I want to suggest that the rape culture narrative is not only wrong, but completely off the mark. It has been aggressively conflated with what is actually “hookup culture,” and the evidence for this can be found not only in nations with “real” rape cultures, but through examining our own culture as well… what we see in our media is young adults bombarded with suggestions — no, coercions — to “let loose,” to drink, to lower boundaries and to not worry about what might happen tomorrow. This is not a sign of rape culture, but of hookup culture.
flathatnews.com By Thomas Briggs, Williams and Mary student
Opening the Curtain on a Post-Modern Tragedy: One of the more prominent and most salacious performances of campus-related sexual assault has recently emerged from the Title IX shadows into the courtroom and the court of public opinion, and it contains many of the elements common to false and malicious allegations, compounded by issues of power-imbalance, family interventions, therapeutic conditioning and pecuniary interests, and made more complex by a campus hearing process influenced and reversed by victim advocacy protest, media attention and the unrelenting pressure of ever-more stringent government mandates.
In relation to our recent post from a Berkeley student who has been shocked by the lack of open discussion in her campus consent workshops, we’d like to bring your attention to a well-reasoned and powerful article written by Frank Furedi for sp!ked online in the UK: http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/teaching-consent-policing-intimacy.
Until recently, the idea of consent was associated with acts that are voluntary, free of coercion or compulsion…. [The so-called concent] workshops aren’t really about the meaning of consent. Rather, they are informed by a desire to police intimacy and to moralise about student behaviour.
Here a few excerpts:
Although those advocating consent classes use touchy-feely words like ‘openness’ and ‘exploration’, they are anything but open to exploring alternative or dissident views. From the perspective of the consent crusader, anyone who deviates from the prescribed script on consent is, by definition, ‘problematic’. The need to adopt a firm and inflexible line is justified on the grounds that the stakes are far too high to tolerate different views on consent. Why? Because the principal aim of consent workshops is to re-socialise the participants, to modify their behaviour, and overturn the social and moral norms that supposedly legitimate the oppression of others, especially women; hence the workshops target so-called lad culture.
Critics of consent workshops often mistakenly assume that the main problem with consent classes is that they cast all men as potential rapists. Admittedly, consent classes do inflate the pervasiveness of male violence. But the doctrine informing them is far more insidious than simple anti-male prejudice: it devalues the moral autonomy of both men and women. [emphasis added] Consent classes present individuals as incapable of conducting their intimate lives without expert guidance.
… This belief marks a break with the post-Enlightenment idea that people possess the capacity for autonomy, for self-determination – that they can and should be free to make choices about matters that affect their lives.
Here’s the full article: http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/teaching-consent-policing-intimacy.
The rate of nonreporting climbs as the sexual assault categories ginned up by the AAU grow ever more distant from the common understanding of rape. Over 78 percent of Harvard female respondents who checked the box for penetration due to “incapacitation” did not report. Three-quarters of them said that what happened to them was not serious enough to report..The blasé response of most alleged campus rape victims should be good news to campus administrations..To the contrary, college and university leaders either ignored or tried to distort the data on nonreporting..in short, the campus rape bureaucracy juggernaut lives by the motto: “No means yes.” The vast majority of alleged sexual assault victims are telling their campus administrators: “No, we don’t think we have been the victims of a serious crime.” Undaunted, the administrators push forcefully on, building up ever more costly infrastructure premised on the claim that “yes, there is an epidemic of campus rape.”
weeklystandard.com By Heather MacDonald
“My biggest fear: getting accused when that didn’t actually happen”..Andrew, like every other male college student interviewed for this article, underwent at least some form of college-mandated orientation program tackling sexual assault. But it seems young men are confused and fearful themselves around the new climate and codification of sexual relations on campus..Young men are now expected to navigate the changing and increasingly nuanced ways consent is discussed—or, rather understand and recognize the ways consent has not been reached.
thedailybeast.com by Emily Shire
College presidents have long considered alcohol to be one of the biggest problems they face on campus— the pendulum has swung completely the other way, and we find ourselves in a landscape where the key talking points address everything but alcohol…when President Obama released his extensive guidelines on how to address campus sexual assault, the section on prevention never even mentioned the word “alcohol.”..And yet. High-profile assault cases keep unfolding in the media, many of them under a foggy haze of booze.
texasmonthly.com By Sarah Hepola
“Believe the victim” — the mantra of today’s feminist anti-rape movement — is a remarkably prominent theme in Miller’s play…advocates for “survivors” of sexual violence argue that since such crimes virtually always take place in private, especially when victim and offender know each other, it is imperative to believe those who come forward with accusations…To see “The Crucible” as a parable for the campus anti-rape crusade raises the touchy issue of false accusations as vengeance for sexual rejection.
realclearpolitics.com By Cathy Young
Napolitano Criticizes OCR Overreach and Questions Colleges’ Ability to Investigate and Adjudicate Campus Sex Assault Cases
Napolitano powerfully fleshes out the harm caused by imposing mandates without consulting stakeholders first: college campuses are being asked to serve in multiple roles…But the federal government’s expectations, especially related to investigations and adjudication, seem better-suited to a law enforcement model rather than a complex, diversely populated academic community found on a modern American campus…administrative investigators lack many of the tools necessary to meet the heightened expectations placed on them by these new regulatory requirements…Are these roles that are well suited for our nation’s institutions of higher education?
thefire.org By Joseph Cohn
…the recent rhetorical fury about “rape culture” is actually an attempt to move the goalposts, in such a way as to criminalize normal male sexual behavior. Under the rules of “affirmative consent,” any attempt by a male to initiate sexual activity with a female, under any circumstances, is presumed to be sexual assault if she says it was. If a man and a woman have any sexual contact whatsoever — a kiss, a hug, anything — and she subsequently claims this contact was “unwanted,” “unwelcome” or “coerced,” then he is presumed guilty of sexual assault.
… people who are wrongly accused are left to fend for themselves, despite the fact that a false or wrongful rape claim is among the most traumatic and life-altering events that can happen to anyone. The insensitivity shown to men and boys wrongly accused of sexual assault is unconscionable.