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I've been struggling with this topic for a few days.  I posted this originally at One Utah.

There's a major discussion happening right now about sexual assault on college campuses (i.e. it's made the NY Times; some other posts and articles here, here, hereand here).  The basic shape of the conversation can be described fairly simply:

Rape and sexual assault are already underreported crimes.  Students on college campuses are victims of rape and sexual assault on a regular basis; college campuses nationwide engage in efforts to minimize reporting of sexual assault on campus and take minimal actions against perpetrators.  New regulations are shining a light on the situation.

The consensus seems to be that colleges aren't doing enough to protect students from sexual assault and aren't doing enough with regard to punishing perpetrators; it seems to me the worst a college can do is expel a perpetrator and even then they run risks they may prefer to avoid.  As I think about this issue, it seems that colleges are trying to thread the needle with regard to legal liability - in the absence of specific knowledge about specific threats to a student from/by another student, they can't take any action; they can't expel a student because he might rape someone.  Without evidence, they can't punish a student.  In many cases, victims can't identify the perpetrators.

Colleges face perverse incentives around reporting sexual assault.  They have an investment in demonstrating their campuses are safe for all students but they also must accurately record the number of reported sexual assaults.  So, while they want to create safe camuses, they are also motivated to not accurately record incidents of sexual assault which would allow them to address the problem.  Many colllege administrations reinterpret instances of sexual assault as hook-ups gone wrong or as miscommunication.  They encourage students to report to counselors and therapists who may not be required to report rather than law enforcement which is required to report.  Based on the accountsI've read, I'd guess a sizable majority of rapes on college campuses are acquaintance rape - not necessarily someone victim know well but someone they at least recognize.

The woeful tendency of both students and administrators to believe colleges' internal disciplinary systems are capable of handling sexual assault compounds the problem.  Collegiate bodies are simply not equipped to investigate allegations or prosecute crimes, which I think explains the dissatisfaction of so many victims with those systmes.

Students and administrators rightly regard college as a unique environment.  College life, especially at smaller schools like Grinnell, quickly takes on the feeling of living inside a bubble.  It's easy to forget on campus that there's a world off campus that's much bigger than anything you can find on campus.  Living on campus you can start believing campus life is the end all be all.  Each school, especially residential ones, is it's own ecosystem with its own language, attitudes and standards, which means of course differing sets of attitudes toward sexuality, dating, drinking and gender roles.

College life encourages erratic behavior and schedules.  Students are out at all hours, often alone. Many dorms on larger campuses see a constant flow of people coming and going.  People  study until the library closes and set out across campus on foot.  Roommates and floormates can go days without seeing someone and not think twice about it.  Despite living on top of each other in dorms, people can remain remarkably anonymous if they choose.

Students frequently and wrongly assume campuses are safe and so they tend to come and go without taking the normal precautions they'd take in any other setting.  Most college women would never think about going to a strange city, drinking until they pass out and assuming everything will be just fine, but they'll drink until they pass out at a campus party.  I'm not blaming the victim, I'm pointing out that working on the assumption that campuses are safe leads students to engage in behaviorsthey would otherwise avoid:

Alcohol, involved in 90 percent of all rapes on college campuses, is also a factor, he said. In the fall, students participate in the autumn round of celebrations, including football parties, Halloween and fraternity and sorority rush, and partying brings drinking.

“If you’re drunk in a party with people you don’t know, yes, you’re more vulnerable,” said Jill Lee-Barber, director of psychological and health services at Georgia State University. Four sexual assaults were reported at Georgia State last year.

The harsh reality is that women who get extremely drunk in public are at higher risk for assault.  I'm not talking about a drink or two.  On a recent evening out with friends, I saw a group of college aged people - both men and women, I presume they were students based on the prevalence of college t-shirts and sweatshirts - so drunk in public I don't know how they managed to walk and several of them didn't manage it.  People that drunk cannot give meaningful consent, no matter their gender.  I have no idea how the legal system sorts through allegations of rape when both partners were drunk.  I've seen drunk friends give consent that they later wished they've never given.

The experience of being away from home for the first time can compound the risk:

“College-age women are at very high risk for sexual violence,” said Adam Shipman, director of education and advocacy for the Sexual Assault and Family Trauma Response Center in Spokane, which sees students from Washington State University, Eastern Washington University, and Gonzaga University. Many are away from home and in dating relationships for the first time. They are experimenting with new, sometimes risky behavior, such as drinking and drugs, as they test their independence."
Students living in dorms aren't normal tennants and colleges aren't normal landlords. Most college students are legally adults.  College administrators cannot police students like they did in the bad old days of in loco parentis.  FWIW, I'm not sure if the older policy regime prevented any sexual assault but it created a sense of security.  And since attitudes toward sexuality were different, women were even less likely to report sexual assault, the result was a greater appearance of safety.

Reading college students reportsof sexual assault is depressing.  Again and again, there's too much alcohol, too little communication, too little respect.

Most universities, if not all, include sexual assault prevention discussions in new student orientations. But these safety measures can go by the wayside as many freshmen, newly sprung from home, feel a sense of liberation that often clouds their judgment. Kaplan advises students that if they remember nothing else, above all, “Trust your instincts. Use your judgment and follow it. If you feel that something is wrong, it is okay to do something about it…It doesn’t always mean you’re going to get humiliated or laughed at, and even if you are, so what! It’s important to do the right thing because you have to live with yourself.”
Eduational efforts around college students, sex and alcohol need to be emphasize the ways in which alcohol impairs and changes our ability to make decisions and choices.  I'm not talking about the cliche message that you must abstain from alcohol lest your entire life be ruined by the drink.  I'm talking about reality based education, emphasizing that a drink or two is not harmful but getting rat-assed leads to bad decision making.  Students, especially female students, need to be proactive; making plans with peers and friends to care for one another when drinking (just like having a designated driver, have a designated sober).  We need to practice being mindful with one another, watching each other's backs when we're partying.  Buildng into our student orientation programs alcohol awareness education seems a necessary first step - we teach about reducing the risks of STIs and condom negotiaton skills, and we provide condoms, why not apply that same model to alcohol consumption?  Rather than crack down on drinking, which only drives it underground, adopt harm reduction programs to help students better manage their alcohol consumption.

Colleges need to embrace effective sexuality education and require students living in college housing to attend.  Programs should cover contraceptoin, consent and communication (the three C's).  Make compliance with these educational programs conditions for fraternities and sororities to remain on campus.

