Wednesday, June 8, 2016

You better believe there’s a ‘rape culture’

You may have heard about the Stanford University student who was recently convicted of rape for having sex with an unconscious young woman — but being sentenced to only six months in prison, with half of it to be taken off for “good behavior.” The judge suggested that a longer sentence would have ruined his life.

Come again — ruined his life? What about hers? I can only imagine what such a violation does to a female, suffering wounds that never completely heal.

Over the past few years campus feminists have complained about a “rape culture” in which certain men feel entitled to sexual contact to a point that feel they can simply take it. I’m not prepared to say just how much, if at all, they’re exaggerating, but I can tell you that it does exist. As a fraternity member I experienced it. The point isn't really the sex, of course; it's the feeling of conquest that comes with it, and I've heard what some men have said about women.

Now, I never directly participated in any of that behavior, trying to get women into bed by hook or by crook; indeed, I was the type that were I to see one passed out because she had too much to drink I would have put a sheet over her and let her sleep it off. I had that reputation at the house.

But we’re talking about a culture, which implies mindset. During one of our parties one woman was quite literally being molested near the dance floor, in the living room of the house, and my first thought was, honestly, “Well, she must have wanted it.” If I knew then what I know now …

Here’s the thing: Some years ago one university did a survey on sexual assault, and it turned out that 90 percent of the accused were fraternity members, with most of the rest varsity athletes. In other words, these were the “men’s men” that tended to attract women, which was a problem in its own right because they had enough status that if they didn’t like one girl they could get another pretty quickly. That’s why it’s so hard to deal with.

But deal with it we must. How I’m not sure, but women are not toys to be discarded at whim.

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