Date-Rape Columnist Adds Race To His Conversational Repetoire

Illustration for article titled Date-Rape Columnist Adds Race To His Conversational Repetoire

Alex Knepper's claim that "date rape is an incoherent concept" continues to make waves, this time with an interview in which he says people of color are anti-gay, but at least smart enough not to get raped.

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In an interview with Andrew F. of The New Gay, Knepper says the angry response to his column has "knocked some of the elitism out of me." He elaborates:

Almost unanimously from racial minorities I've received support. Racial minorities are used to living in a world with risks. They're more used to reading signals when partaking in risky behaviors. These wealthy, upper-class white suburbanites have never had any problems in their lives and have never bothered to read any philosophy, literature, history, or psychology, and so they don't even have the intellectual background to understand it.

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He's laying on the stereotypes pretty thick here, perhaps intentionally — people of color lead lives of danger, white people have no problems — but what's really interesting is when his generalizations nearly cancel each other out. He says the Democratic Party is often anti-gay, and explains:

Honestly, it's because they're beholden to the cultural interests of racial minorities which are overwhelmingly anti-gay. That's the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. Black people voted against proposition eight 85 to 15. No one wants to talk about this. The Democrats can't make a move on this because they're going to piss off a third of their constituency. It's terrible, the Democrats really can't make moves on anything because they have such heterogeneous constituencies, all with clashing interests and linked together only by their sense of victimhood. If they lose that connection, they lose the entire coalition. And that's why nothing ever gets done, not only for blacks or Hispanics but for gays.

Knepper isn't the first to make this point about Prop. 8, but he may be the first to praise minorities for their attitudes on date rape while lambasting them for their homophobia. I guess what Knepper is saying here is that minority readers have been supportive of his column but that minorities in general aren't supportive of his lifestyle, but the stereotypes he has to invoke to make both points (cf. "sense of victimhood") are pretty staggering. I could go on and on about the nonsense straw feminists Knepper sets up, about his racial assumptions, and about his continued claims that he and only he knows what is hot in sex. Instead, I'd rather move the conversation forward by quoting from Men Can Stop Rape's press release on Knepper's original column. After noting that "Rape is not an 'incoherent concept' for the estimated one in four college women who will be raped by classmates, boyfriends, friends, or dorm-mates during their college career," the organization lists "five things men can do to prevent date rape. Note that none have anything to do with girls drinking less or wearing modest clothing:

1. Does kissing mean that a person wants to have sex? How do you know? When a situation is unclear, asking before you act will ensure safe and healthy sex for everyone.
2. Accept when consent is withdrawn. Even after a person has given their consent, that person can withdraw it at any time. We all deserve the right to change our minds.
3. If a person is drunk or high and can't give consent, back off and wait until you both are sober.
4. You've heard of designated drivers. Now use the same principle to prevent rape. At a party, designate someone among your group of friends to keep an eye on a guy that might be behaving in ways that could lead to sexual violence.
5. You probably will never see a rape in progress, but you will hear attitudes and see behaviors that degrade women and promote a culture of violence. When your friend tells a rape joke, let him know it's not funny.

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I'd like to add: if your friend, like Knepper, claims that women who go to parties are to blame for their own rape, explain why he (or she) is wrong.

Image via CBS.

The Lives of Otters: A Conversation With Alex Knepper [The New Gay]
Press Release: Date Rape Is A Crime, Not An "Incoherent Concept" [Men Can Stop Rape]
Rape Article Meant To Foster Dialogue [CBS]

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Earlier: "'Date Rape' Is An Incoherent Concept": Blaming The Victim, American U. Edition
"The Rules Of Anonymous Sex:" American U. Columnist Responds To Rape Apology Charges

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DISCUSSION

This guy is not serious, right? This is an elaborate piece of performance art, right? Or, as someone downthread stated, an audition for some punditry position that has yet to be advertised? Because this tool did not follow up blaming women for their own assaults and claim that male/female relations are just so darned convoluted and ambiguous that the whole concept of acquaintance rape is "incoherent", with the assertion that whites are just too privileged to be able to ascertain danger, which is somehow related to one's level of knowlege in the liberal arts....ok, I don't get that one either...moving on. No, its that blacks are much more attuned to danger because they live in a world of risk...so how does this explain that black women have consistently had comparable levels of reported sexual assault to white women, but are more likely than white women to be raped by an acquaintance, or current or former intimate? Wait...does that contradict his entire premise? Oh, well never mind then.

After all, it obviously doesn't matter that not only are his Prop 8 stats wrong, but his conclusions are wrong as well. But this convenient blame-homophobic-blacks-for-Prop-8's passage has been deconstructed and debunked by persons far more patient than I. I will instead remind Mr. Knepper that, last time I checked, it was possible to be both black and gay. And that the whole concept of minority group "victimhood" is mealy-mouthed, intellectually dishonest bullshit that's been shilled as a money-making tool by smarter and more telegenic rightwing douchebags than you for years.

Look, Alex, this whole crap is so behind the times. Didn't Katie Roiphe mine this vein almost twenty years ago? Didn't Dan Savage beat you to the "blacks hate gays" party, and then take off his hat and go home? And I defy you to explain how being able to distinguish Heidegger from Kierkegaard helps protect one in risky situations. Face it, Alex. You're just not ready for this. Go home, order a catalog from Regnery Publishing, watch more Fox News, listen to Uncle Rush and Aunt Annie, and in general, brush up on your asshattery, because right now, you ain't tall enough to ride this ride.