Student activist responds to LA Times‘ “no rape crisis” op-ed

Nora Niedzielski-Eichner from SAFER has a piece in the LA Times responding to Heather Mac Donald’s recent op-ed claiming that there is no rape problem on college campuses.
Niedzielski-Eichner not only refutes Mac Donald’s claims that commonly-cited rape statistics are wrong, but also points out that fewer than half of colleges have sexual assault prevention programs – something that must change given the very real problem of campus rape.
Check it out for yourself, and comment over at SAFER’s blog.

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34 Comments

  1. Posted February 27, 2008 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Thank God they printed this. It was very well written and an informed response. I wish I could have formulated this type of letter but all I wanted to do was type “FUCK YOU” in caps and hit copy/paste about 10,000 times :)

  2. SarahMC
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    That’s how I felt too, Tobes.
    What a breath of fresh air, huh?

  3. Posted February 27, 2008 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    And then LA Times web editors ruin it with this, below Nora’s piece:
    Is the college rape crisis a vast left-wing conspiracy? If not, what should campuses do about it? Discuss today’s Blowback.”
    Come on, LA Times. Are you fucking kidding me?
    A left-wing conspiracy to what end? To protect women from unwanted sexual contact? To assert the idea that a woman should be able to go to college, have fun, wear what she wants and not be told, if she’s raped, that if she’d stayed in her room and kept her legs shut, she’d be okay?
    Seriously, every single dalliance into the MSM this week has made me want to throw my laptop against the wall.

  4. T-Monster
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I had trouble formulating a coherent response to MacDonald’s article too. Thankfully Nora Niedzielski-Eichner is pretty bad ass.

  5. Posted February 27, 2008 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Snarky Amber, that pissed me off too. I don’t know if it will catch on, but it appears that the newest misogynist meme is that the rape crisis groups are an industry like the so-called abortion industry: designed to spend tax dollars, not help women. It’s incredibly offensive and I hope that it doesn’t take hold, but I’m more cynical with every passing day.

  6. Ariane
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    A vast left-wing conspiracy? Does not compute.
    Good on Niedzielski-Eichner for taking Mac Donald’s article to task for the tripe it is, and doing so in a far calmer manner than I could ever hope to try for. I too had the urge to type FUCK YOU and paste it 10,000 times before heading for the slightly more coherent YOU’RE WRONG AND YOU’RE CLEARLY AN IDIOT BECAUSE YOU’RE BLAMING THE VICTIM PLEASE GO DIAF.

  7. Posted February 27, 2008 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Heather MacDonald’s article was shameful, and I’m glad someone responded to it in the LAT. But is it just me or is Nora Niedzielski-Eichner doing the same thing she accuses MacDonald of doing, that is, rehashing 60s battles at the expense of women whose sexual autonomy has been violated:
    “Students today are being inundated by two contradictory cultures, neither of them healthy. On the one hand, we have the continual commodification of sex in America. Women’s bodies are everywhere, selling cars, movies and pop stars in increasingly explicit terms, but with little focus on mutuality, emotions, knowledge, conversation or consent. On the other hand, we have abstinence-only education and MacDonald-like calls for chastity, which also focus very little on mutuality, emotions, knowledge, conversation or consent. . So when it comes to an in-person sexual interaction between two students with these two cultures to draw on, is it any surprise that some men are picking the elements that justify forcing a woman to have sex or that some women are confused about what happened to them and whose fault it is?”
    Basically Niedzielski-Eichner just rehashed the leftist flipside of rightwing complaints about liberal sexuality. While the conservatives were griping about sexual liberation in the 60s, liberals were griping about various ways that capitalism exploits sexuality in harmful ways. While I am inclined to agree with certain feminist critiques of capitalism, there’s no reason to think the “commodification of sex” makes rape any more prevalent or pernicious. Is there any evidence that rape has increased as society has become increasingly commodified? I doubt it. Does commodified culture produce more violence against women than industrial culture, or pre-industrial culture? Likewise, I doubt it.
    So making these kinds of arguments in response to plainly false claims about college campus rape does no service to feminism, to rape victims, or to society. Niedzielski-Eichner fulfills all the stereotypes of the knee-jerk marxist leftist willing to blame every problem on the evil corporations. But there’s no reason to go there. All you need to say is: rape is a big problem, as it has always been a big problem, just like murder has always been a big problem, and to say otherwise is wrong, disingenuous, and ideological. Debates about rape ought not to be about sixties culture wars. And it cheapens the issue of rape to tie it to a flimspy critique of consummerism.

