Flat White

The ‘rape culture’ of Benjamin Law

13 September 2017

2:35 PM

13 September 2017

2:35 PM

There is nothing quite like the mention of ‘rape culture’ to send the Left into a paroxysm of rage. When one of their own commits this transgression though, they remain hypocritically silent. 

In the past week, Fairfax journalist Benjamin Law published his 25,000-word manifesto in defence of Safe Schools. If you don’t have time to wade through what Miranda Devine has described as a rather ‘turgid’ 80-page diatribe then here’s a quick summary in his own words:   

Now as others have pointed out, the tweet is both vile and offensive. I mean, who sits around reflecting on who they’d like to do that kind of thing too? What’s worse, when challenged about it, Law simply responded with the classic deflection, “Can’t you take a joke!” 

Since when is sexual violence, especially towards those you disagree with, in any way a laughing matter? What’s more, the Opposition Deputy Leader, Tanya Plibersek, has failed to denounce Law’s comments. Instead, she mechanistically parroted her familiar ‘media mantra’ that, “We’ve got to keep on drowning out the hate with love.”  

I’m sorry, Tanya, but that’s pretty lame and quite frankly, insufficient. As a leading female politician, this would have been the perfect opportunity to say how it is always wrong to joke about rape and especially violence against women. I have a daughter who’s just about to turn 18 and if I heard any bloke refer to her with those kinds of terms I know how I’d respond.

But maybe this is all just one great big inter-generational misunderstanding. You know, the same kind of ‘lost-in-translation’ excuse that Muslims come up with whenever they utter yet another misogynistic clanger. Because that’s the line that Law is running with right now. 

When someone called Law out on how the consistency of his logic could be just as validly applied against homosexual people the following Twitter exchange ensued: 

Nathan @NEB_84 

Sometimes wonder if ppl (sic) should hate-f–k all the lesbians if it meant they got the queerness out of the system. Sound classy the other way?  

Benjamin Law @mrbenjaminlaw 

Weird parallel. Not sure what it proves, but okay. 

Nathan @NEB_84 

Weird parallel? You’re pretty much endorsing rape when you talk of ‘hate f–king’ ppl (sic) that clearly won’t be consenting to sex 

Benjamin Law @mrbenjaminlaw 

Rape is non-consensual and nothing to be joked about. Hate f–king is a Gen Y term that refers to consensual sex with someone disagreeable. 

Benjamin Law @mrbenjaminlaw 

Apologies to point out the obvious 

So here we have the crux of Law’s attempt to defend the morally indefensible. Having sexual intercourse in a verbally aggressive and physically violent way with someone you find “disagreeable” is justified because he thinks it’s somehow or other consensual. Actually, it’s a malicious and violent act of sodomy against one of Australia’s elected leaders. This is on par with the guy found guilty of rape but stands before the judge at sentencing and says, “But your honour, she really wanted it!” 

I don’t know if he’s read the responses from all the MPs he wants to sodomise, but I’m yet to hear of one that might be open to, let alone looking forward to the opportunity. My personal favourite is Andrew Hastie’s. As a former captain in the SAS his response was brilliant: “Noting my skills acquired in my previous career I’d like to see him try!”  

Which brings us back to the real issue and that is Law’s glowing assessment of the Safe Schools initiative. Having now waded through his 80-page jeremiad (oh, for a good edit!) I’ve come to conclusion that, in keeping with Law’s logic, he really shouldn’t have a problem with those who vehemently oppose the so called “anti-bullying” program. Because this whole issue has just been one big “hate-f–k.” hasn’t it? I mean, I disagree with him, he disagrees with me but it’s all good because it’s actually been ‘consensual’ conversation … so what’s the big deal? 

There are so many factual inaccuracies in Law’s essay that it would require a separate article to address them all. However, one of the greatest ironies of all is that what Law accuses journalists over at The Oz of committing he does himself. And that is he doesn’t give any indication of speaking to someone on the opposite side of the debate but only those in his own echo chamber. Not a single one. As Law rightly says, “In journalism, it’s called a beat-up.” 

Ultimately though, Law has revealed how hypocritically inconsistent the Left are when dealing with their own – especially one as precious as their intellectual darling Benjamin. As Andrew Hastie went on to perceptively observe: “If anyone on the No campaign jokingly suggested using sex as a weapon against Yes campaigners, there’d be immediate calls for their resignation and marginalisation. Instead, this guy gets a 20,000-word platform from Quarterly Essay.” 

As one opposed to same-sex marriage let me shout it from the rooftops; all forms of bullying, let alone threats of sexual violence against anyone – men, woman, and especially children – are wrong and should never be the subject of jokes. But what the current debate has shown is that the ‘yes’ campaign is more and more becoming a Law unto themselves.   

Mark Powell is the Associate Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Strathfield. 

Cartoon: Ben R Davis.

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