(Sorry, y’all, for spotty posting this week. Family duties and all.)
Tenured Radical has a great post on sexual assaults on college campuses in The Chronicle. She’s rough on everyone.
What is really interesting is that the people who create and sustain the conditions for sexual assault on campus — whether administrators, faculty, coaches, or students — consistently present themselves as normal, caring human beings. There is not a college president in the United States who does not insist indignantly how much he or she cares about the “victims” of rape. You would think, listening to this genuine outrage, that the entire mechanism of a college comes to a halt and the calendar of every administrator is cleared until they get to the bottom of things (in the rare event that someone is actually raped on their campuses). All college presidents “take rape very seriously;” but almost none seem to think these rapes have anything to do with their own failed student life and disciplinary policies…
Characterizing raped women as “victims” and “survivors” who need to have their “emotional needs” prioritized by the institution gets everyone off the hook, even though it is perfectly apparent that raped women get minimal attention and poor care. Who benefits from this false assertion? The college administration, the fraternities, the alumni who support fraternity autonomy, and the rapists. Let’s not forget the other students whose right to party is inviolable, and who seem to think it is appropriate to watch women be raped, take pictures of them, tweet them all over God’s green earth, and then bully women who report the crimes….
Women currently play a prominent role in creating sexually unsafe spaces, excusing guys who rape, and slut-shaming women who have been raped. Rape is not a man vs. woman thing anymore; it is a man + his friends + all their girlfriends + all the girlfriends’ girlfriends vs. the raped woman thing. Sure, it’s easy to blame the people with the penises, but how about all those women who are at parties and not stepping forward to stop rapes? Then there are the women who need to be cool so badly that they participate vigorously in slut-shaming and reassuring the campus on Anonymous Confession Boards that “my boyfriend is a member of (name frat/team) and they are all really good guys who would never do something like this. This is just a bad breakup and she is a big lying beyotch.”
Ack. I keep cutting and pasting paragraphs. Read the whole thing and then get back to me. Is she right about all this?