June 13, 2005

"I'm going back to my cottage to rape my wife."

Drudge quotes Edward Klein quoting Bill Clinton in "The Truth About Hillary."

Is everyone aghast -- either at Bill or Hillary or Matt or Ed? Sorry, I'm not. I'm going to assume for the sake of argument that Bill Clinton really did say that. I hate to tell you, but there was a time when Boomer generation folks would use the word "rape" lightly. (Did you know the original meaning of "ravish" is rape too?)

I'll bet Bill once said "I'm going to kill him" about somebody. Haven't you? And I'll bet he's said "F**k you" and not meant it literally!

35 comments:

lal said...

very well put.though i fear,given the clinton-phobia suffusing the
talk radio medium and fox et. al.
on tv that the story may have legs.
hilary can't seem to catch a break while her 900 lb. gorilla husband is lingering in the background.

ps
i am surprised that you haven't commented on the film-crash-which
is a must-see.
best,
lewis

dax said...

"use the word rape lightly" HOLY BAT$HIT ANNE!
I can't imagine ANY circumstance when the word "rape" would be taken lightly. Oh wait, it's Bill Clinton we're talking about. Duhhhh, was I thinking?

lal- Mr. Klein is FAR from being in the clinton-phobia camp you believe exist out there.
My $.02

Ron said...

Maybe I'm remembering this wrong, but we used to use 'rape' even in jokes with a sense of irony...i.e., "Somewhere in his family tree a [cossack] (insert perjorative here) stopped off for a quick rape."


Uh, if everyone who said "F*** you!" meant it literally, we would be one mightily gender-identity-confused nation...

Ann Althouse said...

Ron: "F**k you," grammatically, is not the speaker's offer to have sex with the addressee.

Daw: First, spell my name right. Then, I'm telling you how people talked back in the old days.

Bruce Hayden said...

One problem that I have is with the (feminist) redefinition of the word. It seems to have expanded to include day after regrets.

I look at this from a male's point of view (but also, from the point of view of the father of a just entering high school daughter). What is acceptable?

What is scary to me is to realize that I, along with probably every male I know, has at least one point in his life taken advantage of a woman, and committed what is now being termed "rape". She was conscious and didn't say no and didn't fight it.

But was she fully in control of herself? Probably not. While a night of necking is going to drive a guy sexually crazy, it also has an effect on many women. And I do think that once, 25 years ago, one woman said yes, after four hours in the car, just to get over the pressure.

I think that feminists do themselves a disservice by redefining the term to include stuff that is at best, a difference of opinion.

And one of the things that I keep beating into my dauther's head is that it is extremely dangerous playing with a guy's sex drive, esp. as the guys her age approach their sexual peak.

Bruce Hayden said...

I wouldn't be the least bit surprised though if there weren't some truth to the statement. The problem is that of marriage itself. Up until very recently, it was essentially legally impossible to rape one's spouse.

But what happens if one spouse has a high sex drive and the other does not? It is not uncommon. Does (typically, but not necessarily) he go elsewhere? Does she help him some how? Or does he just suffer?

When I faced this, I did, as I should, the later. But that is not always easy. I am not condoning the first behavior, just suggesting understanding.

In the case of the Clintons, it would not be too hard to envision this. Bill, narcisstic and with a high sex drive. Hillary, selfish and with a (much?) lower one. Of course, the more a man forces himself onto his wife, the more she will often times trun away from him, esp. sexually. So, a vicious circle.

I don't know what happened, and really don't care. I will more than likely vote against her regardless. Just some thoughts.

Troy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Troy said...

Who ever used the word "cottage" outside of a Grimm's tale? "Bungalow" even "hut" I could buy...

Back in 1990 Texas Gov. Ann Richards won election in large lart because her opponent -- Clayton Williams (straight off the oil patch) referenced an old joke about rape and weather. His lead vanished rapidly and Ms. Richards lived to get the hell knocked out of her by GW Bush.

This looks bad for the right politically and personally I feel especially for Chelsea. No one wins except the publisher.