  8. dananddanica
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Good read. I was glad to finally see where that 20-25% comes from. After reading that DoJ report I see how they arrived at the 20-25% number but it makes little sense to me. I know though that the writers of that report know what they are doing but to go from a 2.X% rate for the academic year time period, make that 4.9% for 1 year and then say over 5 years it becomes 20 or 25% just doesnt make sense to me in a real world scenario. The survey was conducted in early 1997 and when I look at the safer site and read the DoJ national crime victimization report from 1995-2000, apparently published in 2003, I see rates far lower than those in the study linked by Nora as well as a drop of 40% in violence against college-aged persons. This is explained in the NCWSV writing and I think they are right in that more explicit questions raise the rates for these stats as they probably would for any crime. Amazing though how very different the results were using the same backbone for each survey. The NCWSV does a good job explaining things and some of the possible problems with their methodology as well as some things the more generic NCSV might be overlooking but I do wonder, using their own logic, should the 20-25% still stand? should it be lowered or raised? Sorry for the long post, just glad to have read it.

  9. SarahMC
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    there’s no reason to think the “commodification of sex” makes rape any more prevalent or pernicious

    The popularity of rape porn coupled with the absence of meaningful sex-ed is pretty disastrous for women.
    When men are sent the message (by the media) that women exist for their pleasure, from the time they’re boys, they internalize it. I don’t see what that has to do with the 60′s, as it’s ubiquitous in 2008.

  10. angelicdemon
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Although I did an initial “woohoo” that a rebutal had been published, after reading it I felt a bit … unsatisfied.
    It was well written and covered some of the bases, but there was no mention of the whole “using alcohol as a blame system” that Mac Donald used several times in her article.
    My opinion is that the whole drug culture in colleges and univeristy is way out of hand and that it is rarely dealt with. Alcohol is seen as completely normal and actually, students are expected to get drunk on a weekly (if not daily) basis.
    When I tell people that I actually have cut down on my drinking, they assume it’s because I’ve had a drinking problem.. to which I raise my eyebrow and just shake my head!
    Also, as a survivor of multiple sexual assaults (which in Canada is named Type 1 and 2 Sexual Assault), I realized that sometimes people perceive sexual assault is only seen as true if women are badly injured from it.. The two times I experienced were not traumatizing experiences by the acts themselves–in fact they seemed like completely normal sex practices–but they were never originally consented to by me, and I was convinced by my then partner to have sex.
    Be it whether or not people would portray that as “rape”, which is usually associated with an act of violence resulting in physical damage of hte woman, I was more-so raped mentally.. not physically.
    This, unfortunately, is why anti-rape biggots do not accept rape.. In reality, women are more likely to be sexually assaulted in a manner that does not leave them with physical scars and damage–only with the mental.
    Another important issue is that there is little support out there–at the tender age of 16, months after my rape, I finally came clean to my cadet harassment office (this occurred while I was in Air Cadets) they asked the guy what happened and they returned to me saying that “your two stories don’t match up, so we aren’t taking further action.”
    That made me feel like it was my fault.
    In any case, this sort of went personal.. but I think that sharing personal experience can help bring women together. I am now over the entire situation but it has taken roughly 6 years to come to terms with it. Luckily, I now have wonderful support and understand what happened.