In my earlier post about the rape culture, I linked to some videos on bystander intervention.  Part of the college education process could include building skills for bystander intervention (one of the videos, as I recall, showed students distracting a drunk male from his drunk partner and getting her away from the situation).  Boosting students skills and confidence with different methods of bystander intervention could go a long way toward redressing the problem.

Ultimately, colleges cannot prevent all rape or sexual assault on their campuses.  Many of the incidents could be avoided through education and consciousness raising (for lack of a better term).  Collaborative efforts at creating a campus wide culture that encourages bystander intervention, that reduces alcohol consumption, especially binge drinking, and better sex education efforts on campus could all go a long way toward creating safe spaces.

Finally, I want to touch on the public discourse around sexuality in general and female sexuality more specifically.

I believe the last few years have seen the ugliest public dialogue around female sexuality I remember in my life.  Sandra Fluke, for instance, testified that the expense of contraception is prohibitive.

For my friend and 20% of the women in her situation, she never got the insurance company to cover her prescription. Despite verifications of her illness from her doctor, her claim was denied repeatedly on the assumption that she really wanted birth control to prevent pregnancy. She’s gay. So clearly polycystic ovarian syndrome was a much more urgent concern than accidental pregnancy for her.

After months paying over $100 out-of-pocket, she just couldn’t afford her medication anymore, and she had to stop taking it . . . Without her taking the birth control, a massive cyst the size of a tennis ball had grown on her ovary. She had to have surgery to remove her entire ovary as a result.

Fluke's testimony was attacked in ways that are truly ugly.  Rush Limbaugh, for example:
This woman comes forth with this frankly hilarious claim that she’s having so much sex, and her buddies with her, that she can’t afford it. And not one person says, did you ever think about maybe backing off the amount of sex that you have? … And amazingly, when there is the slightest bit of opposition to this new welfare entitlement to be created, that all of a sudden, we hate women, we want them barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, all of these other things. And so, that’s where we are. And so, at the end of this week, I am this person that the women of America are to fear the most.
It's not that we expect anything other than bilious venom from Limbaugh, but his attacks were echoed across the entire right wing blogosphere.  Consider that about a month ago, the supposedly Christian OneNewsNow published an article the read in part:
Remember the Georgetown student, Sandra Fluke, who went before Congress to demand taxpayers foot the bill for her sex life?  We on the right were considered "sexist' and "narrowminded".  If this report tells us anything, it's the sexual revolution is not working.  We are in worse health, spending more money, and flaunting our sin.
Read Fluke's testimony.  No where does she discuss her own sexual behavior.

Toxic public attitudes and statements toward women's sexuality hinder the ability to discuss rape and sexual assault in general and hostile attitudes toward educated women make it even harder.  Limbaugh's vile attack on Sandra Fluke was at least partly motivated by the fact that she's an educated woman seeking even more education which makes her threatening to lots of men.  To put it more simply, if Sandra Fluke had been maid in a hotel, I think Limbaugh's attach wouldn't have been as nasty as it was and I don't think it would have been echoed around the right wing echo chamber as much as it was.  Even at prestigious colleges, cultural attitudes crop up all the time.  To take one example, at Grinnell College a survivor campus sexual assault described her experience:

When six survivors and I shared our stories of sexual assault, some common themes emerged. Based on our experiences, there is a hypermasculine sense of entitlement that most of our rapists embodied.

Our sexual assaults were not an aberration from Grinnell’s sex culture. They were an extension of it. The more we compared our experiences (both consensual and non-consensual), the clearer it became that a sense of pressure and disempowerment is more common than not.

We noticed a pattern throughout many of our sexual encounters of not being comfortable with some sex acts that our male partners wanted. It was rare for them to accept this and allow themselves to simply enjoy sex we could both agree to. Instead they often bargained, argued, pestered or coerced us into performing the sex acts or reluctantly accepted our limits. This is not sexy, and not sex positive.

Sexual assault is not a dramatic departure from Grinnell’s sex culture. It is the final step on this spectrum of bargaining, arguing, pestering, and coercing. I believe that it is the rare man who happily respects consent, although most do not cross the line into sexual assault.

For those who do cross that line and sexually assault their fellow students, they seem to think there are no consequences. Usually there are none.

Putting aside the usual Grinellian language ("hypermasculine sense of entitlement" is a beautifully Grinnellian turn of phrase), what the author is describing here is a cultural motif about sexuality which teaches that women lie about sex, before and after, that women don't truly know their own minds and are incapable of communicating so that men cannot possibly know what a woman wants or is truly thinking.  This cultural myth says that women say no when they mean yes and that men must persuade women to say what they really want.  It creates a catch 22 for women - even when they clearly say what they want, the men around them have been culturally conditioned to think they don't really mean it.  These men then, relying on the cultural myth, believe they need to ply women with alcohol and cajole them into saying what they really mean, which is what the guy wants or thinks he wants to hear (which is "yes" to sex).

These cultural stories about sex and romance are powerful.  Their cultural rip currents - you hit them and they pull you along before you really get a chance to think about what's happening.  These same cultural stories downplay women's autonomy and sexual agency.  Women need to be wooed, seduced and convinced, women don't know what they want.  The male side of the narrative says that men have to be aggressive, that they have to push, cajole, demand.  Combine those cultural narratives with toxic public discussions of female sexuality and you have a troubling scenario in which students are going to have problems navigating sexual conduct and relationships.

Which brings me, I suppose, to a final thought.  By the time students arrive at college, they've generally had extremely poor sexuality education.  Colleges can and should offer better sexuality education to students, but with too many students having been through sexist, inaccurate and ineffective abstinence only programs in high school, they will struggle to be effective.  We need to start effective sexuality education earlier, not later if we want to start solving these problems.

Originally posted to glendenb on Thu May 02, 2013 at 03:48 PM PDT.

Also republished by Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Saying that women who drink too much (9+ / 0-)

    in the company of people they don't implicitly trust is a risky behavior is not in any way blaming the victim. It's just good commonsense advice. Keeping your wits about you at all times when in public is not going to keep you 100% safe, but it is going to make you safer.

    •  The problem lies in that it does nothing to (9+ / 0-)

      actually alter the problem in any way.

      When you tell a victim 'alter your behaviour to avoid being victimized', there is nothing there that works to actually make it less likely that any other person will be victimized instead.

