Sunday, March 02, 2008

My Letter To The Editor Published In The LA Times

Here's the first half of my letter (on page 1 of their March 1 letters) in response to Heather Mac Donald's LA Times op-ed titled What campus rape crisis?:

As a rape survivor and someone who volunteered at a community rape crisis line for nine years, I knew where Heather Mac Donald was headed. She begins with the implication that she spent countless hours sitting by a college rape crisis phone but nobody called. If this were the truth and not a myth, Mac Donald would have stated it outright. If Mac Donald were to respect women's self-identification as rape survivors -- something she demands of feminists -- she couldn't label up to 50% of women who report rape as liars, and she couldn't try to label the rest as promiscuous young women who got what they deserved for not being chaste.

Here's the second half of my letter (on page 2):

Never mind that chaste young women also get raped. At 15, I lost my virginity through rape. But by the standards used by Mac Donald, I wasn't sufficiently chaste. No wonder I felt crazy for too long. I liked kissing my boyfriend and, yes, I eventually liked a little more. I clearly communicated that I was going to wait for sex until I was married, and he agreed to respect that boundary. Yet if Mac Donald were to be believed, my getting raped was my fault, not that of someone who lied to stay close enough to succeed at rape.

Marcella Chester

Rochester, Minn.

Three other letters to the editor were published yesterday and the one which agreed with Mac Donald contained an obvious flaw since it blames current practices and situations for college rapes. Here's a news flash, college women were raped before coed dorms and before any programs which gave out condoms. Those are handy scapegoats which allow those who commit sexual violence to escape responsibility and accountability.

To paraphrase a popular saying: condoms and coed dorms don't rape people, people rape people.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 4:43 PM   1 comments links to this post


At March 02, 2008 9:21 PM, Blogger Holly/Admin said...

Excellent letter Marcella, with compelling arguments in respect to the myths surrounding rape/sexual violence. Meaning the work we do is very important in respect to the larger picture of bringing awareness to sexual violence.
All the best, Holly Desimone
Thank you for advocating for those who voices has been silenced.


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