From Rabbi Steven Pruzansky’s blog on March 31:
If indeed there was a “rape culture” on American campuses no intelligent woman would want to attend college. The fact that more women attend college today than men itself belies the accusation. What is also true, and completely dismissed today by the elites and the sophisticates who have fabricated an entire industry, is that men and women approach intimacy much differently. Men are creatures who seek physical gratification in the first instance and who, lamentably, could find intimacy with complete strangers and be satisfied. Women attach a much stronger emotional significance to intimacy than do men, and look at love as, well, love. Many men (none that I know, but I hear things…) don’t even need to be “in like” much less “in love.” They just need to be attracted.
Now the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance is calling on the participants of a one-day educational conference scheduled to take place at Bnai Yeshurun in late June to withdraw their participation unless the venue is changed or Pruzansky, one of the featured speakers, is forced to withdraw.
“Pruzansky has been saying many wrong, sexist, hateful, racist, inciting things for years, but this is the straw that has broken the camel’s back,” Sharon Weiss-Greenberg, JOFA’s executive director, told JTA. “More needs to happen. I don’t think he should be the rabbi of a shul with hundreds of families, half women. I don’t think he speaks to the values of the Jewish people or of Orthodox Judaism. He’s been a chilul Hashem [desecration of God’s name] for a long time.”
Rabbi Pruzansky’s response From April 13:
It was in this gray area that I urged a return to the virtues with which religious Jews are quite familiar – no affectionate physical contact between men and women outside the context of marriage. That won’t stop the “black” cases of rape (forcible assault) nor the “white” cases (false accusations), for the most part. But it would stop much of the “gray,” in which consent is unclear or ambiguously given, because the assumption would be, since males are an aggressive breed, that the male assaulted the virtue of the female.
But for the professional feminists, there never is a “gray” area. Men are always predators, women are always saints, and rabbis, always, deserve special calumny if they don’t toe a particular line.
What is most troubling, and quite typical of this genre, is the sheer inability of the feminist activists to tolerate another viewpoint. “On this, there can be no debate! There is only one opinion!” Feminist orthodoxy brooks no dissent (as opposed to Jewish Orthodoxy, whose every tenet, they feel, is negotiable). So their goal is to ensure that only one side of an issue is ever heard. They do this by denouncing any opposition as immoral, shrieking that any dissenter is evil, and trying to intimidate that dissenter into silence, penance and universal obloquy. This is what passes for discourse – forget civil discourse, just discourse – in that pathetic echo chamber of the young and coddled. How sad.
Typically, as they see it, for expressing views with which they disagree, I should be fired from the rabbinate, kicked out of any rabbinic organization to which I belong, tossed from any institution in which I am active, and, for Heaven’s sake, even thrown out of AAA (to which I just renewed my membership, and so will not go down without a fight).
What is even sadder is that, to these activists, men are irredeemable brutes, end of story. My objective, on the other hand, is to preserve the honor of both men and women. Their eager embrace of the “hookup culture” – as long as there is consent – exacerbates the problem, cheapens the nobility of women and undermines the sanctity of marriage. Their contempt for women, and not just women’s virtues, is breathtaking.
Further irony: these critics are antagonized because they call me a “leader” who should not say these things that upset them; yet, when I try to take the lead on this particular issue – elevating the moral level on campus so that no one, but especially our young people, is ensnared in that morass – they protest. It sounds like they want “leaders” whom they control and who just follow the script that they write. But those are not “leaders” but followers with a fancy title.
Say something feminists don’t like, their first reaction is to attempt to shame the speaker, silence the speaker, cut off the speaker’s livelihood, and attempt to form mobs against the speaker. The rabbi suggests that a way to solve the so-called “campus rape crisis” is that everyone behave virtuously. This may not suit everyone, but it is even-handed and more likely to do good than harm. This approach does not suit feminists, much less Jewish feminists, who advocate absolute license and irresponsibility when it comes to women, but absolute restraint and liability when it comes to men, especially men they find sexually undesirable.