Of all the people I have heard or read about who depend on alleged high levels of rape to maintain their careers, British SJW Laurie Penny is amongst the worst. Her entirely asymmetrical views on stopping rape and other catch-cry causes echo the rampant inconsistencies found in countless other feminists-for-pay. Yet if Laurie Penny and her fellow SJW apparatchiks were seriously concerned about the impact of rape on society and genuine victims, they would be protesting and bellowing slogans outside prisons every day. Why? Because (male) prison rape is higher in per capita terms (and arguably higher in raw terms as well) than rapes inflicted on women overall.
Laurie Penny’s silence or very muted criticism on “inconvenient rapes,” from the Rotherham race rapes to prison rape, amounts to nothing but victim-blaming. Whilst I admonish anyone who claims that we live in a “rape culture,” the strongest evidence one could muster to support its existence actually comes from male prisons. Even The Guardian, for which Penny unfortunately pens regular, incoherent columns, published a story about how, thanks to acts like prison rape, male victims of sexual assault outnumber female ones in the United States.
These figures are nothing short of astounding. Bear in mind that, despite the comparatively high US prison population, male inmates are vastly outnumbered by non-incarcerated women in the real world. If the raw number of male prison victims is so high, the per capita rates would be astronomical. For people so obsessed with the latest “reports” compiled after gerrymandered college surveys about “sexual assault,” Laurie Penny and Co. appear to be allergic to reading and acting upon information regarding rape against men.
In Penny’s own country of England, a smaller number of prisoners relative to the population says nothing about the likelihood of inmates being raped or sexually assaulted. The 1-in-100 sexual abuse figure cited by Britain’s Commission on Sex in Prisons, apparently “small,” is still much higher than the officially documented level of rapes and sexual assaults reported in the general community. Other research suggests much more alarming rates of British prison rape and sexual assault occur, ones which cannot be accurately gauged due to a lack of research and funding.
And when are these prison rapists ever prosecuted? The offenders are at the fingertips of the powers that be and are guarded around the clock. The allegedly lagging conviction rates for real life rapists are dwarfed by what could be said is a glaring reluctance of the authorities to bring prison rape cases to court.
Compare this to the amorphous claims of “rape” and “sexual assault” at colleges and universities. With nothing but he-said-she-said testimony usually, we are informed that levels of sexual violence against women, by men studying to become lawyers, doctors, engineers, journalists and other professions, are apparently at “record” levels. What gives?
Why is Laurie Penny so silent on “inconvenient” rapes?
Prison dramas in which the proverbial lunatics run the asylum, media-promulgated stories of rare inmate escapes, and investigative reports on incarcerated felons’ easy access to contraband like drugs may give the impression that the state has largely lost control of locked-up criminals. Nonetheless, this is almost always far from reality, at least in the Western world. Any victories your regular prison-based crime lord has over the system are outweighed by the number of times he must defecate in view of prison guards, get all his bodily cavities searched, or generally find his movement and activities thoroughly restricted.
Laurie Penny’s silences on issues such as prison rape, plus her casual dismissal of ethnic minority-committed sexual atrocities in places like Rotherham in England, which were deliberately covered up, speak volumes about her belief as to who is really a victim. Because the implicit “perpetrators” of rape at colleges or universities are seen as white and “privileged” males from the lower middle-class and above, their alleged female victims (victimhood usually being determined by either self-reported surveys or a watering-down of what sexual assault is) are allocated the highest rung on the ladder of sympathy. Even though we have scant or no evidence to support these on-campus claims of sexual violence, they are then used for draconian policies like the very euphemistic “affirmative consent.”
College and university dormitories have nowhere near the level of supervision and state control found in prisons. Nor should they. Until someone has been convicted of a crime, according to an appropriate and consistent standard of beyond reasonable doubt, people should be largely free to live in peace and exercise their own autonomy. This state control makes prison rape all the more unacceptable.
Why prison rape matters
Criminal punishment should be a) state-sanctioned and b) have a legitimacy that heavily depends on consistency. Rape has never been part of the toolbox for reprimanding offenders, whether by the state or individuals. In no sense should we accept cultural values in which prisoners, most often already extremely violent, are applauded or slapped on the wrist for raping and sexually assaulting other inmates. No one deserves to be raped, as feminists themselves say, so our outrage should not be smaller just because a victim has a criminal history.
Then there’s the disastrous effects related to recidivism. Prisoners who rape or sexually assault within the prison system are likely to commit the foulest of acts, and not just sexual crimes, once they are released. After all, if you can get away with it when the state is ostensibly supervising you 24/7, you will fancy your chances of escaping justice for all manner of other sadisms in the less monitored real world. One of the overarching reason for incarceration is to prevent criminals from committing more crimes, not further habitualizing those sorts of acts.
It seems that the only way to barter with Laurie Penny and others about rape in male prisons would be to suggest that the infinitesimally small number of rapists in society are more likely to have raped fellow inmates during any prison time they served. Because many prison rape perpetrators are nominally heterosexual, it is likely that the male-on-female rapes committed in the community are disproportionately committed by prison rapists. Though she should be advocating against rape irrespective of victims’ genitalia, these kinds of arguments are perhaps the only way to reach Laurie Penny.
Stand up for all actual victims–or shut the hell up
Grandstanding based on partisan or selective representations of rape and other violence is not rape advocacy. It is a very narrow channel for propping up a self-serving career or creating instant hysteria that generates quick-fire article views and book sales.
To be taken seriously, Laurie Penny and others like her must genuinely and unequivocally condemn all forms of rape, regardless of someone’s genitalia or history. Yet they will not do this, which explains why they are perversely focused on men ogling women as expressions of “rape culture” and not real rape like in prisons and in Rotherham.