For some reason, feminists who hold beauty pageants in contempt were watching the Miss USA Pageant the other night when Miss Nevada Nia Sanchez, a 4th-degree black belt in taekwondo, responded to a question about sexual assaults on campus. She had the temerity to recommend that women learn to defend themselves, and the resulting outrage reveals just how badly modern feminism is serving today’s young women.
The 24-year-old Miss Sanchez was asked why a “horrific epidemic” of campus sexual assaults has been “swept under the rug for so long” and what colleges can do to combat it. The question seemed designed to steer her toward discussing the “rape culture” in which feminists believe we live, but Miss Sanchez didn’t take the bait. Instead, she replied that perhaps colleges themselves have suppressed this reputation-damaging information, and that one thing women can do is be prepared to fight back: “I learned from a young age that you need to be confident and be able to defend yourself, and that’s something that we should start to implement for a lot of women.”
This message of self-empowerment for women elicited a roar of approval from the audience, but didn’t sit well with feminists at home. They took to Twitter to express their horror and disappointment at what they considered, incredibly, to be “victim-shaming.” Here are some tweeted gems of self-delusion collected at Twitchy.com:
I’m sorry, but women shouldn’t need to take self defense classes to protect themselves from rape #MissUSA
Miss Nevada, who just reinforced victim-blaming rape culture to millions of viewers, is crowned #MissUSA 2014
Miss Nevada was asked about rape at colleges and answered that women need to learn to defend themselves… OR MEN COULD JUST NOT RAPE.
Not happy w/ Miss Nevada’s answer that to stop rape we should teach women to defend themselves...Why don’t we teach men to not rape?
Miss Nevada described how individuals need to protect themselves from rape, instead of teaching others not to rape. Stop the victim blaming.
Sick of hearing “women need to learn selfdefense from sexual violence” We need a culture we don’t have to defend ourselves from
Women shouldn’t need to learn to protect themselves against rape #missnevada educate and respect yourself as a woman #rapeculture
Really Miss Nevada? We should combat rape with self defense? Rape culture wins again
Hey Miss Nevada- how about instead of woman learning to protect themselves, men learn to not rape women?
Miss Nevada: How is it a woman’s responsibility to learn to protect herself from rape? #MissUSA2014 #getaburkatoo
Where is the logic in such inane comments? Miss Sanchez trained in taekwondo for 12 years but doesn’t respect herself as a woman? Acquiring a 4th degree black belt is equivalent to wearing a burqa? Refusing to be a victim is the same as blaming the victim? Men should just be taught not to rape? The sheer brainwashed density of Miss Sanchez’s young critics – mostly female – is alarming confirmation that modern feminism is not about empowering women but about ensuring their victim status and attacking men instead.
What is rape culture? It is the feminist theory that sexual assault becomes normalized when a culture condones the objectification and trivialization of women. You almost cannot read anything about today’s strained standoff between the sexes without encountering the accusation that America has a rape culture and that all men are literal or latent rapists who need to be deprogrammed out of their acculturated misogyny.
Americans don’t have a rape culture. We have a culture that considers rape a heinous violent crime. We have a culture so unforgiving of rape that even false accusations of it ruin men’s lives. We don’t “teach” men to rape, and in any case the vast majority of American males would never even consider such a depraved act, unlike what misandrists insist.
According to 2013 Bureau of Justice statistics, the estimated annual rate of female rape or sexual assault victimizations in this country declined 58% from 1995 to 2010. To cite this is certainly not to trivialize the terrible violation that is rape; nor is it to suggest that anything more than zero sexual assaults is acceptable. It is only to emphasize that not only are we not enmeshed in a rape culture, but things seem to be improving significantly.
However, there are violent deviants who will and do rape, and the world will never rid itself of that minority of evil men. That’s just the way the world is and always has been. For feminists to say that women shouldn’t have to live in a world where the threat of assault exists is like saying that we shouldn’t have to live in a world where murder and theft exist. The reality is that we do live in such a world, so you had better be prepared to do more than just soil yourself to ward off attackers, as some unhelpful feminists suggest. To believe that we can simply teach that rape is unconscionable – which we already do – and that the crime will then disappear is a childish and dangerous utopian fantasy.
I have two very young daughters. If the feminist solution to empowering them is to disempower them, to keep them unprepared to resist assault, and to suggest they be patient until utopia arrives rather than confront reality head-on, then I won’t be raising feminists. I’ll be raising strong, confident young women like Nia Sanchez with the dignity and skills to refuse to be victims.
(This article originally appeared here on FrontPage Mag, 6/10/14)