Friday, December 5, 2014

Rape allegations raise difficult questions for N.J. colleges. From NorthJersey.Com. Sent in by Tami in Trenton.

I have grown so tired with how casually and poorly reports of rape are met on campus. In the article linked below, even victims sometimes don't consider these alcohol-fueled sexual assaults as the actual violent acts they are. Such is the hedonistic brainwashing of the typical college campus. Happily, some schools, including my own, seem to be toughening up responses.

I pray that my female students are safe on campus, and yours, too.


A dorm room. An accusation of gang rape. A young woman traumatized, and a group of male students facing criminal charges that could land them in prison.

Such are the shocking facts behind the alleged sexual assaults recently at two of North Jersey’s leading public colleges.

If there is any heartening news from these horrific stories, it’s that officials at William Paterson University in Wayne and Ramapo College in Mahwah seem to be taking seriously the allegations that female students were raped on their campuses.

This is no small achievement. At far too many colleges nationwide, experts say, allegations of sexual assault are either quietly ignored or covered up. At William Paterson and Ramapo, law enforcement agencies were notified and arrests were made — quickly.

Now consider a troubling question that may require even deeper reflection by the colleges beyond merely summoning police and suspending rape suspects:

Do the colleges bear any responsibility in these cases?



  1. A big difference in the New Jersesy case and the rape at UVA is that the police are involved in NJ. Once criminal procedings begin, the school gets involved.

  2. I find that my own campus is very insular. Bad things happen and the campus closes the borders, wanting to take care of things on their own. We have a perfectly fine local police force, and several times we've had to get the faculty committee to stand in the president's office to make her call a real legal authority. There have always been enough of us to get some action, but I fear it's not always the case everywhere.

  3. Had the UVA victim reported her crime to the police, forensic evidence would have gotten the rapists arrested immediately. I realize it's difficult for victims to go to the police, but why the hell are colleges handling violent felonies? And since the fed insists that colleges due handle rape cases because rape is now considered a form of discrimination, is anyone surprised that they are doing a terrible job of it? However, I am not sure its appropriate to insist a woman has been raped if she herself considers it an alchohol-fueled but consensual mistake. Is that the role of feminism today - to tell women what to think and feel? We had centuries of men telling women what to think and feel, now we have to endure radical feminists telling women what to think and feel. Also the article is lacking in factual accuracy and very biased. The 20% statistic - 1 in 5 - has been thoroughly discredited.The Brownmiller book, while beloved of Women's Studies departments, is outdated and many better books on the topic have been published since 1975. And why is no one addressing the very real problem of rape off-campus? It not being on campus that puts women in danger. Most campuses are safer than the surrounding neighborhoods. But the age group, 18-30, is the most dangerous time in any person's life. Most victims of violence are young people of that demographic. We need a comprehensive study of not just college violence, but also violence among non-college students of the same age group. And maybe we piggyback on the highly visible movement to end campus rape so that we can also end rape on Native American reservations, in the military, in Alaska, and in jails - all places where rape is out of control with rates as high as 35%, which is worse than even war-torn countries where rape is a method of terrifying the local population. Let's have justice not just for college women, but for all victims!

    1. The emphasis on rape on campus (and/or of college women) bothers me, too. If anything, women who aren't college students but instead out in the working world, often working early and late shifts, taking public transportation and walking from the bus/subway stop to home, etc., etc., may be in greater danger (except that most rapes occur between people who are at least acquaintances, so maybe at least some of the danger on campuses is created precisely by the idea of college as a "safe" space, full of pre-vetted "nice" people).

      And yes, crimes should be reported to, and dealt with by, the police. They're certainly not perfect (witness other recent events), but they are at least trained to deal with crime/alleged crime in a way that deans are not.

  4. By now you must have seen Rolling Stone's retraction:

    Such flawed journalism doesn't exactly help the cause and every false allegation makes it that much harder for victims to get the justice they deserve.

