Now, real fans of The Public Unintellectuals (I think we have at least 3) know that I published an editorial on rape. (If you haven't read it, look here.) What they might not know is that, not only am I bold enough to make fun of what is widely considered not good, I am actually so bold that I told the world about my amazing blogpost by commenting on other blogposts.
For example, I found a very interesting article on this woman that was raped in Nigeria. While it made its point very well, I found it one-sided, so I told them so and provided them a link to my editorial, as "the other side of the story."
Now, I wasn't expecting to get a lot of attention for this comment, since the website was a Nigerian one, and there's only like 4 people in Nigeria with internet access. However, one woman, named "Nadael" (what a silly Nigerian name) who said:
"Jester, are you normal? I skim-read your blog - talk about one-sided drivel! You call that an editorial?! And you have the unmitigated gall to put it (i.e. your crap) on par with the above article, detailing a real life event?! ...you're clearly missing a humanity 'button' coz according to the bullshit you published on the internet...[bla bla bla]...there is nothing intellectual about exposing your depraved thoughts on the internet for all to see."
I thanked her for skim-reading my blog, told her that it wasn't supposed to be both sides, but rather an editorial defending a side most are afraid to defend, and explained that I wasn't really going for intellectual, hence Public UNintellectual.
She then told me, in many words, that 1) Rape is not consented to, 2) Rape is about power, and that 3) Defending rape was something sane people do not do, and that the only debate we should have about it is what the proper punishment for it should be.
Now, these arguments are used so often, so they appear strong, but they are, in actuality, very weak. However, they are treated as untouchable. So, like all those other untouchable things rapists deal with, I ripped this one apart.
I never said the girl consents. However, just because something is not consented to by all parties does not mean it’s wrong. For example, you would probably agree with the punishment of rapists against their consent. I’m not equating the two, but it is logically untenable to say consent is a necessary condition of a morally right action. The “rape is about power” argument is untenable too, since normal sex is all about the wielding of power too.
Furthermore, your insistence that only one side of an argument should be presented is scary. Debate hurts no one; it simply presents ideas so they can be evaluated on a critical level. Sane human beings aren’t necessarily those who agree with your moral compass – they are those who have the ability to reason, the ability to evaluate ideas and decide which is the strongest. Even if you don’t have this reasoning power yourself, do not insult me because I do have it."
But the girl hasn't posted back, so I'm assuming that I raped her arguments so violently that she died. So yeah, I apologize about that.
This conversation can be found at http://bellanaija.com/2011/09/18/the-real-shame-of-rape/comment-page-3/ - feel free to comment, for or against me.