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Actually sick, like my dinner might return on me.

Thanks, George Will.

TRIGGER WARNING for... I don't even know what to call it.  Sexual assault denial and minimization, insulting actual survivors, and turning colleges into victims.  

Also ageism, and trivialization of trauma, and generally being a horrible human being.

Now the Obama administration is riding to the rescue of "sexual assault" victims. It vows to excavate equities from the ambiguities of the hookup culture, this cocktail of hormones, alcohol and the faux sophistication of today's prolonged adolescence of especially privileged young adults.
Ewww, the shudder quotes around "sexual assault".  Skeeve-tastic to start with.

"Hookup culture" is not the same as rape.  

If rapists think they're not committing rape, it's because they don't know the definition of rape.  They don't know that having sex with their girlfriend when she says no is rape.  They don't know that having sex with someone who doesn't consent, or can't consent due to drunkenness or unconsciousness, is also rape, just as much as knife-point, gun-point, dark alley sexual predation is rape.  

They do know they don't have consent.  They just don't think that that matters.

Combine this with capacious definitions of sexual assault that can include not only forcible sexual penetration but also nonconsensual touching. Then add the doctrine that the consent of a female who has been drinking might not protect a male from being found guilty of rape.
That IS sexual assault, you ginormous doucheweasel.  If a person doesn't consent to being touched, it's assault; if a person doesn't consent to sexual touching, it's sexual assault.  This is basic.  You think women should just be hunky dory with having their breasts or crotches groped against their will?  That that's acceptable guy hijinks?  What's wrong with you?

As for drinking, yes, one can be too drunk to consent.  (Link goes to Laci Green Sex+ sex education video on consent.)  If it's at all in doubt, don't have sex!

Colleges and universities are being educated by Washington and are finding the experience excruciating. They are learning that when they say campus victimizations are ubiquitous (“micro-aggressions,” often not discernible to the untutored eye, are everywhere), and that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate.
OK, one, micro-aggressions are real.  They're the steady drum of sexist/racist/heterosexist/transphobic/privileged rain that can erode people's patience, sense of safety, and sense of self-worth.  Universities should be aware of the thousand subtle ways that people lacking privilege of whatever kind can experience hostility and other-ing within their educational environment.

But sexual assault, whether rape, attempted rape, or "just" sexual contact without consent, are not micro-aggressions.  They're macro-aggressions.  They're crimes.  Conflating micro-aggressions with sexual assault is a not-so-subtle attempt to get your readers to write off the seriousness of the problem of sexual assault on campus (with many rapists committing multiple rapes) at best, and to convince them not to believe survivors who come forward at worst.

Second, "victimhood a coveted status"?  Really?  

You really think that young women (or men) who are trying to get degrees in engineering or anthropology or climate science, while having a social life, dealing with living on their own for possibly the first time, having a work study job, or even working full time, are, en masse, going out of their way to invent accusations of rape or sexual assault against men in their social circle?  Just for the thrill of being able to recount one of the worst days of their lives to a committee of faculty and administrators whose main concern is the college's ranking?  

You think there are a legions of grudge-driven sluts taking revenge on innocent men for sex that truly was consensual?  You think survivors should be forced to live in the same dorm with their rapists, or be committed to psychiatric wards and forbidden to study abroad or complete senior theses?  You think not being subjected to those things constitutes a "privilege"?

It seems to me that the main group of people in the U.S. who is reveling in their imaginary victim status are rich straight white men who are horrified at having to maybe spare a little room in society for the legitimate grievances and rights of others.

The rest of us talk about victimization in order to get shit done.

(The whole odious thing is here.  Be warned, Will describes a real-life rape that he doesn't think is really a rape, apparently because she only said "no" once.  And Media Matters debunks George Will's misinformation here.)

P.S. -- If you're a high school or college student, or anyone who'd like to know about students' Title IX rights, go to

© cai

Originally posted to cai on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 05:24 PM PDT.

Also republished by This Week in the War on Women.

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