      You need to alter the behaviour of the aggressors, so that they don't merely find some other person to victimize.

      •  Agreed. A rapist will just find someone else. nt (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        swampyankee, mamamorgaine

        You said the air was singing / it's calling you, you don't believe / These things you've never seen / Never heard, never dreamed.

        by CayceP on Thu May 02, 2013 at 07:20:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree with that. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cream Puff, evilstorm, Sparhawk

        You are assuming that the rapists go out looking for victims, and rape the first one they find. But many or most of these situations are ones in which the rapist saw an opportunity and took it. If a girl is not passed out at a party, there may be no rape that night. So there will be less rapes overall. And even if the number stayed the same, it's still good advice to give to someone you care about. I'd much rather somebody else is raped than my daughter, naturally.

        •  sex with an unconscious person is NOT sex. (6+ / 0-)

          Most men who are not rapists really enjoy sex with a concious, present partner who is consenting and enjoying it too. In fact to crave anything other than that is a man who craves access otherwise known as control over a person.  That rapist is not having sex...he is craving having his way, which is the sickness we don't talk about when we act as if its normal for a man to want to have a sexual act with an unconscious and non consenting person. Sex with an unconcious person is one level of conciousness away from sex with a dead person. That ain't normal folks!!!

          If a woman gets drunk, the only thing that causes her to get raped is getting drunk in the same room with a rapist. (a man who gets off on an unconcious, non consenting person, that is, control over her, access against her will which is completely different than real sex). This is the point we must teach so that men realize that a desire for access us NOT sex.My husband does not enjoy sex, unless I do too. Anything less is a remnant of a time when men controlled women. Most mature men prefer great sex with a willing partners. Its sick to have anything else.

          •  I agree with you, however (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            home solar, kyril

            oftentimes the man is too drunk to know what he's doing. While rape of drunk women by sober (or mostly sober) men who know perfectly well what they're doing certainly happens--and those men are predators--being drunk makes men act stupid, too.

            And too-drunk-to-consent does not, at all, mean, unconscious. Far from it. A whole hell of a lot less drunk than unconcious is still too drunk to consent.

            So, the stereotype of the completely sober predator raping the completely unconcious girl is nice and neat, a very black-and-white scenario. We can all agree on this one. But a seemingly coherent, but too drunk to completely consent, girl and a guy who's too drunk to figure out exactly how drunk she is--that's not as clean-cut. But it's also a hell of a lot more common, especially on a college campus. And how do you avoid that scenario? By not getting drunk. (Both of them!)

            Yes, I tell my daughters that getting drunk could lead them to do something they really don't want to do. I'd say the same to sons if I had them. But, the fact is, even if the guy is too drunk to truly consent, he's far likely to ever regret it--or, more accurately, to ever admit he regretted it.

            A good friend of mine back in college days didn't remember losing her virginity. However, neither did her partner--and it was his virginity as well. When another girl suggested she accuse him of rape, she replied, "Well, we really don't know who raped who, do we?" (She was dating this guy, it wasn't a pickup). Luckily, the message that both of them took from this experience was to quit drinking.

            "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

            by ChurchofBruce on Thu May 02, 2013 at 10:12:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I call bs on this. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              randomfacts, splashy

              My husband is an alcoholic. He has 8 years sobriety. He and I were together in times when he was absolutely out of it. And he is and a very sexually charged human being. He helped me understand this principle more than any one ever could. No matter how drunk my husband was, in the worst of his disease...if I said "no" the answer was no. He might coerce (beg) but he never forced. I know that my husband in the worst of drunkeness would have had nothing to do with an unconcious lover.

              Any man, drunk or sober, who pursues sex, without conciousness and presence has something else going on...and it's about power and control. Drunk or sober!

              •  You gotta come up with better arguments (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wavpeac, soros, RamblinDave

                than "my husband is not that way". Obviously the commenter did not mean (or say) that 100% of men would rape while drunk. You have lots of arguments at your disposal better than that you know one person who is not like that.

                •  You completely miss the point. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  randomfacts, splashy

                  Either you are a rapist or you aren't. You just don't get it. This is not a natural state for men. This is not how normal men behave. Drunk or not. That was my point. Not that there is one example in my husband. My husband was a player. He did lots of bad stuff when drunk...but this he would never do. Nor would any man who is NOT a rapist. Rapists want control...they don't want mutual sex. When  you are don't become a rapist. You don't become a murderer. You don't become someone totally different than you are. You may lower your inhibitions. You may have increased rage if you have anger. You may lose your temper might get into might throw a punch...but you don't change your fundamental soul.

                  Alcohol does not turn men into rapists....Wanting to control another human being while having sex does that.

                  •  That is the same thing as what the (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Blue Bell Bookworm

                    commenter said, nothing is in conflict. Some men, whose makeup makes them potential rapists, are more likely to rape when drunk (and when presented with an opportunity). Other men wouldn't rape anyone ever, whether they are drunk or not. In other words, different people are different. In any event, smart people avoid getting shitfaced in public as it makes you a more likely victim (and, for some men, assailant).

                  •  I don't buy "you are or you aren't". (4+ / 0-)

                    Nothing about human beings is that binary.  Nothing.

                  •  I agree and disagree. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Blue Bell Bookworm

                    You say this is not a natural state for men.  I absolutely agree.  But the situation you describe with your husband is also not the same situation as the "party and binge drink" atmosphere university is often viewed as.  

                    Ignoring the many differences between how alcholics handle alcohol compared to binge drinking teenagers, the whole social situation and circumstances surrounding the behaviour are also different.  There are lots of kids who go to university with the ideas of movies and tv in their heads.  That it is a place where you party every night, binge drink, try drugs and where everyone is screwing all the time.  This idea you go to university to party and get laid is a fact.  

                    When people are going into a situation with the idea that getting drunk as possible, and having as much casual sex as possible is not just the norm, but expected, then you have a HUGE recipe for disaster.  

                    Yes, there are absolutely predators out there who are rapists and just looking for someone to take advantage of.  But there are also a lot of people who have the wrong mindset to begin with, making bad decisions because they feel that is what you do.  And bad decisions lead to more bad decisions which lead to people getting hurt.

                    •  Rape...non consensual sex=crime not accident. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      geesh. normal men dont go after unconcious partners. and if they do...then perhaps its the men who shouldnt get shit faced...if it makes them violatethe law! i am not saying that women can safely be drunk....they cant because their might be a rapust in the room. But taking the focus off the drunkeness or behavior of the rapist is offensive and a remnant of white male priviledge...abuses against women and slaves...entitlement. And clearly it causes folks to get defensive!

