UPDATE: Brorby apologized in the comments to the piece. His apology is as follows:
First things first: apologies are needed for this article on behalf of me, the columnist. I’ll attempt to explain myself, but I accept that this is failed satire, and that’s that.
This began as an attempt to satirize the men whose main goal in college life is to “score,” to go out and – as I’ve heard men say before – “slay” women at the bars or at the clubs. […] I’m no Swift, but I attempted to use date-rape as the extreme example of men who go too far. I did not, though, consider the fact that I – as a male – have privileges that women living in our patriarchal society do not. I did not consider that women who have been raped might read this. That was a gross oversight, and to be honest I’m feeling pretty terrible about the whole situation. I apologize. I cannot stress enough that my aim was off – way off – and that the tone used in this article is much too light.
It is certainly appreciated, though it doesn’t undo the damage his article caused. I’ll leave the rest of the post up along with the link, and folks can make their own decision.
Josh Brorby is a student at the University of North Dakota. He recently wrote an op/ed for the student newspaper which is essentially a sexual assault how-to manual. Trigger warning for that link and for what follows. Josh Brorby begins:
I now present to you not only a comprehensible guide for the man’s one-night stand, but, in true gentleman fashion, a highly specific technique I like to call “The Brorby Method for One-Night Standing.” A word of warning: my method requires extreme concentration, a willingness to disregard what we know as “the law,” and, most importantly, a complete lack of respect for not only the person you plan to involve, but yourself.
Now, Josh Brorby is neither the most gifted writer nor the sharpest tool in the shed (tool, yes; sharp, no). But even he should know that presenting “The Brorby Method for One-Night Standing,” and admitting that it requires a total disregard for the law, kind of strongly implies that he does this. And then he writes a rapist’s playbook:
First thing’s first: you need to be hella drunk for this to work (or at least the girl does), so you need to find a party. Now don’t go out looking for a fraternity party to crash – in fact you’re going to want to avoid the whole frat/sorority scene, unless you don’t mind waking up the next morning pissing fire. You should also avoid any festival, gala, or Saturnalia whereat strangers may reside, or even anyone you only peripherally know. I suggest a nice get-together with a small amount of close, personal friends, preferably in an intimate setting like the unfurnished basement of your out-of-town neighbors’ house, or the next meeting of the Trystero’s Empire secret society (date, time, and location are always TBA).
Okay, so now you’ve got a party started. You need to scope out a hot little number to stand with for an entire night. I’d suggest finding someone you know really well, like a girl from your high school or someone you have class with every Tuesday and Thursday. Someone you talk to regularly. (This shouldn’t be a problem if you listened to my earlier advice – if you see a stranger in the room, get the girl you plan on having sex with out of there!) Get her something to drink – maybe a nice little Sex on the Beach, or some straight mouthwash. If you have the means you could just inject her with some Sodium Pentobarbitone (if this is the case, have a futon or mattress handy, she might drop to the floor).
She’s good and buzzed now, right? Maybe a little unconscious?
Whatever, bro, it’s a one-night stand. This is where you drop the line, something funny yet titillating to let her know your intentions. Try this one on for size: “Let’s have sex,” and if that doesn’t work, drop this bomb on her: “Hey I’m going to have sex with you now.” If you’re a real dare devil just pull down your pants and get to it.
Now, I understand that Josh Brorby will surely say he meant this as a joke, and come on all you humorless feminist and anti-rape people and have a good laugh! I mean, he’s just being a bro! And of course it kind of is a joke — he doesn’t mean that you should literally inject someone with Sodium Pentobarbitone. But “hyperbole” does not mean “I did not mean at all what I just said and in fact meant the exact opposite and am a nice guy I swear.” We realize he does not actually think that you should drug someone and then have sex with them. But it does seem like he actually thinks a one-night stand involves getting someone so drunk they can’t consent to sex and then having sex with them. And that’s a problem.
I’m counting down until I first hear the word “satire.” But satire by definition requires wit, and, well, let’s just say that “wit” doesn’t apply here, unless it is prefixed by “dim” or a choice four-letter word. There’s also a difference between “satire” and “repetition of actual events.” Satire holds power and reality up for mockery and challenge through irony or derision; none of that is present in this article. It is instead a mash-up of common rape-promoting and apologizing tropes. I couldn’t get through more than a handful of the comments, but suffice it to say that there were students standing up for Brorby because it’s women’s own fault when they go out and get drunk and get themselves raped. How novel! So no, “A Modest Proposal” this is not.
I’m also shocked that the paper’s editorial staff let this through. There are editors for a reason, and not every submission to a student newspaper gets published. The decision to publish this piece was a terrible one, and the editors of the UND student paper should be pressed to resign.
I’m not sure what’s happening over at the University of North Dakota, but I hope that someone is putting pressure on the paper’s editorial staff to hang up their notebooks. And I hope that the University administration takes steps to counter the poisonous campus environment that enabled this piece to be written, published, and apparently well-received.
Thanks to Jewell for the link.
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