I assume that Clinton said those words, but it's one of those phrases that is classless and tasteless, but was not meant for public consumption -- and not meant literally. Thank God there's not a tape recording (like that old Albert Brooks movie Defending Your Life) of everything said...

John R Henry said...

I think the problem is not the use of the word "rape" here, though I agree that it should be a problem. I remember having heard it used in that context in the 60's & 70's and it meant nothing more than that one was planning vigorous and consensual sex with one's wife.

The problem with this story, as carrid by Drudge, is that it sounds as if an actual violent rape did take place. ie; "In the morning, the Clintons' room "looked like World War III. There are pillows and busted-up furniture all over the place," an unnamed source tells Klein.

Now that does not mean the sex was not consensual, some couples play with rough sex. However it certainly seems to try to imply that a "rape" with all that means, actually took place.

That accusation is what has everyone aghast. Not me, it's the Clintons. They can pound each other silly for all I care. I'll not be reading the book to find out.

John Henry

Meade said...

"And one of the things that I keep beating into my dauther's head is that it is extremely dangerous playing with a guy's sex drive, esp. as the guys her age approach their sexual peak."

It is beyond me why it is that some parents seem to prefer instilling fear in their daughters rather than rearing them with a strong sense of self-respect, empowerment, and a positive appreciation for their own sexuality.

All I can think to do is to recommend a book.

Michael Cummins said...

Horrible thing to wash in public. This might backfire and bolster Hillary's public image. After all, if it is true, then the perception would likely be "that poor woman", if it is false, the perception would likely be "that poor woman", and in any case, the perception will likely be pity for Chelsea, which will also transfer to Hillary. It will also likely generate contempt for Reupblicans despite its authorship by a former NYT Editor in Chief.

Looks lose-lose for the right to me.

dax said...

Oh Ann, bless your heart, it was only a typo. It will never happen again. Promise.
Anyway, I've lived in the US, mostly in the South, since 1963 and I've never heard that word taken lightly or in jest.
I take that back! One time while playing golf, a male playing partner, after missing a soft easy shot from just off the green, comented that around the greens he had "the touch of a rapist" Was I offended? No. Was it appropriate in front of ladies? Certainly not..

Goesh said...

...Where is Tammy Wynette when we need her most, when standing by your man is an albatross around the neck and not an anchor no matter how you cut it.

LizrdGizrd said...

It is beyond me why it is that some parents seem to prefer instilling fear in their daughters rather than rearing them with a strong sense of self-respect, empowerment, and a positive appreciation for their own sexuality.

The point to cautioning young women is to learn to protect themselves from people who fail to control themselves. This is just as true as telling young women to not walk alone at night. It's not to instill fear, but to caution one to be careful of the situations one gets onself into.

EddieP said...

I'm as repulsed by Hill and Bill as the next guy, but c'mon this is ridiculous! If this sets the standard for discourse for 2008, I might vote for her just for the hell of it.

Meade said...

LizrdGizrd: Please consider the language in the line: "...I keep beating into my dauther's head is that it is extremely dangerous playing with a guy's sex drive..."

Does that strike you as cautioning about unsafe situations or instilling irrational fear?

SteveR said...

I can't feel the least bit sorry for Bill and Hillary. They live in a world of their own making. To attribute these frequent episodes to the "vast right wing conspiracy" is an honor it does not deserve.

Ron said...

Ron: "F**k you," grammatically, is not the speaker's offer to have sex with the addressee.


Ann: Perhaps with rising intonation it would be as in, "F*** You?", thus making it a question.

But I think it is such an offer, in abbreviated form, delivered in anger.

leeontheroad said...

sorry, Ron, this is correct:

F**k you," grammatically, is not the speaker's offer to have sex with the addressee.

The phrase takes the form of an imperative (an order, like "Get out!"). Technically, it's an intensive interjection, which Webster's says is used to "express anger, contempt or disgust."

leeontheroad said...

lmeade, I too am distrurbed by the quote:

"I keep beating into my dauther's head is that it is extremely dangerous playing with a guy's sex drive"

but for different reasons. People shouldn't, in my view, play with others' sex drives (assuming that means teasing). Laws are now written in many places so that the consent of a partner must be absolutely explicit and spoken, but, still, having such law on one's side hasn't prevented sexual assault. "Date rape" is more common than "stranger rape." I don't see warnings about dating behavior as instilling irrational fear at all.

