From the WSJ: Lipstick Jungle by Ashley Samelson:
A few weeks ago, I helped my 18-year-old sister move into her freshman dorm at Hillsdale College in Michigan. I was anxious for her -- I worried that the female culture at her school would be similar to that at my own alma mater, Tufts University in Medford, Mass.
As a reserved evangelical from Colorado Springs, Colo., I was shocked by a lot of things at Tufts when I entered in the fall of 2003. What shocked me more than anything, however, was the way women treated other women. [...]
Meanwhile, college men are watching and taking notes. A male friend who attended the University of Michigan wrote to me in an email last month: "I, perhaps unconsciously, observe women to try and determine how they want to be treated. When I see girls at a party who seemingly have no self-control, I'll admit that it's really tough to visualize them as 'ladies.' It's as if they, solely through their own actions, have lowered my expectations, lowered my standards of behavior." (emphasis mine)
This man's email to Samelson, director of development at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, contains a telling and disturbing admission -- which Samelson only misses because of her eager acceptance of women bashing.
Her women bashing is all the more notable due to her stated disdain for the way women treat women. She does the very thing she disdains, but in a different way which seemingly makes the very thing she hates into something we are all supposed to admire as a positive example of womanly decorum. She tells glowingly of a pact by women at a conservative college to not gossip about other college women but her article has no substance outside of gossip which negatively stereotypes most other college women and which blames them for the actions of men.
Samelson proves that she is at heart exactly what she hates in other women.
I don't belief Tufts University corrupted her, I believe her disdain for most other women pre-dated her college attendance. She's a self-described Christian with zero compassion for women who don't behave exactly as she would have them behave. Not very Christlike.
Women who coerce other women into drinking should be held accountable for their actions and viewed negatively according to Samelson, but she clearly buys her University of Michigan alumn friend's rationalizations. She can find no fault with the behavior of men because all those women mistreated by men are solely responsible for the men's behavior.
This friend of Samelson's would clearly never rape a woman he views as a lady (like Samelson) but his standard of behavior erodes the moment he looks at a woman and decides she is not a lady. The flaw in his logic and in Samelson's is that his real standard of behavior cannot be accurately measured at it's highest level. The accurate measure of his behavior and the accurate measure of his ethics is his behavior at it's lowest level.
This is a, "How much can I get away with by blaming the woman for my actions?" mentality.
He wants to be seen as no more responsible for his behavior than a TV is when a woman uses a remote control device. Yet I doubt that he sat as still as a TV when women turned him on.
Since he admits that he lowers his standard of behavior based on his judgmental perception of the women around him, he can justify having no self-control toward women he instantly judges as having no self-control.
This man's admission -- a man who likely self-identifies as Christian -- allows us to understand exactly how men who think of themselves as moral can justify rape. It also explains why so many people who claim to have the highest morals side with so many rapists when their rape victims aren't viewed by these people as being perfect ladies.
That Samelson holds this man up as an example of morality tells me why she can't understand what feminists are talking about when they discuss the dangerous and disrespectful way so many men treat women on college campuses.
Her friend's view of sexual standards gives us nice Christian rapists and her view of his standards gives us nice Christian rape denialists.
What's as dangerous as this disdain for women at most colleges is Samelson's referral to Christian colleges as safe places for women. The percentage of college men who agree with Samelson's friend is likely to be much higher at colleges which uphold traditional marriage and family roles.
Who knows what certain Christian men will perceive as proving that a particular college woman isn't a lady which therefore makes her solely responsible for his actions?
If a Christian college woman is raped by a Christian college man, an official at her Christian college may very well pass judgment on the rape victim's morals despite a lack of evidence that the report of rape was false. Thanks to Samelson, I now understand why for some officials a rape report is seen as an admission of pre-marital sex. And it explains why so many people see rape investigations as a waste of time. From the report itself those people have found the rape victim guilty even if forcible rape occurred.
This explains why in Northern Ireland almost half of the students surveyed blamed the rape victim if she flirted prior to being raped.
It also explains why so many people claim that statistics based on surveys of girls and women are bogus. If all the rapes where these people can find a way to make the victim solely responsible for the actions of the rapist are tossed out, the number of rapist caused rapes becomes rare.
Hat tip: SAFER
Labels: Violence Against Women