Ashe Schow, who is, astonishingly, that rara avis, a rational and evenhanded journalist, has written a couple of good articles about rape, focusing on the supposed Rape EpidemicTM on college campuses. In the first article, with a stunningly obvious but widely ignored point in the title: Campus sexual assault is rarely black and white, she makes that argument forcefully, cogently, and well. But she falls short on a vital point.
Of course a college should throw the book at a student who physically assaults another student and rapes her. Of course a college should punish a student who has sex with another student who is passed out (pending an investigation from trained law enforcement professionals, of course.) Everyone believes these situations are reprehensible.
Rape is a felony. A serious felony. it is laughable that any university would take disciplinary action of any kind when informed of the possibility that a rape occurred. The only rational action should be a call to the police. Academics are fond of their own intellects, and are unwilling to cede any intellectual high ground to, well, anyone, in spite of ample evidence that they can’t investigate anything more serious than littering in the dorms and the occasional plagiarist. What they can do is ruin people’s lives by creating their own tiny little insane socialist utopia, where the rules are opaque, the freedoms that most of us take for granted are nonexistent, and the outcomes of these “investigations” are preordained by the implicit (and sometimes explicit) assumption that men are genetically and socially programmed to rape.
Think you were raped? Call the cops. Being accused of rape? Get a lawyer and shut your mouth. This must be hammered into the consciousness of every high school senior on the way to college. We must reject these extra-legal academic proceedings that serve to obscure the reality of rape on campus and simply feed the progressive beast’s appetite for destruction of the paradigm of the straight white male.
Her second article, written just a few days later, is a fascinating discussion of an article in the L.A. Times that digs into what boils down to “He said — She said.” From the Times article:
When trying to reduce sexual assault, labeling all forms of sexual misconduct, including unwanted touches and sloppy kisses, as rape is alarmist and unhelpful. We need to draw distinctions between behavior that is criminal, behavior that is stupid and behavior that results from the dance of ambiguity.
That’s good stuff, but it doesn’t go far enough in examining the motives for some of those accusations, which are clearly the result of the feminist cant that all men are rapists, that all PIV (penis in vagina) is rape, that women have both no responsibility to control their own environment (stop drinking and go home you idiot) but infinite power to criminalize the results.
But Tavris also reminds readers that accusations born of such ambiguity may not represent malice on the part of the accuser. In these situations, both accuser and accused are providing “honest false testimony” and both believe they are telling the truth, even though their memories and interpretations may be wrong.
Regardless…it’s definitely worth a read. Both Schowe’s articles and the L.A. Times piece by Carol Tavris, especially because it’s from the L.A. Times, and may be the only rational thing published in that rat’s nest of insane blather in the last five years.