‘Rape Culture’ Rhetoric as Bad Poetry

http://theothermccain.com/2015/10/29/rape-culture-rhetoric-as-bad-poetry/

 

Just when you think feminism cannot possibly become more absurd, they always manage to push beyond the limits of imagination.

sex takes the consent of two
if one person is lying there not doing anything
cause they are not ready
or not in the mood
or simply don’t want to
yet the other is having sex
with their body it’s not love
is is rape

That is a “poem” by Rupi Kaur, a young Toronto-based feminist whose work has been celebrated by the Huffington Post:

Rupi Kaur’s first book, Milk and Honey is the poetry collection every woman needs on her nightstand or coffee table. Accompanied by her own sketches, the beautifully honest poems read like the everyday, collective experiences of today’s modern woman. She experiences love, loss, pain and healing in different chapters of her life. Sometimes she feels as though she has shattered in a million pieces but eventually, she finds strength after picking up the pieces and ultimately survives. Reading the book, is like getting the hug you need on a rainy day, the catharsis you crave after a tragedy.

Just kill me now, please. I’ve seen too much.

If you were to subject this to the kind of mockery it deserves, you would certainly be denounced as a misogynist. But why must such insipid expressions of mundane emotion be treated as if Rupi Kaur has said something profound? What is it about feminism that makes it function as a force-field protecting this kind of mediocre dreck from criticism and ridicule? Surely, there have been excellent women poets in history, and there must be genuinely talented women poets alive in the world today. Rupi Kaur is not one of them, however, and it is an insult to women to expect them to pretend that Rupi Kaur has real talent.

Permit me to observe that Rupi Kaur is saying less, and saying it much less persuasively, than any good pop song would say. Back when I was a kid, we didn’t need feminism — or any kind of campus orientation lecture about “affirmative consent” — to make sense of our feelings about love and sex. We had rock-and-roll and soul music written and sung by some of the greatest lyric poets in the history of the English language.

There’s a rose in the fisted glove
And the eagle flies with the dove,
And if you can’t be with the one you love,
Honey, love the one you’re with.

OK, so it’s not Shakespeare or Longfellow, but neither of those guys ever had a Top 40 hit. Here’s another classic:

Well, I’m running down the road,
Trying to loosen my load.
Got seven women on my mind:
Four that want to own me,
Two that want to stone me,
One says she’s a friend of mine.
Take it easy.

Hey, you may not think that’s profound, but when I was 17 years old, I could totally relate to that. Here’s another one:

Always and forever,
Each moment with you
Is just like a dream for me
That somehow came true.
And I know tomorrow
Will still be the same,
‘Cause we’ve got a life of love
That won’t ever change.

You’re never gonna get something like that from Rupi Kaur. No feminist is ever going to write the kind of poetry that you want to put to a slow jazzy six-eight beat, so couples can hold each other close and sway together under the magic sparkling light of a rotating mirror ball.

Back in the day, our romantic expectations were expressed through a shared musical vocabulary. You could ask a girl, “What kind of music do you like?” And her answers would tell you a lot about her. When I was a teenage boy learning to play guitar, I sang a lot of Beatles songs — “In My Life” was one — and eventually figured out that old Sam Cooke tunes had a special magic. Elvis, Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers, the Beach Boys — you could learn a lot about love from the classics of rock-and-roll, lessons you’ll never get from the grim ideologues of feminism, who expect us to believe Rupi Kaur is a poetic genius.

Nah, sweetheart. You don’t know nothing about poetry.

Tonight you’re mine completely.
You give your love so sweetly.
Tonight the light of love is in your eyes.
Will you still love me tomorrow?
 . . .

Tonight with words unspoken.
You tell me I’m the only one.
But will my heart be broken
When the night meets the morning sun?

That, my friends, is poetry. Rupi Kaur has never written anything nearly as true or beautiful as that, and I doubt she ever will.