Monday, March 22, 2010

More Chicken Little fear-mongering that insists rape is rampant on campus

If you're a newspaper reporter in need of something to fill space and attract female readership at the same time, just head off to your local college and do a piece about how scary it is for the co-eds to live among so many penis-bearing predators. The experts, after all, insist it's scary, so it must be true. 

Take a step back. Why do we have a false rape epidemic?  As regular readers know, and are likely tired of hearing, over the past thirty years, we've seen an avalanche of rape reforms that have empowered women and girls to bring their rapists to justice based on nothing more than their say sos, but we never bothered to consider what we should do when they abuse that power.  And they have abused that power, visiting untold harm on countless wrongly accused men and boys, and even some women.

But there's another sinister and related trend that is so wide-spread that it may be the most toxic and destructive of all.  For the past 30 years or more, we have been subjected to the mind-numbing tom-tom of the vile feminist slander of the entire male gender.  Among their most despicable prevarications are that our college campuses are cisterns of male predatory sexual misconduct, and the related falsehood, that underreporting of rape, especially on campus, is of Biblical proportions.

Can anyone doubt that the gender-divisive purveyors of lock-the-doors-and-hide-the-daughters rape hysteria systematically foment irrational fears and encourage women to see sexual predation oozing from every male zipper? Or that false rape claims thrive in a culture that actively encourages young women to manufacture rape out of whole cloth by transmogrifying garden variety consensual intercourse into sexual assault?

We have often explained how the myth of male predatory sexual behavior is the engine that drives the culture of rape hysteria, and that false rape claims are its noxious emissions.  Well, here's yet another example of feminist fear-mongering.  A modern-day Chicken Little piece that foments hysteria about rape for women already overly wary of men.
It is yet another features piece intended to scare women about the alleged prevalence of rape on campus.
What is striking about the piece is the near-unanimity of the young women interviewed -- mostly sorority sisters -- who exclaim, without equivocation, that they feel perfectly safe on campus, and that they have never even heard of, much less experienced, the much ballyhooed male predatory misconduct.  This, despite the experts' insistence that such misconduct is rampant and that any belief that women are safe on campus is misplaced.
One would think that if the experts were even remotely correct -- even in-the-same-galaxy-correct -- each of those women would have at least heard of multiple instances of such misconduct, and some would have experienced it first-hand.  If, for example, one out of every four women on campus experienced a robbery or a burglary during their college years, aside from the fact that their parents would not allow them to attend college because it would be just too dangerous, every single person on campus not only would be conversant with the problem, but much of their lives would be geared around keeping them from being victimized by such crimes.
The fact that we don't see this even with all the fear-mongering about rape tells us what?  The question scarcely survives its statement.  The fact is, rape is not rampant on campus, or anywhere else in the United States, except prisons where males are the victims. Prison rape is treated not as what it is -- one of this nation's great shames -- but as a punch line. 
The politicized numbers suggesting rape is rampant on campus insult our intelligence and slander an entire gender.  Neither the one-in-four number nor the campus stats stating how many "sexual assaults" occurred on campus take into account the significant number of rape claims that are false.  But it goes beyond that.  As we've shown time and time again, we know for a fact a certain percentage of claims are false; we also are reasonably certain that a certain smaller percentage of rape claims were actual rapes. Nobody -- not me, not the feminists -- not anybody, knows whether the remainder of rape claims in that vast, gray middle ground were actual rapes, good faith errors on the part of the accuser, or false claims.  Sorry, but rape claims don't lend themselves to that kind of certainty. Yet, the feminist dogma that concocts these outrageous numbers showing rape is rampant insists that any rape claim that wasn't demonstrably false must have been an actual rape. 
Then, for good measure, they tack on an exorbitant number of "rapes" that supposedly were never reported.  But if the claims were never reported, much less adjudicated, and if we have precisely zero information about them, much less the alleged rapists' side of the story, how on earth can we say they were actual rapes?  We can't.  But, you see, it's the height of political incorrectness to challenge one of rape mantras.
The young women interviewed in the referenced story echo the conclusion Heather MacDonald reached in her landmark Campus Rape Myth piece, where she concluded that the one group on campus that doesn't buy the rape hysteria is the students, especially the young women.  MacDonald noted: "If the one-in-four statistic is correct—it is sometimes modified to 'one-in-five to one-in-four'—campus rape represents a crime wave of unprecedented proportions. No crime, much less one as serious as rape, has a victimization rate remotely approaching 20 or 25 percent, even over many years. The 2006 violent crime rate in Detroit, one of the most violent cities in America, was 2,400 murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults per 100,000 inhabitants—a rate of 2.4 percent. The one-in-four statistic would mean that every year, millions of young women graduate who have suffered the most terrifying assault, short of murder, that a woman can experience. Such a crime wave would require nothing less than a state of emergency—Take Back the Night rallies and 24-hour hotlines would hardly be adequate to counter this tsunami of sexual violence. Admissions policies letting in tens of thousands of vicious criminals would require a complete revision, perhaps banning boys entirely. The nation’s nearly 10 million female undergrads would need to take the most stringent safety precautions. Certainly, they would have to alter their sexual behavior radically to avoid falling prey to the rape epidemic."
Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers previously plowed much of the same ground to great effect. She exposed the hysteria for what it is: gender-divisive, politicized advocacy that seeks to pit women against men.
But make no mistake: all this fear mongering does help one group -- the women who are predisposed to tell rape lies, or who have sudden need for a phony rape excuse.  That group uses, exploits, and taps into the rape culture because, when most people hear the lie, they immediately think of all the talk about rape being rampant to which they've been subjected for decades, and they assume the lie must be true because it mirrors everything they've been taught.
And the so-called experts persist in their exaggerations and outright lies.  Why?  Because it fits their preferred metanarrative, and because rape has come to stand for something bigger than a mere crime.  It has come to symbolize the alleged oppression of women in general.  
I will give you a cinematic analogy I've used before.  Near end of the great, elegiac lament to the passing of the old west, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," beloved U.S. Senator Ransom Stoddard, played by Jimmy Stewart, returns to his home town out west and confesses to the town's newspaper editor that his legendary reputation, his entire career, was based on a lie. Up until then, everyone believed that in his youth, Stoddard had shot and killed the notorious villain Liberty Valance (played by Lee Marvin). Now, at long last, Stoddard is coming clean, telling the world that Valance was really shot by a tough-as-nails rancher, played by the iconic John Wayne.
The newspaper editor, having heard the entire story and believing every word of it, is not interested in publishing any of it.
"You're not going to use the story, Mr. Scott?" Stoddard asks incredulously.
The editor famously replies: "No, sir. This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."
And so it goes here: this is the Matriarchy, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.  And that's exactly what they do.