  11. T-Monster
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Blake, you bring up an interesting point about Niedzielski-Eichner’s article. I felt some of it read as right vs. left rhetoric, and that does not reach the people who bought into the tripe MacDonald wrote in the first place. It should be about the health of women and society, rather than politics. At the same time, it is hard to avoid the right-left war when dealing with sexuality. While Niedzielski-Eichner’s article could have been angled differently, it is still a very effective piece.
    I have to disagree with you about the commodification of sex. Niedzielski-Eichner isn’t saying that rape has increased today because of the commodification of sex, rather that as it exists today it is an issue. At one end, society promotes sex as a tool to sell, and sell it does. While at the other, abstinence is promoted with fire-and-brimstone fury. This extremist message is not new in our society, but it is a problem. I think Niedzielski-Eichner is saying that some middle ground would be beneficial.
    Niedzielski-Eichner writes there is “little focus on mutuality, emotions, knowledge, conversation or consent.� Isn’t one our biggest problems in society equality? I think Niedzielski-Eichner is saying that we should be promoting healthy, egalitarian relationships between men and women, rather than acting like prejudices and problems do not exist.

  12. thatabbygrrl
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I cannot figure out what possible benefit there could be to the “left-wing” for creating such a conspiracy. If we knew it wasn’t true, why would we want to divert tax money to a non-problem when there’s not enough to address actual problems? A side-effect of all this seems to be to make college women terrified and scared, but nobody’s alleging that’s a goal of the left-wing. The only possible effect I see that (crazy) people might think is the actual underlying goal of the left-wing in creating this conspiracy is to make men feel guilty about sexual contact with women and to make them feel like they had responsibility when it “should” lie with the slutty drunk sexual siren woman in the first place.
    As a corollary, protecting men from this responsibility and guilt seems SO IMPORTANT to Heather McDonald, et al, that they’re willing to throw sexual assault victims under the bus to protect TEH MENZ. Because ensuring that men don’t have to spend even a moment thinking about whether that sexual incident was consensual or not is worth re-victimizing any women who have actually been sexually assaulted.
    Ugh.

  13. Jem
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Danica,
    I am not sure exactly why, but there is something about your posts that always bothers me. You make it clear that you are learning, and I actually sense a changed tone overtime believe it or not.
    I’ve already mentioned to you elsewhere that statistics matter, especially if you are going to base critiques, programs, advocacy, etc. on them…but can you explain why you believe this 1/4 ratio is false? Whether it’s 1/4 or 1/10 the fact of the matter is that violence against women is too common, too accepted, too uncontested even.
    Statistics are not my thing, and I am quite skeptical of most. Sometimes *I* can’t even believe the 1/4 ratio (or 1/6, 1/10 for that matter) because I can’t possibly wrap my mind around something like that. I can’t accept that sometimes. Even if I am that 1 in the 4. Even if in my immediate family of 7 women 3 (that I know of!) are part of those 1 in 4
    I hope you don’t mind me asking the following: Do you have a large circle of women in your life? Does it really bother you to even entertain the idea that a loved one may have been the victim of a sexual assault?
    There really is no malice on my part at all, I am simply curious.

  14. dananddanica
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Jem,
    Well this is Dan, Danica is currently at work. I apologize if my posts upset you. As far as why 1/4 ratio goes, just this one, not the koss one from her work, seems strange to me….well its probably because I like the statistical acumen to really analyze it properly but after reading the report, I wonder about its logical conclusion. It said the rate of incidence was 2.8% for the school year, so they figured that was 4.9 for a calendar year and since college can be 5 years long that could mean 20-25% during the college years. Ok I get that and I don’t question the math as they know better than I but if they are extrapolating a possible 20-25% out of 2.8% for the school year, what if we make the timeline 75 years and not just 5, would we not approach 100%? I understand the allowances they are making in the errors that might come up using their methodology. I’ve said it before though, I dont care what the numbers are, 25%, 10%, 1%, it doesnt matter, all are too high.
    As far as your personal questions. Yep, I have quite a large circle of women in my life, I live with my wife (a US Navy Chief) and my mother (the most kickass woman you could ever know, she’s now medically retired). My wife is far more educated than I am and hosts women in the military seminars and the like and is as involved in many progressive movements as she can be so a lot of our social life revolves around that. Also in my extended family I am the only male for 10 years in either direction (sister, 15 cousins and so on). Does it bother me that a loved one may have been the victim of sexual assault? Of course it bothers me but I dont think in the way you may have intended. My mother was raped and beaten for years by her father, my girlfriend in high school was raped and though im loathe to bring the ultrapersonal into things usually, I was molested over the course of several years as a boy. Hope my answers to your questions weren’t too long. No need to say “no malice intended” as I never get upset, I hope in the future my posts read better though the ones you see learning in are probably the ones Danica makes though she posts rarely. Off to work, have a great day.

