Attractive Tacoma teacher Meredith Powell, age 24, pled guilty to having sex with a couple of male students, ages 15-16. Everyone has played their dutiful part in the aftermath: the mainstream media reported on the “rape”; commenters everywhere decried the “double standard,” as a male teacher certainly would (and has) received much harsher punishment for a similar offense; and the 99% that comprise of the rest of us snickered, with some subset of that group envious that they never had teachers like that in high school.
Perhaps, genders aside, one could argue that the teacher abused her power position, but, judging by the sexts the fornicators sent each other, it appears that it was the alpha-men-in-training who had the psychological power over their lonely paramour.
Some on the right have also toed the “double standard” line, including a disappointingly tame Greg Gutfeld. Polite conservative society seems unable to point out the illogic in the false equivalency between a woman “perpetrator” and a man in such circumstances. Our polity moves on awaiting the next spectacle.
Where’s the outrage at the outrage? Channeling Whoopi Goldberg and Todd Akin, this was not rape in any rational sense. This was not forcible rape. This was not coercive or even manipulative rape. This was not date rape because-I-was-drunk-no-I-mean-drugged-actually-I-changed-my-mind-the-next-morning. The “victims” were postpubescent males who gladly consented and certainly high-fived all their friends afterward. As would any teenager after bonking a 24-year-old teacher who looks like that.
Meanwhile, following the release on the internet of private naked pictures of 100 starlets (and one dude) allegedly stolen from the iCloud, Time myopically asks, “Where Are All the Hacked Pics of Men?” The article doesn’t really attempt to answer, which is more indicative of the author’s worldview than would be any attempt to analyze this profound question. It’s self-evident sexism, of course—make that rape culture. And, by the way, woman have a hard time working in technology. And female video-game developers are routinely harassed. Etc.
The Time author’s title is a rhetorical question, but not for the reason that most people assume. Sure, one explanation is that there is little demand for such content. Still, in the era of abundant internet niches to fulfill every imaginable prurient interest (and many that we can’t imagine), we can assume that there is someone out there purveying photos of naked famous men, presumably for the homosexual audience (Google “male celebrities naked pictures” and you’ll find plenty of on-point hits). The main constraint is on the supply side: because the “selfie” is largely a feminine phenomenon. Facebook, Instagram, the “selfie stick,” the dual-camera iPhone, and the other culture-rotting diversions of our time exist because of female narcissism. You won’t find many men taking pictures of their naked bodies in the bathroom mirror, much less feeling compelled to upload them to the internet.
None of this excuses the hackers’ invasion of privacy, but it is telling that Ricky Gervais was met with nearly universal opprobrium for repeating the obvious advice that we have all received at some point: don’t publish something that you wouldn’t want to see broadcast across the internet. Seasoned male pick-up artists (as well as anyone with any common sense) know that when you send an illicit pic to a chick, you make sure that it doesn’t contain any personally identifiable body parts. But today’s women can’t seem to help themselves.
So, on the one hand, our intellectual elites tell us, there is no biological basis to our quaint notions of gender, so it would follow that there should be no difference between how society reacts to Meredith Powell versus a man similarly situated, and, by the same token, that we should be dumbfounded and outraged (dumraged?) why hackers sought out a nude Jennifer Lawrence but not a nude Joey Lawrence. (OK, a bad example perhaps.)
On the other hand, in case you haven’t heard, there’s a war on women, not to mention a “deadly epidemic of violence against women.” In fact, society cares more about endangered ex-pets than about battered women. So we should come down hard on the patriarchy. It’s unclear where violence against men is deemed to fall in this hierarchy of worry: no one seems to care about prison rape, because, well, it’s men who are victimized, plus it’s part of the scourge of American exceptionalism and hence concern about it would place one on the wrong side of the social-justice-enlightenment see-saw.
Since the most noble status one can have in our society is that of victim, and the most righteous pursuit of our intelligentsia is to identify those hapless martyrs and their wrongdoers, it is becoming increasingly complicated to figure out which causes we are supposed to prioritize. Approaching this puzzle with a basic understanding of the differences between males and females would be a good place to start, but, alas, that ship has sailed—when it suits the narrative.
It gets even harder to decipher the zeitgeist when you add sexual orientation as a dimension. Civilized society (not to include the authorities in Rotherham) seems to be reacting with appropriate horror at abuse perpetrated by Muslims against young girls in England, as well as that against young boys by Catholic priests worldwide—though the politically-correct media has reduced the sociological sting of the latter crisis by almost universally obscuring its homosexual nature. One suspects that the secular-progressives’ interest in the case is due mostly to their hatred of religion and their love of lawsuits (with the tort bar chomping at the legs of the table to get its supper). It becomes complicated trying to patch together our perturbation across so many overlapping grievance groups and boogeymen.
We’ve been trying to come up with a formula to predict the level of contemporary outrage at sexually-based offenses controlling for the gender and sexual orientation of the putative victims and those of the perpetrators. It’s only getting harder as the number of permutations grows exponentially with all of these new sexual identities. We give up.