Someone needs to remind Dr. Ruth that “No, means no.”
Everyone’s favorite dirty bubbe has faced some heavy criticism in the past couple of days after she revealed some very problematic views on consent while promoting her latest book, “The Doctor Is In: Dr. Ruth on Love, Life, and Joie de Vivre.”
But rather than go into Code Red PR-mode, the 87-year-old has doubled down on her position, which she admits is “controversial.” Responding to her detractors on Twitter on Tuesday, she reiterated that she was “100% against rape.” Which would have been a great save, had she not gone on to compare sexual assault with jaywalking.
I am 100% against rape. I do say to women if they don’t want to have sex with a man, they should not be naked in bed w/him.— Dr. Ruth Westheimer (@AskDrRuth) June 2, 2015
That’s risky behavior like crossing street against the light. If a driver hits you, he’s legally in the wrong but you’re in the hospital.— Dr. Ruth Westheimer (@AskDrRuth) June 2, 2015
In an interview with Diane Rehm on Monday, Dr. Ruth used the Talmud to back her theory that once both parties are naked, there is no turning back.
“I am very worried about college campuses saying that a woman…and man, can be in bed together, Diane, and at one time, naked, and at one time, he or she — most of the time they think she can say, I changed my mind.”
“No such thing is possible. In the Talmud, in the Jewish tradition, it says when that part of the male anatomy is aroused, when there is an erection, the brain flies out of the head. And we have to take that very seriously. So I don’t agree with that.”
But ladies, don’t worry your pretty little heads too much. The good doctor does admit that you can take charge of your own bodies in some cases. Just make sure that skirt is still zipped.
As Sarah Breger yesterday, Dr. Ruth discussed the very same issue back in March with Haaretz, once again using the Talmud as her source: “I do not believe that when partners are naked they can say at any time ‘I changed my mind’…The idea of consent is nonsense. Except consent before they are naked in bed.”
So just to recap: Clothes on — go crazy, say no. Clothes off — fuggedaboutit. Got it?
Anne Cohen was the Forward’s deputy digital media editor. When she’s not looking for the secret Jewish history of Voodoo in New Orleans, or making lists about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she writes for The Assimilator. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism with an M.S. magazine concentration in 2012.
Did Dr. Ruth Just Compare Rape to Jaywalking?