Dan Rottenberg is the editor of the Broad Street Review, an online magazine launched out of Philadelphia. But he won’t be for long, if Change.org and the Women’s Media Center have their way. They are calling on the publisher and Board of Directors of the Broad Street Review to fire the guy.
Dan Rottenberg committed the sin of insufficient outrage over what happened to Lara Logan, the CBS News correspondent who was viciously assaulted by a mob of male protesters while she was reporting on the revolution that took place in Egypt.
The petition that demands his firing actually says that Rottenberg has no “sympathy” for Logan or “outrage” on her behalf. That is, Dan Rottenberg isn’t thinking the right kinds of thoughts about this awful occurrence.
In an editorial published earlier this month on the website, Rottenberg has the temerity to say that women need to take sensible precautions to avoid being victimized the way Lara Logan was. In referring to other such incidents, he goes on to say:
Many of the tragedies mentioned above spring from what I see as a naive faith in the power of the modern sexual revolution. Women today are technically free to do all sorts of things that were forbidden to their grandmothers, which is all well and good. But in practice, rape and the notion of sexual conquest persist for the same reason that warfare persists: because the human animal – especially the male animal – craves drama as much as food, shelter, and clothing.
Conquering an unwilling sex partner is about as much drama as a man can find without shooting a gun – and of course, guns haven’t disappeared either.
Did Dan Rottenberg say that some men might actually enjoy conquering an unwilling sex partner? That bastard. Does he mean that overcoming a woman’s resistance and even overpowering her might be a turn-on for some people – the kind of turn-on that creates an erection and culminates in an orgasm? This comes awfully close to saying that rape might actually be about sex.
Rape is about power. Why doesn’t Dan Rottenberg know that?
That’s bad enough. But Rottenberg also suggests that when women display their legs, thighs, and cleavage, they are advertising their sexual availability. They’re telling guys, “Come get some.”
The fact that a woman decides to leave the house with her breasts nearly naked, pushed up, and squeezed together has nothing to do with other people – and certainly nothing to do with the fact that men just love that kind of stuff. It makes no sense.
For writing such things, Dan Rottenberg needs to go, some women insist. Has Rottenberg broken any laws? No. Has he violated any professional code of ethics, by chance? I would say not. He’s done something even worse. He told women to grow up and act like responsible adults.
“Wait a minute, Alpha Unit,” someone might say. “What he’s actually doing is talking down to women, treating women like children who don’t have the freedom and the right to live, act, and dress the way they please.”
No, believe it or not, he’s trying to do women a favor. He’s trying to clue them in on something many of them apparently never learned – that there are guys out there who are turned on by female vulnerability and defenselessness. More guys than they can imagine.
The way I see it, the article also issues a challenge to the women who say they want and deserve to be seen as men’s equals. Is that what you really want? Okay. You know what men have been saying to other men forever when bad things happen? Suck it up.