shed his blood.” That is why some rabbis call undeserved public shaming “emotional murder.”
Occasionally, a woman who has “emotionally murdered” a man can plea bargain the charge down to “psychological manslaughter with intent to commit grievous nomenclatural injury.”
That was written nearly 2,000 years ago. The lack of interest by elite America in even identifying, let alone punishing, a woman who “emotionally murdered” three young men proves that those who believe in the inevitability of moral progress frequently delude themselves.
In short: Until the thousands of women who are raped every day in America (yet live) realize that the handful of men who are falsely accused of rape every year are suffering much more than they are (because their names are emotionally dead), the authors of two millenia-old religious texts will think you’re a bitch.