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Andrew Bolt

May 16, 2011

Sexual assault is a crime, not an embarrassment

The Herald Sun's gender relations expert, Andrew Bolt, delivers the news that IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been

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The Herald Sun’s gender relations expert, Andrew Bolt, delivers the news that IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been charged with sexual assault and attempted rape.

Well, that’s embarrassing .. and rather career ending:

I beg your pardon? Embarrassing? That’s your first response? A man has been accused of a violent sexual assault and you label it embarrassing?

Perhaps Andrew didn’t feel that his first comment was dismissive enough, because he followed up with:

It’s astonishing how the urge to procreate can so overwhelm the survival instinct.

This, from a man who sneeringly refers to those he views as ideological opponents as barbarians.

Sexual assault is not about procreation, and it’s not an embarrassment. To treat the subject in such a glib manner is astounding. Sexual assault is still grossly underreported throughout he world, offhand snark like that published by Bolt is one of the reasons that women often feel too afraid or ashamed to report their experiences.

The charges against Strauss-Kahn, which he has plead not guilty to, are serious ones. Before innocence or guilt is tested in a court of law it’s fair to say that both of the people involved in this incident have had their lives irrevocably changed for the worst. The decision to mock the situation is one that is unfathomable to me.

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81 comments

81 thoughts on “Sexual assault is a crime, not an embarrassment

  1. bis

    Quantize, being rebutted by you is like having one’s heel mauled by a toothless chihuahua.

  2. quantize

    [I do so love a self-answering question.]

    Well you repeatedly answer his…

  3. RobJ

    No worries. Thanks.

  4. Eponymous

    Interpreted exactly as intended RobJ. I’m just not in the habit of explicitly labeling people and only voicing my opinion on the argument.

  5. RobJ

    [Not mentioning every single person who might hold a similar view is not hypocrisy but expedience.]

    I’m not sure if you’re addressing me or dudette but that’s my point, dudette had a go at Dave because Dave hasn’t apparently slagged off Assange before he slagged off Bolt’s flippant remarks. I’m merely suggesting dudette apply the same standards to him/herself that he/she expects of others.

  6. jules

    For what its worth that Age article was fucked.

    Its attitude to the alleged crime was that DSK was stupid because he put his political career and the political hopes of others at risk.

    “How could he blow his career prospects so stupidly.”

    If this guy did it then he isn’t stupid he is scum.

  7. Eponymous

    This ‘you have criticised someone from the , so unless you also criticise these people from you are a hypocrite’ argument is appalling and without end.

    There will _always_ be a multitude of people who are not involved in any criticism of an individual. Not mentioning every single person who might hold a similar view is not hypocrisy but expedience. Same as when someone asks me what I had for lunch I tell them what I ate, not every single other food in the world that I didn’t eat.

    It’s appalling logic and if accused of it is a pretty good indicator of the strength of the opposing argument.

  8. RobJ

    [Yes. It’s better known as consistent standards.]

    Then:

    [would you be able to point us to all your criticism of the right wing trollumnists? Would you? ]

    C’mon…. Or does the requirement for consistent standards only apply to those not called ‘dudette’?

  9. LacqueredStudio

    Dudette:

    Correct me if I’m wide of the mark here, but it does seem as if you’re insinuating the rest of us are blinded by political prejudice, when you’d rather we blind ourselves by the assumption of guilt instead.

  10. Matthew of Canberra

    dudette:

    “Funny thing is, I don’t recall him or any other writer here advocating so strongly for victims rights when the Prophet Assange was charged with similarly despicable crimes.”

    Um, we must have read two different posts. Because I didn’t see anything in dave’s thread about victims’ rights. It’s about trivialising an (alleged) violent act and representing it as a poor career choice when it’s clearly something much more serious than that. And I personally found the chortling tone of the piece slightly disturbing, given that it was talking about an allegation of real violence against a real, breathing human being. It suggests to me that the author just sees that victim as a useful tool against an political opponent, rather than somebody who has (allegedly) actually suffered. And this guy tells US that we lack moral seriousness.

    “I notice that nobody actually disputes the discrepancy between manufactured outrage at Bolt and desperate silence over Assange.”

    Sorry. I do have some other things to attend to 😉

    Maybe I’ve missed something, but I think you’ve basically made that angle up out of whole cloth. This is a site that’s concerned (even if horribly disingenuously) with media coverage. Not about whether individual defendents are guilty or innocent, or even victims’ rights. I have the odd opinion or two about all of the above, but I’m not sure I get to tell dave what his thread should be about.

