The Duke (NON) Rape case has been nothing so much as a sociology lesson for the United States that the Duke liberal arts faculty seized on to educate us all. Lots of writers have touched on this theme--that the story was the story, the narrative of race and power and money relations in modern America all wrapped up in the gang rape of a black stripper by privileged white athletes.
The aggressive misogynist, racist young men, basking in the privilege inherent in being white and male and American in America where paternalism reigns, men are revered, women subjugated, blacks denigrated, athletes elevated and nothing is fair. That's America if you're a "realist", goes the post-modernists story. The Duke gang-rapists epitomized that story.
Charlotte Allen, of The Weekly Standard eloquently captures the Duke spirit:
The metanarrative they came up with was three parts Mandingo and one part Josephine Baker: rich white plantation owners and their scions lusting after tawny-skinned beauties and concocting fantasies of their outsize sexual appetites so as to rape, abuse, and prostitute them with impunity. It mattered little that all three accused lacrosse players hailed from the Northeast, or that there have been few, if any, actual incidents of gang rapes of black women by wealthy white men during the last 40 years. Karla Holloway's online essay was replete with imagery derived from this lurid antebellum template. She described the accuser and her fellow stripper as "kneeling" in "service to" white male "presumption of privilege," and as "bodies available for taunt and tirade, whim and whisper" in "the subaltern spaces of university life and culture." On April 13, Wahneema Lubiano, a Duke literature professor, wrote in another online article, "I understand the impulse of those outraged and who see the alleged offenders as the exemplars of the upper end of the class hierarchy, the politically dominant race and ethnicity, the dominant gender, the dominant sexuality, and the dominant social group on campus."The only problem with this narrative is that it wasn't true. But the elites on campus don't have a narrative for a black woman choosing her sex-industry profession, embracing her sexuality, mothering many children from different men and manipulating the very narratives the elites venerate to her own benefit to avoid the consequences of criminal behavior. There is no narrative for a woman, forget a black woman, that doesn't include as protagonist "victim". A woman must be a victim or she is nothing.
So Allen notes, the women's Lacrosse team was remonstrated for showing solidarity with the men's Lacrosse team. Now that wouldn't do at all. Don't those young women know the place of women? It's victim or nothing. A woman must be a victim in order to be valid. The same goes for blacks in America. Successful, smart, self-starters are ignored in favor of victims. And remember, every black is a victim--even O.J. Simpson.
Which on this convoluted path brings me to the athletics in America. Much of my outrage beyond the rape accusations has been at the loss of the Duke Lacrosse athletic season that no amount of justice can bring back. By nixing the season, the school President honored the narrative--penalizing the whole team, the whole sport. His actions tacitly approved another piece of the victimhood puzzle--that athletics, especially aggressive athletics like lacrosse and football and hockey are barbaric and reward the base natures of men. These sports symbolize the tyranny of America--aggressively beating the opposition to win.
So another American "idol" gets sacrificed during the Duke sociology lesson: male dominated team "ground acquisition sports". These sports are not just games where there are winners and losers. These sports exemplify what's wrong with American society. And here we have it in a nutshell uttered by uber chic Gwyneth Paltrow:
"I love the English lifestyle, it's not as capitalistic as America. People don't talk about work and money, they talk about interesting things at dinner," she told "NS," the weekend magazine supplement of daily Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias on Saturday.Americans are aggressive, capitalistic, and uncivilized. Sports in America, like lacrosse are aggressive, competitive, unintelligent and uncivilized.
"I like living here because I don't fit into the bad side of American psychology. The British are much more intelligent and civilized than the Americans," the 34-year-old added.
In the Duke Rape case, we really have a two-fer. Not only are men, especially white, privileged (is there any other kind?) men, bad, symbolizing the patriarchal America, athletics are bad symbolizing the capitalistic America.
The real lesson of the Duke Rape case is simple: America is bad.
America, the patriarchal, capitalistic, competitive, aggressive, white-centric, barbaric, unintelligent, uncivilized, misogynist, so-called home of the free and brave (hardly), actually oppresses, rapes, and conquers people for their own gain.
The Duke Rape case pulls all these themes together in one neat little story. That's why the world is fascinated with this narrative. In most parts of the world, the Duke Rape case IS the story of America. Big, white, privileged America rapes the brown people of the world. The Leftists in American Academia and the socialists cluck-clucking throughout Europe tell themselves that the fictional Duke-Rape Case is the real America.
What will happen when the case is dismissed or lost? There will be a big sigh of frustration. There will be outrage. The "Man" is still too powerful to overcome. The losers will reembark on their continual quest to find a means to carry their message. Maybe the Duke Rape case didn't turn out quite to be what they hoped, but surely there will be other stories (New Orleans hurricane) to get the job done. There will be noises about "reconciliation" and "coming together to heal".
It doesn't occur to the Leftists that in warping justice, sacrificing the American ideals of the presumption of innocence, elevating a liar to forward their cause, spot-lighting the so-called victims instead of honoring overcomers, they actually contribute to creating more of the prejudice they seek to eliminate. People will be less likely to believe a rape-victim. Class, race, and gender stereotypes are reinforced--but not the ones they intended to have reinforced.
All these outcomes challenge the postmodernist paradigm. Will these unfortunate results make it into the liberal arts curriculum next year at Duke? I doubt it.
More at Liestoppers.