Personally, I do rather suspect that those 20-25% figures are exaggerated. That doesn't mean there's not a problem, of course, only that the figures are higher than the truth.
In my experience, with the women I know they aren't. I'd say easily one in four of the women I know have been raped or sexually assaulted. I only know a couple that have reported it though, out of the many women I consider friends.
I didn't report it when I was raped.
I think the writer of this piece, quoting those that have been tried ( much less CONVICTED) of rape is just completely assinine. It's the most under-reported crime, and I believe it's because of articles like THIS that rape victims don't feel safe going to the authorities with what has happened to them.
It's so much easier for people who don't go through it not to take the victims seriously. "Let's close our eyes and ignore it and maybe it will go away" -- come on, I grew out of that in third grade.
It just turns my stomach.
I was (and am) so angry over this, I felt I had to share it with as many people as possible so they could see just what was going on. argh.
Hmmm - I quickly skimmed this as I'm at work so I'm not sure how "on" my thoughts are. But I get the idea that this woman is looking for an excuse to criticize college promiscuity more than the rape argument
And while college promiscuity exists...er...she's really going the wrong way about addressing it. :(
Yeah. She's basically saying that the feminists have opened a door for promiscuity to be viewed as rape the next dy when the girl who was drunk and slutty the night before regrets it.
Now surely that does happen. We all know it does. But to address it in this way I feel is just vile and disgusting.
I've written an email, expressing my abhorrence.
yeah she seems to take this odd journey during the course of her writing...i'm not sure how she turned it around from rape statistics, to sex toy Clinics...which i never once heard of while in Collage and now i'm upset if i missed them...;)
while typing this 'reply' i can still see and read her closing statement and its really a strong and true statement. but...how the hell did she get there?
also my libidinal impulses were released in 2002, not the 60s.
I know. Dude, I went to college in New York, I could have easily passed as an NYU kid and had enough friends there, I could have gotten in to one of those workshops. That would have been a blast.
I think she's just attempting to show that liberal colleges create a world thats supportive to promiscuity.. and you can't rape a whore, idea, I guess. Argh.
How irritating. It seems like I've heard of this "Heather Mac Donald" before, and not in a good light then, either. I can't remember where, but if this is an example of her journalism, I'm sure the rest of her work is just as bad. Asking a history professor questions about what would hold up in court? WTF is that?
That aside, her flying between one extreme and the next in an attempt to illustrate her point just makes her look like the extremists she's lamenting, and suggesting that a large percentage of women who have non-consentual sex of any kind - whether they report to the authorities as rape or not - and are at fault for it themselves, is only going to encourage more young women to hide their experiences with rape in shame.
This is one of those situations where someone with an anti-feminist grudge has gone overboard in their crusade against feminists and are actually doing more harm than good.
YEAH! The history professor thing just called me!!! I'm so tempted to email that sob and tell him what I think of him. WOW! I think I'm going to ask my English professor something specific to evolution.. like wth?
And I was also tempted to look up some of her other great works, but I couldn't bring myself to do it, I'm so angry about this one, I'm afraid of what else I might find.
And exactly. That's my MAIN issue with the article. It's going to make even less women report it who read it, because there are so many young people, men and women alike who are impressionable and will take really nasty things from this article as truth. I wonder how many men will feel that rape isn't so bad, after readng this?
And exactly. *nod* I can just hear the Rita Skeeter in her voice. Argh.
I think perhaps the truth lies somewhere in the middle. For the girls I know who have been raped (yes, girls plural), the thought of reporting the rape was never an issue, because it wasn't the type of situation where the law would do anything to help. Our culture characterizes "rape" as the a-stranger-has-attacked-me-and-is-violently-violating me, and so when someone is forced to have sex by someone they know and care about (i.e. boyfriend, friend, etc.) many women don't even think of it in the same category as a "reportable" rape.
To insinuate that women bring it on themselves by how they dress and how they act springs entirely from an American perspective! After spending some time in Brasil, where the clothing norm for women would be considered "slutty" here, and noticing that this did not seem to have any kind of greater effect on men kind of debunks that theory in my mind.
