Monday, August 22, 2011

Erin Gloria Ryan proves herself incapable of an adult dialogue about rape

Women Threatening To Ruin All College Fun is a singularly childish, mean-spirited, and hysterical rebuke of Peter Berkowitz's carefully crafted explanation about the dangers to presumptively innocent men presented by the Department of Education's April 4 directive.  Someone named Erin Gloria Ryan wrote it, and she seems incapable of dealing with a very serious issue in an adult manner. One example: "And as for the whining over fear of an impending wave of false rape accusations that will never come? I think that I speak for many women who were victimized in college only to face doubt and intimidation when I say: 'Boo-fucking-hoo.'"

Ms. Ryan blithely, and profanely, blinks at the fact that the directive indisputably increases the risk of expelling innocent young men. (Her solution seems to be, just trust women.) Heaven forbid that we should engage in serious dialogue about respecting the rights of both rape victims and the presumptively innocent accused of rape! I suppose doing both isn't possible in Ryan's world.

If there is ever to be a real dialogue, they need to stop talking only about rape every time we bring up the rights of the accused.  Both sides need to talk about both rape and false rape claims, free of the politicized rhetoric that elevates agendas over human beings.  We must be willing to talk about how terribly traumatic rape can be to women. And about how terribly traumatic a false rape claim can be to men. We must come up with ways to teach our young people to better communicate their desires. We must honestly face  the role alcohol plays in bad sex that results in sexual assault, false rape claims, and misunderstandings, and we need to ask if our colleges are enabling drunken sex with dubious policies.

After thirty years of rape reforms, we are told underreporting is still the norm. So, exactly how will tramping on the rights of the presumptively innocent help solve that?  That's one of the things adults should be discussing.

But Erin Gloria Ryan needs to sit at the kids table while this discussion is going on.