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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

When Words Lose Their Meaning

Liberals seem obsessed with abusing and twisting ordinary words until they have no remaining meaning. Ordinarily the liberal doesn't want the word to lose its meaning or connotation, but wants to hijack the meaning or connotation in order create a sense of moral urgency or camouflage something that would otherwise be considered reprehensible. The classic example is the appropriation of the word "gay," which at one time meant joyful and was often used to describe someone happy and carefree, to instead refer to homosexual men. The purpose of the appropriation was to try and change perceptions of homosexuals by associating them with something positive (similar to the Nazi adoption of the swastika, which up until then had been a symbol of good fortune). Instead, the word simply came to be a pejorative, incapable of being used in its formerly normal sense (just as the swastika is now unusable in Western society on a greeting card, although it had previously been used for that purpose).

Feminists are particularly guilty of hijacking words, and they are at it again. This past weekend, it was revealed that hackers had obtained copies of nude photographs of young celebrities, and released them onto the internet. Unfortunately, legal options are somewhat limited. Fox News reports:
“Individuals who hack into the computers of others and steal their information can be charged with a variety of crimes, including accessing protected computers without authorization, damaging protected computers, wiretapping and aggravated identity theft,” entertainment attorney Domenic Romano told FOX411. “Outside of criminal liability, once the perpetrator is identified, the celebrity victims might bring claims for money damages like invasion of privacy or copyright infringement.”
There is little that could be done about the people that view or download the images however.

Enter the feminist. Jenny Trout has penned an article at the Huffington Post claiming that not only the theft of the pictures, but also the viewing of the pictures is sexual violence. She bemoans that "only a very few people will feel sympathy for [the victim], and recognize what distributing nude photographs without the subject's express consent truly is: sexual assault." Later, she writes:
As with all cases of sexual violence against women, we look so hard for ways to place responsibility on the victim, or to minimize the harm done to her. "It's not rape rape," people will argue. "It's not like it hurt her." Having aggressive male sexuality forced upon them is something women are expected to ignore, no matter how degraded they feel. Seeing their bodies thrown on the pyre of public scrutiny is something they deserve, their nude photos the scarlet letter that will brand them for the sin of having sexual urges or confidence in their bodies. 
The problem is that nothing she is describing involved "violence" or "assault." "Violence" is "swift and intense force" or "rough or injurious physical force, action, or treatment." "Assault" is defined in Black's Law Dictionary as "[a]ny willful attempt or threat to inflict injury upon the person of another, when coupled with an apparent present ability so to do, and any intentional display of force such as would give the victim reason to fear or expect immediate bodily harm, constitutes an assault." Even in its more common usage, "assault" recognizes the use of physical force. Thus, punching someone and taking his or her wallet involves violence, but taking the wallet off a table where it has been inadvertently left does not involve violence, although both may constitute theft.

Conversely, the scandal in Rotherham involves actual sexual assault.
Men of Pakistani heritage treated white girls like toilet paper. They picked children up from schools and care homes and trafficked them across northern cities for other men to join in the fun. They doused a 15-year-old in petrol and threatened to set her alight should she dare to report them. They menaced entire families and made young girls watch as they raped other children.
Which apparently is why the feminists don't want to discuss it. It distracts from their faux crises. The problem is, in borrowing "violence" or "assault" or "rape" to describe things that clearly do not involve violence, the feminists may temporarily borrow the moral outrage, but, once people realize that they are referring to something frivolous or trivial, the moral outrage disappears to be replaced with indifference. The words "sexual assault" or "rape" are being watered down to be meaningless. And that is too bad for girls, like those in Rotherham, who truly are the victims of sexual assault and rape.

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