    I have no idea if assange “did it”, and I have to admit that I don’t have all the facts in the case. In a certain sense … I don’t care. I want to see justice served, but it’s not my responsibility to judge the case. Nobody’s asking me, I don’t know the facts, I don’t know any of the participants and it’s on the other side of the world to boot. I’m a bit over it now to feel obliged to register an emotional response to every story that the media decides to wave in front of me. Why should I care about assange, but not every single violent assault[1] on anyone else in sweden, new york, liberia, or anywhere else? Because he’s famous? Because he’s a berk with silly hair? Because AB doesn’t like him?

    I also don’t particularly care whether this other guy “did it”. If I’m called upon to serve on the jury then, believe me, I would take an interest. But I have no involvement in that case either. It affects me not one bit, and nobody cares what I think about it. It seems like a waste of energy to get het up about it. Again, I want to see justice done but it’s all just a wee bit beyond my reach. I’ll just take care of things closer to home. I have to just trust the PD to do its job and the courts to weigh the evidence.

    But I DO care about the way information is presented in the media. That does affect me, and if I post things here there’s just the slightest chance that people might read it.

    [1] I’ll just point out again that I have no idea if any assault took place.

  11. jules

    Dudette you can’t compare the Age article to Bolt’s comments.

    I agree both are rather fucked. The age article calls him stupid, instead of abhorrent, as if rape is OK so long as it doesn’t interfere with our hopes for the political systems future.

    But at least its attempting to talk about the political situation in France. Bolt isn’t even criticising him for his alleged crime just using the event to snark about socialists. Both are rather off imo.

    And like Assange this guy is now on trial and is entitled to be presumed innocent. (Even tho we aren’t really doing that.)

    The facts of this crime and Assange’s seem to be significantly different, in this case the victim had no hesitation in going to the cops to press charges. In Sweden the victims didn’t even press charges, the cops/police prosecution did. The victims went to the police to find out if he could be forced to take an STD test didn’t they?

    I guess we can’t make an informed comment on that till the trial, and I spose the same is true for the IMF guy.

  12. monkeywrench

    And to sum up: Bolt makes a posturing prick of himself again, and Dudette thinks we’re wrong to point it out.

  13. LacqueredStudio

    1) Calling The Age “left wing” is a bit too much of a stretch, don’t you think? At least in this century.

    2) Where exactly are we up to in the Assange case, by the way? Aren’t you a tad premature to be treating his guilt as a done deal?

  14. dudette

    I notice that nobody actually disputes the discrepancy between manufactured outrage at Bolt and desperate silence over Assange.

    Also, RobJ said:

    “dudette is one of these people who seems to think that if you want to criticise anything then you have to criticise everything.”

    Yes. It’s better known as consistent standards.

    Otherwise, one may question the motivation of the “outrage” as really having an alternate agenda – political bias.

    For example, another case in point.

    Bolt makes a one-line quip about the case and earns the manufactured outrage that is this article.

    Meanwhile, at the same time we see the Left-wing newspaper The Age running an entire article dedicated to politicizing the incident…

    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/a-sex-scandal-sure-to-play-into-the-hands-of-the-far-right-20110516-1ept4.html

    … barely finding room in the lengthy piece to condemn the hideous crime … and we don’t hear a word of tut-tutting or moralising finger-wavering from Dave.

    … not even when the article goes so far as to imply that it was all a set-up to bring down the up-and-coming Socialist candidate.

    Not a word or UPDATE in the blog post.

    Clearly, it’s all about gunning for Bolt. Who gives a rats about the victim’s rights or the crime’s hideous nature, right? Otherwise, this blog post, published on a website that purports to “expose the intellectual dishonesty, the flimsy arguments and the distorted data wherever they appear in the mainstream media”

    … would also have concentrated on the pathetic full article in today’s paper that seeks to minimise and trivialize what must be a traumatic incident.

    It just smacks of political bias.

    Go for Bolt over a sexual assault quip.

    Ignore Assange’s sexual assault victims.

    Ignore The Age’s inappropriate article that ignores a sexual assault victim.

  15. bis

    If rape is supposedly the result of men’s urge to procreate, what is it that is behind men’s urge to say stupid things on the internet?

    The cause in this case appears to be that the offender has taken issue with something he’s read, and being unable to formulate a rebuttal of any substance has been reduced to an insipid one-liner which amounts to the rather lame retort of ‘you are stupid’.
    I do so love a self-answering question.

  16. RobJ

    dudette is one of these people who seems to think that if you want to criticise anything then you have to criticise everything.

