On Zerlina Maxwell, Rape, and Homo Neanderthalensis

Zerlina Maxwell was recently on Hannity to talk about rape and “gun control.” [LINK: Zerlina Maxwell on Hannity – YouTube] to Maxwell’s point was that men should be taught “not to rape.”  In typical Hannity fashion he refused to allow her to speak, constantly interrupting her and refusing to recognize the point she was trying to make.  Hannity refused to allow Maxwell to make her point.  Maxwell’s point? Women shouldn’t be charged with the responsibility of stopping rape once it starts – men should be charged with the responsibility of not raping women in the first place.

My point is Maxwell’s point – men should be taught not to rape.  Rape cases far too often focus on the woman in the case, the victim.  It shouldn’t be the responsibility of the woman to defend herself from being raped.  It should be the responsibility of the rapist to not rape.

Hannity, during his constant interruptions of Maxwell, tried to make a point which is commonly used in political discourse saying that “You think you can tell a rapist to stop doing what he is doing?… And he is going to listen to an ad campaign to stop?”*  Hannity implies that a rapist is a rapist and at no point was he anything other than a rapist.  At no point does one become a rapist, he merely is a rapist.

The problem is in regarding a rapist as though they were always a rapist, and more generally a criminal as always a criminal.  Rapists are not born rapists – they are not forged from stone and steel like a sword made for raping. Continue reading

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Legitimate and Valid Success: In Defense of Video Games

Video games and video game players seem to often be met with hostility.  One friend has posited, on more than one occasion, that people who play video games should “think of what else you could be doing.” He is, of course, meaning that there are far more meaningful and powerful ways to spend one’s time.  A person could be out in the “real” world taking “real” world action, rather than sitting in front of a television screen playing video games (although it should be noted that he has a rather extensive collection of television box sets within his apartment).

Another person I know, while not a friend but an acquaintance, once remarked to me: “I don’t understand [how my daughter knows angry birds so well].  I only let her play five minutes of video games a day.”  She seemed worried and confused.  She couldn’t understand how, or why, her daughter was so familiar with the video game characters from Angry Birds.  (It is worth noting that her daughter was home schooled).

These sentiments seem to be broad and overwhelming at times and video games themselves are never more controversial than in the wake of violent events like the Newtown shooting.  But while the video game violence is often the subject of debate and controversy I will not be talking about the violence to be found in video games.  Rather I’m going to talk about the success and achievement made possible in video games.  More so, the success that is to be found in both violent and non-violent video games alike. Continue reading