In Defence Of… Patton Oswalt @pattonoswalt

Posted: May 11, 2013 in Feminism, Freedom of Speech, internet, misandry, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

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Earlier this week I watched (for the first time) American TV Show Justified, about a cop working in small town Kentucky, amidst gangsters, drug dealers and evangelical Christians. The episode I watched featured a great guest performance from well known American comic Patton Oswalt. He and his co-star played a lovely Stan and Olly routine as they bungled their way through some dodgy moonlighting police work, destined to go wrong.

The next thing I knew Oswalt was the subject of a Salon article by Molly Knefel chastising him for failing to speak out against rape and violence against women. Oswalt had previously defended Daniel Tosh against a feminist blogger who slammed him for making rape jokes. Feminists are angry with him for showing empathy for the victims of the Boston bombings, but not for women who are raped or assaulted (- by men. I don’t think this row is about lesbian rape). Knefel wrote in Salon:

‘What is challenging, though, is speaking out against the normalization of sexual violence, the degradation of women, and the role and responsibility that men have in either perpetuating or combating rape culture.’

Then over on twitter Oswalt got more stick for what? Not getting down on his knees and confessing his sins to the Good Lady of Feminism?

I am annoyed about how the feminists have picked on an individual man in the public eye, and seem to be taking him to task for a complex socio-cultural set of issues in society. He’s just a guy who makes jokes. He’s not Obama or Bono – he hasn’t set himself up as a spokesman or a moral crusader. But more so I am annoyed that feminist writers are peddling a narrative – again- about men, those dirty dogs, and women those poor innocent damsels. It’s very Mills and Boon in a funny kind of way. As I said in what became a rather ‘controversial’ article –  Rape Culture and Other Feminist Myths:

‘My instinct is that holding onto special victim status has some pay offs for feminists. They can continue to present gender politics as a binary opposition between men (potential rapists) and women (perpetual potential victims of rape). Basically, the concept of rape culture is misandrist, and it does not allow for the fact that women are sometimes perpetrators of sexual assault, and men are sometimes on the receiving end.’

I am glad Patton Oswalt stood up for himself to a degree, and didn’t let the feminist mob walk all over him. But I hope that one day, a high profile man (or indeed woman, or anyone who identifies however) actually takes on the myth of ‘rape culture’ and challenges the nasty misandry that underpins it. Women rape too. Men can be victims of rape. Violence in our culture has more men victims as a whole than women. More men commit suicide and suffer injuries at work than women. The ‘rape culture’ schtick is WRONG.

I of course say this often. But when I speak out against feminist rape culture fantasies people attempt to ‘silence’ me. I had my Rape culture myths piece taken down from The Good Men Project, and when I questioned feminist versions of rape culture over at cyborgology blog, my comments were deleted and I was chastised for being ‘unscholarly’. But its the dodgy statistics, misandry and – yes – hysterical premises of feminism’s precious ‘rape culture’ that is unscholarly.

Yes Patton Oswalt has a ‘platform’. But so does feminism. And when it comes to gender issues any man is at risk of being sent to the wolves if he speaks out of line. I believe any subject should be fair game for comedy. And I’ll be taking suggestions for jokes about feminists at the usual address. We could start with this lovely lady as inspiration:

h/t Henry for the Red video.

Comments
  1. mahmooa3 says:

    You say rape culture is non existent yet what about Jimmy Savile, Stuart Hall, William Roache, the guy who killed April Jones, the rise in sexual assaults in the millitary. I mean it seems to me that rape culture is not a myth but reality. And yes men do get raped too. I do not deny that but it seems that women tend to be victims of rape more often.

    • QRG/ Elly says:

      Hi well – three sexual assaults don’t make a rape culture in my book. And killing is killing – that’s murder which I’d say is more serious than rape!

      I don’t know the stats on sexual assaults in the military. But the military includes a lot of violence, not just rape. so for me that is not ‘rape culture’ its ‘violent culture’

      • mahmooa3 says:

        It was not three sexual assaults. Jimmy Savile abused over 300 people through the course of his lifetime. Stuart Hall has admitted to 14 incidents of sexual abuse. Also rape and violence are not seperate things but are interlinked. In fact rape can be viewed as a form of violence against women.

        • QRG/ Elly says:

          sorry I should have said ‘three sexual assaulters’. But anyway a few of the victims of those men were boys. and boys and men can be raped, so ‘rape can be viewed as a form of violence against women’ is not quite showing the whole picture.

    • tyciol says:

      > what about Jimmy Savile, Stuart Hall, William Roache, the guy who killed April Jones

      What about them? Some alleged serial rapists are male and this means rape culture is real? You don’t think there are women who have raped more than one man?

      >the rise in sexual assaults in the millitary

      Proven assaults, or alleged ones?

      >seems to me that rape culture is not a myth but reality

      It is, but not in the ways many say it to be. I would say ‘cultures’ rather than ‘culture’ singularly. It should be plural because there are many aspects of culture related to this. Not just minimizing rape against women, but also minimizing rape against men.

      It’s the latter that tends to be ignored in feminism’s idea of rape culture, and why it is opposed as some kind of definitive “the” rape culture BS.

      > it seems that women tend to be victims of rape more often.

      Key word: Seems. We don’t actually know this is true.

  2. Mike says:

    Greetings from Spain

    Keep on rockin’!

  3. Tristan says:

    As always an interesting perspective and worth a good read… P.S. I am Bono, all kneel and praise me.

  4. HyeKeen says:

    Ok, so I totally get wanting to make violence towards men and male rape bigger issues. I don’t think any violence is ok and we should be working to stop all forms of it. However, I respectfully disagree that there is no “Rape Culture,” especially in America. The recent spate of rapes in the US and the way in which the rapists document the rapes and use that documentation to once again demoralize the victim, is what I think of when I hear Rape Culture. See: http://www.salon.com/2013/05/20/worst_horrifying_new_trend_posting_rapes_to_facebook/

    Obviously these folks and their friends are a small subset of the larger culture in which raping someone is ok, and then posting about it is ok. Obviously not everyone engages in this, but when you add in all the hateful comments posted to rape stories – like “She deserved it,” “I’d like to rape her myself,” etc., this adds up to a very definite RAPE CULTURE in which rape is not taken seriously.

    Rape, in all its forms, needs to be talked about, dissected, and programs created to end rape in all its forms. And if you (general you, not you QRG specifically) deny that there is a Rape Culture, then in essence you’re part of the problem. Looking at the ways rape, denial rape responses, rape jokes, etc. are acceptable, will go a long ways to trying to figure out how to prevent it. And this goes for males and females alike!

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