I do have trouble with referring to discussing these things as beating it into [a] daughter's head.

Yes, these are common expressions; and I don't suggest the former Pres. physically assaulted his daughter. He had the opposite intention, clearly.

But when we examine in a new light the language we use, it can become clearer that we use violence metaphors to express strongly felt ideas or feelings.

Meade said...

I think the key thing to bear in mind about rape is that whoever the victim is, male or female, and by whatever means used -- rape, by definition, presents the victim with no choice. It is an ultimate rejection of pro-choice.

Ron said...

leeontheroad: I understand that it is an intensive interjection; but is it only limited to that meaning?

Ann Althouse said...

Bruce: Feminists got control of the word in the 1980s, for better or worse. One effect, I would think, is that men are much less likely to say "I'm going to rape you" as a way of being playful!

Troy: Maybe it's regional, this use of the word "cottage." I grew up in Delaware, and when we went to the shore and stayed in a tiny house, we always called it the "cottage." I never heard anyone say "bungalow"! And certainly not hut...

Ron: You could always say "F**k yourself," just to make it clear. BTW, I remember a Lenny Bruce riff on the subject of "F**k you," which, he said ought to be considered a very nice thing to say to someone. He gave as an example "F**k you, Mom." If you were right about the meaning of "F**k you," that would not have worked as a joke.

Meade said...

Lenny Bruce? Ann, are you sure you aren't thinking of George Carlin?

Ann Althouse said...

Lmeade: Not sure. Working from memory.

Bruce Hayden said...

lmeade, et al.

Let me rephrase myself. I routinely caution my daughter as to the intensity of male sex drive as she gets ready to start high school this fall. She is an only child, and has no real experience here. The boys in her class are just now going through puberty - about 1/3 are still singing Soprano or Alto. Next year, high school boys (worse, a freshman, she will be in sophomore Spanish).

Last winter, the male lead in their school play, Bye Bye Birdie, had an inappropriate male reaction (as a euphemism) and all of the girls, helping out in the dressing room, and ultimately the entire class, were a twitter. He somewhat gloried in it and the notoriety.

A couple of years ago, he would have been embarrassed. But he is now nearing six foot, and is pretty fully male, with a very good baritone. And I am sure, he enjoyed making all the girls react to his masculinity.

What I worry about is her (mis)underestimating male sex drive. Not of being raped by a stranger, but rather either "date rape", or at a minimum acquaintance rape, through naivete more than anything else.

And self worth is not the issue here. She has plenty of that, as she should. Straight A's (well, one A-) through an exclusive private middle school, and a close #2 in math and #1 in Spanish in her class of about 80. Also, an impressive set of friends. The only one I worried about, as possibly succumbing to peer pressure, is transferring to a more convenient private school across town.

So, her close group of friends include the other four (now 3) girls who have gotten straight As throughout middle school.

Finally, through martial arts, self defense training, and being big and strong to boot (from all those mandatory private school athletics - field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse), I am not the least bit worried about her being raped in the normal course of events. But it is just plain silly not to make sure that she is careful walking down the street at night, at a party with friends, or on a date.

Bruce Hayden said...

Sorry Ann, but a little off topic, but continuing my previous post - if you want your kids to have all the self confidence in the world, send them to private school. It is almost like day and night, looking at them, and looking at their peers in public school. The private school kids are lean, fit, and stand proudly, oosing self confidence.

Last week, I attended my daughter's 8th grade continuation ceremony. The teachers were able to honestly say a number of positive things about each and every student. And the applause from 400 relatives (for 80 kids) for each didn't hurt either.

Partly, this is through opportunity. Besides academics (including numerous contests, including spelling B, geo-B (3rd this year), and math league (2nd this year, 1st in 6th grade)), there are mandatory athletics (mostly team sports) and fine arts - plays, choir, circus, etc. Also, a yearly interim retreat, where, this year my daughter learned to rappel, rode mtn. bikes, hiked, fished, etc.