And just because ONE school had ONE program (which honestly was probably put on by an RA who didn't know when they were being inappropriate) does not mean anything about our college culture or the number of "promiscuous" women who grace frat parties (which is by no means representative of all college women, let me tell you.)
However, I do think that the 20-25% statistic is a bit over-reported. I guess it depends on what women will classify as rape for themselves.
What a horrible example of persuasive writing! What was this woman hoping to prove/gain, anyway?
Exactly. I knew my situation wasn't reportable. They wouldn't have done anything to help me, and people who were in the business that were supposed to help me only gave me hell, and more issues to deal with over and beyond what had happened to me as a teenager.
And it's totally an american thing. So is child abuse, and abduction to a large degree. Things don't happen on the scale they do here, in other countries. It's because America sexualizes everything.
And I don't know. Of the girls I know.. that's a fair statistic. If anything it's low. So many of the women I know have been attacked sexually. It's horrible, but it seems to be expected as part of the female experience, that some man will do that to you some day. I know men who have been raped too. It's the worst crime anyone can commit on another, I think. Unless children are involved, then that is always worse.
And i was wondering that too. I hope something negative comes her way after all of this, because I'm sure she's done incalculable damage to many girls who have read this article.
at my campus there is currently a serial rapist/murderer at large. "what campus rape crisis" indeed.
*hugs* That's terrifying. :( Where do you go to school?
Heather Mac Donald conflates "rape and attempted rape" to get her 25% - it's a strawman exaggeration. It's possible there are "one in four" activists who conflate the numbers, but this is hardly all college feminists. Not only does she ignore the distinction, but she also uses strawman as a pretext to dismiss rape as a problem entirely, as if less then 25% equals nothing. Then she blames whatever does happen on promiscuity and woman having regrets.
Even if this one study has shaky methodology, it's not the sole data or reason for campus anti-rape activism. There's ample data
showing rape is a persistent problem affecting 1 in 10 of the entire female population.
[She also makes the dishonest extrapolation that if the 25% were true it would mean 25% of all men are perps. Given the unreported incidents, this indicates repeat offenders.]
I some rebuttals skip the strawman at the heart of her offensive rape denial, but this is probably because they think it's self-evident. Unfortunately for these types, nothing is self-evident.Edited at 2008-02-27 09:37 pm (UTC)
Exactly. I'm so disgusted. Argh.
This article has me.. shaking in anger. How can one be so callous and ignorant as to basically tell everyone who's ever been raped or assaulted that it was their fault? Sure, there have been stories of girls willingly going to bed with someone and then playing the pity card later, but those are few and far between.
This piece of writing is so abhorrent to me.. to anyone who's ever been through such a terrifying ordeal.
I was 14 and molested by a college freshman, who I had known for a good while, respected, and believed to be a good friend. His friend was there too, holding me down. Afterwards, my best friend at the time asked what was wrong, as I had been acting quite off, as you can imagine, and I told her some of what happened, and she told me I was lying, because he would never do anything like that.
This man was not some creepy old guy in a tattered coat in a dark alleyway or a drunken boy at a massive party. This was
He was a college freshman, nice, smart, funny, good looking.. someone you would never believe would do anything wrong.
In America at least, women are trained to believe that if something like this happens to them, it is their fault. They didn't do anything to prevent it. Or they brought it upon themselves with their actions, clothing, or previous relationship with the man in question. This is why it's so rarely reported, even though it happens more often than people know- shame. I was ashamed that I had let myself be used in that way; It was my fault, I just let it happen. And I believed that to be true for years. I had a pretty messed up four years because of it. I'm better now, but still not "normal." I'll never be the same.
To any women that's ever had something happen to them, whether it was classified as rape or not, know that you're not alone. We're out here. Perhaps those of us who've ever had terrible experiences can best help one another, rather than someone who's never experienced it and cannot understand what happens. Not some bitch writing an article about something she can't even understand. We don't need that.
Exactly. I was raped as a teenager and members of my family and some of my friends didn't beleive me either, or believed me but thought that I must have 'brought it on myself". I wrote about what happened to me above, and am feeling a little ptsd'y after writing it and don't want to go into it again, but it's all there.
