Monday, February 29, 2016

Biden at the Oscars: Bystanders have the responsibility to stop rape

Vice President Biden stopped by the Oscars last night to talk about campus rape, and he urged everyone to take this pledge: "I will intervene in situations when consent has not or cannot be given."

It's all part of the administration's "It's on us" campaign, which is premised on absolving young women of responsibility for their own well-beings when it comes to sexual assault (because that would be "victim blaming"). The animating impulse of the war on campus rape is to treat college women like children and college men like predators-in-waiting.

So, who should we blame for rape? Well, even the White House knows that rapists aren't moved by public service announcements, so there's no use targeting them.

But, you see, the White House wants to do a sexual assault public service announcement of some kind, so there's only group to go after: innocent bystanders. Yep. Especially young men. They have the responsibility to stop rape and to rescue tipsy damsels-in-distress from predators.

Unlike any other crime, it is verboten to remind potential sexual assault victims to exercise the kind of caution that is nothing more than common sense. If we can't insist women keep themselves safe, we can insist that the their friends, especially their male friends who would never dream of committing rape, assume responsibility for their well-being.

Do you see what's wrong with this picture?