One thing that metaphorically chaps Auntie M’s teats on a daily basis is the sheer number of successful people in this country whose half-cocked assumptions about gender and sex remain entirely unexamined. This week’s subject of teat-chappery is former MLB star Jose Canseco, who was accused of raping a woman late last week. Canseco’s statement to the press:
“I think you guys have to realize one thing — I don’t have to rape a woman. I think it’s ridiculous. We’re putting together polygraph examinations and trust in me, the truth will always come out. And when I do these polygraphs, it’s almost laughable for an individual to say I raped them and drugged them at the same time.”
Leave aside for a moment that the Desperate Horny Men Who Need to Rape hypothesis is a fantasy of hack TV procedural writers and isn’t borne out by reality.
Canseco apparently believes that there are some poor schlubs in the world who are so desperate to have their dongles touched that rape is their only option. His statement revolves around the notion that he’s not One Of Those Guys. Feminist writers have coined the term “unrapeable” to describe a class of women (usually sex workers, drunk or provocatively-dressed women or girls, or feminist bloggers who are too ugly to get laid) who are met with a society-wide skepticism when they report an assault. Canseco is attempting to embody a counterpart to that trope: the man who is so suave, so desirable, so universally appealing that no woman would ever say no to him.
Just so we’re clear: this mythical man has never actually existed in real life.
Canseco’s statement also implies a belief that the very fact of whether or not rape occurred is determined by the accused rapist and not by the alleged victim. Even if polygraph tests worked the way we commonly understand them to (they don’t), and were able to suss out an accused perpetrator’s credibility (they can’t), all we’d know is that the perp thought he wasn’t raping anybody. It’s like saying “I didn’t steal your car, I borrowed it without asking.” Sir, I beg to differ.
The Internet already discussed so-called “gray rape” and sexual miscommunication following an unsettling episode of Girls earlier this year, so I’ll just offer a pro-tip to any readers who are still unclear on the subject of consent: Anything short of an enthusiastic “Yes” ought to be accepted with the same maturity and respect you’d show the bartender who says “Sorry, we don’t serve Coors Light.” Pay your tab and move on to the next bar.
And for what it’s worth, Canseco passed his polygraph test.