Monday, May 2, 2011

Dartmouth Students Stage Annual 'Take Back the Night' Rally to Raise Awareness About Something Everyone Already Knows

Seventy (supposedly 70) Dartmouth students marched around campus with a bullhorn and a giant chip on their shoulders last Friday, ostensibly to raise awareness about something everyone already knows.

It was the school's annual "Take Back the Night" spectacle, and it was supposed to raise awareness about sexual assault. In reality, it merely was just another opportunity for the paid sexual grievance industry to justify its existence by staging a useless, gender-divisive, Circus Maximus.

There are many things we could and should do to help reduce rape and to help instill greater maturity in our young people about sexual relations. This exercise isn't one of them. In fact, it would be downright shocking if this inanity ever prevented a single sexual assault from occurring because: (1) marching around campus Romper Room-style and shouting “We have the power, we have the right — the streets are ours, take back the night” into a bullhorn, is unlikely to change the worldview of even the most simple-minded rapist; (2) none, or virtually none, of the young men assaulted by this Passion Play will ever rape a woman; and (3) you can't change anyone's mind with angry, in-your-face, puerile slogans and a bullhorn. According to one male student, "the message was very confrontational."

The question nobody is asking is this: after thirty years of "raising awareness" about sexual assault, is there a solitary soul on campus who doesn't know that sexual assault is wrong and that non-consensual sex is illegal? After thirty years of "raising awareness" and of massive reforms intended to curtail alleged under-reporting of rape, what's the result?  Supposedly, under-reporting ia still rampant, in excess of 90 percent on campus, we are told with a straight face.

And we continue to trust these tired old methods, even though they've proven they don't work? Even if you believe rape is rampant on campus, do you really think this little romp around the neighborhood is going to accomplish anything other than making you feel "empowered" and shaming some innocent young men?  Newsflash: the real rapists are smirking at you.

You want to have a "Take Back the Night" that will really matter? Here's what you need to do:

(1) Move it to the inner city, because that's where you'll find an inordinate number of rapes. The vast majority of rape offenders come from lower socioeconomic classes and are under-educated, under-employed, and under-skilled.  Ironically, the rape problem isn't fueled by "toxic masculinity,"  it's fueled by the absence of masculinity; specifically, fatherless households -- like every other social pathology known to our culture.  While a bunch of angry young white women feel perfectly empowered to shout misandry into a bullhorn on Dartmouth's campus, I can't imagine them trying that shtick in one of those neighborhoods.

(2) If you are sexually assaulted, report it, for the sake of other women. It's one thing to tell a rally of like-minded zealots, "I was raped," and quite another to have the claim investigated by trained law enforcement personnel where the young man's side of the story, and other evidence, will also be assessed. Given that relatively few reported rape claims can be definitively called "rape" after being subjected to this process, why should we believe that unreported rape claims are somehow automatically reliable? Common sense suggests, if anything, they'd be less reliable. In fact, it isn't one-in-four or one-in-five college women who are raped; it's more like One-in-One-Thousand-Eight-Hundred-Seventy-Seven.

(3) Teach young women -- dare I admit it? -- that men have an enhanced sex drive. And also teach them that the alcohol-fueled hook-up culture is a disaster for too many young women (and young men). Unfortunately, the prevailing feminist mantra is for young women to "party like the guys," without bothering to tell them about the "regret asymmetry" that separates the genders: women experience much greater after-the-fact regret than men do. Sometimes feelings of regret are translated into feelings of "being used," and sometimes feelings of "being used" are misinterpreted or purposefully misconstrued as "rape."

But somehow, my guess is that the sexual grievance industry is just fine with the way things are. The last thing they'd want is to solve the problem or to prove that the problem isn't nearly as bad as they let on.

See, they'd all be out of a job.