She may be a sexpert, but her ignorance about sexual assault is actually insane.
I think we can all agree that Dr. Ruth was probably the first official "sexpert" out there. She's long been a very vocal supporter of not just the topic of sex, but the fact that it's something we should all be talking about. Sex shouldn't be a taboo subject, and that's something I learned from Dr. Ruth early on in my life.
One thing she touched upon specifically was sex on college campuses. As Ruth told Rehm:
"I am very worried about college campuses saying that a woman and a man — or two men or two women, but I talk right now about women and men — 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 and there's an erection, the brain flies out of that and we have to take that very seriously, so I don't agree with that."
I'm sorry ... come again?
According to Ruth, and at least her interpretation of the Talmud, women have zero right to say "no" once they're naked in bed with a man. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Because her comments were not just questioned, but declared as being completely wrong by several rabbis and anyone with a brain, Dr. Ruth tried to save face the following day by tweeting:
"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."
As Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg pointed out, the Talmud clearly says that any sex without consent is a crime.
Not only that, but even if a woman decides midway through sex that she's changed her mind, for a man to proceed is still absolutely, positively wrong. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach also contends that the Talmud is clear that women can change their minds and the idea that men are "ravaging beasts who are controlled by their hormones" is a "view that Judaism would never embrace."
Perhaps Dr. Ruth needs a new pair of reading glasses? Or maybe a refresher course on Judaism? Both?
There are two major problems with what Dr. Ruth said: 1) The statement on its own promotes rape culture, and 2) It's saying that Judaism promotes rape culture, which is an obvious insult to the religion in such an extreme way that it would make anyone, Jewish or not, sick.
Dr. Ruth, despite the iconic name she made for herself and her openness about sex, has made a serious misstep in what she said this week. And instead of trying to fix it, as most celebrities do when they f*ck up, she just dug herself an even deeper hole by backing up her statement with different wording.
She may say she's 100 percent against rape, but her other words suggest otherwise.
If we continue to give men a free pass by bowing to the age-old "boys will boys," we will continue to allow rape culture to not just exist, but thrive.
If a woman is naked in bed with a man, so what? That doesn't mean she has to have sex, nor does it mean that she is at his disposal just because he has an erection.
Consent is the fundamental basis of sex; without it, you end up with rape and that's not something that's up for debate. If Dr. Ruth can't realize that and willingly throws Judaism under the bus to justify her warped ideas on sex, then it might be time for her to take her leave.
Yes, Dr. Ruth, it’s time for you to retire. Now.