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The "Rape Culture"/Sexual Assault in America

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The "Rape Culture"/Sexual Assault in America

Postby appoo » Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:54 pm

George Will proves this thread needs to exist

perhaps the most astonishing, tone deaf, editorial from a smart I've ever seen in my life. Woman who don't like to be touched and report are now seeking victimhood, apparently. I can not imagine what the girl who reported that issue to her school, felt about Will trashing her in this piece.
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Re: The "Rape Culture"/Sexual Assault in America

Postby SouthernLion » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:08 pm

Maybe Swarthmore will do the right thing and close down.
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Re: The "Rape Culture"/Sexual Assault in America

Postby Blue&White » Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:48 am

Will certainly decided to tilt at an interesting windmill. I understand the point he's trying to make here; government holding univeristies accountable for not only criminal activities of their students but also actions which may not rise to the level of criminal behavior is problematic. But, claiming that sexual assault is exaggerated and that being a victim of an assault is a "coveted status that confers privileges" is .... well, it's many things. it's offensive to women who really have been raped, it's insulting to the inteligence of anyone who knows a woman who has ever been assaulted, and it does nothing to further the problem. Government funding and oversight did not cause this issue.

I read this as the rantings of a man who really has become clueless, something I never thought George Will was. I always enjoyed his essays, even when I didn't agree with him. I think he is articulate and he usually makes salient points that make you think. Sometimes I think he's wrong but I always appreciated the perspective. But, to claim that it's preposterous that rape is underreported and imply that what is actually happening is that women are basically crying wolf to get the coveted status of being a sexual assault victim is just an incredible, and ignorant, assertion.

There is no doubt that there have been women who cry "rape". That seemed to be the case with Austin Scott a few years ago. But, I'd bet any amount of money that the number of false claims are dwarfed by the number of assaults that don't get reported. To be clear, I'm not suggesting that every claim, or every unreported claim, would rise to the level of ciminality. There are always grey areas. But, when a woman says "no" and you still have sex with her, I think that's a rape. Getting a girl drunk and then having sex with her is on the line and I think it depends on the circumstances. Two people who meet while drinking and hook up is one thing. Getting someone drunk or drugging them to lower her inhibitions is something else.

Will is getting hammered over this and WaPo are getting a lot of calls for his head, and his job. They picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue, too. Around the time this hit their editorial page, they also ran a headline over the weekend that read as follows: "One way to end violence against women? Stop taking lovers and get married." and it had the brilliant sub-headline of "The data show that #yesallwomen would be safer hitched to their baby daddies".

So, basically, per George Will and others at Wa Po, women are a combination of cry babbies who pretend they were assaulted to acheieve the "coveted status" of sexaul assault victim; but those who are actual victims of violence asked fo rit by being an unwed woman.

Brilliant.
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Re: The "Rape Culture"/Sexual Assault in America

Postby psu_dad » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:37 am

George is old and the elasticity of the word "rape" likely confounds him.

When George was young, the word conjured up images of men in ski masks forcibly violating women. The notion that someone could be "raped" after willingly getting into bed with someone they previously had sex with several times, in their own dorm room, without resistance because they were "tired" and it was easier to "let him finish" ... probably confuses George.

I don't agree with George on all matters, but contemporary society confuses/confounds me, as well. With any luck, the Mothership from my home planet will be in contact soon.
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Re: The "Rape Culture"/Sexual Assault in America

Postby Blue&White » Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:31 am

The case he used, if those are really the facts, certainly calls into question whether or not the crime of rape or sexual assault has been committed. However, taking one example that fits your purpose, and extrapolating that to mean that women are not sexually assaulted at the rate they claim and are actually over reporting either harmless touching or consensual sex as rape because they all now covet the victim status and government intervention is a pretty disgusting point to make.
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Re: The "Rape Culture"/Sexual Assault in America

Postby psu_dad » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:12 pm

... extrapolating that to mean that women are not sexually assaulted at the rate they claim and are actually over reporting either harmless touching or consensual sex as rape because they all now covet the victim status and government intervention is a pretty disgusting point to make.


I guess that depends on what is meant by "covet". I presume that Will didn't mean women enjoy the status of being a victim of sexual assault, per se. I presume he meant that women prefer the victim status to acknowledging they made some really bad decisions. And that this is inflating the statistics. Or perhaps he did mean the former and was under the throes of a mild stoke. Who knows.

I have no idea if rape statistics have been inflated by a "broader" definition of rape. This is not my area of expertise. I've only had sex with one person for a very long time. And I become more convinced with the passing of time that my parents lied to me and I am not native to this planet.
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Re: The "Rape Culture"/Sexual Assault in America

Postby appoo » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:26 pm

Blue&White wrote:The case he used, if those are really the facts, certainly calls into question whether or not the crime of rape or sexual assault has been committed. However, taking one example that fits your purpose, and extrapolating that to mean that women are not sexually assaulted at the rate they claim and are actually over reporting either harmless touching or consensual sex as rape because they all now covet the victim status and government intervention is a pretty disgusting point to make.


I think even the case he referenced is pretty bad. When a girl says no, it means no. Perhaps a judge and a jury of her peers might say otherwise, but for him to conclude that she's just seeking victim status? That's just incredible to me.

