Sunday, December 12, 2010

Truest statement of the week

If Wolf wants to get a little full of herself, that's one thing. If she wants to make a point about how easily, how frighteningly the Espionage Act can be exploited, fair enough. But a woman who knows all too well the bitter mudslinging one can endure for accusing a man of sexual misconduct (as Wolf herself did) might want to give another woman the benefit of the damn doubt. She might want to consider -- just consider -- that while Interpol's response to Julian Assange may have been politically motivated, the accusers' might not have been.

Perhaps we should have seen this coming. Two years ago, when Wolf was criticizing the Bush administration for sex crimes committed at Abu Ghraib, she explained that "having worked at a rape crisis center and been trained in the basics of sex crime, I have learned that all sex predators go about things in certain recognizable ways." That must have been a hell of a crisis center. Because I did not know that all predators are exactly alike. I did not know that gray areas regarding consent do not exist! Thank you, Naomi! And now, in 2010, I did not know that she has the magical ability to determine whether a man is a sexual assailant or just the victim of two angry chicks.

Nobody ever said feminism means the person with the vagina is always right and the one with the penis is always wrong -- unless I just didn't get that version of the Manifesto. And, indeed, throughout her career, Naomi Wolf has been wrong plenty of times. Like, say, this week, when she condescendingly dismissed a rape allegation by comparing it to a guy who "did not notice that his girlfriend got a really cute new haircut -- even though it was THREE INCHES SHORTER." Yes, sex crime and not giving sufficient props for your girlfriend's hairdo are exactly the same, Naomi Wolf. Also, can I just say, on behalf of every person, male or female, who has ever been sexually coerced, victimized or assaulted, one thing? Blow me.

-- Mary Elizabeth Williams, "This week in crazy: Naomi Wolf" (Salon).
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