I'm here if you want to talk though, outside of the LJ comments, or here if you prefer. No one's ever the same after that happens. And the reactions to those that are supposed to love, or at least protect us, in our own friends and family, or in positions of power.. therapists, doctors, police, etc... their reactions to this kind of situation can be so harmful, and having something like this published on the LA TIMES is so horrible. I think that this article will do incalculable damage.
Strangely enough is what bothers me towards the end. Why is sex being talked about as if it's the Devil?
Hey, if you wanna have safe sex with toys with a lot of different guys, go for it. I don't like the portrayal that college students lack some kind of higher morality.
Not only that, but why the double standard? It seems women are the ones getting the backlash for being promiscuous, but from guys it's almost expected. That REALLY pisses me off, and the mood of this article only seem to enhance that feeling.
Although the point of the article about the help centers not being used raises some important questions, some of which were answered, or at least attempted an answer at, a few questions.
The point is, how can they offer help to those who need it, and where are they? The article itself can be seen as biased, because there are points to be made on the other side to counter, which it seems that's where you're upset.
I was never raped before, but my best friend told me about her rape experience from her cousin, which horrified me. I'm absolutely sure that rape is prevalent, and it's almost disgusting how most people don't seem to understand why women don't want to come out with it, especially with the way they're being treated for not saying anything. The way you were treated when you decided to get help is disturbing, and I really hope the system has improved.
Though it probably would've been better for you to report it, the things they said about you were lies and were probably meant to try to push you to do it. I guess their heart was in the right place, but their delivery completely failed.
I don't think their "heart" was in the right place at all. I think they were completely heartless all around.
Sadly, I got more out of the comments than out of the actual article.
Once again, can I divorce my species?
2008-02-28 12:16 am (UTC)
Makes sense- I do think some girls are acting crazy.
I believe that - a lot of it could be hype. They don't have their facts straight.
YES - aquaintance rape happens. Yes, it goes unreported.
But honey, if you're drunk, AND YOU PUT THE CONDOM ON HIM? You consented to sex. Did you get in bed with him? Done. You have sent him a signal. If you really want to sleep next to a guy - say "Hey, I want to cuddle, but nothing more."
It's sad that people use alcohol as an excuse for naughty behavior. TRY THEATER!
Now, naturally, he's going to try. YOU HAVE TO SAY NO. Tell the poor guy clearly. NO.
COLLEGE MEN: Ask ask ask. I know that you think it kills the romance. Cover your ass. Ask her if it's okay. Especially if you've never banged the bitch before. There cannot be any question. I bet a lot of times the guy walks away thinking it was consensual.
This opinion - and my mother was raped at her college in 1970 - at a frat party, by her boyfriend. He even apologized. I was very careful, and I am very fortunate that I have never had sex unless I wanted to. My best friend was raped after a night of drinking - but in that case- he crawled into her bed without asking! This is not okay.
An interesting book: "Female Chauvinist Pigs"
2008-02-28 12:18 am (UTC)
Re: Makes sense- I do think some girls are acting crazy.
My point is: COMMUNICATE.
Communicate, or there could be consequences.
It's not any woman's fault, ever, - but don't be STUPID!!!
What's interesting for me in reading this article is that the largest number of sexual assault victims on my campus are male.
Rape is not something that only happens to women. If it is impossibly difficult for a woman to report it, how much harder would it be for a man?
I don't know about the male perspective, but as a woman who has been raped and didn't report it, I can attest to it being extremely hard for a girl.
I think...I don't know what to think.
Rape does happen. Not all rapes are reported. Some rapes are fabricated. Consent cannot be proven. Non-consent often cannot be proven. Women and Men alike can send mixed messages. Misunderstanding can occur amongst people who are dating.
All these things are true, depending on the scenerio. It's scary just how prevalent they think it is. On the other hand, there's no way they can get any hard facts from studies like that. It's often just one big grey area; the article proves or disproves nothing.
I do not beleive that our society condones rape. That is an extreme. I do not beleive the opposite extreme, that rape is largely fabricated. I think the reality of things lie somewhere in the middle.
