Bolton’s Bias: Feminist die-hards hijack progress

Opinion Editor Will Bolton discusses his opinion with anyone who will listen, in person. This column gives him a place to do it where people can escape from his tirades on everything from school programs to American politics by just putting the article down—although given a chance they probably won’t want to.


There is a growing number of people loosely organized under the label of “feminist” who challenge traditional gender roles as well as redefine society in a way which promotes women’s rights and equality. Unfortunately for the positive advances being made on behalf of America’s women, feminist die-hards have, in many ways, hijacked the movement and used it for the self-righteous advancement of a bizarre agenda.

The perfect example of such a miscarriage is the widespread misuse of the term “rape culture.” It is the most absurd, ambiguous, nonsensical saying that I have ever heard. Its original meaning described the ways in which sexual abuse victims were blamed for their victimhood as opposed to blaming the perpetrators, but such a legitimate use has long since been left behind.  

Unfortunately, it has turned into an obscure catch phrase for anyone wishing to hold the moral high ground on women’s issues. In the world of feminist put-downs, it is used to bolster any convenient argument from discussing rape on college campuses to simply slandering political opponents.

The perfect example of such a bizarre attempt to shame opponents of extreme feminism’s conquest took place at Bel Air High School last year. Senior Gracie Brett wrote an article, published in The Dagger, which claimed that: “The [Bel Air] dress code condones the sexualization of young girls and rape culture.”

Excuse me?

The administration simply wanted girls to dress appropriately, which Brett thought should include allowing them to show their waists, stomachs, shoulders, and wearing a partially see-through blouse with a bandeau. For those like me who did not know, a bandeau is a flat, strapless bra which does not exactly exude modesty.

The point is that instead of feminists like Brett explaining that they believe revealing clothing is acceptable, they simply accuse their opponents of participating in rape culture, an ugly description even if it does lack meaning, and watch them flee in terror of being labeled sexist.  

Now an article published in Bel Air, Maryland is not the end-all to condemning the term rape culture, but it is worth noting that actual feminists, not just male, high school seniors, hate the term.

In an interview with the magazine Spiked, the feminist author and social critic Camille Paglia vehemently attacked today’s feminist rhetoric for creating more problems than solutions. “‘Rape culture’ is a ridiculous term — mere gassy propaganda, too rankly bloated to critique … I feel very sorry for women who have been seduced by this hyper-politicized, victim-centered rhetoric, because in clinging to such superficial, inflammatory phrases, they have renounced their own power and agency.”  I could not have said it better myself, which is why I quoted her.

Paglia hits on the true problem with the progression of feminism. As with many moral and societal movements which gain traction, feminism has gone too far in trying to change society and is now starting to harm it.

The height of hypocrisy is that this movement, which overtly preaches acceptance, subtly creates a system in which opponents are immediately categorized as unevolved beasts wallowing in chauvinism. In fact, any dissenting rhetoric is immediately condemned, without further thought, as sexist. But, despite the deaf ear of extreme feminists, I persevere.  

Brett, like many modern feminists, fails to understand an important distinction: women and girls should be able to wear as little clothes as they want up to going stark-naked without fear of sexual assault, which in no way means that it is acceptable to go stark-naked for reasons which have nothing to do with rape culture.

If feminists such as Brett want a true example of what is acceptable attire and behavior, they should look at the brave women who started the movement. I find it hard to believe that Susan B. Anthony and Alice Paul would have had any interest in defending girls’ rights to show their waists, and if you don’t believe me, Google pictures of how they dressed.

To all of those who still think I am some chauvinist, sexist pig for writing this column, sorry for participating in rape culture, on behalf of myself, Camille Paglia, and Susan B. Anthony.  

Will Bolton is the Perspectives Editor for the The Patriot and