  5. I don't know if this belongs in this conversation, but this is something that has been bugging me for years. Does anyone remember the Hofstra gang-rape "false" accusation scandal?

    So the girl went ahead and recanted. Maybe she was exaggerating, maybe she was a manipulative psycho who wanted to ruin a bunch of random young men. Who knows? But here's the thing - whether or not it's fair to say there wasn't technically any "crime", who the hell fucks a drunk girl on a god damned bathroom sink in a room full of guys, taking turns, with cellphones out documenting the entire thing, and doesn't think they're doing something wrong to the woman? Who thinks that's actually ok, regardless of what she might have even thought about it herself? I mean even if you could put her on a lie detector and prove she actually wanted it, what kind of man gets involved in that? Crime or no crime - what the hell kind of behavior is that?

    I'm not a prude - but this wasn't some kind of hippy love orgy - it was a gang bang in a god damned bathroom. It's deplorable. Call me judgmental if you want - but that's not merely some kind of harmless hedonism that I'm too stuck up to be comfortable with - it's depraved and they should all have been kicked out.

    So there, the Wombat is a wet blanket, but I just finally saw an opportunity to find out what other people thought about that case. Why was the girl alone vilified and the boys pitied? I can actually understand sticking it to the girl, but why did the media goad the masses into feeling sorry for the boys involved?

    1. I don't remember the Hofstra case (and yes, I've seen the increasing questions about the UVA one), but I've long thought that one good guideline for preventing at least some of the sexual carnage that really does occur on American campuses (the relatively-recent incident with members of the Naval Academy football team comes to mind as one verified example, where the issue is not whether sex occurred, but whether there was consent) would be to convince young men that, despite the impression they may have gotten from porn (at least I suspect that's one place they're getting it; I have to admit my knowledge of porn was extremely limited to start with, and is now seriously outdated), very, very few women are genuinely interested in having sex with more than one man at once, let alone several men they've never met before, and/or in locations such as a bathroom, a darkened room full of broken furniture, etc., etc.

      If college (or other) guys want to meet one of the few women who really do enjoy such scenarios, there are, I'm told, groups and clubs and such that facilitate the playing out of such scenarios in a safe environment, with groundrules that allow all parties to be sure that activities are consensual, safe words to stop the action if anybody feels that things are getting out of hand, and other reasonable safeguards. None of the above is my cup of tea, so I can't verify personally that such systems work, but they certainly seem like a better place to start for someone interested in such experiences than hanging around a bunch of extremely-drunk guys who assure you that the half-comatose woman to whom they aren't actually introducing you is really enjoying herself. And if a guy isn't really interested enough in playing out this particular sort of fantasy to take the trouble to make sure such arrangements are in place, well, maybe he should just keep it a fantasy.

    2. I don't think Wombat is a wet blanket. We also have the Steubenville (OH) case as yet another in the litany of abusive, horrifying events that happen to women who have the misfortune of being women while drunk. I can't even draft a coherent response right now.

      What it boils down to is that women are not seen as people--as sisters, someone's daughter--when they're drunk. They're objects to be used and manipulated (in a way that men are not) because they made a bad choice and must take the punishment due such reckless behavior, and that is culturally systemic. Until we teach our sons to value women as people--teach them what consent is and is not (like, she's so drunk she can't talk--how is that consent?)--we will keep seeing this kind of story. And it's sad.

  6. The men are drunk, too. That does not excuse anyone's behaviour, but if we focussed on eliminating binge drinking it'd go a long way towards reducing this kind of behaviour. Expecting drunk men to behave like perfect gentleman is simply ridiculous. But whenever this idea of reducing binge drinking is mentioned, it's immediately quashed by cries of "victim blaming." No one is blaming the victim. The drunk girls may be putting themselves in danger, but the drunk guys ARE the danger. The problem is that if people act this way consensually and do not consider that anything was amiss, then there's not much we can do to legislate morality. But reducing binge drinking with certainly improve campus safety.