The Morning After
Topic: Liberal Fascism
Everyone agrees that Rolling Stone magazine beclowned itself with the publication of a story about a horrendous campus gang rape that almost certainly did not happen. In recent days many heads have been shaken, many hands have been wrung, over the mag’s gross and glaring irresponsibility. (Why RS was ever taken seriously as a purveyor of respectable journalism, though a good question, is beside today’s point.)
But all this clucking disapproval has been accompanied by pious reminders that while RS may have stepped all over it, campus rape is nevertheless a huge problem. After all, is it not true that twenty of every one hundred women in college falls victim to rape? When that statistic is rolled out heads nod in agreement—automatically, as if in response to some Pavlovian stimulus. Consider this gem from the editorial board of the UV student newspaper, the Cavalier:
Though the facts of Jackie’s story are uncertain at this point, there are several facts about the larger issue which we have long known are true. Twenty five percent of college women are sexual assault survivors. Fewer than 5 percent of college women who are raped report to law enforcement. Fraternity men are three times as likely to commit rape as non-fraternity men. All these statistics have not changed—with the release of the Rolling Stone article or the retraction of it. And all of these statistics still must change.
In other words—pay no attention to the lever puller behind the curtain!
The ease with which people accept that one-fifth of women in college fall victim to rape is remarkable when you consider how incredible it is on its face. The number of rapes actually reported to the proper authorities, i.e. the police, is much, much lower. Even allowing for the claim, no doubt true, that many rapes go unreported, it’s hard to fathom where that twenty-in-one-hundred factoid comes from. Unless, that is, you’re familiar with the ideological and social conditions on the typical university campus: part Ingsoc, part Bacchanalia.
Let’s take the social dimension first. The Sexual Revolution, that glory of the Sixties, has not worked out quite as the Woodstock Generation hoped. Stripping away the social conventions and taboos that used to surround the sex act has not resulted in free-spirited bliss. It has, rather, reduced sex to a commodity. Romance has been replaced by the hook-up culture—a highly convenient arrangement for young men if not necessarily for young women. Having a girlfriend or boyfriend is so fifteen minutes ago: Friends with benefits are much easier to acquire. And discard. So casual sex is in and commitment is out. There’s a problem, though. Young women have a difficult time adopting a casual attitude toward sex. Add to this scenario copious amounts of alcohol and drugs and you have a highly combustible compound.
The ideological climate only makes things worse. To an extent that many people find difficult to fathom, radical feminism is the dominant force on the contemporary American university campus. Its dogmas reign unquestioned—indeed, they’re unquestionable on pain of persecution, purge and exile. And like the doctrines of George Orwell’s Ingsoc, the doctrines of radical feminism are riddled with contradictions.
First, it is argued that “gender”—one’s sexual identity—is not an innate trait but a social construct. From this it follows that there is actually no difference between men and women. In practice, this doctrine leads young women on campus to adopt the casual male attitude toward sex—to sign up for the hook-up culture. Sex without commitment! Sex without guilt! Empowerment! Liberation! So far, seemingly so good. But unfortunately there’s more. Because, second, radical feminism preaches that all men are potential rapists—that sex itself is problematical because it’s a form of domination and submission with women in the latter role—perhaps even that all sex is rape.
And that is the root from which sprang the amazing claim that one-fifth of all women on campus fall victim to rape. It isn’t rape as normal people understand it but “rape” as ideologically constructed by radical feminists. If you’re a young woman who drinks to excess at a frat party, hooks up with some equally wasted guy, has sex with him and wakes up the next morning feeling remorseful and used—don’t blame yourself for a bad decision. You were raped! And there are plenty of organizations on campus that will actively encourage you in that belief and pressure you into bringing charges against your alleged rapist. Those charges might not stand up in a court of law but the university administration, terrified of offending feminist orthodoxy, will actively participate in the persecution of the young man you met at that party, who is guilty of nothing more than the same bad judgment you displayed.
There aren’t many people in public life who are willing to point out these unsavory facts, but Fox News pundit Britt Hume is one of them. Last night on Special Report he noted that according to the FBI’s national crime statistics, the incidence of sexual assault in America over the past decade has declined by a whopping 58%—two sexual assaults per 1,000 women annually. It’s true, of course, that an unknowable number of rapes go unreported. But to believe in the campus rape epidemic you’d have to believe (1) that higher education is for some reason bucking the national trend and (2) that even as the number of reported rapes dramatically declines, the number of unreported rapes, on campus and elsewhere, is soaring. That, to put it as politely as possible, is a dubious proposition.
Anyhow, it turns out that the famous one-fifth factoid is based on an on-line poll of women at two universities only, with a definition of sexual assault that included unwanted touching, uninvited kisses, etc. In other words, sexual assault was defined way, way down so as to produce the desired result.
Given all this, why should anyone accept the claim that there’s a campus rape epidemic? Well, they shouldn’t—or least they should treat it with due skepticism. And it really should not be all right to destroy a young male college student’s life with a charge of rape for which no evidence exists. It happens all the time, though, on the excuse that women never lie about such things. But sometimes they do lie. The heroine of Rolling Stone’s hit piece lied and the magazine was all too happy to serve as her enabler. And the same, alas, is true of the entire University of Virginia establishment.
Posted by tmg110
at 8:42 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 11 December 2014 11:48 AM EST