Steve Blow is exceedingly good at his job, which is to reach new heights in daily journo banality as a columnist for The Dallas Morning News. He has seriously got it down. There is real talent in saying absolutely nothing of interest or consequence for years on end. Which is why I'm particularly surprised to read his brief comment about the "refreshing" sexual molestation and assault of minors, which appears today on The News's Metro blog. Ahem:
"This is sad to say, but it's almost refreshing to read about a priest accused of good, old-fashioned heterosexual perviness.
The dreadful stuff between priests and boys has been going on for so long that I almost forgot that some priests have more mainstream sexual hangups.
Again, I say, it's time for a married priesthood."
He's referring to this story, about a Catholic priest in Rowlett who's spent his career molesting, assaulting and manipulating women and girls.
Steve Blow's comment gains him membership into a group I wouldn't have pegged his powerfully vanilla writing persona would put him in: the proudly ignorant boys club of skeevbag dad-balls who think joking about unwanted sexual contact is cute and/or acceptable. After all, women are really just secretly asking for it, aren't they?
Bethany over at FrontBurner is similarly dismayed. I think she's softballing him.
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First off, let's call Steve's comment what it is: a rape joke. It's a joke about how good Steve Blow feels that he finally got to read about a woman (nay, a teenage girl!) being molested and taken advantage of for a change. HILARIOUS. Steve, this is why rape jokes aren't funny. Now, it has a lot of mouthy lady-opinion in it, but I bet you can get the gist. For more on why Steve's blithe remark is inappropriate, educate yourself on what rape culture is. Won't take you long to figure out exactly how and where his blase attitude to sexual violence fits right in.
Second, a penchant for molesting women and girls who are members of your church is not a "sexual hangup." It's a crime. They are not asking for it. They did not consent.
Third, Steve, you know how you find that whole molesting boys thing "dreadful," partially because you are a grown-ass man who was once a boy so you can kind of imagine it? Half of the world's population are women -- you may have noticed us out and about on occasion -- who can imagine what it might be like to be raped or molested. In fact, one out of every six American women is or will be an actual victim of actual rape. So for many of us, it's an extremely real prospect.
Remind me again what exactly is "refreshing" about this story, Steve?