                      •  Exactly! (3+ / 0-)

                        The man that can't control himself if he gets drunk should not get drunk. That's the bottom line.

                        Whoever is doing the crime is the one that needs to do something about their problem.

                        Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

                        by splashy on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:45:40 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Thanks I was losing faith in mankind for a minute. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Batya the Toon
                          •  Why? (0+ / 0-)

                            Because people don't just accept "Hey! Stop being stupid!" as a solution that will work?  Rape is a real problem that demands a real discussion and a real solution towards fixing the rape culture we seem to have.   I honestly think people making sweeping, overly-broad generalizations aren't helping come to any solution.  

                        •  I agree with you completely. (0+ / 0-)

                          I fail to see how this rebuts anything I've said.  I agree that is a man can't control himself when he gets drunk, he should not get drunk in the first place.  But that attitude pre-supposes that all rape is planned or premeditated and all men are predators who bide their time until a situation arises that they can exploit.  I'm not convinced that is reality.  

                          Studies have shown that most people have stolen something at some point in their lives.  That doesn't make everyone akin to thieves who should be thrown into prison. And my pointing this out is certainly not equivalent of saying that legitimate criminals don't exist.  

                      •  I agree. (0+ / 0-)

                        I never meant to imply that only women should avoid the situations I referenced.  I think men are fully to blame for putting themselves in situations where they can do something extremely stupid.  But this isn't just rape, how many men (or women) will break laws because they are drunk.  Laws ranging from drunk driving, assault, theft, vandalism, etc.   Does this mean that they are all akin to criminals in prison?  

                        What bothered me in your post is that is essentially what you are doing.

                        I'm not defensive at all.  I do agree with your general point.  Where I disagree is that you seem to ignore or be unaware of the atmosphere many in university are a part of.  An atmosphere that encourages stupid and irresponsible behaviour is GUARANTEED to end up with people making very stupid and likely illegal mistakes.  That doesn't automatically mean they are all evil predators who

                        My point remains and coming back to the original article here.  Educating students isn't going to stop this problem.  If universities truly want to prevent rape, their sole focus should be on discouraging those "party" stereotypes, cliches or legitimate activities on school time or on school grounds.  I guarantee you, if universities stopped quietly condoning the situations that lead to rape (regardless of reasons behind it) you will see significantly less rape occurring.

                •  The men that tend to do that when drunk (0+ / 0-)

                  Need to get a handle on it, and if nothing else need to have someone else to stop them. It's their responsibility, not anyone else's.

                  Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

                  by splashy on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:43:48 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  your husband sounds like (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                CayceP, RamblinDave

                a good man, in spite of his illness. Would that all men were that good.

              •  You completely missed my point (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Blue Bell Bookworm

                What if you did NOT say no? What if you didn't say anything?

                Look, if I'm sober, I can better judge a partner who's had a few and isn't saying "yes" or "no". In fact, it's happened, and I think I wrote a diary about it once--she was drunk, I was tipsy, things were going along, nobody was saying "yes" or "no", she wasn't unconscious--in fact, she was moaning--but I was sober enough to figure out that she was a bit too drunk for this. And it's a good thing, because she called me the next morning in a panic. "WTF HAPPENED LAST NIGHT????" I'm very glad I was able to answer that with, "no, that didn't happen."

                If I'm truly drunk? I don't trust my judgement with a partner who is not clearly saying "NO!"

                So, no, I am not at ALL talking about incidents where the woman, drunk sober or otherwise, says "no". That's rape. Period.

                Look, I'm back in college now, at 48 :), but I remember my first attempt back when I was normal age, and I also have friends in school who are of that typical college age. The half-drunk-and-things-just-happen, at that age, is far more common than a, "Yes, do me now!" or "No, stop!" is, especially if it's not a long-established couple who've done the mating dance before (as with you and your husband).

                That's what I was talking about: girl, drunk but conscious, not giving out clear verbal signs. Guy, drunk, not able to interpret the non-verbal signs.

                "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

                by ChurchofBruce on Fri May 03, 2013 at 09:24:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  False (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              And too-drunk-to-consent does not, at all, mean, unconscious. Far from it. A whole hell of a lot less drunk than unconcious [sic] is still too drunk to consent.
              This is simply not true. Lots of people might want it to be true, but it isn't.

              If someone asks a person in words "do you want to have sex?" and the response is "yes", that's consent. Also, other than threats of violence, there cannot be any rape when one party convinces the other one to have sex using words alone.

              It is not incumbent on any party to analyze how drunk the other party is and there is no practical way for that to happen in any case. It is completely unreasonable in any manner to convict someone for "should have known how drunk the other party was". Otherwise virtually everyone everywhere who has ever had sex with someone after two drinks is a rapist.

              "Yes" = consent. Period.

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Fri May 03, 2013 at 01:27:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Well said! eom (0+ / 0-)

            Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

            by splashy on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:41:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Rapists do go out looking for victims (0+ / 0-)

          There are studies that suggest exactly that -- it's not that all drunk college boys are going to rape; it's that the six percent of the population that knows exactly what they're doing, has learned to use the drunken situations of college to create plausible deniability so they can operate openly.

          Do you not see that it is the grossest idolatry to speak of the market as though it were the rival of God?

          by kismet on Sat May 04, 2013 at 04:40:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'd tell the young men that (0+ / 0-)

        this doesn't make them more, it makes them less, to 'get over' on people, like a snitch.

      •  but if more and more young women (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        doc2, Batya the Toon, Leftcandid, Sparhawk

        avoid vulnerability, it makes it harder for rapists to commit sexual assault. They will likely find ways around it, yes, like drink-spiking, but the opportunities will be fewer and not as easy to take advantage of. The onus is not and should never be on the women, but if we can make rapists' lives a little harder, why the hell not.

        •  This would eventually lead to a situation (0+ / 0-)

          in which "good girls" don't have fun, go out, party, making any woman who does and gets raped even more "deserving".

          •  I don't believe in that slippery slope (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Blue Bell Bookworm

            I do believe that people will try and drag it that way, but I don't believe that it is inevitable. You know, this is the liberal dogma on rape, but you know what the alternative is? Girls continue to go out and end up in vulnerable situations--which they have every right to do--and men will take advantage of them. We can educate and prosecute'em till we go blue in the face, but there will always be evil. So then what?

