Stanford rape case highlights misogyny in society

Kate Manne, an assistant professor of philosophy at Cornell University, studies moral and feminist philosophy. Her upcoming book “Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny,” analyzes misogyny in contemporary American society. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Time Literary Supplement, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Huffington Post. Manne says that the Stanford rape case shows how sympathy for the rapist endures, at the expense of the victim. 


Manne says:

“Brock Turner, 20, treated a young woman, 23, like a piece of meat, raping her behind a dumpster while she was unconscious. His father’s chief concern? That Brock doesn’t even enjoy steak anymore, having lost his appetite. Many women lost theirs, reading the father’s statement.

“This case vividly illustrates one of the ways in which misogyny stays in business: excessive sympathy and subsequent reluctance to punish the men who commit acts of misogynist abuse and sexual violence. This comes at the expense of remotely adequate moral concern and sympathy with the women who are their victims. Both the judge and the father erased the victim from the narrative entirely. In this case, however, the victim refused to be silenced. Her powerful testimony interrupts the ‘nice guy’ narrative by explaining, in plain terms, what Brock Turner did to her.

“Dan Turner, Brock’s father, says his son is fully committed to educating others about ‘the dangers of alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity.’ But Brock Turner is not an appropriate spokesperson against sexual violence at this juncture. He needs a moral education before attempting to dispense one. And he needs, by the sound of it, to take responsibility and stop seeing himself as the victim in these events – enabled, again seemingly, by a grossly indulgent parent.”


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