  15. Posted February 27, 2008 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    T-Monster, I don’t like the idea that rapists are also somehow victims of consummerist culture, and that they can whine that “the market made me do it” when they assault somebody. There needs to a be a little more emphasis on personal responsability here. Niedzielski-Eichner says that the “biggest problem” surround rape and sex “is many students’ lack of a clear understanding of the difference between the two.” Really? I feel like she’s giving rapists not enough intellectual credit and too much moral credit. People know what rape is, and we should not give rapists the opportunity to excuse themselves on the theory that society has warped minds to think sex and rape are the same.

  16. SarahMC
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Blake, I also feel like she is giving rapists too much moral credit and not enough intellectual credit, BUT, I do not see where she states or implies that they are victims of anything, let alone consumer culture. She does not even mention consumer culture, rather she is referring to the commodification of women’s bodies. I suppose that is a part of consumer culture, but consumer culture COULD still exist without sexism. It’s the sexism to which she’s referring.

  17. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Blake Emerson,
    I do not believe the intent of the article is to take personal responsibility away from rapists.
    Rather, they are just pointing out that culture, including consumerist culture, as an influence on the prevalence of rape. This is fairly well-documented. Studies have shown, for instance, that socially conservative men or those who believe adherence to gender roles is important are more likely to rape.
    Rape has been prevalent historically because we live in a patriarchal society. Mass-media reflects that, it’s true, but it also helps perpetuate it…

  18. mgt
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Blake Emerson, I don’t think you can say that “people know what rape is.” If that were true, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. We know what rape is, but we are not necessarily representative of society as a whole. Kids need to be taught what consent looks like and what positive sexual interactions feel like. Abstinence-only education absolutely does not do that. And commodification of sex doesn’t help. Rapists absolutely are responsible for their behavior, but we, as a society, need to teach people what’s right and what’s wrong.

  19. T-Monster
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Blake, I’m not really clear on how you arrive at the assumption that encouraging education in turn takes blame off the perpetrator. I think MacDonald’s approach does that, not the idea that one of the reasons for the prevalence of rape is that our society sends conflicting messages about sexuality. It’s not the only reason. And it certainly doesn’t give rapists license to blame societal messages for what they have done.
    I said before that Niedzielski-Eichner could have taken a different approach. She could have added a lot more to her argument about a complex topic. I don’t feel improved attitudes and education about sexuality and equality removes the blame from a rapist, and I don’t think Niedzielski-Eichner’s article implies that. Of course there should be personal responsibility, Niedzielski-Eichner is explaining college attitudes about sex in order to emphasize that MacDonald is- to put it the way I originally would have liked to put it- a fucking moron. How is encouraging education on mutual respect between sexes rather than the exploitation of one the same thing as not giving rapists ’enough intellectual credit and too much moral credit’?
    As far as knowing what rape is, I don’t think a lot of people do know. I spent 15 years denying I had been raped. And while I think the person who hurt me knew he was hurting me, I think if I said ‘you raped me’ to him he would call me a liar and believe that I am. Do I think better education is the be-all end-all solution? No. Sexual behavior is complex. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t address a societal problem, just because rapists should know better. Clearly, MacDonald has no idea what rape is, and that is what Niedzielski-Eichner is addressing.
    Niedzielski-Eichner’s ideas are a relief when compared to MacDonald’s (and on their own, although they could be expanded). Since that was her goal, I think that is incredibly important to note.