My memory of public school was having 1st and 5th grade teachers like me, and nothing after that - really until mid way through college. Didn't play football or basketball in HS, and playing in the marching band was so dorky, etc. Also a member of the chess club, and Latin club president. Not on most teachers' hot lists.

In her private school, each kid is recognized and appreciated. Two teachers fought over being the one to talk about my daughter. But as far as she and I could see, there were no students who didn't have at least one teacher wanting to talk about them.

So, to reiterate, if you want your kids to grow up with a lot of self confidence, send them to private school.

Troy said...

It's not the school, it's the parents that instill self-assuredness. My English education in high school was as good as any prep -- AND my mom would kick my butt if I didn't do my work. I might have had a newer gilt-edged version of Moby Dick to read, but I did fine with my Penguin classics version.

"Go to private school" is pretty glib though not realistic for most.

Joseph Angier said...

Use the word rape lightly, or even as a joke. In the 1967 non-classic movie "Waterhole #3" - one of those hepcat Westerns like "Cat Ballou" or "Sergeants Three," a judge is trying our 'hero' for the crime of rape. If I remember correctly, a rakish James Coburn - playing said hero - responds "I prefer to think of it as 'assault with a friendly weapon'."

Ron said...

Ann: I had forgotten the Lenny Bruce (or Carlin?) skit! "Go F*** Yourself" is something still used, but nowadays, rarely! It seems less hostile than "F*** You," right? How much does hostility contradict the statement/suggestion?


When asked to formulate my "porn star" name, (middle name + street I was raised on) no one believed me when I said "George Carlin," but it's true...

Bruce Hayden said...

Troy,

It is not glib. But I agree that it all starts at home. First priority for my daughter, every night, is homework. And one nice thing about private school, is that you find out very quickly if the kids are not doing it - two "lost" homeworks in a short period of time warrents a call from the teacher, etc. The assumption is that if the parents are paying this much, they want to be involved, and almost all are. A lot. And the good part of it, for me, is that she has developed a lot more maturity than I had, at least until college, as to budgeting time and getting it done.

My answer to the glib suggestion is that first there are a number of alternatives that don't cost as much - for example, up through 2nd grade, my daughter attended the Catholic prep school that Condi Rice graduated from (and both are Presbyterian). It costs less than half as much and is almost as good.

Secondly, it takes a lot of sacrifices to do this, yes. Driving ten or fifteen year old cars, not going very far on vacation, etc.

Troy said...

Bruce... "Glib" is what happens when one is dealing with buying a house in So Cal. (Did I say "House" -- I meant a double-wide that costs more than the %$@!#%^& Taj Mahal!!) kidding on the double-wide -- not on the Taj Mahal part (or the pseudo-cursing symbols).

Short version -- didn't mean to snip -- finance is a touchy subject today until mortgage broker calls back.

Meade said...

bruce hayden: Your reflexive "rephrasing" isn't a whole lot better than the content of your original comment; only more obscurant. In fact, these lines are downright alarming in the obtuse misogyny they express:

What is scary to me is to realize that I, along with probably every male I know, has at least one point in his life taken advantage of a woman, and committed what is now being termed "rape". She was conscious and didn't say no and didn't fight it.

But was she fully in control of herself? Probably not. While a night of necking is going to drive a guy sexually crazy, it also has an effect on many women. And I do think that once, 25 years ago, one woman said yes, after four hours in the car, just to get over the pressure.

I think that feminists do themselves a disservice by redefining the term to include stuff that is at best, a difference of opinion.


If it's irony, I'm sorry -- I just don't get it.

Wave Maker said...

I believe it was Carlin with the F-- Yourself bit -- Lenny Bruce did the routine about using racial and ethnic epithets until they don't mean anything anymore.

Of course, Carlin's theme was adapted to music by the George Carlin of musical social comment, Frank Zappa, whose classic number "F*** Yourself" (featuring the incomparable Stevie Vay) redefines cultural criticism.

reallygone said...

Of course Bill didn't rape Hillary! She neutered him early on.