Old Mac Donald is at it again (Heather that is):
Let me propose a thought experiment. An unapprehended rapist has assaulted two women in a particular area of State University’s campus—.04 percent of the female undergraduate population. Would the State University administrators tell girls to stay away from the area until the rapist is caught? Or would they remain silent about whether girls should continue to frequent that area of the campus, because “rape is never a woman’s fault”? The first, of course, because students’ safety is the administrators’ paramount concern, regardless of whether female students have a “right” to frequent that dangerous area at night.
Notice what's missing from this thought experiment?
You are a college administrator who has a serial rapist on campus. Are these really your only 2 options? Or are they the only options Heather Mac Donald and those who agree with her see as viable? If so, that doesn't reflect well on their intelligence or their genuine interest in protecting college women from rape.
How about as the college administrator, you put every effort into catching this rapist? How about double checking all students' names against sex offender registries? How about reviewing past reports of on campus date rapes to see if this rapist is already known to administrators? How about making sure that all relevant evidence is gathered effectively and controlled properly -- even in date rapes -- so that when a rapist is caught that person can and will be charged with the crimes committed and no sloppiness will allow that rapist to go free?
Students' safety is not number one when the strongest response is tell women to avoid the area where the last rapes happened.
Does Mac Donald really believe that the rapist won't hear these same warning and adjust his strategy accordingly? A rapist like this could decide to try to rape in one of the suggested "safe" areas or he might rush to volunteer as a safety escort for women worried about being this stranger rapist's next victim or he might offer women students safety training. Maybe he'll simply enjoy their fear or maybe he will attack once he gets a woman alone in a "safe" place and if she reports him, he will claim that it was consensual.
The problem with any scenarios beyond administrators keeping attacks a secret or giving pat warnings to women on campus is that they require measures which Mac Donald scorns. Can't have any part of that rape response industry on any college campus.
Campus rape researchers and advocates, modifying Koss’s statistic slightly, say that they believe that a whopping one-fifth to one-quarter of college women are raped by their fellow students. Virtually all of these alleged rapes could be avoided if the girls took certain steps: don’t get into bed with a guy when you are very drunk, don’t take off your clothes, don’t get involved in oral sex, and so on. Such advice is fully consistent with female empowerment. It recognizes that girls have the power to stop “campus rape.” It treats them as moral agents able to control their fates.
In other words on and off campus rape is virtually always outside of the rapist's control. Mac Donald is empowering women and in doing so she is disempowering college men who have no power and who are unable to control their fates. If a woman trusts them too much and then doesn't eagerly submit, he will be powerless to do anything except rape her.
This means that all men are only one opportunity away from becoming rapists.
Poor babies. But, don't worry, Mac Donald is looking out for you. She'll protect you from those nasty people who expect you to obey all sex crime statutes no matter how much mutual disdain you and she have for your victims.
Hat tip: Rowdy Kittens
Labels: Violence Against Women