Peter Hitchens is a Piece of Shit

Thanks to Sunless Nick for pointing me to Melissa’s response to this jaw-dropping piece of published misogyny (trigger warning).

You should read Melissa’s response, because it’s good and I haven’t got the strength today.  I will say three (relatively) quick things.

Firstly, I’m really sick of this idea that one can put “there’s no excuse for rape” in front of any statement, and that will magically make it non-victim-blaming.  I commented about this on this thread.  It’s as though people think that simple phrase, or alternately “of course a woman is never to blame,” means that anything following those words is somehow not misogynistic and entirely socially acceptable. I called it the cousin of the “I’m not racist/homophobic/sexist, but . . .” comments.  People think that if you say “I’m not racist” first, it’s totally okay to say something racist.  It’s the theory that Hitchens is using in this hateful piece of garbage.  And it needs to stop.

Secondly, when Hitchens attempts to prove that he’s not really a victim-blamer, I think this sentence — in the middle of an article about rape — gives us all the information we need about his motives for this entire article: “If women want to dress provocatively, then they should be free to do so, and I say thanks a lot to those who do.” I don’t even feel the need to elaborate — you’re smart people, I’m sure you can figure it out.

Lastly, in the same way that anti-choicers who rail about how feminists have abortions for fun irrationally and momentarily make me want to get pregnant and have an abortion just to spite them, Peter Hitchens’ crap about how women shouldn’t be allowed to drink without being raped and deserve less sympathy when they are (think he’d have this same point of view if he, a man, were that victim?) makes me irrationally and momentarily want to develop a drinking problem just because it’s my goddamn right.

It also momentarily makes me feel like stabbing.  It’s lucky that I’m not a violent person — and that Hitchens will most likely never cross my path while he’s drunk, because apparently in that case such undoubtedly wrong actions would be completely excusable.

0 thoughts on “Peter Hitchens is a Piece of Shit

  1. Kira

    He leaves a comment in the thread following his article. The juxtaposition between his comment, and the comment immediately preceding his (by Emma), is heartbreaking.

    Reply
  2. Cara Post author

    Of course we “missed his point.” After all, he used that magical phrase I talked about that makes him not responsible for anything else he said. Didn’t you see the magical sentence, you stupid women? It’s right there! He didn’t say that men weren’t responsible — just that the women had it coming, which is indirectly the same exact thing, and is either way a vile repulsive statement. See — the magical phrase! Don’t we know the rules?

    I wish him pain and suffering. That might make me a bad person, but I really do.

    Reply
  3. Lemur

    Wow, I wrote a post about 2 prize-winning douchebags on my blog, and here’s yet another one popping up! It’s almost like the world’s full of them, or something! No… maybe it’s coincidence?
    What an annoying, sticky little man.

    Reply
  4. ali

    This passage says it all for me:

    … ‘a victim of rape is not in any way culpable due to alcohol consumption’.

    This is flatly untrue and she must know it is. Of course she is culpable, just as she would be culpable if she crashed a car and injured someone while drunk, or stepped out into the traffic while drunk and was run over.

    Is this guy related to CHRISTOPHER Hitchens? Because that Hitchens uses equally magical logic in his equally ridiculous arguments.

    In Petie’s imaginary scenarios, the woman is committing a crime by driving drunk; being raped is not a crime. She’s also being the doer by driving, not the done-to (to speak in annoying semantics). So that scenario is patently unrelated to being raped after you’ve been drinking.

    As for the second one, I would assume that the imaginary driver(s) who hit this imaginary drunk woman wandering into traffic wouldn’t swerve out of their way TO HIT HER. They’d probably try to avoid anyone in the street, drunk or sober. … Whereas a rapist will actively seek out his prey.

    His supposedly relevant examples, which I’m sure he thinks are oh so apropos, make no sense in his argument.

    Reply
  5. Wendy

    Jaw dropping is right – I’m actually struck dumb by this inane “article.” And how about when he writes this (emphasis is mine):

    So I suppose we must resign ourselves to the fact that a growing slice of our taxes will be handed over to victims of unsolved rapes, while rape itself increases – the inevitable result of the collapse of sexual morality.

    Does this moron not understand that rape is not about sexual immorality – it is NOT a crime about sex – it is a crime about VIOLENCE and CONTROL. Sexual immorality has nothing to do with anything (and his comment made me wondering whose sexual immorality he was referring to … certainly he could not be implying that WOMEN’S sexual immorality means they are raped more often!??!!).

    I’m aghast that crap like this is published and that there are people who might be nodding their heads in agreement.