  20. Wisteria
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I am appalled that this piece of right-wing propaganda made it into the LA Times in the first place. The response does an excellent job at exposing how the tired rape denialism argument has been repackaged over and over again by the same set of “culture war”-fueling right-wing institutions and, specifically, MacDonald’s connections to these institutions.
    Not only is this denialism argument old and discredited, it is part of a larger effort by right-wing organizations such as the Manhattan Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and the Independent Women’s Forum to delegitimize and combat feminist successes on campuses nationwide, particularly the rise of women’s/gender studies departments, rape crisis centers, and other anti-violence programming. This is a longstanding strategy bankrolled by the top right-wing foundations (Scaife, Olin and Bradley, among others) and implemented, in large part, through a great deal of media savvy and a suspect ability to place even the most discredited propaganda in the pages of respected news publications.
    Even the most minor of fact-checking endeavors would reveal MacDonald’s op-ed as not only dated, unoriginal and a complete rehash of numerous past efforts bankrolled by the same institutions, but also one that has been torn apart time and time again in a wide variety of forums. The Times owes its readers an explanation of how it is that think tanks such as the Manhattan Institute, with their old, discredited propaganda, have such access to their op-ed pages.
    Check out the united bloggers’ responsesto this disgusting distortion.

  21. MiddleageLiberal
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Studies have shown, for instance, that socially conservative men or those who believe adherence to gender roles is important are more likely to rape.

    Nina, can you give me some cites for those studies? There are several reasons I am not fond of socially conservative men, but being more likely to rape has never been one of them.

  22. Posted February 27, 2008 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    T-Monster: You’re point from personal experience is well taken. I basically want to point out a tension: 1) If a rapist really is clueless about how sex is different from rape, then it seems problematic to hold him morally responsible (which is something I take it we want to be able to do) 2) But if, as I have been arguing, a rapist does know the difference between sex and rape, then lack of education is not the cause of his behavior, as Niedzielski-Eichner suggests. Maybe the answer is that a rapists may understand the difference between sex and rape, but doesn’t understand clearly enough. And for that lack of clarity, society is to blame. But if you argue that rapist simply don’t know what they’re doing, you make it much more difficult to hold them responsible.
    On reflection my big problem with Niedzielski-Eichner’s article is this: It’s not a good idea to respond to a piece claiming that feminists have politicized rape by claiming that capitalism and conservatives are to blame for rape. To non-sympathetic ears, this merely seems to prove MacDonald’s point. It’s not a good idea to make conversations on rape a debate about whether liberals or conservative interventions are its cause–not until there is convincing evidence to support your contentions.
    Does anyone, btw, have any evidence of causal connections between abstinence only education and rape, or sexual commodification and rape? That would make some of my points mute.

  23. Posted February 27, 2008 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    T-Monster: You’re point from personal experience is well taken. I basically want to point out a tension: 1) If a rapist really is clueless about how sex is different from rape, then it seems problematic to hold him morally responsible (which is something I take it we want to be able to do) 2) But if, as I have been arguing, a rapist does know the difference between sex and rape, then lack of education is not the cause of his behavior, as Niedzielski-Eichner suggests. Maybe the answer is that a rapists may understand the difference between sex and rape, but doesn’t understand clearly enough. And for that lack of clarity, society is to blame. But if you argue that rapist simply don’t know what they’re doing, you make it much more difficult to hold them responsible.
    On reflection my big problem with Niedzielski-Eichner’s article is this: It’s not a good idea to respond to a piece claiming that feminists have politicized rape by claiming that capitalism and conservatives are to blame for rape. To non-sympathetic ears, this merely seems to prove MacDonald’s point. It’s not a good idea to make conversations on rape a debate about whether liberals or conservative interventions are its cause–not until there is convincing evidence to support your contentions.
    Does anyone, btw, have any evidence of causal connections between abstinence only education and rape, or sexual commodification and rape? That would make some of my points mute.