Edit: Can you please put the article behind a livejournal cut? ;_;
Also, I'm sorry to hear about your experience. I wouldn't wish that on anybody. Your friend should never have put you in that situation.
Suggesting rape isn’t an big deal makes her seem really stupid. Most people who are raped are raped by people they know. I have an old friend who was raped multiple times by guys her mom was dating. She ended up with post traumatic stress disorder. It’s a big deal! Rape victims should be able to report there rapes and gets help. They shouldn’t be made to feel its there fault. Though I feel the way the studies get there statistics is flawed. I wonder how many men they would classify as being raped by women if they used the same criteria. Personally I think that if the person believes they were raped, then they were. If they don’t believe they were raped, they weren’t. It sounds like in the study they are classifying people as rape victims who had sex and regretted it but weren’t actually forced.
One of the things I have a major problem with is the opening. “It's a lonely job, working the phones at a college rape crisis center. Day after day, you wait for the casualties to show up from the alleged campus rape epidemic -- but no one calls.” It sounds like she’s hoping someone will get raped.
America is stuck in a time warp. We are still affected by the puritanical ideology of some of our founders. They had the idea sex is bad. It’s dirty and something you don’t talk about. This is why we have a problem with rape. In Europe they don’t have nearly as big of a problem. Because they view sex as natural. The way it should be viewed.
I think the study would be more accurate if it was an anonymous survey. Some women who were raped would be reluctant to tell the researcher, but more likely to admit it on a survey. Also there is a bigger problem with men being rapped and not reporting it. They should do anonymous studies for male college students as well.
Also suggesting that the stats are false because the researcher was a feminist is just mind boggling idiotic.
Also if the rapest wears a condom it doesn't mean its not rape. It means they are eather not wanting to risk getting a desease or trying to reduce the amount of evidence.
There's a reason i don't read the OP/ED pages(s) of the paper. It's really like shouting at the rain. This isn't to say the person writing this doesn't sound like an idiot, and make ignorant opinions, that seem to verge on falisication of records. But there's also a reason that editorials and opinions go on a certain page of the paper, or are seperated on the website of said paper. They're all based on opinion and not fact. the paper wants it's readers to know this, and that it's not thier pursuite of objectivity, but a place to let people vent their opinions on the crap they're fed?feed themselves. I just can't take editorials seriously anymore since i've become a jounalist. it all just seems like shouting at the rain to me now.
You're totally right. I was just horrified that such an important paper with such a wide-spread audience would post something like this.
I have to say I agree with the article. While date rape, and college rape does happen, I don't think it happens nearly as often as some claim, and I DO think some women do things they regret and then cry foul in the morning. I've seen it happen with my own eyes. A girl assuring me over and over she wanted to go with the guy, she was sooooo horny, couldn't wait, then the next morning feeling bad, embarassed denying it. I was in college 5 years ago. I was in a sorority, went to many, many, many fraternity parties and never did anything I didn't want to do. Neither did any of my friends. Sometimes, I think there is an effort to make all men appear to be predatory and I just don't think that's the truth. If a quarter of all women were being raped that would mean at least that many men were rapist. That's simply unbelieveable to me.
I've been with tons of dudes and said "You need to stop here." and they all did. That's not to say there aren't bad guys out there, but I just don't think it's half the campus.
2008-02-28 05:41 am (UTC)
Wow. I just...wow. Let me ask you, if some guy didn't stop when you asked, would you want the cop to say "Well, I DO think you did something you regret and are crying foul in the morning."? Or do you think you know how to convince people you aren't like those girls who make stuff up?
Do you have some special radar to tell the difference between a woman who's "crying foul" and one who isn't? Or do you base it on whether you like them or the guy?
Are you saying that "I'm horny" means your friend automatically consented no matter what? If your friend had been raped, would you tell her she was asking for it, or that she must be lying, because she said she was horny?
It reads like you only know women who regret having sex. There's a difference between regret and raped. Knowing someone who felt bad after doing something by choice proves NOTHING about women you don't know who say they were assaulted.
Maybe this one study is overblown (although the author is lying about the actual results as it wasn't 25% raped), but are you saying since rape doesn't happen as often as "some" claim it doesn't matter, or it proves there's this batch of women lying about it?
