Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Donald Trump's fear-mongering about rape

Donald Trump touched off a firestorm with his comments about undocumented immigrants and rape: “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,” Trump said during his campaign announcement earlier this month.

Even though Trump didn't say how many undocumented immigrants are rapists, his words suggest that rape is normalized among undocumented immigrants who are male. That is simply wrong--see here. Trump is being, and ought to be, widely condemned for reducing an entire class of people to vile caricature. He's being kicked off of television networks, is losing his corporate sponsors, and is being branded a nutcase all over America.

It is interesting that Trump is most heavily criticized by folks who would never dream of criticizing a lot of other public figures who think rape is "normalized" among college men, or college athletes, or fraternity men, or "men" in general. You see, those groups aren't considered to be marginalized groups, so, apparently, it's fair to unfairly malign their members by saying rape is "normalized" in their ranks.

Take, for instance, Jessica Valenti--she's the feminist writer who believes that rape is normal for even decent men: "Rape is part of our culture; it's normalized to the point where men who are otherwise decent guys will rape and not even think that it's wrong. And that's what terrifies me."  (A few months ago, Valenti tweeted Socialist Michael Laxer's epiphany that "all men" are responsible for the bad things that happen to women. Laxer clucked: "There are no 'good guys,'" and that men, as a class, "are responsible.")  I don't see Valenti being ostracized from the public square for those views.

So it's fair to unfairly malign men, so long as we don't narrow the class to undocumented immigrant men or, presumably, other marginalized groups of men.

Get it? Neither do I.