(I’ve climbed to the very top of my soapbox for this one, so prepare yourselves.)
Earlier this week, writer Michael Ellsberg, author of The Education of Millionaires, decided to combine his release party with a bachelor and bachelorette auction. This auction was not for charity, it was instead for copies of the book. If you bid $200, you would be given the equivalent number of copies of Ellsberg’s tome. But what should have been a relatively harmless way to distribute a few more copies of his novel, thereby creating word-of-mouth, turned into something ugly when one of the buyers made the following comment about the bachelorette he “purchased.”
That’s right. This asshole made a comment, to a reporter that he knew was a reporter no less, that $1,600 was a fair price for “a good raping.” But I suppose that I shouldn’t be surprised that a man who wrote a book about his one night stands and drunken asshole behavior would say something like that. After all, this is Tucker Max we’re talking about, a guy whose memoir was titled I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.
But you’d think that the subject of this comment, Julia Allison, would be horrified by the implication that rape is something to be laughed about. Especially when Allison has said in the past that she was a victim of a sexual assault. And even if she wasn’t incensed by the comment, you wouldn’t expect her to join the misogynist mockery, would you?
A man says that he paid a princely sum for the purposes of facilitating “a good raping” and all the woman involved wants to do is clarify that she cost $1,700, not $1,600? Because, clearly, that’s the important point here.
At worst, this comment makes light of a horrible crime and spits in the face of all the women (and men, let’s not discriminate) who have been victims of sexual assault. And at best, in its most harmless (?) incarnation, this comment insinuates that Allison is a prostitute who can be purchased for the price of a few dozen books.
As you might imagine, if someone said this about me, I’d have a different response. So I find it hard to understand how a woman who talks openly about being a victim of sexual assault finds this funny. And frankly, I think this comment makes Allison the Benedict Arnold of our gender, a traitor to the cause. Because any woman who would not only permit, but encourage this horrendous behavior probably doesn’t have a drop of compassion, empathy or common sense running through her veins.
If you are as shocked and upset by these comments as I am, I suggest that we turn our frustration into something positive and donate a little coin to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. I donated, and I hope you will too.