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.