Thank you for offering such a clear demonstration of my argument. You disagreed (which by itself is no big deal), proceeded to take it personally, offered the least charitable interpretation of my argument you could think of, and then went on to make assumptions about my personal history without the benefit of any evidence to support them.

First of all, I’m pro-choice and think everyone, regardless of sex, has every reason to be upset when medical decisions are taken out of the hands of patients and their physicians by those using the law as a means to impose their own personal moral code upon women. The article nowhere ever implies otherwise.

I just happen to believe that the argument against sexual discrimination is so powerful and so relatively easy to make that there is absolutely no reason we should be afraid of engaging with those who believe it’s appropriate to legally prohibit certain medical decisions or make other spaces for discrimination on the basis of sex. The same is true when it comes to discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, race, etc. Let those who disagree speak on campuses or elsewhere. Challenge them forcefully but respectfully during events after they’ve made their case. Make it obvious to everyone you can what the flaws in their arguments are. Don’t hold protests demanding they be disinvited to speak or shout them down. Don’t silence them on the grounds that the victims of current or past injustices are so weak and powerless that the only proper response is to coddle them. They are strong people with experiences everyone should hear. Engage, persuade, confront with respect and intellect but without reservation.

Next, I find it ironic that a self-described “justice warrior” would be so quick to assume that “I will never be someone who was raped.” This makes assumptions about both my past and my future which you have no basis for. Had I made such a remark in response to something you had written without you first making it publicly clear that you had, in fact, “never been raped” you would be totally justified in pointing out that I have no idea what you’ve been through and that I am demonstrating an almost total lack of regard for any possible past trauma you may have endured.

As I’m sure you’re aware, thousands of young boys have been the victim of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church alone. Sadly, this abuse is not limited either just to boys or just to the Catholic Church. Untold numbers of children have experienced and still regularly experience sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Granted, women are more often the victim of sexual assault than men, but numerous men have been sexually assaulted as well. In addition to abuse by religious authorities, there have been many well-documented instances of high school and university “hazing” as one of the more publicized forms of this abuse.

Had you been truly concerned with providing the victims of rape or other forms of abuse, no matter who they might be, with compassion and safe places to deal with this completely unacceptable treatment you would not have leaped to the conclusion you do in your response to me. However, as my article attempts to make clear, these types of reactions are more typically about demonizing those with whom there is a difference of opinion/perspective and shouting them down, not exhibiting compassion. It’s all about avoiding meaningful dialogue, an illiberal attitude if ever there was one. Justice has little to do with it.

US citizen residing in British Columbia, Canada. Degrees include anthropology and environmental studies. Activism, politics, science, nature.

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