[Trigger warning for rape]
In January, the Obama administration created a task force to address the sexual assault epidemic on college campuses. This, according to George Will in the Washington Post, is just another example of the progressivism that has created a privileged status for sexual assault victims. Kind of like a private party that’s only open to sexual assault survivors, and everyone else is looking in through the windows going, “Are those shrimp puffs? And Bellinis? Y’all, I’m totally telling people I was raped so I can get some shrimp puffs.”
Colleges and universities are being educated by Washington and are finding the experience excruciating. They are learning that when they say campus victimizations are ubiquitous “micro-aggressions,” often not discernible to the untutored eye, are everywhere), and that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privilege, victims proliferate.
Will provides, as an example of how silly this “supposed campus epidemic of rape” really is, the story of a woman at Swarthmore College who reported being raped. She was in bed with a man she’d been hooking up with for several months, they’d decided to be friends, and when he started taking her clothes off, she told him not to. He agreed… until a few minutes later, when he began undressing her and raped her. “I just kind of laid there and didn’t do anything — I had already said no. I was just tired and wanted to go to bed. I let him finish.”
It’s ridiculous, he appears to think, that such a story of a woman being violated after explicitly saying no might be considered rape, much less part of an epidemic of rape. Or, more specifically, “sexual assault,” which Will puts in scare quotes several times in his piece. And attributes it to “the ambiguities of the hookup culture, this cocktail of hormones, alcohol and the faux sophistication of today’s prolonged adolescence of especially privileged young adults.”
Academia is learning that its attempts to create victim-free campuses — by making everyone hypersensitive, even delusional, about victimizations — brings increasing supervision by the regulatory state that progressivism celebrates.
First note: Sexual assault isn’t a “micro-agression.” It’s the regular kind of aggression. And a pretty aggressive example of it, too.
Second note: Exactly what privilege does he assume women are getting as a result of their “coveted status”? Is it the privilege of being accused of lying or exaggerating when reporting rape? The privilege of being warned that maybe it’s best if you just forget it ever happened? The privilege of having people speculate as to what you did to bring the rape on yourself? The privilege of PTSD? The privilege of being treated like a Damaged Woman by the public at large? The privilege of watching your rapist wandering around free of consequence, while people blame you for trying to ruin a good man’s name? The privilege of having been, y’know, sexually assaulted? Does Will actually think there are shrimp puffs involved? (Stranger things have happened.)
And if the privilege associated with being a rape victim is so coveted, why is rape so underreported?
Third note: I’ll let Lisa Reed take care of the third note. A survivor of sexual assault in college herself, Reed speaks to statistics, in terms of how many people in the U.S. are raped every day and how unlikely it is that a rapist will ever be punished for it. She speaks to the dismissal of rape by conservatives as hoaxes and false accusations and the distinction between “legitimate rape” and, one assumes, all the rest of them. She speaks to the effects of PTSD and everything that follows from it. And then she speaks directly to assholes like George Will, Todd Akin, and everyone else who dismisses sexual assault survivors as frauds, drama queens, and liars:
I have some words for George Will and others who argue that sexual assault survivors “make victimhood a coveted status”: Just stop. We’ve heard language like yours our whole lives that downplays or discounts our pain, either from ourselves, or close family members and friends that are supposed to love and support us. Your language enforces the prisons that we build for ourselves, locked in a cage of guilt, depression, anxiety and self-loathing. But as more and more survivors come forward because we realize how many other people share their pain and refuse to let it overpower us, we’re learning that your voice means nothing against the strength we have amassed after undergoing such horrific experiences. Your refusal to accept or acknowledge the reality of sexual assault doesn’t make our experiences any less real.