We have a problem. No doubt about it. Women were raped in Cologne, Germany and the police tried to sweep it under the rug. It’s the same problem we’ve been having forever, in the colleges, in the military, and in society at large. Now we’re paying attention to it because the rapists are foreigners. When men of a different race or different religion act the same way our men act, suddenly it’s a problem. Because the violence wasn’t hidden in a fraternity house, because the violence wasn’t facilitated by quaaludes, suddenly it’s a problem. Not to go all feminist on y’all, but I warned you about this.
Was the violence deplorable? Yes. Was the violence criminal? Yes. Was it disgusting? Yes. Was it unspeakable? No. Why not? Because the perpetrators belong to a different class. We are allowed to speak about it because it reflects badly on the outsiders, the others. When it reflects badly on our own men, we suffer from self-serving myopia and amnesia. We choose not to see or to remember, because our women’s rights, their lives, are less valuable than our self-image. But when it reflects badly on the outsiders? Suddenly we are self-appointed executioners.
I will not apologize for rapists. No apology can be made. These men deserve to suffer the full weight of the law. We will find them. We will capture them. They will be made to answer for their actions. But we must ask ourselves why, after all this time, it is possible for rape to remain a taboo subject in our post-enlightenment civilization? If we’re against it, why not eradicate it? In North Africa and the Middle East women have no rights. A violent act against a woman is just vandalism. She is property, is she not? Her owner should have secured her from this eventuality. Right?
It is crucially important that this behavior be stopped. The only way to stop it is through universal education on sexual assault. Let there be no double standard. Let’s position police at public gatherings, armed with crowd control weapons. Let’s redouble our surveillance of high-risk, high-traffic areas. Let’s also educate our young men, foreign and domestic. They will be subject to the law, but they will also be aware of it. No right religion or culture denies the value of education. They will know unambiguously what the expectations are, and they will either abide by them or suffer the consequences.
This is a culture war. Our culture is going to win, but only if we stand up for it. That means standing up for it against every violation, whether by an immigrant or a millionaire. We cannot expect the newest members of our society to behave differently than Bill Cosby. If we believe in the rule of law, then we must enforce it across the board. A rapist is a rapist. There must be no ambiguity, no extenuating circumstances. The truth will come to light, as it did in this case. Let’s know where we stand.