Do you want to cut the rate of "rape" in half? Teaching women to say "no" would go a long way toward that end, a new study shows.
The study reported on the effects of a new program, developed by a professor in Canada, that teaches women to "recognize . . . coercive situations, get past roadblocks to resist unwanted sexual behaviors and practice verbally resisting the behavior or actions." The professor said: “My idea is that the more confident and sure women are of what they desire, and what they want, the easier it is to say, ‘No, I’m not doing that’ — and there wouldn’t be that prolonged pressure that results in sexual assault or clearly unwanted sex.” The program stresses that “it’s OK to say ‘no,'” and that sex isn’t owed if a date buys dinner. Part of the training "focuses on positive sexuality education, because the more they understand their own desires and values, 'the faster they are at detecting that someone is trying to coerce them to do something they don’t want . . . .'" One participant in the program praised it because "getting in tune with what you’re comfortable with allows you to have confidence in yourself and your own sexuality. . . . If you already know what your limits are, you’re not as likely to get coerced into things that you’re not interested in doing.” For the harder cases--guys who won't take "no"--the program also teaches self-defense.
The overriding theme of the new program is that "rape" can be largely curtailed by teaching college women to just say "no," and the implications of that conclusion are disturbing. According to the folks who dreamed up this program, college women are currently being "raped" in epidemic fashion even though they have reasonable alternatives to engaging in the sex act but choose not to exercise them. In other words, a lot of college men are "rapists" not for forcing themselves on women but for doing nothing more than nagging for sex, and a lot of women are "victims" because they choose to go along with it.
In a culture where the roles of pursuer and hard-to-get have been fairly divided along gender lines for eons, when you suddenly make traditional masculine behavior a punishable offense, is there any wonder there's a "rape epidemic" on campus?
Transmogrifying “sexual coercion” into a punishable offense has been a dream of hard left gender crazies for decades. Twenty-five years ago, writer Joanne Jacobs aptly explained: “In the largest survey of campus date rape, 43 percent of women classified as rape victims had not realized they’d been raped.” Was this because women were hesitant to label rape as a crime? “Hesitant to label rape a crime?” Ms. Jacobs scoffed. “No, they were hesitant to label having sex ‘when you did not want it because you were overwhelmed by continual arguments and pressure’ as rape, which is what happened to most of the ‘victims.’ They weren’t raped; they were nagged.” Writer Sarah Overstreet once wrote: “Our college students need the tools of personal power and responsibility, not a false definition of rape. So do we all. Lacking the skills or confidence to resist verbal coercion doesn’t make it a crime.”
For decades we’ve preached that when a woman says “no,” the man must stop. Now we are telling young men that when a woman says “yes,” they are still rapists because the young men asked too much, or didn't ask in a politically correct manner. The usual suspects have trivialized sexual assault to the point that women who truly do not have reasonable alternatives except to give in to sexual abuse are being lumped in with women who merely regretted the exercise of their own free will the morning after. Colleges are re-imagining “proper” male sexual conduct in an effort to construct a progressive, supposedly female-friendly, sexual utopia, and the gender lunatics have won.
But, alas, it gets even loonier. Even though this program supposedly cuts "rape" in half (largely by telling women to do what every rational person knows they should do), that's a big problem for some radical gender zealots. Kathleen Basile, a lead behavioral scientist in the division of violence prevention at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said this: "The main problem with a preventive approach that is focused on potential victims of sexual assault is that it puts the responsibility for preventing the assault on the potential victim, and does not acknowledge the role that potential perpetrators and the larger community play."
Here we go again.
In this new program, no one is "blaming" women for being "raped"--though many of the women the program saves from "rape" aren't really in danger of being raped--and no one is giving license to sociopaths who actually do rape. Nevertheless, extremists in the sexual grievance industry would prefer to withhold whatever good this program does provide in order to conform to some radical gender orthodoxy--the goal is not to stop "rape" but to insure that men are blamed for acting out their masculinity. The mind reels.
What they really need to teach young women, and young men, is about the regret asymmetry that separates young men and women when it comes to sex. Women feel much worse about themselves after a casual hook-up than men, and college students need to understand that. But regret is not rape, no matter how often the gender crazies insist it is.