If Will had just stuck with the theme that the Administration is overreaching in holding Universities accountable to criminal activity (which I'm not sure they do....I think this might have more to do with the Cleary Act, and the reporting of crimes. Underreporting sexual assault might fall under that), that's a much better debate to have, and he doesn't run into any problems.

But when he suggested that these girls are seeking victim status, or as psu_dad suggests, prefer it to admitting a mistake - in the face of sexual assault allegations, that becomes an entirely different matter.

The larger problem is that it's just not him.

This song (I think it might be NSFW btw) became a national hit, to the point that it was performed in the MTV award shows. The problem is that the song essentially promotes date rape

And of course we've heard a few stories over the years where a girl gets gang raped in HS (drunk) and very little happens to the boys, but the girls get ostracized for going to the police.

This is a huge problem, and it's getting worse. Maybe it's because I have one cousin who just graduated college, and another just entering college....but when you talk to them, they have it ingrained in them to be scared of men, because of the fear of sexual assault. The one girl is a runner, and every time she does, she probably has a spark of fear every time she comes across a man. And if something does happen to her, and she doesn't have a rape whistle or something, she'll get criticized by society for not being prepared. Because it's her fault that men rape woman.

We talk about "Bad Decisions"...take the girl above. She said "no". Isn't that enough? Simply because she was laying in bed with him, meant he's allowed to have sex with her? Or going to broader sense, is the punishment for drinking getting raped?

It's not woman who should have to change their habits. It's men.
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Re: The "Rape Culture"/Sexual Assault in America

Postby Blue&White » Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:27 pm

I agree with you.

dad -

I presume he meant that women prefer the victim status to acknowledging they made some really bad decisions.

I presume he meant that too. And, as appoo points out, that's the problem. "No" still means no. She shouldn't have to keep fighting the guy off. She shouldn't have to keep making the point until she gives in. Was that story an example of the crime of rape? That is up to a jury but I don't think it's as out there as Will implies.

What I think has women in an uproar is the sentiment that this is the result of their bad decisions. Men can drink, carouse and have no consequences, but if a woman gets drunk and passes out and someone has sex with her, that is her bad decision? How does that work? What about his bad decisions? Again, there are grey areas; you meet a girl in a bar, you both get drunk, you end up together that night and have sex and in the morning she feels taken advantage of - was it rape? I think it depends on the specifics. But, then you have cases where guys slip girls a drug (known as the "date rape drug" or a bunch of guys get a girl drunk and have sex with her, and she never says "no". Is that rape? If I'm on that jury I can promise you that I'm votiing that it is.

I also disagree that what Will is having a problem with is the elasticity of the word "rape". The definition of the word has not changed. What has been elastic is our socities understanding of when a rape can occur. When George Will was a kid, we only believed a woman was raped if it was a guy in a maks with a knife. A woman who willingly went on a date with a nice young college man could not possibly have been raped. If they had sex, it was because she was promiscious and was now trying to perserve her reputation. Men couldn't rape their wives (and that was a concept in common law and had to be changed by statute - a man could not be convicted of raping a woman if he was married to her because that meant she consented to sex at any time or his choosing). Sadly for Mr. Will, we have a better understanding of these things today. It turns out that it's not just men with ski masks who rape women. In fact, that's usually not the case.

There has been a story in the news the past week or so about a mass grave in ireland that is filled with ~800 children who's mothers were undre the "care" of nuns from the 1920s until the 1960s. The mothers of those poor children were a mix, including unmarried girls who had children out of wedlock. They were sent to these places and to these laundaries were they were forced to work for free, basically as slaves. Their crime? Having children. Very often the children were taken from them, and you may be familiar with the movie "Philomena" that addresses this very topic.

Tell me, what do you think happened to the fathers of those children? You think they were sent to work as slaves for the Irish government? Sent to houses to be abused by priests? You think they suffered in any way for their "bad decisions"? No, of course they were not. They were men, they were treated like they were the victims of some harlot, and the women were sent away.

The problem here is not the elasticity of the definition of rape. The problem is the inelasticity of the empathy and undestanding of pompous windbags like George Will. And, I suspect if you had a daughter, you may see this very differently. I don't have a daughter, but I have 4 nieces, and on their behalf I am fairly outraged at the implication that they are responsible for possible violations from their male peers, while those men seem to have no responsibility or accountability for their actions in the world of George Will.
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Re: The "Rape Culture"/Sexual Assault in America

Postby psu_dad » Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:37 pm

Simply because she was laying in bed with him, meant he's allowed to have sex with her?


I don't know. As I said, I am not of this planet.

I am pretty sure of one thing. In the unlikely event my wife catches me in bed with another woman, in our respective PJs, she's probably not going to presume there was no expectation of sex simply because this woman is "laying with me". But she's probably overly suspicious.
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Re: The "Rape Culture"/Sexual Assault in America

Postby psu_dad » Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:01 pm

I suspect if you had a daughter, you may see this very differently.


So the basic problem here is that I lack empathy. All those years helping my wife out at a local battered woman's shelter and I didn't learn squat. I'm such a putz.
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