    Let’s for the sake of argument say your criticism of Dave is valid (even though it’s ridiculous), would you be able to point us to all your criticism of the right wing trollumnists? Would you?

    Didn’t think so!

  17. peter de mambla

    [If rape is supposedly the result of men’s urge to procreate, what is it that is behind men’s urge to say stupid things on the internet?]

    The urge to justify the “urge to procreate”. :p

  18. Holden Back

    dudette: Trolling on sexual crimes committed the course of consensual sex in Sweden – that’s cute!

  19. dudette

    Dave writes a strong (if self-righteous) piece.

    Funny thing is, I don’t recall him or any other writer here advocating so strongly for victims rights when the Prophet Assange was charged with similarly despicable crimes.

    Where was the outrage?

  20. Holden Back

    returnedman, @61 it’s all about frustration of the procreative urge, I’d guess.

  21. returnedman

    If rape is supposedly the result of men’s urge to procreate, what is it that is behind men’s urge to say stupid things on the internet?

  22. quantize

    [But one must take very great care not to fall into the trap of justifying violent or selfish behaviours by suggesting that “it’s natural” and therefore OK; as I’m sure bis will agree.]

    He shoulda said exactly that first…either way, it’s pointing out the bleeding obvious, and only justifies twits like Bolt writing what he does.

  23. monkeywrench

    I can see Bis’s point, that dominance and aggression are as much a part of the inbuilt male psyche as sexual desire ( and therefore procreation). But one must take very great care not to fall into the trap of justifying violent or selfish behaviours by suggesting that “it’s natural” and therefore OK; as I’m sure bis will agree.

  24. bis

    Confessions.

    I hope I don’t have to make this point again: I agree rape is motivated by dominance and control. That desire for dominance and control is a natural evolutionary part of the male sex drive that ensured survival of the species before the coming of morality and law.We are arguing at cross-purposes.
    Even today, after centuries of moral conditioning, in the most romantic of relationships the male’s notion of ‘ownership’ are never too far beneath the surface.
    I also add once again for RobJ, that men have found non-procreationary means to gratify their sex drive but this does not debunk the fact that said drive is an evolutionary mechanism to ensure procreation, whether consensual or otherwise.
    I say again, this is not to justify or excuse behaviors that violate our morals and laws of today.

  25. Holden Back

    So bis, when will we start reading of men raped by women – strictly for the genetic material, you understand?

  26. bis

    Rape is about power not procreation.

    Control and power are all components of the male sex drive and are part of the evolutionary mechanism to ensure procreation, whether consensual or not.

  27. confessions

    Thanks Rob, that’s what I meant.

    bis:

    I suggest you take a look at the literature review I’ve posted. Your views about motivation for rape being primarily a biological urge are simply not substantiated by the evidence base. In prison, in wars, in marriage, even in same sex relationships, sexual violence is primarily motivated by dominance, control, authority and power.

  28. RobJ

    [Of course rape “is a form” of procreation.]

    I’m going to speak for confessions and say she meant to say that procreation can result from rape. Rape is about power not procreation.

  29. bis

    Of course rape “is a form” of procreation.

    Confessions, that has been my point. I’m glad we agree on something.

    Your eg of rape in prisons is a very good debunker of this ‘biologically driven’ nonsense

    I disagree. Whilst the male sex drive is an evolutionary mechanism to ensure procreation and thus survival of the species, men have just found many other ways to gratify it.

  30. quantize

    Pointing out the procreative and biological component is an unhelpful, pointless and somewhat obvious observation – particularly given that nobody denies the issue of power.

    It’s unhelpful because it distracts from that main issue…and also blows some hot air under dills like Bolt.

    That’s my point Bis. Like it or lump it, i won’t be changing my view.

  31. dogspear

    Pedant hat? I’ve got a cape..

    Of _course_ there is a biological component. That factor’s level of contribution would differ in all cases, and in every case be overridden by the psychotic mental state of an emotionally crippled and deranged individual.
    The problem may be partly addressed with law and order, but put simply, the root of sociopathy has little to do with the law.
    Of course there is the question of what it is in our (often legally defined) culture that _still_ sees this behaviour occurring. It goes far deeper than obvious dehumanisation, degradation and desensitisation; fear is seen as a boon. Individuals capable of inducing fear have a genetic advantage in our society and accordingly, individuals better able to function in such a society will be favoured.

    Simple observable Darwinism.

    Yes; it’s about power and control and it doesn’t have to be that way.

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