            We tell women, "Don't get vulnerable", and we tell men, "Don't be rapist fuckfaces". We try to create a safe, let me emphasize that, SAFE, drinking culture, where people don't consider drinking themselves into insensibility any more than they'd consider leaving their wallet on a street corner unguarded. You don't have to moralize to preach safety. And above all, we teach about enthusiastic consent, and how anything short of that isn't consensual sex, is wrong, is criminal.

    •  so is not leaving your keys in the car (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sngmama, sturunner, kyril

      however should a car thief be allowed to mount an affirmative defense that you really wanted your car to be stolen?

      •  Nobody is talking about affirmative (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        defenses. Should people (of both sexes) take reasonable precautions to avoid being violently assaulted (not walk down a dark alley, not get too drunk in public, etc.)? The two possible answers to this question are yes and no.

        •  yet stuff happens; sometimes you have to (0+ / 0-)

          walk down a dark alley to get to your car or sometimes a bartender will over-pour.  Average mixed drink supposedly ranges from 1.5 to 2 ounces of alcohol (from memory) but I have seen barkeeps pour 3-4 ounces into each mixed drink.  While that is not a good way to stay employed, there are some who feel a heavy hand on the pour means more generous tips  

          •  Of course a heavy hand on the pour means (0+ / 0-)

            a better tip. Everybody loves to tip bartenders who give you extra pours. What have you been tipping bartenders for?

            •  my experience is on the other side of the bar (0+ / 0-)

              Many years ago I knew a fellow who sold an illegal substance and his motto was "you don't inhale the wholesale"
              Also knew an old bootlegger who was an absolute teetotaler.  His philosophy was "no one ever found a dollar in the bottom of a Mason jar or bottle"

    •  It would be "just good commonsense advice" (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CayceP, mamamorgaine, kyril, Lonely Texan

      if it weren't also used after the fact, all the time, as victim-blaming and as actual legal defense against rape charges.

      As things stand: it may be good practice, but offering it as advice is badly tainted by its misuse in dictating what women should and should not do.  As long as the moralistic "should" is still being used, the strictly practical "should" is deeply problematic.

      •  It's good advice, irrespective of (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparhawk, Blue Bell Bookworm

        who misuses it. I'd give it to my daughter, and I wouldn't hesitate for a second because somebody somewhere misuses it. That does not affect its value as good advice.

        •  I'm sorry, but yes, that does affect its value. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          randomfacts, kyril

          Giving that advice to your daughter is an excellent plan -- but you need to be aware that she is also going to be hearing that same thing as a moral judgment from a lot of other sources.  If you are not very careful and very clear in your warning, she may well mistakenly conclude that you agree with those people -- after all, you're saying the same thing -- and that you believe any woman who doesn't take this good advice deserves whatever happens to her as a result.

          Giving that advice in a public forum, to adult women you barely know or don't know at all, is even likelier to get you mistakenly identified with the moralizers.

          •  All that shit is irrelevant to me. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I could care less if she is confused by the noise out there. The advice is essential and unequivocally important. All that other mumbo-jumbo is just that - mumbor-jumbo. It is not that important when compared to reducing the risk of a person actually being assaulted.

            •  "All that other mumbo-jumbo" (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kyril, NancyK, Throw The Bums Out

              strongly increases the likelihood of rapists remaining unconvicted, of rape victims being unwilling to press charges or being dismissed and victimized further when they do, and of more people being assaulted.

              So yes, it kind of actually is that important.

              If you mean it when you say you don't care if your daughter is confused by the noise out there, either you don't care about her welfare -- which I don't believe for a second -- or you have a basic failure to understand just how damaging that noise can really be.

            •  Great (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lonely Texan

              So if she doesn't heed your advice and is assaulted because of it, or if she does (but breaks someone else's "rule" -- or heck, doesn't) and is assaulted anyway, then the fact that you might accidentally compound society's messed-up messages and add to her pain is irrelevant to you?

              Let me tell you and any lurkers here something important.  I have been raped.  I know the stories of many other women and girls who have been raped.  It is not -- NOT -- the sexual assault or the physical trauma that usually breaks a person who has not been raised to think that rape ruins you for life.  It is what happens afterward that fucks people up, when the moralizing happens.  When the girl or woman is not believed, or when she hears over and over that she brought it on herself.  Or when she already "knows" that she brought it on herself, because she's heard it so often from so many places.  Simple trauma heals much better than trauma complicated by breach of trust, lack of support, lack of understanding, lack of love, and self-blame.

              If it ever happens to your daughter, you don't want her thinking she brought it on herself, please trust me on that.

              •  I am going to tell my daughter never (0+ / 0-)

                to get too drunk in public. I don't follow why you think that messes up society or whatever. It's just commonsense good advice. I'd tell her to avoid dark alleys at night as well, and other things like that. Whatever the psychological effect of that, or moral effect, I don't give a damn. I want her to minimize her chances of being a victim of crime. That's it. If you would not give your own kid such advice that is your business.

                •  So when she doesn't report it or tell you about (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Batya the Toon

                  what happened because she believes you are telling her that it was her fault for being raped what then?  Like you said, you could care less if she is confused by "all the noise out there" so it shouldn't matter if she ends up killing herself in part because she thinks you are blaming her for being the victim.

                  You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

                  by Throw The Bums Out on Fri May 03, 2013 at 05:52:12 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lonely Texan, Blue Bell Bookworm

        It's good advice in the right context, which I think this diary is -- particularly if combined with other material that keeps the ultimate responsible party clear (again, as this diary does).

        It should never and I mean NEVER show up in a conversation about or with someone who has already been raped or assaulted (or even claimed to be).  In that context, even as a meta discussion, it is utterly inappropriate and I will call it out every time.

        It bothers me that it needs to be brought up in the comments here as if its valid use in this diary justifies its being brought up elsewhere.  It doesn't.

  •  I actually immediately hit the same thought you (10+ / 0-)

    wrote in your final paragraph - that our lack of training aimed at promoting healthy intimacy was a problem, and that 'abstinence' training actually only makes things worse.  We dump young people into a world in which sexual activity is a natural outcome, after not having actually taught them anything about developing healthy relationships that may indeed include sexual contact, and then are surprised that a lot of them actually get it wrong, and initiate unhealthy and maladaptive sexual contacts?

