Tuesday, June 10, 2014

George Will: Sexual Assault Victim Is Now A "Coveted Status"

From Media Matters, courtesy of Eschaton:

In a June 7 syndicated op-ed which appeared in The Washington Post and the New York Post, Will dismissed "the supposed campus epidemic of rape, aka 'sexual assault,'" arguing that the definition of sexual assault was too broad because it could include "nonconsensual touching" and disputing the evidence that shows 1 in 5 women experience sexual assault on campuses in the U.S., implying that individuals were pretending to be victims because colleges have made victimhood a "coveted status."

More here.

I'm not really sure who decides such things, but I think it's safe to say that George Will is a fairly representative example of what constitutes a "conservative intellectual." You know, a smart guy in glasses who wears a bow tie and uses fifty dollar words instead of Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly's five dollar words. Well, okay. But I'm really starting to think that there's actually no such thing as a "conservative intellectual."

No, seriously. Here's a decent definition of "intellectual" from Wikipedia:

"The intellectual is a specific variety of the intelligent, which unlike the general property, is strictly associated with reason and thinking. Many everyday roles require the application of intelligence to skills that may have a psychomotor component, for example, in the fields of medicine, sport or the arts, but these do not necessarily involve the practitioner in the 'world of ideas'. The distinctive quality of the intellectual person is that the mental skills, which he or she demonstrates, are not simply intelligent, but even more, they focus on thinking about the abstract, philosophical and esoteric aspects of human inquiry and the value of their thinking."
I don't see "conservative intellectuals" doing that so much these days.

As various conservative positions have become increasingly absurd over the last fifteen to twenty years, we've seen the accompanying absurd spectacle of various conservative writers and essayists contorting themselves into ever more complicated knots of irrationality in their attempts to provide some brain-backing to that which cannot be rationally supported. I mean, the New York Times' Ross Douthat is almost fun to read, what with his high school sophomore debate team musings and all, but the Times' other conservative guy, David Brooks, is the funnest of all: Brooks is actually smart, and when you read between the lines of his work, you can almost feel his squirming discomfort as he tries, almost always unsuccessfully, to make stupid bullshit look like solid thinking. Poor guy. He should just quit the movement. He's not really a part of it anymore.

George Will, however, is just a buffoon. He's always been a buffoon, a monkey dressed like a nerd. And, as his latest offering clearly demonstrates, he's a woman hating sexist, asserting that rape is actually just drunken college hijinks, and that men are the real victims. I mean, the guy tries to get us to believe that survey data and reported incidents are the same thing, and then bases much of his argument on the notion that the extremely high number of sexual assaults women endure is just some sort of liberal propaganda plot.

There's nothing "intellectual" about that at all. And nerd glasses and bow ties won't do a damned thing to change that.

Monkey in a nerd suit.