    Geez – it makes me sick.

    Reply
  6. SunlessNick

    This is what I said in the comment thread; we’ll see if it gets through moderation:

    ——

    I buy expensive security for my car and my house so as to protect them best from thieves. Sure I’d like to think I could leave my front door open and the ignition keys in but if my house was burgled and my car stolen then I’d deserve less sympathy than my neighbour who took better care. (Tony)

    Would be as willing to equate vandalism and castration as you are theft and rape?

    Peter actually compared it to a drunk woman “walking out in front of a car and getting hit”. She was at least partly cuppable as she was drunk. Even though she is still the victim. (Paul Jones)

    He made both comparisons, driver and pedestrian. But neither is on the mark – rape is a crime with malicious intent – the accurate comparison would be a drunk woman who is less able to get out the way of a driver who mounts and AIMS their car at her.*

    there are far too many reasons why a woman might cry rape (especially in this hysterical age) that to ruin a mans life at the onset of a possible case by revealing only his name to the press (Michael Savell)

    The conviction rate for rape in the UK is about 6%. In the meantime, a woman who accuses a man of rape has a 100% chance of getting treatment that accompanies no other crime: she’ll be blamed, she’ll be lectured on what she did wrong and what else she coulda shoulda woulda done, she’ll have her every sexual choice before or after the alleged crime dissected, she’ll be told he couldn’t have meant it because he’s just not really like that, she’ll be told it’s not that serious really and can’t she just let it go for the good of all, she’ll be questioned for her determination to ruin a man’s life for what was really just one little mistake; and that’s from the people who believe her and think they’re on her side.

    I find it hard to credit there being an epidemic of women who would put themselves through that for a 6% chance of convicting a guy, just because they’re angry with him or afraid of being called sluts; they’ll be called sluts anyway.

    Likewise, I find it hard to credit the notion of “censorship” from the Left, from feminists, or the so-called PC brigade, or anyone else, because almost every single article on the subject of rape is like this.

    ——

    * I didn’t invent this. That was a commentator on another forum, whose name I cannot recall unfortunately, and whose comment I can’t find right now.

    Reply
  7. SunlessNick

    Thanks to Sunless Nick for… – Cara

    You’re welcome; if that’s the appropriate response to something so horrible.

    The juxtaposition between his comment, and the comment immediately preceding his (by Emma), is heartbreaking. – Kira

    There’s an earlier comment from an Emma too, a different Emma I believe. I was going to summarise it, but I think I should quote her; she says, “The comments agreeing with peter make me so sad as a young girl. I see now all men want to rape me and are waiting for the moment to do this. This makes me never want to date or marry. Men are all just potential monsters.”

    Which is also heartbreaking. No doubt Hitchens and his kind would blame this perception on feminism, but they are the ones who teach it. They are the ones who remove male choice and conscience from the narrative, treating rape as an all-but-autonomic response to a vulnerable woman.

    Reply
  8. SunlessNick

    Sorry for the string of posts, but it was Shakesville commentator HeatherMae who made the intentional-running-down analogy I used.

    Reply
  9. Cara Post author

    Yeah, I looked for Emma when Kira said that, and saw that Emma first, too. I actually found that one a bit more heartbreaking. Absolutely no rational reason for it that I can think of at the moment. It just hit me pretty hard.

    Reply
  10. Kira

    Ok. I never saw the clear connection between these two things before, and now thanks to Cara and SunlessNick, I have:

    Misogynists say feminists paint all men as rapists.

    But the misogynists are actually the ones doing this, because in their rape-apologism, they paint “rape as an all-but-autonomic response to a vulnerable woman” (quoting SunlessNick’s excellent take-down).

    So obvious, but never saw it before. Thanks you two!

    Reply
  11. Cara Post author

    Hooray! It’s a very important point. Though, while I’ve said the same thing in the past, I think Sunless Nick actually deserves the credit for that one here!

    Reply
  12. Lisa Harney

    And then some (usually radical) feminists do say that all men are rapists…which just doesn’t help. And Kira’s still right about how misogynists do it more.

    Anyway, this:

    Firstly, I’m really sick of this idea that one can put “there’s no excuse for rape” in front of any statement, and that will magically make it non-victim-blaming.

    I saw so much of this with Angie Zapata. People would say “there’s no excuse for murder, but she was deceiving him…” and expected a pass on that, too. Victim blaming is such a predictable activity. 😦

    Reply
  13. Pingback: Rape myths, rape myth acceptance, and community perceptions of victims of sexual violence — Hoyden About Town

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