It's an interesting article in that it got me thinking about what constitutes sexual assault, rape, sexual abuse, etc... Non-consensual sex is not as cut and dried Ms. MacDonald seems to think it is.
I need to process this a bit longer, but I do have this food for thought.
I was in a relationship where I had been abused on a regular basis and did not even realize it until I went for counseling, four years later. I knew I felt crappy in the relationship and I knew that my ex treated me like dirt and took advantage of me, but it didn't occur to me that I was being abused. I can say for sure that I didn't ask for the abuse, I didn't invite it... I just didn't know that being treated in such a way wasn't "normal."
I suspect that there are many women out there who find themselves in situations that are similar.
There definitely are. Women in marriages along with boyfriends and girlfriends.. they just don't know better. It's like a hidden nightmare. :(
I think I said everything I wanted to in my earlier comment.
I didn't report the rape when I was 18. I was too scared. 18, alone, and who do you tell and how do you do it? There would have been no evidence, I walked home, crawled into the shower, turned the water on as hot as it would go and sat there and sobbed until the water ran cold. Girls later told me they thought I was in there for about three hours.
Four and a half months ago, despite the fact I had been drunk, I reported it. And what did the police report say Officer finds no evidence to suggest that a crime has occurred.
My college roommate my first year there got so drunk and woke up in the morning in her boyfriend's bed, half-naked, and couldn't remember what happened to her. But if you ask her, she doesn't consider it rape at all. OR maybe she does and she's just hiding. I think women deal with grey rape in a lot of different ways. I viewed it as a violation, something abominable enough to be condemned. Some women, like what I think of my college roommate, just shrug it off.
I think it raises the dangerous question of when is a woman raped? Only at the moment she feels violated or at the moment something happens that she has not consented to? Some circumstances are cut and dry and over-lap, but other circumstances encapsulate the latter and non of the former. IS that rape? Why or why not? And most importantly, who gets to decide?
I'm not sure I really want to know all the answers. I know what I think (and I think that's rather obvious) but what society thinks? What society has decided? It's sickening to think about.
I was ready to write a rather irate comment in response to that article. I may need to send an email to the newspaper.... Out of my four close friends in college--two were raped. Neither of them reported it! In fact, they didn't even recognize it as rape! I had to explain to them that if you say no and the man still makes you have sex or performs sexual acts to you, then it is r a p e. A few years after college, another one of my friends was raped. That makes three out of four! Articles like this one promote the idea that women who get raped deserve it. This thought permeates our society so much that women--even supposedly educated women can't recognize it when they themselves are victims!
2008-02-28 03:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Thank God
Let me rephrase part of this...
I had to explain to them that if you say no and the other person or persons still makes you have sex or performs sexual acts on you, then it is r a p e.
I didn't want to be sexist. However, in each of the previous cases, the criminal was a male.
Wow. What a mish-mash of half-truths and holier-than-thou opinions, although I do agree with most of the last paragraph. College is for learning, but part of that learning experience should be raising one's consciousness about issues in society.
As to the "statistics" - I'm a grad student. I do research. I know how to ethically use numbers to prove my case. I also know how easy it is to use numbers to support nearly any argument.
Having survived the wild-n-crazy seventies as a teen, I know a lot of people who had non-consensual sex & didn't consider it rape, because of two problems - one, the perception that they were "asking for it" by being the kind of person who would have sex outside of marriage at all, and two, the reporting and prosecution of rapes is an excruciatingly demeaning experience for the victim, who is forced to retell his/her experience repeatedly, and often treated less like a victim and more like the perpetrator.
Back in those wild teen days of mine, I was "taken advantage of" and forced into non-consensual sex. I never reported it, as it was a friend of a friend, I was high, and I passed out, so I wasn't sure of what exactly had happened. When I told my friend about it, she said I shouldn't have made out with the guy if I didn't intend on sleeping with him, so it wasn't rape.