  24. Posted February 27, 2008 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    T-Monster: You’re point from personal experience is well taken. I basically want to point out a tension: 1) If a rapist really is clueless about how sex is different from rape, then it seems problematic to hold him morally responsible (which is something I take it we want to be able to do) 2) But if, as I have been arguing, a rapist does know the difference between sex and rape, then lack of education is not the cause of his behavior, as Niedzielski-Eichner suggests. Maybe the answer is that a rapists may understand the difference between sex and rape, but doesn’t understand clearly enough. And for that lack of clarity, society is to blame. But if you argue that rapist simply don’t know what they’re doing, you make it much more difficult to hold them responsible.
    On reflection my big problem with Niedzielski-Eichner’s article is this: It’s not a good idea to respond to a piece claiming that feminists have politicized rape by claiming that capitalism and conservatives are to blame for rape. To non-sympathetic ears, this merely seems to prove MacDonald’s point. It’s not a good idea to make conversations on rape a debate about whether liberals or conservative interventions are its cause–not until there is convincing evidence to support your contentions.
    Does anyone, btw, have any evidence of causal connections between abstinence only education and rape, or sexual commodification and rape? That would make some of my points mute.

  25. Posted February 27, 2008 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    T-Monster: You’re point from personal experience is well taken. I basically want to point out a tension: 1) If a rapist really is clueless about how sex is different from rape, then it seems problematic to hold him morally responsible (which is something I take it we want to be able to do) 2) But if, as I have been arguing, a rapist does know the difference between sex and rape, then lack of education is not the cause of his behavior, as Niedzielski-Eichner suggests. Maybe the answer is that a rapists may understand the difference between sex and rape, but doesn’t understand clearly enough. And for that lack of clarity, society is to blame. But if you argue that rapist simply don’t know what they’re doing, you make it much more difficult to hold them responsible.
    On reflection my big problem with Niedzielski-Eichner’s article is this: It’s not a good idea to respond to a piece claiming that feminists have politicized rape by claiming that capitalism and conservatives are to blame for rape. To non-sympathetic ears, this merely seems to prove MacDonald’s point. It’s not a good idea to make conversations on rape a debate about whether liberals or conservative interventions are its cause–not until there is convincing evidence to support your contentions.
    Does anyone, btw, have any evidence of causal connections between abstinence only education and rape, or sexual commodification and rape? That would make some of my points mute.

  26. melissapeachy
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Rape on campuses is definitely a bigger issue than recorded statistically. A lot of rapes are never recorded due to the fact that the person who was raped does not say anything about it, or if it just cannot be proven. These figures are very misleading.

  27. jane
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    In my rape support group in 1970, we read an article which told campus women that they should move in herds as much as possible for their own protection.
    We were livid that WE can not go out alone. It makes more sense to restrict the movement of males to prevent rape.
    That might get their attention.
    I believe it is a primary function of rape to keep women terrified. Many men benefit from the situation.

  28. Mina
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    “‘there’s no reason to think the ‘commodification of sex’ makes rape any more prevalent or pernicious
    “The popularity of rape porn coupled with the absence of meaningful sex-ed is pretty disastrous for women.
    “When men are sent the message (by the media) that women exist for their pleasure, from the time they’re boys, they internalize it. I don’t see what that has to do with the 60′s, as it’s ubiquitous in 2008.”
    I think the idea was that if the “commodification of sex” does make rape more prevalent then rape would be less prevalent in places with less “commodification of sex.” For example, areas with the least sexuality in commercial media would be expected to have the lowest rape rates instead of men being sent the message (by their families’ patriarchs) that it’s okay to do things like marry and rape unwilling girls and women…
    “Niedzielski-Eichner isn’t saying that rape has increased today because of the commodification of sex, rather that as it exists today it is an issue. At one end, society promotes sex as a tool to sell, and sell it does. While at the other, abstinence is promoted with fire-and-brimstone fury. This extremist message is not new in our society, but it is a problem.”
    Yeah, good point. Two extremes are loud here and now instead of one extreme, and sanity’s still not getting much of a word in edgewise.
    “Maybe the answer is that a rapists may understand the difference between sex and rape, but doesn’t understand clearly enough.”
    …or does understand what rape is but doesn’t know or care why nobody should rape.