    Peer pressure is strong, hormone pressure is strong.  If you're going to reduce the number of 'date rapes', you have to pro-actively teach young men how to relate to young women intimately in a positive way, not merely deliberately avoid the subject for the first two decades of their lives, other than to talk about STDs and pregnancies.

    •  also you will note how often such activity (0+ / 0-)

      is a group activity.  Without the immediate pressure of a peer group, the individuals would probably have not acted individually

      •  I don't know about that. I think it's like the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Blue Bell Bookworm

        ongoing barely reported gun deaths vs the massacres.  The massacres get far more media coverage.

        Look, I've been there, as I imagine the vast majority of American youth have.  The only way you get taught about sex is from movies, boasting from other kids, and whatever media, usually pornography, that wanders into your sphere of understanding.  For most people, there simply is no formal training about building relationships that include intimacy as a part of a greater whole.

        And all of the 'myth' is what the author writes about above.  Aggressive males, 'scoring'.  It's not surprising, because that's the only model of teen behaviour they see to follow.

        If it weren't for the 'abstinence only' part of Christian sex anti-sex campaigns, they might be the best thing out there.  They do at least talk about respect, and other aspects of relationships beyond just the sex.

    •  And women have a critical role to play here, by (3+ / 0-)

      saying no to sex with "bad boys" & valuing the importance of considerate, kind partners.

      Where the issue of sex in college turns into the problem of (less about sex, more about power) rape is blurry, but it seems really really important for older, experienced women especially (mothers, obviously, but others too) to teach young women about what matters in men, & how to avoid learning the hard way about unpleasant characteristics of men with regard to sexual manipulation/exploitation.

      I don't intend to dismiss vast areas of the wide spectrum of sexual interest, desire, experience as wrong... but for the young &--let's face it--naive/innocent, bad initial experiences can last for years & create lifelong problems with intimacy & functionality.  A generation growing up with Internet porn & 50 Shades doesn't need an abstinence-focused traditionalist lecture any more than prior generations needed it--which is to say, not at all--but they DO need honest discussion about caring for & valuing one's partner, even in the context of a one-nighter.

      It's time to start letting sleeping dinosaurs lie, lest we join them in extinction by our consumption of them.

      by Leftcandid on Fri May 03, 2013 at 09:41:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, both genders tend to buy into the same myths (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The same media and mythology that tells boys they should be aggressive and dominant tells women they should be passive, but prefer the 'bad boy' over the one who actually does respect them.  And just like the boys, they buy into it because it's really the overwhelming message presented to them.

      •  Though if well written with an eye toward (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Leftcandid, Batya the Toon

        accuracy 50 Shades and similar things actually help fight against rape culture.  Here is the actual reality behind it.  After comparing written checklists there is a long and detailed (anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour) discussion about what is allowed and what is not allowed to happen as well as any medical conditions that might cause problems before the fun starts.  Not to mention having a ring of old keys handy for the person to drop just in case they get so into it they lose the ability to speak (not uncommon, and usually a VERY good thing) yet need to be able to signal that they need to stop.  Oh, and no alcohol or recreational drugs at all that day as it is very important that everyone have a clear head (and not be dehydrated).

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Fri May 03, 2013 at 06:11:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure; my point is more that such discussion is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Throw The Bums Out

          much more likely to actually happen & be adhered to among more mature people, rather than younger, less experienced people who might brush it off.  I think the popularity of the book (which I've not read) among young women does expose them to that important concept; my issue is more with what they value in relationship, because the tendency in women to value (being dominated by) an aggressive man is counter to what the world now needs generally, which is greater female empowerment & less male aggression.  My contention is that the extent to which sexual culture continues to reward & praise male aggression is the extent to which global progress is slowed across the board.  So, while not judging BDSM play, my hope is that aggressive male tendencies be overall denied genetic transmission as much as possible.  This runs counter to evolutionary history, which is why it will require a deliberate effort to shift successfully.

          (BTW: fellow-geek props to your sig, although it's probably more like 2d10+4).  

          It's time to start letting sleeping dinosaurs lie, lest we join them in extinction by our consumption of them.

          by Leftcandid on Sat May 04, 2013 at 08:53:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Adolescent Sexuality Education (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arlene, Blue Bell Bookworm

      Using the Our Whole Lives curriculum, I currently teach sexuality education to teens.  We have a host of activities and lessons about communication, about sexual assault and rape, about dating, about consent.  

      Our Whole Lives starts with a kindgergarten and first grade curriculum that teaches kids about correct names of body parts and "go talk to a trusted adult" and you have the right to not have your body touched if you don't want.  

      In the middle school curriculum (grades 7-9), we spend huge amounts of energy on communication skills and on understanding STIs and Dating.  We have an activity in which kids practice asking one another out on a date - how to ask, how to say yes and how to say no.

      In the high schoool lessons, we cover all the basics - anatomy, STIs, contraception, parenting, dating, reproductive options and, date rape.  I mention all this because of my experience with the date rape lesson.    We have a story of a date between and man and a woman (college aged).  The story is told from her persepctive and his perspective.  We divide students and then they talk about what happened.  I've led this activity multiple times (with teens and adults) and every time some of the females in the room insist the girl was foolish to get drunk, to go back to the dorm room, to not leave.  The scenario in the story is very common for college.  The people in the story are unsure what they want, they communicate badly, they drink too much, they make mistakes.  We ask "What could the girl have done differently to avoid what happened?"  "What could the boy have done to avoid what happened?"  "What could the bystanders have done?"  By the end of the lesson, participants have a set of scenarios ready to protect themselves from date rape and/or being date rapists.

      Good sexuality education goes a long way toward helping people prepare themselves for dating and college.  Programs are already out there, they already exist, we just need to start using them.

  •  Great diary, thanks for writing it. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CayceP, ybruti, mookins, raincrow, sturunner

    I only have one quibble.  I would make the following change:

    Colleges need to embrace effective sexuality education and require students living in college housing every student to attend prior to enrolling in classes or moving into campus housing.

    Socialist? I do not think that word means what you think it means.

    by Kimbeaux on Thu May 02, 2013 at 07:13:36 PM PDT

    •  Limit that age-wise, would you please? (4+ / 0-)

      I really did not need it when I went to college at 42, OK? There's enough crap that wastes my time because The University Bureaucracy is geared to 18-year-olds. (Since I can't prove my vaccinations because my pediatrician died 20 years ago, I have to get them again? At 42? Really? Yeesh :))

      CoB, now 48 and finally graduating two weeks from tomorrow :)

      "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

      by ChurchofBruce on Thu May 02, 2013 at 10:16:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Programs that argue against (12+ / 0-)

    masculinity tropes help. "Don't Be That Guy" etc. Men learning that women aren't toys to be used and disposed of will help, and a big part of that is deconstructing and rejecting what it means to be male.

