When a woman is raped and murdered, like Eurydice Dixon, there seems to be a general consensus that the man responsible is a moral specimen of the lowest possible order. Everybody hates rapists. So far, non-controversial.
The controversy comes over the rightful extent of the blame. To blame the perpetrator alone, or to extend the blame to all men? According to a male feminist writing at the Age, violence against women is a men’s issue, and all men are in some measure responsible for the actions of the few. #YesAllMen.
The solution is another matter, though. We’ve heard that we should educate men not to rape. As if raping and murdering a girl in a park at night was an innocent mistake that you could fix with education. Rapists know that rape is wrong, and they do it anyway. That’s not a problem you can fix by education, or even by peer pressure and refusing to laugh at sexist jokes, a la the Age (seriously?). That is the age-old problem of human evil.
There comes a point when mere words are insufficient against human evil. That’s when you reach for a big stick.
A Facebook commentator proposed just such an approach.
Notice something about his attitude, though? It sounds so patriarchal! As if he thinks women are vulnerable and in need of male protection. That’s supposed to be a thing of the past, is it not?
It does follow, though. If we blame all men, if it’s their problem and we’re not just saying that for the sake of a good whinge, then surely it must be their problem to fix.
And you don’t fix human evil with words alone. I doubt that a serial rapist would be deterred by your refusal to laugh at sexist jokes.
If all men are to blame for rape, then we’re returning to the patriarchy.
It’s your XYZ.