  29. MiddleageLiberal
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    thatabbygrrl asked:

    I cannot figure out what possible benefit there could be to the “left-wing” for creating such a conspiracy. If we knew it wasn’t true, why would we want to divert tax money to a non-problem when there’s not enough to address actual problems?

    Someone else asked a similar question in the earlier string on this. Here is an example of what they are talking about (not me, so don’t shoot the messenger): This column in Brown University’s student newspaper http://thebrownspectator.com/2007/12/06/who-is-a-sexual-assault-victim-ambiguity-and-political-correctness-change-lives/ described in December, 2007 what Brown had in support services for student rape victims and it isn’t inconsequential, however

    Brown’s Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance activists would have us dramatically expand sexual assault resources and training: in an October 29th Herald article, they call for the creation of a full-time staff position to deal with sexual assault cases, a sexual assault resource center, university backing for a peer-led support group for survivors, and a 24-hour on-campus sexual assault hot-line. They are quick to note that one in six women will be sexually assaulted, and that sexual assaults are dramatically underreported to law enforcement officials.

    The point the critics are making is that the stats are being used by feminists to expand or create programs to provide jobs or forums for themselves.
    The lower string also had questions about what could be done to lower the incidence of campus rape. I saw this site of the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management http://www.ncherm.org/videoclips.html The founder is Brett Sokolow and one of his programs is a seminar for college students entitled, “DRUNK SEX OR DATE RAPE: CAN YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE?” It describes a case, he says is a real case (it is very similar to the Lack/Klein case at Brown in the 90′s) and engages the audience in a discussion about it. The site reference I gave has video clips of his presentation.

  30. MiddleageLiberal
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    I believe it is a primary function of rape to keep women terrified. Many men benefit from the situation.

    Sorry, Jane, but as applied to the U.S. I think that statement is ridiculous. Almost no men, except the rapists themselves, benefit from that situation. There is as much rage generated as there is terror.

  31. angelicdemon
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Overally, rape must be talked more about when we teach people sex education (if we actually do, in any case) and we must empower all persons… be it whether they identify as women, men or both/neither, that they need to know that no means no and it’s not a joke.

  32. SarahMC
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    SixtiesLiberal, men don’t benefit from a situation in which they are free to have sex with non-consenting partners without repurcussions?
    A situation in which women are too confused or scared or defeated or bullied to report these rapes?
    A situation in which even if women DO report these rapes, it’s unlikely their rapists will even be brought to justice?
    A situation wherein their rapists are typically defended to the death by men and women alike – these “good boys,” these “model students” and “star athletes” – while the women are cast as lying sluts?
    There is very little rage, except from feminists and sometimes victims’ families. And our voices are silenced in most cases. Justice is hard to come by.
    Yes, men do benefit from a situation wherein rape is common, accepted, and considered by many women to be “just a part of life.”

  33. jane
    Posted February 27, 2008 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    SixtiesLiberal,
    How patronizing can you get? Rage? Where? Only in the company of Women. When women become a little annoyed in front of men they are accused of hysteria.

  34. MiddleageLiberal
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Rage? Where?

    Well, here and at Brown, for instance. Rage is more appropriate than terror, at least in this society.
    I just think the following statement is more true than Jane’s:
    Not many men benefit from terrorized women.
    Rapists benefit, of course, which I said in my original criticism. Almost all men benefit from sexually confident women, not sexually terrified women.

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