    As a woman who worked nights in hotels for 10 years, I was never threatened while walking alone. I was however, threatened by hotel guests weekly. Indeed, those instances where I've been attacked physically always involved people I was familiar with.

    So, in addition to expanding our perception of what it means to be 'male' in society, we need to deconstruct what it means to be a rapist. Women who are raped will tell you they are usually not strangers hiding in alleyways in the dark - statistically that's a safer person.

    They are charming.
    They are often leaders.
    They are "good" and "such nice" men.
    Why, there's no way someone like him would do that sort of thing.

    The diarist is correct: "No means yes," / "Sex makes you a man," / "Bitchez be crazy, lyin' n' shit." is a profoundly unhealthy narrative. And we don't care, because it benefits those typically in power: men, often white.

    You said the air was singing / it's calling you, you don't believe / These things you've never seen / Never heard, never dreamed.

    by CayceP on Thu May 02, 2013 at 07:17:34 PM PDT

    •  interesting thing is the number of people (10+ / 0-)

      who feel a woman should not drink so much as to not be always in complete control, yet seem fine with males' binge drinking.  Usually when there is an unwelcome advance or attempt to "strongarm" a woman into sex, alcohol seems to play a prominent role.

      You are correct about "privileged white men" as they seem to behave in a certain way towards everyone they consider inferiors, such as women and people of color.  I note the news yesterday had the CEO of a company breaking a cabbie's jaw because the cabbie was Muslim and the CEO was upset over the Boston bombings.  The dimensions of this privilege becomes evident when the CEO's attorney claims the CEO was sober though he was picked up from a bar and also denies his client struck the cabbie though his jaw had to be wired.

      It is the same with attempted rape.  The immediate defense is either nothing happened, an innocent remark or gesture was misinterpreted or the female is making it all up for reasons of her own    

    •  Bottom line=rapist get off on control (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sturunner, CayceP

      They are not after a mutually satisfying sexual experience. They want what they want, and they want it NOW. This is more important to them, than the relationship (even if it's just based on a mutually satisfying sexual encounter) that would have to take place if a great sexual experience were negotiated. These individuals do not want to negotiate a mutually satisfying is one sided...this is the most salient point..

      A rapist is not after a normal sexual's not normal to "take sex" any way you can.

      Real men like real sex!!!

      •  The trouble with that narrative is (0+ / 0-)

        that there are also non-rapists who get off on the idea of control during sex.  They're the ones who look for partners who have the complementary kink -- those who get off on the idea of being controlled during sex -- and establish boundaries for playing out those desires in mutually safe and consensual ways.

        It's not the urge or the desire that makes it rape.  It's ignoring what the other person wants or needs; it's failing to think of the other person as a person at all.

        •  It's the invalidation-ultimate control of another. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Batya the Toon

          Yah, the trick here is that with most sadism and masochism, there are safe words, so it's not really complete control over another or being completely controlled by someone at all. It is the fantasy.

          We talk about this regarding fantasies of those who have been abused or assaulted. When there are been these issues fantasies regarding control are common...but in fantasy we have complete control over the narrative, as we do in "contractual bondage". We have an aggreement with another.

          In complete control over another...we can assault them, torture them, kill them. In those situations there is complete invalidation of the other person. It's as if that person is not valid...or important.

          So I's the combination of control...and invalidation. But on the continuum of control...ultimate control exists only when we no longer care at all about the other person.

    •  Don't Be That Guy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Links to the original Don't Be That Guy campaign, and here.
      Another group that's picked up the ball here.

      Democracy has a well-known liberal bias.

      by MrCanoehead on Sat May 04, 2013 at 03:28:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm an older single lady (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and I've completely given up dating, because these days it seems like sex is all about boundary-testing and one-upmanship. If you want to wait to get to know someone a bit before testing the sexual waters, the guy will push and bargain every single time you see him and it's like some weird victory dance when he finally achieves his single-minded mission objective. If you're enthusiastic about sex, the guy will probe to find something that you're un-enthusiastic about and try to violate that boundary (usually it's straight-outta-porn stuff). Our culture is sick around sex and it's gotten worse since I was younger. It all feels coercive and transactional. Something definitely needs to change.

      Do you not see that it is the grossest idolatry to speak of the market as though it were the rival of God?

      by kismet on Sat May 04, 2013 at 04:51:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Grinnell '95 here (4+ / 0-)

    And it's really sad how unsurprising I find that. In my day, there was a prevailing sense that the whole place was hypersensitive re: sexism and rape and a guy would be guilty until proven innocent and blah blah blah...but there was also a pervasive (and really meanspirited) joke that the women were the world's ugliest. Couldn't ask for a more vivid example of male privilege at a place where so many imagined the guys were the oppressed ones.

    Certaines personnes disent qu'il y a une femme à blâmer, Mais je sais que c'est ma faute sacrément.

    by RamblinDave on Thu May 02, 2013 at 11:32:15 PM PDT

    •  the oppressor is alway cast as the oppressed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sngmama, wavpeac

      For example, some KKK leaders allege the NAACP is the true racist organization while the KKK is merely racial.  Their proof is that the NAACP is allowed to use the word "colored" while KKK members are condemned when they use the same term.

      Of course, all you hear are crickets when you ask how many people have been lynched by the NAACP?  

    •  I saw a similar dynamic in my time there (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This often but not always unspoken belief that all it took was to whisper a guy's name and the word rape and the whole machinery of the college would spring into action and he'd be guilty until proven innocent and even then he wasn't really innocent . . . but it never actually happenend.  

      I know intellectually that lots of peopel at Grinnell were hooking up and I know there's no way all of it was consensual but I don't recall hearing much talk about sexual assault in the time I was at Grinnell.  We had safe sex study breaks that discussed consent and contraception and while they were good, I can't imagine they were 100% effective.

      I also remember friends who grew up in cities assuming because Grinnell is a small town it's completely safe.  Female friends of mine would walk into town at night without a moment's hestitation.  Another female friend, in four years, never once locked her dorm room.  I think we were incredibly lucky that more bad things didn't happen.

