Editor’s note: The following is a guest post by Ben Stein. Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu.
Like the distinguished public servant Dominique Strauss-Kahn, I am a friend to all women, even the ones who didn’t fully appreciate my American Spectator column on the scurrilous charges filed against the former IMF chief. I’d like to extend an olive branch to those misguided members of the fairer sex by sharing some advice on the proper way to go about getting raped if you expect public intellectuals to take your charges seriously.
Ladies, my humble thoughts:
1.) Ensure that your rapist has a criminal history.
Should you find yourself being raped by a man with a long history of sexual abuse, take a moment to perform a criminal background check. This can be done with most modern smartphones as long as your hands are free.
No criminal record? In all likelihood, his sexually violent past is mere gossip and he is not a threat. You are engaged in a consensual sex act. Carry on.
2.) Find out your rapist’s profession.
Is your rapist an economist? If so, you are not being raped. As I asked in my last column, “Can anyone tell me any economists who have been convicted of violent sex crimes? Can anyone tell me of any heads of nonprofit international economic entities who have ever been charged and convicted of violent sexual crimes?”
As an economist, I can personally attest to the fact that economists do not rape. In fact, if I were to slip on a ski mask and surprise you in the dark alley by my house that I happen to know is rarely patrolled by police, rest assured, you’d be completely safe in my gloved hands.
3.) Choose a tall, muscular rapist with a weapon. Read more
The size of her breasts, the shape of her backside, and of course, her name. These are some of the details Le Monde, the French “journal de référence,” and its subsidiary Le Post published about the woman who says IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn groped her genitals and forced her to perform oral sex on him in a room at the Sofitel near Times Square.
France-Soir described the cut of her hotel maid uniform and how good she looks for a woman in her thirties, while France’s RMC radio reported that Strauss-Kahn’s attorneys were surprised by how “unattractive” she is.
And a bevy of friends and supporters rallied to the defense of Strauss-Kahn, a leading figure in the French Socialist Party, hoping to discredit his accuser lest she derail their plans for him to oust Sarkozy in the 2012 presidential elections.
A photo of the alleged victim is all over Twitter, and a Facebook profile in her supposed name was deleted shortly after links to it began to appear on blogs and social media sites. It’s unclear whether the Facebook profile was hers or a hoax account set up to smear her name. Today, another name and photo are circulating in the French media. It doesn’t matter if they get it right–the effect is the same. Just as they did to the accusers in the Julian Assange rape case, the “pro-woman” Left has launched a vicious campaign to terrorize and shame this woman into silence. Read more
Four Afghan women have achieved something that would have been unimaginable a decade ago: they are training alongside male recruits to become pilots in the Afghan Air Force. Amidst headlines about poverty, illiteracy, and breathtaking levels of violence against women, their accomplishments are beyond heartening.
Second Lt. Sourya Saleh hopes to serve as a role model for other Afghan women after completing her aviation training in the United States.
“We are very happy to be going to open these doors for the other women to come and join the military, to show them you can do this and make our country proud,” she said. “We want for all Afghan girls to know they can do anything.”
Another newly minted officer, Second Lt. Mary Sharifzada, told the Air Force Times that becoming a pilot has been her dream since she was a little girl:
“I want to show the people of Afghanistan that women are strong,” Sharifzada said. “We want to show the people of the world that the women of Afghanistan are strong and they can do anything they want.”
“They said I’m as brave as a man,” said Second Lt. Masooma Hussaini.
As brave as men, and according to Lt. Col. John Howard of the Thunder Lab training program, as capable as their male counterparts. But these women and future recruits may not get the chance to prove “they can do anything they want” if the United States selects Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer to supply turboprop planes for the counterinsurgency effort in Afghanistan.
In the April 2011 issue of Smart Girl Nation, my friend Ashley Sewell explains how the Brazilian plane would bar skilled female pilots from flying Light Air Support (LAS) and light attack and armed reconnaissance (LAAR) missions:
The front-runners are the American-made Hawker Beechcraft AT-6 (a plane like the T-6 training aircraft that would accommodate 95% of women pilots) and the Brazilian-made Embraer EMB-314 (a plane that sticks to older standards thus eliminating the possibility of being flown by a woman).
Those older standards exclude more than 80 percent of women (and small men) from safely flying the planes that will be used to train and equip the Afghan Air Force.
There’s no question that operational performance and pilot safety should be the primary criteria in choosing between the Embraer and Hawker Beechcraft planes. But if the two aircraft perform comparably, can we afford to indulge the Commander-in-Chief‘s childish love affair with Brazil, forcing the struggling Afghan Air Force to sideline much needed talent?
That’s not the only reason the Hawker Beechcraft proposal is superior. Read more