Posted on | March 19, 2014 | 46 Comments
No, that’s not a description of the Republican Party. It’s about one of the most famous bastions of liberalism in America:
Thirty-one current and former UC Berkeley students filed two federal complaints against the university [Feb. 26] alleging a decades-long pattern of mishandling sexual assault investigations by campus administrators.
The complaints allege that officials for years have discouraged victims from reporting assaults, failed to inform them of their rights and led a biased judicial process that favored assailants’ rights over those of their victims.
The reports were filed with the U.S. Department of Education, which investigates violations of Title IX, the federal anti-discrimination law, and the Clery Act, a federal law that requires campuses to accurately report incidents of serious crimes, including sexual assault. . . .
“Neither the Department of Education nor UC Berkeley have made the efforts necessary to address the pervasive culture of sexual violence on our campus,” said Sofie Karasek, a third-year student who is among those named in the complaints. “This is not only disappointing; it is also dangerous for the students who attend college here, and is representative of a larger problem: the federal government is not adequately enforcing its own laws.”
Is this elite liberal institution really Rape City, U.S.A.? Far be it from me to defend Berkeley, but K.C. Johnson is skeptical:
Anyone who follows the contemporary media closely is doubtless familiar with the suddenly ubiquitous phrase “rape culture.” In the context of higher education, the phrase implies two interlocking beliefs. First: despite crime statistics showing sexual assault (as well as all violent crimes) to be very uncommon on campus, colleges and universities are, in fact, hotbeds of rape (but not, it appears, of all other violent crimes). Second: despite the fact that most college faculties and nearly all administrations are extraordinarily sympathetic to the activists’ position on gender issues, the campus culture over which these figures preside nonetheless–somehow–actually encourages the prevalence of rape at college.
That little, if any, evidence exists to sustain either of these beliefs has not deterred the “rape culture” believers; if anything, the lack of evidence for their claims appears to have emboldened them.
What people used to mean by the word “rape” has been revised in recent decades because of college women complaining about date rape. The rhetoric of SlutWalk activists — “No means no!” — is obviously not directed at the lurking sociopath, the knife-wielding career criminal who pounces from ambush in darkened alleys. Rather, feminist harangues about the meaning and importance of consent are directed at otherwise law-abiding men who don’t cope appropriately with sexual rejection.
Nowhere is this problem more widely decried than at America’s colleges and universities. Date rape is an apparently common campus crime that usually involves two drunk young people, one of whom has an erect penis, and the other of whom is unable to avert what the erect penis typically does. In addition to drunkenness and erect penises, college campuses are also the natural habitat of feminists, who control Women’s Studies departments. The rhetoric of the SlutWalk movement is familiar to anyone who has paid any attention to the rhetoric of campus feminists about date rape, which has now become official dogma.
If you subtract alcohol from the equation, you’d have a lot less of this problem, but the simple fact is that morning-after regrets about drunken sex almost always involve a he-said/she-said situation where it is practically impossible to prove rape. Yet if you offer the best possible advice to prevent such occurrences — “Stay sober and keep your britches on, darling” — this is denounced as “slut-shaming” and “victim-blaming,” and you’re a hateful misogynist.
“Rape culture” hysteria is “mostly man-hating agitation . . . the forefront of the radical feminist agenda,” as Donald Douglas notes, pointing out that a Ms. magazine article on the topic is written by two lesbian professors at Occidental College, Caroline Heldman and Danielle Dirks. Are lesbians really best qualified to advise us on rape prevention? Aren’t they against all PIV? Oh, wait . . .