Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Campus Sex Kabuki Dance: Colleges teach women to fear men, then invite the men to move in with the women

College campuses, we are told, are cisterns of male predation marked by an overarching "rape culture." In innumerable ways, women are taught to fear men, the purported beneficiaries of this culture. Doubt it? Just scan the recent news from campus. But be forewarned: some of it has an almost over-the-top misandry to it; some is just flat-out bizarre; all of it is laughable:

Mya McCann, writing for the UC Santa Barbara student newspaper, explained that Vice President Biden's '1 is 2 Many' campaign goes beyond those campaigns that place the onus on women to prevent sexual assault. Biden, she writes, "takes it a step further and addresses the actual potential perpetrators" -- men.

Lucy Marriott, Women’s Welfare Officer at Regent’s Park College wants the university to "look into the policy of handing out free rape alarms to female students.”

Abby Finkelman, writing for the student newspaper at the College of Saint Rose, wrote: "If you want to harass, assault, or rape a woman, I suggest being an athlete."  You see, "sports culture and rape culture are deeply linked. I suspect it is a combination of the team effect, rabid fans, and a generally 'macho' atmosphere . . .."  Finkelman also recently explained that "American culture 'condones, normalizes, excuses, or tolerates sexual violence against women' . . . ."

Charles Grab, a UConn student who was instrumental in promoting a recent “Slutwalk,” explained: “We, as Americans, are totally immersed in [rape culture], yet most do not realize it. A rape culture is any culture that says it’s OK to assault/rape individuals. People will say we don’t do that here, yet we do."
Jean Ketterling wrote in Canadian University Press that "women are often framed as guardians over their own sexuality and men strive for access to this 'commodity.' In other words, men 'get some' while women 'give it away.' This nurtures a culture of rape."

The fact is, on every college campus in America, significant resources, and in many cases, enormous resources, are expended to make women feel safe, even though the vast majority do.  Freshmen male students are shamed to believe that "she fears you" simply because they have penises. At "Take back the night" rallies women speak of an unjust world where they, but not their male peers, are forced to constantly look over their shoulders, because of men. Women's advocates use false rape claims as an occasion to demand that security policies be beefed up--not to lessen false rape claims--to protect women from potential rapists.  Colleges urge women to walk in pairs at night and make special buses available to escort them safely across campus. And every sexual assault counselor on every campus in America warns women that most rapes are committed not by a scary stranger jumping out of the bushes, but rather by the boy sitting next to them in class, often on alcohol-fueled hook-ups.

A rape culture this serious should require a complete revision of college admissions policies, as Heather MacDonald put it, "perhaps banning boys entirely." 

Right?  I mean, right?

Well, actually, no. While in one breath, colleges promote the idea that women should have a mortal fear of penises, in the next, they invite those penises to move in with the women.

Gender-inclusive housing, where kids can pick a roommate of the opposite sex, is the latest trend on campus.  Forget all the enhanced the security measures, forget the carefully drafted policies designed to keep women safe about about who's allowed in the dorms, forget replacing doors on dorm buildings that may not adequately keep males out. The roosters have been invited to live in the hen house.

How does this square with the idea that almost all campus sexual assaults are supposedly of the "acquaintance" variety, and that the chances of sexual assault occurring increase in direct proportion to the opportunity to commit the offense?  My candid guess is that inviting an 18-year-old boy to sleep every night next to the woman from whom he wants to -- to use the parlance of "rape culture" -- "get some" would constitute more than ample opportunity.  All due apologies to the gender experts: that boy can tell his penis all night long that gender is just a "cultural construct," but that won't convince his erection to go away.  That doesn't give him license to rape, but it gives him a motivation to cajole for sex.

According to the experts, the main reason young people commit sexual coercion -- the offense du jour that colleges are increasingly punishing -- has nothing do with “power,” it’s due to perpetrators’ “extreme sexual arousal.” (Their words, not mine.) In 59% of the instances, the victim had previously consented to sexual activity with their perpetrators, 40% of which consented on the day of the coercive incident.

Yet, when the decision is made about whether to let the guys live with the women, schools reject out of hand any suggestion that sexual assaults should be a concern.

UCLA just became the latest to reject any such notions: "Another concern – that this housing option could increase instances of sexual assault, also has no basis in reality. Officials at Brown University and UC Riverside said there have been no reports of assault in gender-inclusive residential areas."

Heather MacDonald noticed that when it comes to sex, colleges have what might be called a dissociative identity disorder--a dual personality:

"Members of the multifaceted campus sex bureaucracy never seem to consider the possibility that the libertinism that one administrative branch champions, and the sex that another branch portrays as rape, may be inextricably linked.

"Modern feminists defined the right to be promiscuous as a cornerstone of female equality. Understandably, they now hesitate to acknowledge that sex is a more complicated force than was foreseen. Rather than recognizing that no-consequences sex may be a contradiction in terms, however, the campus rape industry claims that what it calls campus rape is about not sex but rather politics—the male desire to subordinate women. The University of Virginia Women’s Center intones that 'rape or sexual assault is not an act of sex or lust—it’s about aggression, power, and humiliation, using sex as the weapon. The rapist’s goal is domination.'

"This characterization may or may not describe the psychopathic violence of stranger rape. But it is an absurd description of the barnyard rutting that undergraduate men, happily released from older constraints, seek. The guys who push themselves on women at keggers are after one thing only, and it’s not a reinstatement of the patriarchy. Each would be perfectly content if his partner for the evening becomes president of the United States one day, so long as she lets him take off her panties tonight."

It is absurd to think that policies condoning opposite sex couples living together -- and make no mistake, couples in varying degrees of committed relationships will feel a pressure to shack up if the university allows others to do it -- won't lead to unsatisfying sexual encounters, whether those encounters result in sexual assault, false rape claims, or far more likely, just unsatisfying experiences. A lot of kids invited to take advantage of these gender inclusive polices are too young, too sexually immature, for that kind of living arrangement.

But what's even more absurd is this: for all their hand-wringing about "rape culture" and sexual assault, for all the fear they instill in women about penises, for all the shaming they do of over 40% of their customers for no reason other than the fact they were born with external genitalia, colleges don't even bother to offer a rational explanation about how this new policy doesn't create risks for women. They just say, "it's not a problem."

Is it possible that that with these policies, college administrators are actually acknowledging what every rational person not drunk on gender politics already knows, that "rape culture" is bullshit? That while rape is certainly a problem -- after all, one rape is one rape too many -- it isn't "normalized" on campus among its male students?

Because if the feminists were right, rape would be rampant on campus, and we would be talking about "banning boys entirely," not inviting them to live in the same dorm rooms as their victims.