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Ben Shapiro is a conservative commentator who I have spent the last week getting to know very well.
I’ve watched a lot of videos of Ben Shapiro for the past week. Whenever I’m on my phone in the bathroom, Shapiro is on. When I drop my phone in bed on my face, Shapiro was there on my face. So much so, that I began to understand why he has garnered the following he has.
My YouTube suggestions turned into a GOP wasteland filled with titles like, “Ben Shapiro destroys College Liberal” or “Ten Times Ben Shapiro Blew our Mind,” and this was all for you, the readers.
Shapiro, on the surface, is a clean-cut conservative. Shapiro is also an author — publishing books about how white males are victims of the new progressives in the Democratic Party and how the consistently bullied conservative can survive in today’s political culture.
By no means, though, is Shapiro a white supremacist, nor is he an idiot, but he suffers from an inability to question whether he may be wrong.
“There is no such thing as ‘your truth.’ There is the truth and your opinion.” This quote from Shapiro, is true on the surface; for instance, if you decided to argue a five-year-old on the color of the sky.
Ultimately, it fails complex arguments where terms are hard to define and ever-changing.
Take for instance rape and sexual misconduct — something that, especially on college campuses, is frequently seen. According to Shapiro and others like him, this is a common belief.
In a speech to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville on Oct. 19, 2017, Shapiro was asked if women could feel disenfranchised by recent sexual harassment allegations coming out of Hollywood. In his response, he said the following.
“You don’t acknowledge the rape culture … again I need you to define that and tell me what I did … like really (laughs) … what did I do … a vast majority of people in this room didn’t do anything … and if they did do something, then we should contact the police.”
This argument is based in fact. Yes, Ben Shapiro has never raped anyone to my knowledge, but that isn’t the point. In “Missoula,” a book by Jon Krakauer, we learn a shocking truth that Shapiro and others who think like him should know.
“Rape is the most underreported serious crime in the nation, carefully conducted studies consistently indicate that at least 80 percent of rapes are never disclosed to law enforcement agencies.”
So no, you aren’t a rapist, but treating rape like it’s as easy as going to the police is ignoring the vast quantities of emotions a victim can feel, and yes, does contribute to a rape culture.
Furthermore, when reported, rape is almost impossible to prosecute in our legal system because of beyond a reasonable doubt, which does not favor a case where there are only two witnesses. In fact, colleges only require a preponderance of evidence. In a lot of ways, universities are tougher on rape than our justice system.
Shapiro would go on to state that our current view of sex as a transaction is forcing a rape culture. That to view sex as he puts it “two people getting their rocks off” causes problems. What if you were wrong though? What if the inability to accept that our justice system isn’t geared to prosecute sexual assault is causing that? What if you were wrong?
This sentiment doesn’t stop at rape culture though.
The truth for many people, including Shapiro, is that biology trumps gender identity. He believes that transsexualism is a mental health issue and will proudly state that.
According to an interview on Dr. Drew’s show on HLN concerning Caitlyn Jenner winning the Arthur Ashe Courage Award in 2016, Shapiro consistently stands by his biological rock.
“Why are we mainstreaming delusion?” Shapiro’s stance that being trans is a mental health delusion is unpopular and leads to a problem of explanation.
The question of gender is frequently brought up. Is it biological, or is it mental? When the dictionary refers to gender as a social or cultural difference and not a biological one, who do you believe?
“Facts don’t care about your feelings … what he feels on the inside is irrelevant to his biological status.” Shapiro’s stance is factual in one way, strictly in biology. That isn’t the point though. The point is expression, something that Shapiro doesn’t seem to want to address.
So why is he famous? Shapiro is famous because a voiceless crowd of America wants what they believe to be packaged in a clean-cut intelligent man. Good for Shapiro for finding his niche. Laughing off opposing oppositions and refusing to bend and refusing to heed to the possibility you may be wrong is okay.
That doesn’t lead to any good change though. Ben Shapiro will never change my mind on any topic because he refuses to accept that he doesn’t hold all of the answers.
As someone who may share his attitude or his tone toward your opposition, just understand that this is no way furthers a conversation, it simply keeps the argument where it is already. Divided and going nowhere.