  •  found a depressing statistic today (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    home solar

    It seems, given the number of unreported rapes, the number of rape cases that are dropped for various reasons and the number of rapists who are actually convicted, it seems the average rapist only faces a 6% chance of prison for each rape he commits.

    Consider if this were true of murder.  While there are serial killers, it seems there are many more serial rapists who attack a large number of women.

    For your consideration:

    While there does not appear to be any sort of list of the worst serial rapists, I found several referenced whose victims it was postulated, reached 100 or more each.  It is astounding that a single rapist could assault 100 women but for several to have apparently done so is mindboggling

  •  come back here and post more comments, dammit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Batya the Toon

    I want to upvote the hell out of'em. Thank you for this diary.

  •  Excellent diary. One more facet I think you (5+ / 0-)

    should address are colleges that appear to be retaliating against women who report campus rapes to the criminal justice system as appears to be happening at North Carolina. If what I'm reading is correct the victims are being further traumatized by a campus system primarily designed to shut them up.

    I believe that a representative from the Police/District Attorney should be present and speak at the orientation for new students. It should be made clear to everybody, including campus administrators, that rape is a crime and that campus dispute adjudication venues are not appropriate for reporting serious crimes. If rapes are reported to the criminal authorities more pressure would come to bear on college administrators to properly report sexual violence on campus and to take active steps to reduce the rate of rape on their campus. Without an external prod university officials will take the easy route of cover up.

  •  I appreciate your discussing sexual assault (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in this detail. I see quite a few comparable points to be made between how Rape/sexual assault gets (or does not get) dealt with in the military and on campuses. I guess Grinnell faculty, admin, staff or students might prefer not to be compared to a military culture. Still, universities, like the military, are hierarchical, traditional, and quite frankly in administration (and elsewhere), conservative. Both organizations like to keep incidents that might reflect badly on their image within the organization. Both organizations have long traditions of excluding, or discriminating in various ways against, women. The higher education community, of course, has a much thicker veneer of "sophistication" or even progressivism; however, that probably only compounds the problems for dealing openly and honestly with sexual assault on campus. The military has more often been perceived as a repository of blue collar folks, so it is more easily stereotyped as having examples of blatant machismo than you might find on campus, and therefore more outward hostility toward women's presence (and success) within the culture. If you want to read more about Military Sexual Assault as it's been discussed within the kos community, you might check out these diaries: here, here, and especially here. The VA's issue seems to be providing resources to assist MSA victims who have PTSD after surviving an assault. I wonder how willing colleges and universities will be to pick up the tab for treating increasing numbers of PTSD cases among students who have been assaulted, encouraged to report, seek treatment, and advocate for stronger protective measures for victims. I'm not sure how much financial concerns drive these reactions (or aversion to reaction) among organizations that are responsible for the safety of community members. To me, the impact of sexual assault on these communities warrants as much investment in time, money and expertise as either organization has, not what it thinks is convenient, to decrease incidence and treat sufferers. Stricter punishment (strictest punishment available) for perpetrators is a good place to start for curbing, too.

    I discover myself on the verge of a usual mistake. ― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

    by dannyboy1 on Fri May 03, 2013 at 07:29:10 AM PDT

  •  The "idea" of university if the problem. (0+ / 0-)

    Look at pretty much any movie about univeristy life that has come out in the last 30 years or so.  It doesn't promote university as a place of higher learning.  More often than not it promotes university as a place to binge drink, party, "experiment" and screw anything that moves.  

    Look at how much attention is spent on promoting "party colleges".  How many universities try and attract budding athletes not just with an education, but with how fun the school is, the parties, the "lifestyle" and how much they will be worshipped as gods.  

    This is the problem.  People go to university with the idea that stupid and irresponsible behaviour isn't just the norm, but expected of them to have the "true university experience".   Hell, look back at that crazy sorority e-mail making the rounds not too long ago.  Clearly the product of someone who honestly believes university, and especially sororities/frats are NOT about responsibility and education, but about partying and having sex.  Again, there is an expectation that you are in university, you SHOULD be having sex and partying and drinking.  That crazy e-mail even seemed to imply that there was an expectation the sorority girls should be doing those things with their associated frat.

    Again.  This mindset is the whole problem and as long as we allow the idea of universities are for partying and getting stupid drunk, rapes will keep happening.  It makes no difference how much education the universities tries to put out.  The problem is that as long as universities are aware of and keep tolerating the party lifestyle that movies and tv promote, then young people have that expectation they should get stupid the second they enter.  And that is NOT an environment or a mindset that is going to stop and think about whether or not they should be doing something.  That is a situation that guarantees poor decision making and dangerous behavior that will result in people getting hurt.  

    That is just common sense in general.

  •  I Do Not See How You Can Discuss This Without (0+ / 0-)

    mentioning Dartmouth, which has been aggressively women people who speak up about rape.

    6/24/05: Charlie the Tuna Creator Dies En lieu of flowers, please bring mayonnaise, chopped celery and paprika.

    by LunkHead on Fri May 03, 2013 at 12:49:49 PM PDT

  •  The Victim or the Crime? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Batya the Toon
    “College-age women are at very high risk for sexual violence,” said Adam Shipman, director of education and advocacy for the Sexual Assault and Family Trauma Response Center in Spokane.
    Which means that many college-age MEN are at very high risk for COMMITTING sexual violence.

    Hmm.  I wonder what we should focus on, the victim or the crime?  

    "Many are away from home and in dating relationships for the first time. They are experimenting with new, sometimes risky behavior, such as drinking and drugs, as they test their independence."
    And, it stands to reason that also, many college age MEN are away from home and in dating relationships for the first time. They are experimenting with new, sometimes risky behavior, such as ... um... COMMITTING RAPE?  

    Again, which should we be focusing on, the victim or the crime?  

    "We must close union offices, confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison. We must reduce workers salaries and take away their right to strike.” -Adolf Hitler, May 2, 1933

    by bekosiluvu on Fri May 03, 2013 at 07:41:26 PM PDT

  •  It's the MEN that need to be educated (0+ / 0-)

    Not the women. After all, it's the men that are doing the raping, the men that are ignoring what the women want, the men that are pushing themselves onto others.

    Teach the men to realize what they are doing, and how to not do it. Teach them what their triggers are, and how to avoid them and how to cope with their urges.

    Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:40:06 PM PDT

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