Later that year, another friend was violently raped by a stranger, who was caught. After the trial, which netted the perp a 5-year sentence, she was alienated from her good Catholic family, who were shocked by her "wanton behavior" in retelling the rape in detail in court. She had a good counselor before and during the trial, but afterwards was passed on to a therapist, who scheduled monthly group sessions for her. These embarrassed her, she stopped going, and with no support system in place, no self-esteem, and no emotional stability, she committed suicide.
Until the general public admits that any non-consensual sex is rape and the court systems start treating the victims with dignity & respect, rape will continue to be under-reported.
*hugs* I'm so sorry about your friend. :( That poor girl.
Society is terrible for women who have suffered through rape.
There's a lot of work that needs to be done to get to a place that is anywhere near acceptable. :(
Seriously, to keep it short due to time constraints. One rape is too many. Anywhere. Anytime. Period.
When I was in college, a ex-boyfriend of a girl I had kissed ONCE, ran up to me in the quad and punched me. Of course, I'm 6'2 and he was 4'6, so I shrugged it off before I mindlessly hit him back.
When I asked why he did it, he claimed I raped his ex-girlfriend. I didn't. He yelled at me in the quad for a good half hour, with people walking by and listening. I didn't get angry, or yell, I just calmly explained that I never did anything to that girl except kiss her once. We had met one night, talked for a while, kissed, and nothing had become of it.
I asked him when this happened. He said; "Less than an hour ago, you were just in her room." I wasn't. So I said; "Let's go clear this up." And I hid in the hallway while he knocked on her door, and asked if I had really raped her. She said yes.
Turns out that this guy had been trying to get back with his girlfriend for a while. He had friends watching her dorm room to make sure that no other guy came in. When one of his friends saw a guy walk out, he had called her and asked who it was. She said it was me. And she said I had raped her. He called campus police and filed a report on her behalf (cause you can do that now, for girls who are too afraid to report a rape themselves). In reality, she was having consensual sex with her new boyfriend...and didn't want to hurt the old one's feelings.
Of course none of this mattered when we all found out the truth. Campus police still took me in for questioning. And to this day there is a mark on my school records saying I might be a rapist.
I never got another date at that school. Most girls wouldn't even talk to me. I wasn't invited to any party for the rest of my time there.
I do feel sorry for your, random. I really do. That was a horrible experience you had to endure, but you should know that there a lot of rules and regulations in effect now to protect girls.
Chiefly among them;
- The girl who was raped does not need to be one who reports the crime. Nor does she have to say that it happened, identify her attacker, or be questioned about it.
- Rape no longer constitutes just sexual contact. Recent rape cases in New York, California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Vermont, have been been filed where the male in question did not even physically touch the victim. In a case in Iowa, a drunk girl had wandered into a random guy's room and fell asleep on his bed. The guy, being drunk himself, saw this, and LEFT HER ALONE. He fell asleep at his computer desk looking at a porno site. He was arrested the next morning on rape charges. She sued him to get him expelled from the college and for damages. And won. Then she sued the school for letting it happen. And won. She's now a millionaire at age 20, because she drank too much and fell asleep in someone else's bed.
- You can consent to sex, and if you have a fight later with the gent in question. You can sue him for raping you. Look it up; Morning After Rape Cases.
- A good friend of mine dated a guy for two years, slept with him almost every night. One day, while IN THE MIDDLE OF HAVING SEX with him, thinks to herself; "Eh, I wanna stop now. It's not doing it for me." But doesn't vocalize this fact. They finish up, and the next day she seriously considers filing rape charges against him. What the hell?!
Rape is a serious issue, random. I'm extremely sorry for what happened. You were a victim, and you know what? Because some girl decided I was a good target, I'm a victim of a rape too. Mine didn't actually happen...but that doesn't really seem to matter.
That's terrible what happened to you. I'm so sorry. :( *HUGS* That's horrible.
I think it's terrible that anyone would take such a terrible situation and lie about it for personal gain. I don't understand people.
Though I do think that they are the minority, when it comes to what people consider rape, but ridiculous stories like this just further demean people who really have been raped. It's a horrible situation all around and I wish there was a solution. :(
And thanks, babe. *hugs* Again, that's such a nightmare you had to live through, to be falsely accused of that. Ugh. I'm sorry. :(